Utilizing 4D microgravity to monitor water encroachment

Mohammed J. Aishakhs, Erling Riis, Robin Westerman, Stig Lyngra, Uthman F. Al-Otaibi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The common wisdom is that gravity methods have limited application in the oil industry although they have long been available. The main use of gravity has been for exploration purposes. 4D microgravity monitoring is another new promising gravity application to monitor changes of fluid contacts. Some successful 4D monitoring surveys have been conducted in the industry revealing that this technique is a proven technology in monitoring of gas-water contacts. This paper studies the ability of microgravity to capture movement of the injected water in a giant carbonate field. The oilwater case is more difficult due to the significantly lower density contrast as compared to the gas-water case. Monitoring water floodfront in the field is a key factor in applying successful reservoir management practices to maximize recovery and prolong the field life. The monitoring of inter-well fluids would characterize any pre-mature water breakthrough to allow planning and design of appropriate remedial well interventions. The current applied monitoring tools such as carbon-oxygen and resistivity logs can only detect fluids near to the wellbore due to their shallow radius of investigation. For the study field, 4D seismic cannot be used for fluid movement detection due to issues related to formation acoustics impedance and data quality. The study has shown that surface microgravity monitoring could successfully detect the inter-well fluid changes due to water injection with a high precision tool (0.01 microgal). It also shows that microgravity monitoring can capture water bodies located hundreds of meters away from the location of the 4D measurement. Copyright 2008, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, ATCE 2008
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2008 - Denver, CO, United States
    Duration: 21 Sept 200824 Sept 2008


    ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2008
    Abbreviated titleATCE 2008
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityDenver, CO


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