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Can Formation Testing Time be Cut in Half and Generate Ten Times the Data?

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

A new method of accurately measuring permeability, skin damage and anisotropy with a short duration pretest using probes of different shapes is shown in this presentation. Pretesting operations with a Formation Tester (FT) normally require a depth-based survey consisting of at least 10 pretests to find the most promising locations for more extensive testing, such as an Interval Pressure Transient Test (IPTT) or acquiring a formation fluid sample. While an IPTT can yield accurate results for permeability, skin and anisotropy when compared to core samples and larger scale tests, such as drill stem testing, an IPTT is extremely time-consuming compared to a pretest.

One of the biggest unknowns in pretesting results is the skin effect that is attributed to mud invasion causing near wellbore rockface damage and pore plugging which can result in an order of magnitude error in the permeability measurement. However, if pretests could obtain accurate and comparable results to an IPTT, the time saved in FT logging operations would be reduced by at least 50% in addition to extracting more useful data in a single run.

The new technique shown uses a typical pretest sequence that normally takes 5-10 minutes and yields results that would take hours with an IPTT, or over 24 hours with the new FT Deep Transient Testing (DTT) method. The fundamentals of this new method are detailed in this presentation using a simple probe arrangement: a circular probe in conjunction with an oval-shaped elongated probe. More complex probes, such as the focused-radial probe, can enable more accurate results, which is illustrated. Other extensions are demonstrated, including delineating bedding layers, dipping angle, and azimuthal probe orientations. Additionally, a modified version of this method can be applied in very low permeability formations for unconventional plays.

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  • 1Can Formation Testing Time be Cut in Half and Generate Ten Times the Data? - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Dr. Roberto Aguilera
Mark ProettModeratorMark Proett is a senior petroleum engineering consultant working in O&G upstream technology for over 40 years. He worked for Aramco Services Company (5 years), Halliburton (35 years) and Schlumberger (2 years). He is best known for his publications advocating the viability of formation testing-while-drilling (FTWD), which was introduced in 2002, in addition to focused sampling probes and automated QC testing methods. Proett has been awarded 82 US patents and authored more than 60 technical papers, most of which deal with sampling and testing analysis methods. Proett has been an SPWLA Distinguished Speaker and SPE Distinguished Lecturer. In 2008 he received the SPWLA Distinguished Technical Achievement Award, in 2013 he was given the SPE Gulf Coast Regional Formation Evaluation Award and in 2017 the SPWLA International Formation Evaluation Award. He has a bachelor-of-science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and a master-of-science degree from Johns Hopkins University.