Old CaTS Technology Learns a New Trick

Somewhere offshore Norway there is an abandoned appraisal well that is unlike any other. Despite being a non-producer, inside it are pressure gauges meant to reveal clues on how the reservoir will ultimately give up its resources.

Developed by service firm Expro, the technology being discussed here is the cableless telemetry system (CaTS). Instead of running the requisite productivity test and then leaving an appraisal well behind for months or years until a field is ready for development, operators use the CaTS for the long-term collection of transient pressure data that will help them narrow the uncertainties of where to drill next.

It works by sending data from battery-powered pressure and temperature gauges through a well’s metal casing via an electro-magnetic (EM) transmitter, a critical ingredient to Expro’s approach.

“There are many different telemetry systems and technologies, [e.g.] acoustic, mud pulse,” explained Stephen Kelly, a product line manager for Expro’s wireless well solutions group. “But the thing about the EM system is that the signal is unaffected by any barriers in its path. So bridge plugs have no impact, and cement plugs, zero impact.”

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