November 2001
Special Focus

Advanced sand control completion with permanent monitoring

Design of an openhole, horizontal, gravel-packed completion with permanent fiber-optic-distributed temperature sensor to monitor production equipment

Nov. 2001 Vol. 222 No. 11 
Feature Article 


Advanced sand control completion with permanent monitoring

Long, openhole, horizontal gravel-packed completion offers real-time reservoir monitoring using a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor

G. McKay, BP; P. W. Bixenman and G. Watson, Schlumberger

Permanent downhole monitoring can provide valuable information for production decisions without need to perform an intervention to gather data. This type of technology has been excluded from sand-control completions because of the complexity of placing measuring devices in the production interval. This article describes the completion design of an openhole, horizontal, gravel-packed completion with permanent monitoring equipment in the production interval.

As will be described, typically for gravel-packed wells, the completion is run in two trips: the sandface completion in the first, the upper completion in the second. The sandface completion includes two hydraulic lines in a U-tube configuration with a hydraulic wet connector at the top of the completion string.

The completion is gravel packed using an alternate-path technology that decreases risk of a failed gravel-pack placement due to hole collapse or losses. It also allows placement at lower flowrates, thus reducing risk of damaging the hydraulic control lines.

The upper completion is run and stabbed into the hydraulic wet connect. The hydraulic lines provide a continuous, environmentally protected conduit for the fiber-optic line. Once the upper completion is run and the wet connect is tested, the hydraulic lines are flushed and the fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS) is installed.


This article was adapted from a professional society paper for which World Oil was granted the right to print one time only. Therefore, to review the article, you should refer to the actual World Oil magazine in which it originally appeared.

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