Case History: New Horizons for Downhole Flow Measurements via Coiled Tubing Equipped with Real-Time Downhole Sensors at South Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia

Buhassan, Shaker (Saudi Aramco) | Halder, Surajit (Saudi Aramco) | Tammar, Hassan (Saudi Aramco) | Beheiri, Faisal (Saudi Aramco) | Ahmed, Danish (Schlumberger) | Brown, George (Schlumberger) | MacGuidwin, Jeffrey Thomas (Schlumberger) | Haus, Jacques (Schlumberger) | Moscato, Tullio (Schlumberger) | Molero, Nestor (Schlumberger) | Manzanera, Fernando Baez (Schlumberger)


During the last 5 years, one of the most common matrix acidizing enhancement techniques used to improve zonal coverage in open hole or cased hole wells is conducting a distributed temperature survey (DTS) using coiled tubing (CT) equipped with fiberoptic and real-time downhole sensors during the preflush stage before the main stimulation treatment. This is used to identify high and low intake zones so the pumping schedule can be modified to selectively place diverters and acidizing fluids with a high degree of control. Once stimulation treatment has been completed, a final DTS analysis is performed to evaluate the zonal coverage and effectiveness of the diversion. Even though this technique has provided satisfactory results, alternative methods providing faster and more accurate understanding of flow distribution between the zones and laterals are needed, especially if there is limited temperature contrast between fluids and reservoir. Thus, an innovative coiled tubing real-time flow tool has been recently developed to monitor flow direction and fluid velocity. This measurement is based on direct measurement of the heat transfer from the sensors to the surrounding fluid using a calorimetric anemometry principle. The first worldwide use of this technology in a Saudi Aramco injector well showed this to be a viable new approach to downhole flow monitoring that can be used by itself or in conjunction with DTS, depending on the constraints of each individual intervention.