Schlumberger

Technical Paper: Flow Modeling and Comparative Analysis for a New Generation of Wireline Formation Tester Modules

Society: IPTC
Paper Number: 17385
Presentation Date: 2014
 

Abstract

Wireline formation testing (WFT) is an integral part of reservoir evaluation strategy in both exploration and production settings worldwide. Application examples include fluid gradient determination, downhole sampling, fluid scanning in transition zones, as well as interval pressure transient tests (IPTTs). Until recently, however, formation testing was still challenging and prone to failure when testing in low-mobility, unconsolidated, or heavy-oil-bearing formations, especially with single-probe type tools. A new-generation WFT module with a 3D radial probe expands the operating envelope. By using multiple fluid drains spaced circumferentially around the tool, the new module can sample in tighter formations and sustain higher pressure differentials while providing mechanical support to the borehole wall.

We performed a detailed flow modeling-based analysis of the contamination cleanup behavior during fluid sampling with the new module. Using both miscible (sampling oil in oil-based mud) and immiscible (sampling oil in water-based mud) contamination models we studied the cleanup behavior over a wide range of formation properties and operating conditions. Comparison of the cleanup performance of the new module with the performance of conventional single-probe tools demonstrates that the new module is 10 to 20 times faster than the single-probe tools when sampling in tight formations. Finally, we also compared the new module against the sampling performance of dual packers and a focused probe.

This work is directly relevant to the planning and fundamental understanding of wireline fluid sampling. The key contributions are miscible and immiscible contamination cleanup models that include the effect of tool storage, a comprehensive analysis of contamination cleanup behavior for the new-generation WFT module with comparisons against conventional single-probe, focused probe, and dual-packer tools, and a characterization of fluid sampling conditions versus the preferred type of sampling tool.

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