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Acoustic Liquid Level

Measurement
Fundamentals

Microphone

Casing head pressure

Gas

TWM Computes
Distance to Fluid Level

Fluid Level
Gaseous Liquid

Flowing BHP

Liquid
Pump

Static
Reservoir
Pressure

1898
Batcheller
Patent

Locating stuck tubes


in pneumatic mail
systems.

Used Blank Pistol

Timed Round Trip


Travel Time to a
Stuck Tube

Gas Gun Patent 1936 (Lehr and Wyatt)

Relation between
acoustic velocity, gas
composition, density
and pressure.

Deptograph C. P. Walker 1937

Objective: determine if there is liquid above the pump

Deptograph C. P. Walker 1937

Photographic Recording of Trace

Walker Patent,
1937
Methods to Calculate
Depth to Liquid level:
1-Time to tubing catcher
and to liquid echoes.
2-Count collar echoes to
liquid level
3-Measure echo time and
acoustic velocity in gas
with resonant tube.

Sound Waves Basics

Sound waves are caused by a pressure change


(increase or decrease) in a gas or liquid.
Sound waves propagate through the fluid at a speed
called Acoustic Velocity.
Sound propagating in gas is reflected by solids or
liquids in the path of the wave.
Sound propagating inside a tube is reflected by
changes in area (increase or decrease) of the tube.
The greater the change in area the larger is the
amplitude of the reflected wave and the smaller the
amplitude of the transmitted wave.
The pressure of two waves arriving at the same time
at the microphone will add or subtract depending on
their polarity.

Traveling Surface Wave

Echoes from Diameter (cross section area) Changes


0 ft

3000 ft

Restrictions
inside tubing

Acoustic trace
Time

Enlargements
in annulus

Acoustic trace
Time

4300 ft

5000 ft

Echoes due to Wellbore Area Changes


Enlargements cause inversion of pulse echo polarity

Hole Enlargement

Liquid Flow Through Perfs

Open Perfs

Liquid Leaking from Tubing @ 4056 feet

Liquid Leaking from Tubing @ 4056 feet


Pump On

Pump Off

300 psi

Explosion
Pulse
Generation

Quick
opening
valve

100 psi

Pressure Increases
5 psi during a short
time then pressure
wave propagates in
tube.

1. Gas gun chamber is charged to a pressure in excess of


the well pressure. Then the valve is opened quickly to
release gas into well.
2. The increase in well pressure generates the pulse.
3. Utilizes an external gas supply to generate the acoustic
pulse.

Remote Fired Gas Gun

Detailed
schematics and
part numbers at
back of TWM
manual

250 psi
50 psi
12 Volt

50 psi

Implosion
Pulse
Generation

Quick
opening
valve

100 psi

300 psi

Pressure
Decreases 5 psi
during a short
time then
pressure wave
propagates in
tube.

1. Gas gun chamber pressure is bled to a pressure lower than the well
pressure. Then the valve is opened to quickly admit gas from well.
2. Uses the reduction in wells pressure to generate the sound pulse. Well
pressure should be greater than 100 PSI.
3. External gas supply not necessary.

Compact Gas Gun, Page 409 TWM manual

Acoustic Pulse
Generators

2a

Modern Acoustic Gas Guns:


1.

Compact gas gun

2.

Remote-fired gas guns

2b

2a Wired, 2b-Wireless
1.

5000 psi gas gun

2.

15000 psi gas gun

Obsolete Acoustic Pulse


Generators Include:

Comparison of Energy from


Gas Gun:

dynamite cap

1.

45 caliber = 150 psi

45 caliber blank

2.

10 gauge = 300 psi

10 gauge black powder blank

TWM Explosion vs. Implosion Example


Data collected
on a shut-in gas
well JW-131
using Compact
Gas Gun.
Compact Gas
Gun charged to
400 Psig to
generate the
compression
acoustic pulse.
Wells casing
pressure of 205
Psig used to
generate
implosion pulse.

RTTT

400 Psig Explosion

205 Psig Implosion

Normal Well Liquid Level Echo

Polarity of echo same as polarity of pulse generated by gas gun

Liquid Level Echo Round Trip Travel Time

RTTT

RTTT = time for sound to travel from gun to LL and back


Question: what is the Distance to the Liquid Level ??

Acoustic Velocity in Air


Lightning

See Flash
then, hear
BOOM.

Speed of sound

1100 FT/Sec

Sound in air travels 1100 feet per second. If a person sees the flash and
hears the BOOM 5 seconds later, then the lightning struck 5500 feet away.

Acoustic Velocity of Gases


Depends on P, T and Specific Gravity: (Charts for hydrocarbon gases)

108 F

Velocity = 1400 ft/sec


400 psi

Velocity = 785 ft/sec

Distance to Echoes Calculated from a Known


Average Acoustic Velocity
0 ft

Restrictions

Acoustic trace

0 sec

In Wellbore:

t1 = 6.000sec

t2 =8.6 sec

L1= 6 x 1000/2

L2 = 8.6 x 1000/2

L1 = 3000 ft

L2 = 4300 ft

P=100 psi
T=188 F
1.2 gravity

V=1000 ft/sec

Acoustic Velocity and Gas Gravity Calculated from a


Known Distance to Cross-sectional Area Changes
5000 ft

0 ft

8000 ft

Restrictions

Acoustic trace

0 sec

t1 =10 sec

t2 =16 sec

V=5000 x 2/10

V=8000 x 2/16

V = 1000 ft/sec

V = 1000 ft/sec

V=1000 ft/sec
P=100 psi
T=188 F

Gas gravity = 1.2

Explosion
Pulse

Echoes in Well
Change in cross-sectional
area at tubing
couplings cause
sound waves to
partially reflect back
1 second
to microphone
Number of collar echoes
per unit time is a
measure of the
acoustic velocity of
the gas in that section
of the well.

Implosion
Pulse

Bang! Shot
Collar
Collar
( Jts / sec)*Collar
( ft / Jt)

Collar
Collar

Liquid

ft / sec

Count Echoes from


Tubing Collars

Ideally should count all


echoes from surface to
liquid level and give
depth to liquid as
number of tubing
joints.
In practice need to
extrapolate collar
count since the
amplitude of echoes
decreases to well
noise level and collar
echoes become
indistinguishable from
noise.

Explosion
Pulse

TWM Adjusts
Echo Polarity

Implosion
Pulse

Bang! Shot
Collar

For consistency with


established practice
TWM always shows
restrictions as
down kicks and
enlargements as
up kicks provided
the shot type:
Explosion or
Implosion is
entered in data file.

Collar
Collar

Collar
Collar

Liquid

Processing of Acoustic Reflections in TWM


Shot fired
Depth scale computed from average acoustic velocity from collar count
Reflected Pulse
caused by
DECREASE in the
cross-sectional
area IS displayed
as an downward
kick on the
acoustic trace.
Reflected Pulse
caused by
INCREASE in the
cross-sectional
area IS displayed
as an upward kick
on the acoustic
trace.

Processing of Acoustic Reflections in TWM


Initial Acoustic Pulse

Number of Collar
Echoes from 1.5 to 2.5
seconds = 19.53 per
second

End of collar echoes


counted by processing
record automatically.

Reflected Pulse
caused by Liquid
Level
RTTT= 14.877 sec
LL @ 293.7 joints

Reflected Pulse
caused by
INCREASE in the
cross-sectional
area at 4017 feet
as tubing tapers
down.

Summary

Sound pressure pulse is generated at surface and pressure


wave travels down the wellbore.
Changes in cross sectional area cause sound to be reflected
causing echoes that are recorded vs. time at the surface.
Reflected signal polarity indicates restrictions (down kick) or
enlargements (up kick) encountered by the acoustic wave.
Round trip travel time (RTTT) is measured very accurately
from shot to any echo flagged by the dashed vertical marker.
If present, the echoes from the tubing collars are counted as
far as possible down the acoustic record.
A depth scale is defined using the average sound speed for
the gas in the well computed from the collar echoes or from
known downhole markers.
When tubing collars or known depth reflectors are not
present the acoustic velocity for the gas is estimated from
gas properties, pressure and temperature.

Questions ?

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