Ten Years of Reservoir Monitoring with Chemical Inflow Tracers - What Have We Learnt and Applied Over the Past Decade?

A. D. Dyrli; E. Leung


The initial development of inflow tracers was initially designed to provide qualitative information about identifying the location of water breakthrough in production wells. The proof of concept and application for water detection, initiated the development of oil tracers for oil inflow monitoring. Different approaches to install them permanently within a completion component were used, to provide risk free, reliable production monitoring without the need for intervention. Installing unique chemical tracers that are embedded in polymer materials in sand screens or pup joints, along select locations in the lower completion was to correlate where the oil and water is flowing along the production interval and how much. Innovation in the chemistry and materials designed to release to a target fluid (oil or water), enabled non electric wireless monitoring capabilities for many years of longevity in harsh well conditions, such as high temperature and highly acidic stimulation fluids. The evolution of inflow tracer signal interpretation, qualitative and quantitative interpretation workflows using models have also provided valuable insight to inflow characterisation. The latter can provide zonal rate information like wireline conveyed production logging tools, by inducing transients through shut in's or rate changes to create tracer signals that are transported by flow to surface and captured in sample bottles for laboratory analysis. A model based approach to match the measured signals with proprietary models through history matching workflow has also been developed. There are hundreds of well installations utilising inflow tracing monitoring technology today, where the majority have been in open hole completions in both sandstone and naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs on land, offshore environments in both platform and deep water sub-sea environments producing through long tie backs to FPSO's. The monitoring sensors are adaptable to most completion types in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. In most cases, inflow tracers can monitor clean-up efficiency, any subsequent restart and steady state production. Practical case studies will discuss the development of robust and reliable inflow tracer and technology and how operators have applied it over the past decade in a chronological order.