Cracking the top 5 Oil & Gas operational challenges with sensor fusion

Tommy Langnes, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer at LYTT, July 06 2022

The world is short on certainty at the moment. The invasion of Ukraine, global supply chain pressures and rocketing inflation have strained leading economies and precipitated an energy crisis. Oil prices haven’t been this high since before 2015, and the geopolitical pressures on operators to boost production are mounting.

However, as reserves dwindle, new sources tend to be more remote and in deeper water, making exploration and production activities more financially risky. Leveraging new technologies to reduce costly downtime and maximize economic recovery in complex reservoirs is therefore crucial.

The effective deployment – and use – of sensors is key to ensuring that adverse well conditions do not affect production. When well and reservoir sensors are not efficiently utilized, it can have a major impact on operators’ ability to identify and fix problems related to productivity, regularity and integrity, compromising their assets’ overall operational health. For this reason, successful operators will be those who adopt advanced digital, sensor-enabled technologies now, giving them the edge to combat operational challenges both today and in the future.

5 key Oil & Gas challenges:

1. Reservoir performance monitoring
Understanding multi-phase flow contributions from reservoir layers in Oil & Gas wells is critical to maintain production efficiency and profitability. Yet, typical multi-phase flow measurement systems are only available at the surface or as a single point measurement, with uncertainties of around 20 percent or more.

Conventional methods that attempt to overcome uncertainties in multi-phase flow use Production Logging Tools, which result in down-time and only provide snapshot measurements. Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) however offer non-intrusive, distributed and continuous measurements suitable for monitoring dynamic well performance across the entire reservoir.

2. Targeted water injection
Monitoring and assessing the efficiency of water injection and reservoir sweep has proven difficult, with conventional methods typically only able to provide a static view of the movement of water at well shut-in condition. These methods are unable to give a high-resolution water injection profile along the reservoir in real-time. Reduced visibility can lead to production deferrals and suboptimal water sweep impacting the field’s reservoir recovery.

3. Solids management – from reservoir to surface
Ineffective sand control completions or defects can lead to the ingress of solids, causing erosion, loss of containment and productivity issues. A safe operating practice and an effective remedial approach requires highly accurate tools that give operators a clear picture of downhole conditions to characterize and pinpoint the location of solids entry, and their transport to surface.

Few proven sensor-enabled technologies are available in the marketplace that accurately identify downhole solids ingress locations in real-time and track transport to the surface to facilitate effective resolution.

4. Managing well integrity challenges
Managing integrity and hydrocarbon containment in operating wells and plug-and-abandonment wells is key to reducing risks for personnel and the environment, and to preventing costly remedial work. Well integrity problems, such as tubular leaks, zonal isolation and overburden integrity, increase operational risk and cause loss of production.

Having an effective well monitoring system throughout all well phases is key to provide necessary visibility for targeted remediation and reducing the frequency of major integrity failures, costly production downtime and revenue losses.

5. Making seismic accessible and affordable
Seismic surveys are indispensable in enabling operators to map large areas and analyze potential reservoirs to inform development, planning and production strategies. However, a seismic survey can cost tens of millions of dollars and take over 6 months to deliver useful insights, so operators often limit them to initial E&P activity, performing a follow up 2-3 years later – meaning they miss out on valuable operational data in the meantime.

Using fiber optic infrastructure to collect seismic data, operators can capture crucial subsurface insights more regularly and cost-effectively, helping solve fluid injection and production issues.

The opportunity

The key to addressing these challenges is implementing technology that harnesses the full power of existing sensor data and transforms it into actionable insights in real-time, enabling faster and more informed decision making. LYTT's end-to-end analytics platform is driving the next phase of sensor utilization and insights: sensor fusion.

Sensor fusion leverages existing fiber optic sensors and time-series data to accrue and collectively analyze multiple datasets to deliver improved visibility and accuracy when classifying downhole events. By combining high-fidelity DAS, DTS, seismic, and other sensor measurements, Oil & Gas operators gain a holistic, multi-faceted understanding of the performance of their wells in real-time – unlocking the capability to address a broad sweep of issues. The technology also supports a shift from the scattered placement of sensors in modern wells and production systems, to inform a more strategic approach that generates specific insights to help operators solve their most pressing challenges.

LYTT has developed its platform and data processing capability to intelligently extract data from multiple sensor types. It runs this data simultaneously through advanced Machine Learning models to create actionable insights which are visualized via an intuitive user interface. Informed by these insights, our unique Flow, Solids, Integrity and Seismic applications help operators address the full gamut of operational challenges across their Oil & Gas asset portfolios.

Sensor fusion is supercharging the value LYTT’s platform and its applications can unlock for Oil & Gas operators. LYTT has deployed its solutions to 15+ customers globally, enabling field-wide efficiencies and hydrocarbon recovery resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in value. LYTT will continue to evolve its analytics platform and applications suite to support customers in Oil & Gas to tackle this current period of uncertainty and address their operational challenges using sensor fusion.

To learn more about how LYTT can help you address your specific Oil & Gas challenges, book a demo using the button below.


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