Reservoir analysis system uses pulsed-neutron technology to monitor reservoir saturation levels

Houston-based Probe has introduced a new pulsed-neutron tool to accurately and reliably monitor reservoir conditions. The RAS tool is a three-detector system that uses sigma and carbon-oxygen (C/O) techniques to measure reservoir fluid saturation of oil, water and gas.

For years, the industry has relied on systems that employ pulsed neutron technology to measure reservoir fluids behind casing and well tubulars. This technology is applied to monitor fluid contacts in the reservoir, diagnose production problems and to locate bypassed pay zones.

Full-function pulsed-neutron reservoir monitoring tools that employ sigma logging and C/O spectroscopy have been available from the major wireline service companies, the company said.

“Operators and smaller wireline service companies had no alternative but to use the tools offered by a few major players,” Federico Casavantes, Probe president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Consequently, demand for a full-function pulsed-neutron tool from an independent supplier, that could offer the same – or better – reservoir saturation data, continued to escalate. This demand was also being driven by market dynamics which greatly favoured tool reliability, long-life and low total cost of ownership, all of which we are now able to fully address through our product offering,” said Casavantes.

Specialists at Hunter Well Science, a subsidiary of Probe since December 2017, developed the tool to measure reservoir fluid saturation of oil, water and gas. It operates in three basic modes: Sigma: water saturation detected via thermal neutron decay; C/O: oil saturation detected with gamma spectroscopy; Water flow: water velocity from oxygen activation.

In addition, in sigma mode, the three-detector array can be used to measure gas saturation, the company said. For wells with limited data, the tool can make standalone porosity and lithology measurements.

By using modern, ruggedized electronics, the pulsed-neutron tool has been streamlined into a compact-robust device. The tool and telemetry-gamma ray casing collar locator (CCL) together constitute the shortest reservoir analysis tool string in the industry, measuring a combined 16.9 feet (5.14 metres).

“Its compact size makes it easier to deploy and reduces potential failure points,” said Casavantes. “It also means that it is very versatile and can be configured to suit different conveyance types and downhole conditions.”

At the center of the pulsed-neutron tool is a rugged neutron generator that operates in temperatures as high as 320° F (160° C) and has a typical service life of 1,000 hours – nearly double the lifespan of many other reservoir analysis tools.

It has undergone more than 500 successful runs completed primarily in the U.S., Middle East-North Africa region and China. It is used in a variety of applications, particularly in cased hole and openhole completions in surface read-out and memory-operating modes, on conventional tubing, e-Line, e-Coil, conductor and conventional slickline, said Probe.

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