With a total surface flow area of 79.44 in2—a 1,200% increase over the largest conventional single-probe formation tester—the Saturn 3D radial probe extends formation testing to previously inaccessible fluids and reservoir environments:
The drain assembly of the Saturn 3D radial probe positions four self-sealing suction ports at 90° intervals against the borehole wall to pull fluid circumferentially from the reservoir, instead of funneling it to the single access point of a conventional probe. Because fluid is extracted across a large reservoir volume, flow is readily induced and sustained for viscous fluids and in low-mobility formations or uncemented matrix. Filtrate is quickly removed to draw in uncontaminated formation fluid for downhole fluid analysis (DFA) and sampling.
The Saturn 3D radial probe can perform pressure tests at mobilities as low as 0.01 mD/cP. The improvement in testing efficiency over conventional probes is distinct at mobilities of 500 mD/cP, with the performance gap expanding as the mobility decreases. At 10 mD/cP the Saturn probe is an enabling technology because even an extralarge-diameter conventional probe cannot move the formation fluid. With minimal storage volume effects and greatly reduced susceptibility to supercharging, the Saturn probe brings unprecedented pressure-testing capability to very tight formations.