Right now, everyone is looking back at previously abandoned assets to seek out the new production that might be easily accessible. The objective is to deliver a perfect perforation based on known rock and reservoir characteristics that will deliver the production objectives.
The TriStim® perforating system is ideally suited to this task because the convergence angles for the charges can be adjusted according to the requirements of the individual well. Our ProBallistics™ process does this by calculating optimal charge angles based on well, rock and reservoir data delivering a uniquely tailored solution that is precisely attuned to the characteristics of the proposed reservoir.
However, as anyone who has actually spent time in the field knows, the performance of the job can be further enhanced by having some proven practical experience at hand on site. In addition to great science, you also need an experienced eye and a proven knack for understanding the unquantifiable natural characteristics, imperfections, and peculiarities of the well
Meet Antonio “Tony” Ortiz, our man in the field, and based out of Houston as Completions Consultant Americas for Delphian Ballistics.
With almost 45 years of experience in the field, Tony really knows perforating and production logging. His resume reads like a history of well logging and perforating with experience covering the rapid progress of the industry from the 1970s until now.
Tony began “chasing drilling rigs all over South Texas” as a logging specialist before becoming an open hole and then a cased hole engineer. He worked for Go International, Marvin Gearheart and Harold Owens in this capacity before moving to Eddie Chiles’ Western Company as pipe recovery and a production logging specialist. Later, he worked with GRC Amerada Gauges where he was focusing on running innovative new technologies particularly in the field of pressure temperature monitoring. He was part of the team that introduced the first electronic gauges. “Instead of reading a chart, we were reading the electronic data for the first time”, and to that end, introduced the memory electronic gauge to the industry as far as downhole pressures temperature and production logging are concerned. The list goes on to include Welex, Baker Oil Tools, Halliburton and well sites all around the world and Madden Systems where production logging was taken to the next level extreme high temperature .
Hi Tony, nice to talk to you, so what’s your focus as a completions consultant these days?
I’m here to listen to client’s problems. What is it that keeps you awake at night? What are you doing that’s costing you money? How many times are you acidizing these wells and causing damage to the pipe? I listen to them, and then I call on my years of experience to come up with something that’s going to work for them. Here’s what we’ve done in the past… You’ve already got case history, sounds like you’re repeating the same problem over and over because that’s the way the service companies are directing you. My job as a consultant is to think out of the box, come up with something different. What is out there that can make it better for you so you can sleep at night or take a well that’s doing 5/6 barrels a day and make it 20/30 barrels by just reperforating this well intelligently… without acid and without a fleet of fracking trucks!
And perforating alone can really deliver that much of a benefit?
What I generally see with all of these older wells is that people have gone in year after year and reperforated and reperforated until there’s nothing left. You look at the completion records and you see that in 4 years, they’ve perforated it almost every year. You need a better way to produce this well and perforate it again because standard perforation charges will do the same thing you were doing 20/30 years ago. TriStim allows you to get a bigger area of flow because it can get past the skin damage which you’ve created during all these years of production. The alternative is to go in there and put acid down, but then you’ve got to go and re-frac the well with a rig and trucks and lots of people and that’s very very costly. With the TriStim system, you don’t have to do that. You go in with wireline or TCP and reperforate it properly. This gives better, cleaner flow from the formation. It’s perfect because now everyone is going into the older wells for secondary or advanced recoveries. TriStim is well suited to the job.
So what’s going to affect the performance of the process?
TriStim is simple technology but very very effective. You’re just re-directing the charges into the formation, but you have to engineer the proper design for the gun. Is it hard rock, or limestone or sandstone? You can go back deeper into the formation if it’s really hard, you’ll get closer to the formation but you’ll need deeper penetrating high-velocity charges and you’ll want all of them to go at the same time. Also, which areas are you perforating? For example, we recommend that you only perforate this area because according to the production log it looks like these stages are ok, maybe we don’t want to perforate that one, or the second one or the third one. But the fourth one, you know you’ve got water coming from that area. You might only want to perforate the bottom, but you want to get a wider area of penetration wider area of productivity from your wellbore. All of this needs incorporating into the planning process and it needs good data.
You’re a fan of Production Logging, tell us more?
Production logging is the most under-utilised process in the industry. But when used properly, it gives you the most useful information about what’s going on. Combined with Reservoir Pressure Analysis, it gives us the information we need to make the proper diagnosis of well performance and making this correct diagnosis results in increased production, reduced production costs, and a very cost effective work over.
Often, there are long-standing assumptions that have been made about old wells. With production logging, we can eliminate those assumptions and focus on what needs to be done to deliver the objective. For example, a typical assumption that may be made about a well is that the production is coming only from the perforated zone. Many times the perforated zone will actually be depleted and production is channeling behind pipe from a different zone that was assumed to be isolated. This other zone was to be produced later in the life of the well. This leads to conflict between the calculated reserves of the lower zone and the actual production. However, the reserves in the other zone are now much less than calculated and may not be economical to complete.
For example, production logs are almost always run with a temperature instrument on the tool string and temperature logging surveys are great for detecting fluid movement downhole and locating water. They’re run in producing wells to locate production sources downhole, they can assist in locating channels, and possibly discriminate gas from liquid entries. In injection wells, we can use them to locate zones of injection and can even highlight channeling behind pipe. Although temperature logs can be difficult to interpret, they often provide flow information which cannot be detected by other means. We can also evaluate the height of an induced fracture, locate zones of acid placement, or the detection of cement tops.
I use the analogy of the heart. When you go to the doctor, you don’t get to see the doctor right away. After handing over your insurance card and credit card details (and waiting for hours!) a nurse tech takes your pressure and temperature and writes it down for the doctor. This is the information he needs to make his assessment of you. It’s the same with a reservoir. Think of the reservoir as your heart. You don’t wait around until you’re really ill, so why wait around until there’s a huge problem on the surface of a well? By that time, there’s a major problem downhole and you can avoid it by taking the pulse of the well, the heartbeat, using production logging.
Think of it like an electrocardiogram. So the temperature is changing. Well, it shouldn’t change unless you have influxes somewhere else. Same with your heart, If you have a blockage, you’re going to have more pressure on one side than the other side of your body. if you perforated a reservoir what happens. Production comes in but if you have a questionable cement job you could see a microannulus communication and all of a sudden your production is going somewhere else or water starts to come in. You’ll see that in the production logs – if you know what you are looking for and you’ve pre-planned what you’re setting out to do before you run a PLT (Production Logging Tool).
Always go back to the basics. Don’t overcomplicate the simplest thing in an oil well. Running basic production logs, Gamma Ray, CCL, Pressure, Temperature, Capacitance, Density, and Flow is the basic production logging tool and that’s what you should use. There are case histories upon case histories of evidence that show that the basic production logging tools work. Use them!
So it’s all about the good data?
It’s very important that we have all the information in front of us because no wells are alike. We’re planning the process for an individual well with differing needs. We might need to reperforate with a deeper penetration for this one, or a higher velocity. Maybe a smaller hole, or even a bigger hole. We’ve got to design the system accordingly to the needs of each individual well based on that data we have. None of them are the same and each well has its own characteristics of production. Why? Because you might have a bigger area of production in one well, then you go to the next well, and it may be thinner. Instead of being 20ft, it may be 15ft or 10ft and then you say wait a minute, this is the oil bearing sands, but you only have 5 ft of oil and 10 feet of water area that we definitely don’t want to perforate. Again, the more information that’s available, the better we can configure the process to deliver the best outcome
Sounds like you can’t buy the experience you’ve got. You can’t learn it in college either. You’ve got to have actually done what you’ve done over the years. Do people buy that?
This is hands on. This is the school of hard knocks! You get guys saying, I’m an engineer, I don’t have to go out in the field. Oh really? Well, how can you understand what’s really going with your well if you’re not there? You once read a book? You can tear the book apart! In the field, everything can fall apart and you need to understand that before you start writing the completion procedures. It’s about having good data from production logging, and an instinct for what the reservoir needs.
You gotta make sure you understand what you’re doing to your heart, to your well, to your reservoir. Don’t go breaking it!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Tony!
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