Underground storage is one of the safest ways to store large quantities of hydrocarbons. However, a few serious accidents have occurred in the past.
The storage industry has a great need for early leak detection. Well integrity testing is often performed through interface-depth measurements over time. Interface logging is required on a frequent basis but it can be expensive, for instance because operations are sometimes interrupted. The costs to run an interface log in North America typically range from $7,500 to $20,000.
Sounds Well detection system is based on acoustic interface detection technology developed by Brouard Consulting. It enables the measurement of the interface depth between two fluids, remotely and accurately at the surface. The Sounds Well system includes a software dedicated to collect and analyze the data. It allows, for instance, the detection and estimation of a leak rate. Dedicated software platform also integrates many other data sets, allowing more comprehensive management and maintenance. Sounds Well system allows a significant reduction in the time and cost for tightness and integrity testing.
Sounds Well is a tool that incorporates 20+ years of expertise in the field of underground storage in salt caverns, especially in integrity testing and pressure dynamics:
- Non-intrusive, non-interruptive
- No radioactive source
- Plug & Play: set up and analyze results in minutes
- Can monitor continuously
- Wellhead is kept closed and safe
- Wireline precision, or even better
- Measurement in tubing/annulus of any size
- Alarm triggering through SMS and emails
- Secure remote access to data and reporting
The is composed of a manifold, containing a number of sensors and hydraulic components, to be plugged at the wellhead and a data acquisition box (DAQ). The DAQ is connected to the dedicated server with through a 3G/4G mobile network. Acquired data are strongly compressed and encrypted before being synchronized.
The software platform provides a comprehensive management environment that offers the possibility to collect various data measurements related to multiple wells.
Sounds Well is an acoustic interface detection system designed to remotely determine the gas-liquid/liquid-liquid interface depth. It can also be used to detect and quantify leaks in annuli.
Application configurations are numerous and not identified fully:
- air/nitrogen/diesel blanket monitoring during cavern leaching,
- nitrogen/brine interface during MITs,
- light liquid/brine interface during LLTs (Van Sambeek et al., 2005),
- gas/liquid level monitoring in annuli (works in narrow/large and shallow/deep interface), and
- detection of damaged strings
- Pressure range: 0 to 200 bars (0-3000 psi)
- Temperature range: -20°C to +50 °C (0-120 °F)
- Depth range: 0 to 4000 m (0-13,000 ft)
- Vertical, deviated or horizontal wells
- Measurement duration: from seconds to minutes
- Accuracy: 0.1 to 1 m (3-40 in)
- Power consumption: approx. 60 W
- ATEX Zone 0 and IECEx Class I certified
Sounds Well system is designed to be easily adapted to the specifics of facility and to be extended or reconfigured. For example it can be portable or use two manifolds with one DAQ only, to register and use additional data from the sensors already installed on the well head, be portable etc.
Implemented and already installed configurations of the system are following:
- Manifold installed on the well head and DAQ box in the safe zone connected to a rugged tablet for regular monitoring
- Portable version “all-in-one”: manifold and electronics altogether to be connected to tablet or portable computer with Sounds Well software for manual interface measurements
- Manifold and DAQ box connected to the cloud server with Sounds Well software for permanent automatic monitoring
- Manifold and DAQ with additional temperature, pressure and flowrate inputs for automatic diesel blanket and cavern roof monitoring
- Two manifolds and one DAQ connected to cloud server for automatic permanent gas/liquid interface monitoring