Validating Efficient Completion Design through Advanced Perforation Analysis
Presented by: Charles Bourgeois
Bio: Charles is the US Sales Director for DarkVision Technologies. Graduating from LSU with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, Charles began his career as a field engineer with Baker Hughes. He worked across the business in various roles such as product manager and account manager. Since joining DarkVision, Charles has been instrumental in advancing the answers derived from acoustic based imaging including entry hole analysis, volumetric proppant calculations, and more. Charles has helped to publish numerous SPE papers and has provided deep insight for his clients and their challenges.
Abstract:High-resolution acoustic imaging technology provides operators with the ability to extract sub-millimetric measurements of perforations at any depth into a casing wall. Owing to its 3D nature, sub-millimetric acoustic data permits the extraction of highly accurate area-based measurements at any radial distance into a perforation, with key distances at the inner and outer casing boundaries. This novel technology is fluid agnostic and unaffected by the opacity or clarity of the fluid. The robust 3D measurement capabilities of the platform have made it an ideal means to evaluate casings and perforations in challenging environments such as hydraulically fractured wells. The integration of high-resolution acoustic imaging into numerous operators’ hydraulic fracture and completions evaluation workflows has resulted in a highly insightful aggregate sub-millimetric perforation dataset. This large dataset has led to the development of a method that can virtually unplug perforations using a well-specific “perforation entry- and exit-hole area correlation.” The established correlation can only be extracted using acoustic-based imaging, as it requires sub-millimetric resolution of both the inner diameter (ID) and outer diameter (OD) profiles of each perforation. Using this correlation, the resulting set of post-frac perforation exit-hole measurements improves the operator’s ability to complete a holistic well completion evaluation, even when the perforations are plugged due to unfavorable well conditions. The outcome is improved operational insight owing to the ability to directly compare stages with plugged perforations to those without. This approach can be applied at any point in the well’s life cycle, allowing operators to revisit assessments and virtually unplug obscured and proppant-filled perforations. The methodology requires sound baseline knowledge of the downhole perforating charges performance. The baseline is typically obtained through a calibration stage, which is a stage of charges that are shot but left unstimulated to provide control measurements for a specific charge under the given well conditions. The current industry performance of downhole perforating charges is investigated using an aggregated dataset of calibration charges. To validate this solid-state acoustic imaging technology and demonstrates its high degree of accuracy for entry- and exit-hole perforation measurements, machined samples were scanned using this technology and with a metrology-grade laser scanner for comparison. This paper presents a novel virtual unplugging methodology enabled by highly accurate and validated entry-hole measurements, as well as other insights gained from the aggregate analysis of the world’s largest calibration perforation dataset.