Waterfront Imaging Using Self-Potential
WISP (Waterfront Imaging using Self-Potential) is a novel technology developed by the NORMS group to detect water flowing in oil or gas reservoirs using measurements of self-potential at instrumented production or monitoring wells. Our WISP technology can help to prevent or reduce water production by providing real-time information on moving water in the reservoir.
We use the specialist facilities in the Norms Laboratory to measure and determine the link between changes in self-potential and water saturation when water is injected into oil saturated rock samples. The measured data are used in our bespoke simulation software (SP-SIM) to model the self-potential in oil and gas reservoirs during production. We have shown that WISP can image moving waterfronts while they are several tens- to hundreds of metres away from an instrumented well. The monitoring data can be used to control inflow to the well using downhole valves, to prevent or reduce water production. We work with providers of downhole technology to deliver the hardware required for WISP. The WISP technology has been developed with support from a wide range of oil and gas companies, including Shell, BP and Nexen.
The self-potential (SP) occurs naturally in response to pressure or concentration gradients in water in the reservoir. As water approaches an instrumented production well, the change in SP measured at the well provides advance warning and can be used to determine the geometry of the waterfront.
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