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Case Study

Confirm Oil Production from the Toe Well Bore Section using Tracer Technology

The Project

An oil field operator was developing an oil field using In-flow Control Devices (ICDs) as part of an oil field development strategy to balance flow along the production length of an extended reach well. As part of well surveillance strategy the team wanted a method to verify that oil was flowing from the toe of the well indicating that a good in-flow balance had been achieved.

Project Design
The project was designed to deliver:

  • Significant cost savings over other technologies
  • Provide zero additional rig time
  • Remove the need for well intervention as required when using conventional in-flow production logging tools.

As the screens had previously been manufactured, and it was not possible to position the tracer in the drainage zone of the premium wire wrap screens, it was agreed to place a controlled release oil tracer in several ICDs before sealing them and running in hole.

The oil tracer was developed to be compatible with the Synthetic Based Mud, the ICD completion system and 23 API crude oil.

Well Specification

  • Sandstone reservoir
  • 2,000 meter horizontal production length
  • 5½” premium sand screens c/w ICDs
  • Reservoir Temperature and Pressure; 174°F / 1580psi

Application of the Technology

  • Tracer material was transported to the customers shore base close by the offshore production facility. A number of ICDs were opened by the ICD contractor as part of project design to manipulate flow control ports. During this process the controlled release tracer was wrapped around the base pipe of the ICD and secured in place. The ICD was sealed trapping the tracer within.

Toe Wellbore Section

Sampling and Analysis
Sampling began immediately upon well start up and continued for a period of 21 weeks, with the operator collecting regular samples. Representative samples were then analysed for tracer at our local specialist reservoir tracer laboratory using ultra-sensitive Gas Chromatography instrumentation and optimised tracer detection methodology.

Additional samples were stored safely in the Tracerco Laboratory to be analysed and used to enhance the interpretation of the results if required.

Results and Interpretation
Tracer was detected over a period of 145 days with a tracer recovery of approximately 90%. This confirmed that oil in-flow from the toe position was occurring from the very beginning of production and continued to contribute some 145 days later.

Data provided by the oil tracer along with other well performance measurements allowed the client to confirm oil in-flow balance had been achieved within the well and good long term toe contribution was occurring. The information allowed them to plan future drilling and completion programs using similar well geometries and completion equipment.

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PDF version of Confirm Oil Production from the Toe Well Bore Section using Tracer Technology case study.

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