Category: Oil & Gas

14 Dec 2012

Optasense inaugurates global Frac Monitoring Operation Centres

December 14th, 2012

OptaSense Expands Global Hydraulic Fracturing Offering

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, has opened a network of Real Time Operations Centres (RTOC) to deliver advanced frac monitoring services. The new centres are based in Houston, US; Calgary, CA; and Winfrith, UK; will provide second by second information to assist oil and gas companies in optimising their fracing operations.

The service comprises the world’s first bespoke Fibre Optic Data Acquisition Units capable of monitoring multiple wells simultaneously. The service combines Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and pump data to provide a holistic image of performance throughout the fracing process, giving operators a unique view into the frac processes happening deep underground.

Information is also fed live into customer’ operation centres, with OptaSense experts advising on data analysis and interpretation, providing stage by stage reports on fluid placement volumes throughout the well completion process. The data is also used to help design the frac process for future well completions.

The Calgary facility, opened by Leo Quinn QinetiQ CEO, will be the global centre of excellence for OptaSense’s frac monitoring services and will incorporate a dedicated downhole fibre training facility as well as being the engineering control centre for operations throughout North America.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense commented that: “The investment builds on our global services framework agreement with Shell announced earlier in the year and is testimony to our confidence in providing services to the global shale market, where monitoring operations is so important to operators.

“These new operational facilities enable us to put a wide range of data into our customers’ hands immediately. Our fleet of state-of-the-art fibre optic data acquisition units enable us to provide our customers with a full service with respect to all fibre sensing requirements. We are committed to putting data in our customer’s hands to enable them to increase yields, improve safety and reduce operational costs.”

The OptaSense DAS system is providing a new window on in-well treatments. The hydraulic fracture monitoring service provides real-time monitoring of fracture fluid injection locations and provides an estimate of the volume of water and propellant uptake at these locations. With real-time monitoring of the operation at the treatment zone, operators are able to improve and streamline the hydraulic fracturing process in a safe and reliable way.

For further information please contact:

  • QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk/ +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

  • Conventional monitoring technologies are unable to survive the fracturing process whereas OptaSense is a breakthrough technology that has been developed in collaboration with Shell and can monitor the fracturing process by listening to a fibre optic cable attached to the well itself.
  • OptaSense provides wells with their own nervous system enabling operators to react to events as and when they occur.
  • OptaSense can monitor that the propant fluid that is injected into the borehole gets to the right place, and if not, modify the process straight away.
16 Nov 2012

Advances in Distributed Acoustic Sensing for VSP

Oil Field Services

Mateeva, A., Mestayer, J., Cox, B., Kiyashchenko D., Wills, P., Lopez, J., Grandi, S., Hornman, K., Lumens, P., Franzen A., Hill, D., Roy J.,  ‘Advances in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for VSP’, SEG Expanded Abstracts Vol. 30, 4253 – 4257, SEG Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, November. 2012

Link

10 Nov 2012

Advances in DAS for VSP

Summary
Last year we introduced Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) as a new method for VSP acquisition. In DAS, an optical fiber along the borehole serves as a seismic receiver array. The fiber is interrogated by a special device at the surface, sometimes referred to as lightbox. Improvements to the interrogator unit over the past year helped DAS data to approach the utility of conventional VSP data. We show results from various field trials that demonstrate the usability of DAS for typical VSP applications such as checkshots, imaging and time-lapse monitoring. We conclude that DAS would enable VSP, and cost-effective time-lapse VSP, in a broad variety of wells, particularly those inaccessible by geophones.

Click here to download the complete technical paper.

09 Nov 2012

OptaSense commits to Middle East

November 9th, 2012

New office opens in Dubai

Exhibits at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 2012

The company that protects the world’s key infrastructures by turning fibre-optic cables into listening devices will be exhibiting at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 2012 (ADIPEC).

It will be their first appearance at the Show since opening a new office in Dubai.

OptaSense is the world leader in acoustic fibre sensing providing services for upstream applications such as seismic and well monitoring and midstream applications such as pipeline security and condition monitoring.

OptaSense delivers vital operational and security data to help operate, protect and secure the critical assets and infrastructure of leading oil and gas companies worldwide. The company has been operating with customers in Oman, Qatar and Iraq for several years and has grown significantly, requiring a more permanent presence in the Middle East.

The new office in Dubai includes Business Development and Technical Support staff. Along with the new office, OptaSense has also invested in data recording units and vehicles based in Dubai to support its seismic and well monitoring services. This regional capability allows the company to be closer to its customers and be more flexible and responsive to their needs throughout the whole project lifetime. The OptaSense technology has been deployed successfully worldwide, and there are now operations in over 40 countries including in the Middle East.

The appearance at ADIPEC is part of the commitment OptaSense has to the region and reflects the growing realisation that prevention is vital for the future of the oil and gas industry. With oil theft and breaches of pipelines costing the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue every year, OptaSense will be explaining their vision for protecting pipelines.

Magnus McEwen-King, MD for OptaSense said:

“After successfully establishing ourselves in Europe and the Americas, expanding our services into the Middle East was the next logical step for OptaSense. Our regional headquarters in Dubai enables us to provide our customers with local support to assist in the design, commissioning, operation and support where and when needed.

“The region is an essential part of the global oil industry and is rapidly growing its pipeline infrastructure, many of which are crossing borders and servicing multiple clients. OptaSense ensures these pipelines are operated safely, securely and efficiently. Additionally, our investment in people, equipment and infrastructure within the region will enable us to provide seismic and well-monitoring services to a number of regional operators.”

For further information please contact:

  • QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk/ +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

About OptaSense

  • OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group
  • It is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 13,000kms of assets, principally providing leak detection and third party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.
  • OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.
  • Website: www.optasense.com 
09 Nov 2012

Affordable Permanent 3D VSP for Onshore and Offshore Applications

Summary
Down-hole seismic monitoring in the form of time-lapse 3D VSP has emerged as a technically viable alternative in areas where reservoir monitoring via conventional 4D seismic recorded on surface is not expected to be technically successful due to low SNR or insufficient repeatability. But even after the technical case is proven for time-lapse 3D VSP – often a major and protracted task – a larger hurdle remains to make the technique affordable on a field-wide scale. We discuss how the emerging technology of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) may be used to clear this hurdle both onshore and offshore.

Click here to download the complete technical paper.

24 May 2012

OptaSense signs a Global Commercialisation and Framework Agreement with Shell

May 24th, 2012

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, has announced the signing of a Global Commercialisation and Framework Agreement with Shell. The agreement sets out the basis on which Shell businesses can contract with OptaSense directly to use its unique Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) system. The initial service to be provided under the agreement is a commercial hydraulic fracture monitoring service.

The OptaSense Distributed Acoustic Sensing system is providing a new window on in-well treatments. The hydraulic fracture monitoring service provides real-time monitoring of fracture fluid injection locations and provides an estimate of the volume of water and proppant uptake at these locations. With real-time monitoring of the operation at the treatment zone, operators are able to optimise the hydraulic fracturing process in a safe, reliable and repeatable way.

Commercial services have now commenced in the United States and Canada with hydraulic fracture monitoring underway in tight sands and shale gas wells. These services are expected to be extended into new territories in the near future.

The hydraulic fracture monitoring services were developed in collaboration with Shell as part of the global research and development agreement announced in 2010.

OptaSense Managing Director, Magnus McEwen-King said,

“This Global Commercialisation Framework Agreement allows us to work with Shell around the world and is a positive step forward for our business as we look to expand both our international reach and commercial service offerings. It will also mean that we can continue to invest in jobs, having already created 100 new jobs in the last 12 months.”

For further information please contact:

  • QinetiQ Press Office – pressoffice@qinetiq.com / +44 (0) 1252 39 3500
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Maitland – rmitchell@maitland.co.uk/ +44 (0)207 379 5151

Notes for Editors

  • Conventional monitoring technologies are unable to survive the fracturing process whereas OptaSense is a breakthrough technology that has been developed in collaboration with Shell and can monitor the fracturing process by listening to a fibre optic cable attached to the well itself.
  • OptaSense provides wells with their own nervous system enabling operators to react to events as and when they occur.
  • OptaSense can monitor that the propant fluid that is injected into the borehole gets to the right place, and if not, modify the process straight away.
  • OptaSense is the World leader in distributed fibre sensing and operating in 37 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities. It is managed as an autonomous subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.
  • A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ’s unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.

Notes for Editors

About OptaSense

  • OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group
  • It is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 13,000kms of assets, principally providing leak detection and third party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.
  • OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.
  • Website: www.optasense.com 

About QinetiQ

  • A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ’s unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
  • Follow QinetiQ on twitter @QinetiQ
  • Website: www.qinetiq.com
13 Mar 2012

First Downhole Application of DAS for Hydraulic Fracturing Monitoring

Summary

The first exploration-and-production downhole field trial of distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) fiber-optic technology was conducted during the completion of a tight gas well in February 2009.

DAS is a novel technology that allows the detection, discrimination, and location of acoustic events on a standard telecom single-mode fiber several kilometers long. Using a combination of the measurement of backscattered light and advanced signal processing, the DAS interrogator system segregates the fiber into an array of individual microphones. To date, the technology has been applied mainly in the defense and security industries. One of the most exciting applications for downhole application of DAS is in the area of hydraulic fracturing of tight-sand and shale-gas reservoirs. Balancing the cost of hydraulic-fracture stimulation with the production benefit is crucial in tight-sand and shale-gas developments because, after drilling costs, the completion is the largest single cost component of the well.

Recordings can be made while tools are run in hole, bridge plugs are set and perforations are shot and during the fracture-stimulation treatment. The technology is sufficiently reliable and sensitive to detect and monitor these in-well activities. The fidelity of the recordings made during hydraulic-fracturing and flowback operations provides a step-change improvement in the ability to perform real-time and post-job diagnostics and analyses of the stimulation.

The different case studies presented in this paper will illustrate how, even in its earliest form, DAS has the potential to enhance the capability of monitoring and understanding in-wellbore activities. The technology enables the optimization of hydraulic-fracturing design and execution, which can drive down completion costs and lead to increased well productivity and ultimate recovery.

Click here to download the complete technical paper.

13 Mar 2012

Real-Time Downhole Monitoring of Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments Using Fiber Optic DTS and DAS

Abstract
In order to make commercial and development decisions effectively and more rapidly, new appraisal and testing technologies are needed to maximize early data collection and subsequent subsurface understanding as quickly as possible. For Unconventional Gas and Light Tight Oil (UGLTO) projects, some of this critical data can be derived from hydraulic fracture stimulation and inflow profiling activities.

For UGLTO projects, achieving an optimum hydraulic fracture stimulation is a continuous endeavor beginning as early as possible; and balancing the cost of completion vs. production performance is critical as the completion/stimulation is a large cost component of the well and heavily influences production rate/ultimate recovery. The fast paced development and introduction of new completion technologies requires diagnostic technology that can help us understand stimulation effectiveness, assess new completion technologies, and evaluate which zones are the most productive.

One emerging technology, fibre optic distributed sensing has the potential of providing key insights during both the hydraulic fracturing and initial flowback. The passive nature of fibre optic sensors allows intervention-free surveillance, which makes fibre-optic technology an effective platform for permanent sensing in producing wells. Until recently, the oil & gas industry fibre optic sensing technology has focused mainly on temperature (DTS) profiling along the wellbore. In 2009, it was first demonstrated how fibre optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) can also be used for downhole applications. Where hydraulic fracture diagnostics based on DTS alone in the past sometimes yielded ambiguous results, the combination of both acoustic and temperature sensing provides a step-change improvement in the ability to perform real-time and post-job diagnostics & analyses of the stimulation.

The different horizontal well case studies presented in this paper will illustrate how the combination of DTS and DAS has the potential to enhance the monitoring, assessment, and optimization of openhole and limited entry designed hydraulic fracture stimulation treatments.

Introduction
Given the low productivity of Unconventional Gas and Light Tight Oil (UGLTO) reservoirs (microdarcy permeability), the key element of successful exploitation is the ability to optimally create multiple hydraulic fractures to ensure sustained and high production rates are delivered during the production phase. Because the completion of a well can be the largest single well cost component, balancing the expense of hydraulic fracture stimulation versus the production benefits is crucial for the economic development of these reservoirs.

Real-time fracture monitoring in recent years has become a critical diagnostic tool for understanding hydraulic fracture deployment success in wellbores, leading to improved delivery and placement of the stimulation treatments. The diagnostics used have been primarily focused on determining the stimulation character such as fracture geometry, proppant placement in the fracture and fracture conductivity (Barree et al., 2002).

To better understand the complexity created by hydraulic fracturing treatments, composite fibre optic cables can be installed in a well to monitor the temperature profile as well as the acoustic signal distribution during completion operations (Paul Huckabee, 2009).

Click here to download the complete technical paper.