Optimizing Well Production with Downhole Reservoir Monitoring

by | Mar 31, 2017 | Industry, Oil & Gas

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is:

…the largest event in the world for the oil and gas industry featuring more than 2,300 exhibitors, and attendees representing 100 countries.

OTC 2017 will be held May 1-4 in Houston, Texas this year. With the excess supply conditions experience in oil & gas production, falling prices have meant a focus for producers on increasing efficiency. A recent NASDAQ article noted:

Throughout the downturn, producers worked tirelessly to cut costs down to a bare minimum and look for innovative ways to churn out more oil from rock. And they managed to do just that by improving drilling techniques. With these efforts, many upstream companies have repositioned themselves to adapt to the new $50 oil reality and even thrive at those prices.

Emerson's Christopher Seckel


Beyond just the drilling side of the equation, efficiency gains were also made in ongoing production. In this 7:07 video, Downhole Monitoring, Emerson’s Christopher Seckel described the importance of reliable downhole measurements in optimizing the production rates and life of the reservoir or hydraulically fractured shale zone. With advancements in measurement technologies, pressure, temperature and other sensors that used to be topside have been placed downhole for more immediate response to changing reservoir conditions.

By analyzing the data from this reservoir monitoring instrumentation, operators can maximize production and optimize the life the producing well, which allows them to drive down breakeven costs.

Chris noted some of the demanding downhole conditions the instrumentation is rated for, such as 225degC (430degF). These devices may be exposed to these conditions for more than a decade over the life of the well, especially in larger offshore reservoirs.

He also explained how wireless pressure and temperature sensing technologies allow devices to be placed behind the casing to monitor the integrity of the well. By being able to monitor in real-time, this changed the traditional practice of shutting in the well to perform these measurements on a periodic basis to look for integrity issues and comply with regulations.

Looking forward, Chris sees a continued shift to moving more sensing capability downhole to more quickly detect and correct abnormal conditions and optimize production. These devices, in combination with power and communications to the devices, provides a network to add additional sensing capability over time.

You can find Christopher and the other Emerson oil & gas industry team at OTC 2017 to discuss downhole measurements and other production optimization opportunities in Booth #4915 at the NRG Center. Sign up here for a free day pass into the OTC exhibits.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.