The advance of technology is constant as companies solve downhole problems to bring improved value to the oil service customer. No statement is more indicative of the competition present on the showroom floor of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Software, services, and tools all continue to advance in capability, even in the current down market for oil service companies.
Among the interesting new downhole tools presented at the show are three from well-known names: APX from Baker Hughes Inteq, RCI from Baker Atlas, and MRILab from Halliburton.
Inteq's Acoustic Properties eXplorer is a 6 3/4-in. acoustic-while-drilling instrument that combines a programmable, multi-frequency acoustic source with a long-offset six-level 24-receiver array. By using waveform-stacking techniques the tool produces high signal-to-noise ratios for more accurate pore pressure predictions, seismic ties, realtime acoustic porosity, shear velocity data, and rock mechanics data. The tool can operate in either dipole or quadrupole mode.
Baker Atlas' Reservoir Characterization Instrument is a modular formation testing and sampling tool used to directly gather reservoir fluids. The tool has six tanks per carrier and can link up to four carriers. With the two tanks that are built into the main body of the tool, up to 26 samples can be gathered during one downhole trip.
The largest sampling tank per carrier is 840 cc. The tool can replace the more expensive drill-stem-test or can be used to sample several zones along the wellbore for petroleum or salt water samples, which are important for calibrating resistivity readings.
Halliburton Energy Services Numar division has developed a very different logging tool, MRILab, which can analyze reservoir fluid properties including: fluid type, viscosity, and gas-oil ratio, all at reservoir temperature and pressure. By using magnetic resonance imaging technology the tool can be used in oil-based mud systems to determine mud filtrate contamination and the pumping time needed to receive a clean sample. Flows from the prospective zone can be analyzed in 20 minutes compared to several hours for drill-stem-tests. This can save significant of rig-time costs. The MRILab is a component of the Reservoir Description Tool that brings laboratory quality fluid measurements to the wellbore for reservoir engineering and completion design.