Prediction of the Efficiency of a Perforator Down-Hole Based on Acoustic Logging Information
- A.A. Venghiattis (Lane-Wells Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 761 - 768
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis
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A rational approach to the selection of the appropriate perforator to use in each specific zone of an oil well is presented. The criteria presently in use for this choice bear little resemblance with actual down-hole conditions. These environmental conditions affect the elastic properties of rocks. One of these elastic properties, acoustic velocity, is suggested as the leading parameter to adopt for the choice of a perforator because, being currently measured in the natural location of the formation, it takes into account all of the effects of compaction, saturation, temperature, etc., which are overlooked in the laboratory. Equations and curves in relation with this suggestion are given to allow the prediction of the depth of perforation of bullets and shaped charges when an acoustic log has been run in the zone to be perforated.
When an oil company has to decide on the perforator to choose for a completion job, I wonder if it is really understood that, to date, there is no rational way of selecting the right perforator on the basis of what it will do down-hole. This situation stems from the fact that the many varieties of existing perforators, bullets or shaped charges, are promoted on the basis of their performance in the laboratory, but very little is said on how this performance will be affected by subsurface conditions such as the combination of high overburden pressure and high temperature, for example. The purpose of this paper is to show the limitations of the existing ways of evaluating the performance of perforators, to show that performances obtained in laboratories cannot be extended to down-hole conditions because the elastic properties of rocks are affected by these conditions and, finally, to suggest and justify the use of the acoustic velocity of rocks, as the parameter to utilize for the anticipation of the performance of a perforator in true down-hole environment.
EVALUATING THE PERFORMANCE OF A PERFORATOR
It is natural, of course, to judge the performance of a perforator from the size of the hole it makes in a predetermined target. Considering that the ultimate target for an oilwell perforator is the oil-bearing formation preceded in most cases by a layer of cement and by the wall of a steel casing, the difficulties begin with the choice of an adequate experimental target material. For obvious reasons of convenience, the first choice that came to the mind of perforator designers was mild steel. This is a reasonable choice for the comparison of two perforators in first approximation. Mild steel is commercially available in a rather consistent state and quality, and is comparatively inexpensive. The trouble with mild steel is that it represents a yardstick very much contracted; minute variations in depth of penetration or hole diameter and shape may be significant though difficult to measure. The penetration of projectiles in steel being a function of the Brinell hardness of the steel (Gabeaud, O'Neill, Grunwood, Poboril, et al), it is often difficult to decide whether to attribute a small difference in penetration to a variation on the target hardness or to an actual variation on the efficiency of the projectile. Another target material which has been widely used for testing the efficiency of bullets or shaped charges in an effort to represent a formation-a mineral target as opposed to an all-steel target-is cement cast in steel containers. This type of target, although offering a larger scale for measuring penetrations, proved so unreliable because of its poor repeatability that it had to be abandoned by most designers. The drawbacks of these target materials, and particularly their complete lack of similarity with an oil-bearing formation, became so evident that a more realistic target arrangement was sought until a tacit agreement was reached between customers and designers of oilwell perforators on a testing target of the type shown on Fig. 1. This became almost a necessity about seven years ago because of the introduction of a new parameter in the evaluation of the efficiency of a perforator, the well flow index (WFI). The WFI is the ratio (under predetermined and constant conditions of ambiance, pressure and temperature) of the permeability to a certain grade of kerosene of the target core (usually Berea sandstone) after perforation, to its permeability before perforation. The value of this index for the present state of the perforation technique varies from 0 to 2.5, the good perforators presently available rating somewhere around 2.0 and the poor ones around 0.8. There A no doubt that, to date, the WFI type of test is by far the most significant one for comparing perforators.
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