Weatherford Joins Consortium to Develop Acoustic Flowmeter

Weatherford will participate in a collaborative project formed by a consortium of Chevron North Sea Ltd., Silixa, University College London (UCL) and Weatherford. The project's aim is to develop a fiber optics based in-well distributed acoustic flowmeter based on the revolutionary iDAS™ technology, developed by Silixa. The British Government-funded Technology Strategy Board is to invest over £750,000 over three years towards the total project budget of £1.5 million.

The iDAS technology has been pioneered by Silixa with early stage support from Chevron, and uniquely allows the user to listen to the acoustic field at every point along many kilometers of fiber optic sensing cable. It uses a novel digital optical detection technique to precisely capture the "true" full acoustic spectrum at every point. It has the potential for many in-well monitoring applications including distributed flow measurement, sand control system performance and sand detection, gas breakthrough, artificial lift optimization, intelligent completions performance, leak detection and formation subsidence, and is therefore viewed as having significant potential benefits for optimizing and maximizing production in many types of oil and gas fields by facilitating informed decisions.

The development project, which is now underway, will produce an iDAS system to meet extreme performance requirements, and includes the development of a novel neural network data acquisition and signal processing system making use of UCL's expertise. The project will encompass laboratory and flow loop testing along with field trial installations.