Fotech Solutions, the downhole monitoring technology specialist, will be presenting its Helios Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) based downhole monitoring and logging solution at the Decommissioning & Well Abandonment Summit on February 23rd-25th 2016 in Texas. 

Stuart Large, Fotech’s Product Line Director, Oil & Gas, will showcase how the Helios DAS Oil and Gas service offering will enable operators to remotely monitor an abandoned well. This enhanced monitoring capability increases the operator’s confidence that it is safe to abandon a well and minimises the resources needed to safely decommission the well. In light of the current market instability this represents a major commercial benefit in well decommissioning and abandonment.

“There are many tens of thousands of inactive wells around the world, but operators do not currently have the tools at their disposal to confidently abandon those wells. As a result, well abandonment remains a significant industry challenge, mainly because of the need to ensure the long-term integrity of the well,” commented Stuart Large. “With oil prices forecast to remain low and operators retaining liability for wells beyond abandonment, technologies such as Helios DAS are more important than ever before.”

Helios DAS can deliver continuous long-term monitoring of a well’s integrity after surface abandonment where permanent fibre is installed. During well interventions, where fibre is deployed as part of a tool string, Helios DAS proves to be an invaluable monitoring tool that enhances decision-making process on abandonment or by identifying the need for further action. In both cases Helios DAS enables operators to accelerate and build confidence in the decommissioning of commercially unviable wells.

By detecting distinct acoustic signatures Helios DAS enables operators to visualise the accumulating energy from leak events, even small leaks that can be easily missed by traditional abandonment procedures. This generates a dynamic profile of the well that increases the confidence in detecting a leak event. Where leaks, or potential leaks, are identified the Helios DAS system alerts operators immediately to take appropriate action.

Helios DAS works by converting a single mode fibre optic cable in the casing or production tubing into the equivalent of thousands of highly sensitive sensors. By sending 1-2m pulses of light along the fibre-optic cable, Helios DAS continually receives a small amount of light in the form of backscatter. When sound or vibrations disturb the casing of the fibre, the characteristics of the backscatter are changed. Helios DAS interrogates this to identify and locate the disturbance, allowing engineers to ‘visualise’ and record what is going on down-hole in real-time.

The 8th Annual Decommissioning & Well Abandonment Summit is the largest industry event of its kind and will see industry experts share best practices to effectively tackle ageing assets and drive business in volatile market conditions.