An innovative coiled tubing (CT) real-time flow measurement tool was introduced in Ecuador to reformulate the stimulation workflow in water injectors, which comprised evaluation and treatment. This new technology enabled an integrated, single-run workflow instead—initial injectivity measurements, diagnostics, treatment, post-stimulation injectivity measurements, and final diagnostics. This novel, rigless approach reduced equipment footprint, operational time, and cost, and it improved production as compared with the conventional approach, despite accrued capital discipline constraints.
Conventionally, operators rely on workover rigs and multiple product lines to diagnose, stimulate, and evaluate injector wells. Several challenges and inefficiencies were addressed by deploying the CT real-time flow measurement tool. Each intervention was designed to be completed with a single CT run and without the need for a workover rig, thus saving cost and time. Tailored diversion methods substituted the need for drillpipe to set mechanical packers. Prestimulation injection logging test (ILT) results obtained with that innovative tool, coupled with real-time control of depth and high-pressure jetting during execution, enabled effective placement of the stimulation treatment. Ultimately, post-treatment ILTs confirmed treatment effectiveness and final wellbore downhole conditions.
Introduction of the CT real-time downhole flow measurement tool allowed operational objectives to be met in a single run, without additional interventions, with or without a workover rig on site. When workover rigs were present, this improved workflow saved an average of 15% operational time. In cases without a workover rig, 105 hours of rig time were saved (without considering rig mobilization time).
Four case studies are presented. The first two cases demonstrate how acquisition of ILTs throughout the intervention enabled optimization of fluid placement and introduction of diverter methods. The third case covers a scenario where there was an initially low injectivity and highlights the challenges and lessons associated with recovering injectivity. The fourth case presents challenges unique to flowmeter measurements in heavy-oil environments. In each case, effectiveness of the optimized treatment was measured by two metrics: improvements in net injectivity and uniformity of injection profile, both of which drive the effectiveness of secondary recovery in connected producer wells. On average, wells intervened with this approach featured an improvement in injectivity of 301% (compared with 226% conventionally) and in their injection profile homogeneity by 13%. As a result, the productivity in connected wells improved by as much as 74% and an average of 39% (compared with 14% conventionally).
This innovative workflow is a step change over conventional approaches to rejuvenate waterflooding. It combines the capabilities of delivering treatments via CT and the power of real-time downhole flow measurements to break the paradigm of multiline, multirun operations to remediate and stimulate injector wells. This yields logistically leaner operations, which are less costly, and it enables breakthroughs in secondary recovery through data-enriched interventions in times of budget pressure, not only in Ecuador, but also across the globe.