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Title: Phase I Project: Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Periodic Hydraulic Tests

Abstract

The extraction of heat from hot rock requires circulation of fluid through fracture networks. Because the geometry and connectivity of these fractures determines the efficiency of fluid circulation, many tools are used to characterize fractures before and after development of the reservoir. Under this project, a new tool was developed that allows hydraulic connectivity between geothermal boreholes to be identified. Nanostrain in rock fractures is measured using fiber optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). This strain is measured in one borehole in response to periodic pressure pulses induced in another borehole. The strain in the fractures represents hydraulic connectivity between wells. DAS is typically used at frequencies of Hz to kHz, but strain at mHz frequencies were measured for this project. The tool was demonstrated in the laboratory and in the field. In the laboratory, strain in fiber optic cables was measured in response to compression due to oscillating fluid pressure. DAS recorded strains as small as 10 picometer/m in response to 1 cm of water level change. At a fractured crystalline rock field site, strain was measured in boreholes. Fiber-optic cable was mechanically coupled borehole walls using pressured flexible liners. In one borehole 30 m from the oscillating pumping source,more » pressure and strain were measured simultaneously. The DAS system measured fracture displacement at frequencies of less than 1 mHz (18 min periods) and amplitudes of less than 1 nm, in response to fluid pressure changes of less 20 Pa (2 mm of water). The attenuation and phase shift of the monitored strain signal is indicative of the permeability and storage (compliance) of the fracture network that connects the two wells. The strain response as a function of oscillation frequency is characteristic of the hydraulic structure of the formation. This is the first application of DAS to the measurement of low frequency strain in boreholes. It has enormous potential for monitoring geothermal reservoirs for purposes of understanding reservoir compliance and for assuring security of injection fluids. Periodic pressure pulses can be induced by oscillating injection or pumping during operation so the system could provide real time reservoir data. DAS cable may already be installed at a site as it is becoming increasingly used for seismic observation. Simulations conducted for this project indicate that strain should be propagated through borehole cements, so observations can be made outside of well casing. In uncased holes, the cable would need to be mechanically coupled to the borehole wall to provide measurements. One option would be to install fiber into cemented and abandoned boreholes to extend their utility.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. California State Univ. (CalState), Long Beach, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
California State Univ. (CalState), Long Beach, CA (United States); Silixa LLC, Houston, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Contributing Org.:
Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1430694
Report Number(s):
CSULB_EE0006763_1
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006763
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: https://gdr.openei.org/home
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; distributed acoustic sensing; hydraulic testing; fractured rock

Citation Formats

Becker, Matthew. Phase I Project: Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Periodic Hydraulic Tests. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1430694.
Becker, Matthew. Phase I Project: Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Periodic Hydraulic Tests. United States. doi:10.2172/1430694.
Becker, Matthew. Sun . "Phase I Project: Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Periodic Hydraulic Tests". United States. doi:10.2172/1430694. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1430694.
@article{osti_1430694,
title = {Phase I Project: Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Periodic Hydraulic Tests},
author = {Becker, Matthew},
abstractNote = {The extraction of heat from hot rock requires circulation of fluid through fracture networks. Because the geometry and connectivity of these fractures determines the efficiency of fluid circulation, many tools are used to characterize fractures before and after development of the reservoir. Under this project, a new tool was developed that allows hydraulic connectivity between geothermal boreholes to be identified. Nanostrain in rock fractures is measured using fiber optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). This strain is measured in one borehole in response to periodic pressure pulses induced in another borehole. The strain in the fractures represents hydraulic connectivity between wells. DAS is typically used at frequencies of Hz to kHz, but strain at mHz frequencies were measured for this project. The tool was demonstrated in the laboratory and in the field. In the laboratory, strain in fiber optic cables was measured in response to compression due to oscillating fluid pressure. DAS recorded strains as small as 10 picometer/m in response to 1 cm of water level change. At a fractured crystalline rock field site, strain was measured in boreholes. Fiber-optic cable was mechanically coupled borehole walls using pressured flexible liners. In one borehole 30 m from the oscillating pumping source, pressure and strain were measured simultaneously. The DAS system measured fracture displacement at frequencies of less than 1 mHz (18 min periods) and amplitudes of less than 1 nm, in response to fluid pressure changes of less 20 Pa (2 mm of water). The attenuation and phase shift of the monitored strain signal is indicative of the permeability and storage (compliance) of the fracture network that connects the two wells. The strain response as a function of oscillation frequency is characteristic of the hydraulic structure of the formation. This is the first application of DAS to the measurement of low frequency strain in boreholes. It has enormous potential for monitoring geothermal reservoirs for purposes of understanding reservoir compliance and for assuring security of injection fluids. Periodic pressure pulses can be induced by oscillating injection or pumping during operation so the system could provide real time reservoir data. DAS cable may already be installed at a site as it is becoming increasingly used for seismic observation. Simulations conducted for this project indicate that strain should be propagated through borehole cements, so observations can be made outside of well casing. In uncased holes, the cable would need to be mechanically coupled to the borehole wall to provide measurements. One option would be to install fiber into cemented and abandoned boreholes to extend their utility.},
doi = {10.2172/1430694},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}