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New technology operates at temperatures hotter than Venus!

Author : J GALE

08 February 2011

The contents of a white paper presented at this month’s Middle East Artificial Lift Forum, MEALF, in Bahrain, will confirm that Zenith Oilfield Technology’s 500F (260C) “HT” high temperature gauge has been successfully trialled in an ESP well in the Arabian Gulf.

Ongoing trials in the region have proven that the innovative HT gauge is capable of monitoring steam flood production wells lifted by Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP) during all three phases of the steam cycle including injecting, soaking and production.

The company, which formed in 2004, designs, develops, manufactures and supports leading edge technology to gather and analyse down hole data.  Based just outside Europe’s oil and gas capital, Aberdeen, Zenith operates in more than 40 countries around the globe and employs more than 80 staff.

Zenith’s HT system is already extending permanent down hole gauge’s existing temperature limitations on PCP wells. The gauge has been field proven in various wells in the Middle East, operating reliably at temperatures of 247 Celsius.

To further push high temperature technology boundaries, Zenith will launch its new XT extreme temperature system at MEALF this month. The XT gauge system uses new state of the art technologies to push the temperature monitoring boundaries up to 500 Celsius

Greg Davie, managing director of Aberdeenshire based Zenith believes the new XT technology will dramatically improve the reliability of monitoring high temperature oil wells in the future.

He said: “This technology overcomes the historic problem of monitoring steam flood operations and also HPHT wells as the gauges available have short life spans and give erroneous results. We now have robust technology that performs at high temperatures which will ultimately improve production and reservoir drainage.”

Zenith set about the challenge in 2007, looking at innovative new techniques to obtain a reliable permanent high temperature gauge system.  Current electronic gauge technology was shown to only extend to 175 Celsius, and life expectancy was still low for permanent gauge installations. A new pressure sensor had to be developed for this application, along with a new instrument cable capable of handling the extreme temperatures.  Zenith have developed a new and unique insulation technique, resulting in one of the only permanent 500 Celsius down hole cables in the world.

Zenith’s first 400C prototype XT sensor - from a well installed in July 2009 -  is still alive, with further installations planned for 2011.

Davie added: “A big hurdle in testing the technology was that a calibration system that could operate at those temperatures did not exist, so we overcame this by developing a precision 5,000 psi 500 Celsius computer controlled calibration system.”

New prototypes which are in test have been seen to operate reliably and accurately at over 450 Celsius and Zenith now has a full calibration and test facility in place in the UK.

Davie said: “We have succeeded in extending the existing technology and gone on to develop a 500 Celsius pressure sensor with cable, housings and connections. We are now looking at HPHT applications up to 20,000 psi.”

A white paper on the new trailblazing HT system and its successful application in steam flood wells will be presented on the first day of the MEALF conference in Bahrain this month by Zenith’s Khalid Al Araimi who is the new technology manager for the Middle East and India.

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