Halliburton (HAL) has released the Acoustic Conformance Xaminer service (ACX), a technology designed to help operators identify and pinpoint wellbore leaks by analyzing sound waves that describe flow patterns in the formation and casing.
The service employs an array of hydrophones that measure sound in and around the wellbore. Based on the measurements and analysis, the annulus or completions system that is leaking can be determined in real-time.
The ACX service stores high-definition data internally, which can be downloaded at surface and sent to the Halliburton Formation and Reservoir Solutions (FRS) group for advanced processing. This data allows engineers to develop 2D flow illustrations to further characterize the leak, reducing uncertainties. The ACX service can also take stationary measurements to refine areas where leaks are identified by monitoring activity. In some cases, this enables more precise flow rate and phase estimations at leak locations.
"We designed the ACX service to be part of a full suite of diagnostic services and to be combined with production logging and cement evaluation instruments," said David Topping, vice president of wireline and perforating, HAL. "By providing operators with greater insight and improved capabilities, we help facilitate greater returns from their reservoirs."
Recently, an Alaskan oil company deployed the service to a well with a gas lift completion that could not be gas lifted due to a leak. The ACX service identified the depth and spatial position of the leak near the casing hanger. As a result, a sealant option was identified as the optimal solution, allowing the operator to avoid a more complex intervention.
The ACX service can be utilized in a variety of environments, including mature fields and unconventionals.