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Title: Use of Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Measuring Hydraulic Connectivity for Geothermal Applications

Abstract

Advanced methods in reservoir characterization are required to effectively harness geothermal energy from fractured high-temperature, high-pressure crystalline rock. It is critical to determine sufficient fluid connection between injection and production wells to enhance sweep efficiency and optimize the lifetime of the reservoir. A technology is needed that can monitor hydraulic connectivity in real time at any depth in the reservoir, throughout the lifetime of the reservoir. GeoMechanics Technologies, in collaboration with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Silixa LLC, working in cooperation with the Department of Energy, Small Business Innovation Research through DOE SBIR Grant No: DE-SC-0017744, conducted a Phase I research project to investigate the use of fiber optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) to improve geothermal reservoir characterization. Fiber optic DAS technology uses inter-well pressure sensing in response to periodic injection to determine hydraulic connectivity in fractured geothermal reservoirs. Fiber optic technology is capable of withstanding high temperatures and pressures typical of geothermal reservoirs. This tool would provide nearly continuous pressure monitoring along the length of the wellbore, providing knowledge into hydraulic pathways even where perforations do not exist. Real-time hydraulic monitoring can be performed without interrupting normal field operations. Also, measurements can be obtained throughout the lifetimemore » of the well, ideally accounting for any changes in operations or reservoir configurations or thermally induced changes in permeability. The objective of this research effort was to develop and document an innovative tool that can be used for geothermal reservoir characterization. GeoMechanics Technologies and partners investigated and documented the use of fiber optic DAS for measuring the hydromechanical response caused by fractures in a reservoir and how that correlates to reservoir connectivity. For this Phase I project, numerical simulations, laboratory testing, and a field demonstration were performed to further validate the effectiveness of DAS technology for detecting formation hydraulics. This report summarizes the project activities. The main significant findings are: 1. From the numerical simulations using conceptual models, it is concluded that a high permeability zone inside a reservoir shows a different strain pattern along vertical monitoring lines away from the injection, when inducing low frequency pressure pulses. 2. The order of magnitude of strain observed at a distance of 100 ft from the injection well ranged from nanostrain to microstrain. Such strains are detectable with DAS tools currently available to industry. 3. Laboratory experiments stressed the importance of cable design and layout in the field, making calibration on site necessary for each application individually. 4. Field comparison highlighted the operational conditions that play a role in adding noise to the DAS measurement, where temperature effects for this type of application are also considered as noise to the strain measurements. 5. The analyses conducted to date provide motivation for further research, development and application of this technology, combined with field testing.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. GeoMechanics Technologies, Monrovia, CA (United States)
  2. California State Univ. (CalState), Long Beach, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
GeoMechanics Technologies, Monrovia, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
Contributing Org.:
California State University, Long Beach Silixa LLC
OSTI Identifier:
1434494
Report Number(s):
GMT0017744
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0017744
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; geothermal; fiber optics; strain sensing; distributed acoustic sensing

Citation Formats

Bruno, Michael S., Lao, Kang, Oliver, Nicky, and Becker, Matthew. Use of Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Measuring Hydraulic Connectivity for Geothermal Applications. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1434494.
Bruno, Michael S., Lao, Kang, Oliver, Nicky, & Becker, Matthew. Use of Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Measuring Hydraulic Connectivity for Geothermal Applications. United States. doi:10.2172/1434494.
Bruno, Michael S., Lao, Kang, Oliver, Nicky, and Becker, Matthew. Wed . "Use of Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Measuring Hydraulic Connectivity for Geothermal Applications". United States. doi:10.2172/1434494. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1434494.
@article{osti_1434494,
title = {Use of Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing for Measuring Hydraulic Connectivity for Geothermal Applications},
author = {Bruno, Michael S. and Lao, Kang and Oliver, Nicky and Becker, Matthew},
abstractNote = {Advanced methods in reservoir characterization are required to effectively harness geothermal energy from fractured high-temperature, high-pressure crystalline rock. It is critical to determine sufficient fluid connection between injection and production wells to enhance sweep efficiency and optimize the lifetime of the reservoir. A technology is needed that can monitor hydraulic connectivity in real time at any depth in the reservoir, throughout the lifetime of the reservoir. GeoMechanics Technologies, in collaboration with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Silixa LLC, working in cooperation with the Department of Energy, Small Business Innovation Research through DOE SBIR Grant No: DE-SC-0017744, conducted a Phase I research project to investigate the use of fiber optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) to improve geothermal reservoir characterization. Fiber optic DAS technology uses inter-well pressure sensing in response to periodic injection to determine hydraulic connectivity in fractured geothermal reservoirs. Fiber optic technology is capable of withstanding high temperatures and pressures typical of geothermal reservoirs. This tool would provide nearly continuous pressure monitoring along the length of the wellbore, providing knowledge into hydraulic pathways even where perforations do not exist. Real-time hydraulic monitoring can be performed without interrupting normal field operations. Also, measurements can be obtained throughout the lifetime of the well, ideally accounting for any changes in operations or reservoir configurations or thermally induced changes in permeability. The objective of this research effort was to develop and document an innovative tool that can be used for geothermal reservoir characterization. GeoMechanics Technologies and partners investigated and documented the use of fiber optic DAS for measuring the hydromechanical response caused by fractures in a reservoir and how that correlates to reservoir connectivity. For this Phase I project, numerical simulations, laboratory testing, and a field demonstration were performed to further validate the effectiveness of DAS technology for detecting formation hydraulics. This report summarizes the project activities. The main significant findings are: 1. From the numerical simulations using conceptual models, it is concluded that a high permeability zone inside a reservoir shows a different strain pattern along vertical monitoring lines away from the injection, when inducing low frequency pressure pulses. 2. The order of magnitude of strain observed at a distance of 100 ft from the injection well ranged from nanostrain to microstrain. Such strains are detectable with DAS tools currently available to industry. 3. Laboratory experiments stressed the importance of cable design and layout in the field, making calibration on site necessary for each application individually. 4. Field comparison highlighted the operational conditions that play a role in adding noise to the DAS measurement, where temperature effects for this type of application are also considered as noise to the strain measurements. 5. The analyses conducted to date provide motivation for further research, development and application of this technology, combined with field testing.},
doi = {10.2172/1434494},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}