Weatherford Announces Offshore In-Well Optical Seismic System

HOUSTON, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Weatherford International Ltd. announces the world's first successful offshore installation of a permanent in-well optical seismic system in BP Norway's G-24 injector well in the Valhall Field.

This milestone is the result of a two-year collaboration on advanced completion technology with BP Norway to design and manufacture a system suitable for deployment in an injection or production well. The equipment was installed in March 2006. It consists of five 3-component optical accelerometer stations and an optical pressure/temperature gauge deployed with the production tubing near the reservoir.

"Weatherford's Life of Well optical in-well system is providing both continuous seismic and pressure/temperature monitoring data and is also interfaced to the existing permanent ocean bottom cable system. This allows for the simultaneous collection of permanent seabed and downhole seismic data representing a significant milestone for the industry," explains Tad Bostick, vice president for Weatherford's optical sensing systems.

"The installation of the in-well seismic sensors represents an important extension of the existing permanent seismic monitoring system over the Valhall Field. The new sensors allow for new applications and represent a means for calibrating the remote observations of production effects to the observations made in the well. The primary objective is improved management of water injection and production," according to Olav Barkved, lead geophysicist for the BP Norway Valhall Field.

Weatherford's Clarion optical seismic system features advanced optical multiplexing based on Bragg grating technology. The system uses highly sensitive, miniature optical multicomponent accelerometers to continuously monitor active or passive seismic signals throughout the life of the well. Each tubing-conveyed seismic station uses a specially designed active clamping system that optimally couples the 3-C sensor to the casing and substantially decouples it from the production tubing. A Weatherford optical pressure/temperature gauge is deployed along with the seismic sensors on a single fiber-optic cable.

Weatherford's collaboration with BP Norway in this advanced technology project builds on previous efforts to optimize optical sensor and deployment technology and processes for permanent in-well seismic sensing. "The installation of the optical seismic array completion in G-24 was excellent. This was made possible due to two factors—up front planning and field trials to help optimize the equipment-handling procedures and the highly experienced dedicated team of engineers who saw the job from the design stage through to execution," comments Paul Angell, senior completion engineer for BP Norway. "The project team's focus on safety and quality alongside with an excellent cooperation with BP Norway in planning and execution enabled the success of this installation," adds Gisle Vold, Weatherford completion and production systems area manager for Scandinavia.

Weatherford is one of the largest global providers of innovative mechanical solutions, technology, and services for the drilling and production sectors of the oil and gas industry. Weatherford operates in over 100 countries and employs more than 30,200 people worldwide.

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