Reminiscences on the Development of the First Commercial Array-Induction Measurement
- Peter Elkington (Weatherford)
- Document ID
- Society of Petrophysicists and Well-Log Analysts
- Publication Date
- December 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 618 - 623
- 2014. Society of Petrophysicists & Well Log Analysts
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 63 since 2007
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The first commercial array-induction measurement was performed by BPB in Alberta, Canada in December 1982. The tool designation was Digital Induction Sonde (mnemonic DIS); it was the result of a rapid development effort following a decision in late 1979 to commission an integrated digital well-logging system whose innovations would be adopted universally in the decade that followed. The DIS went on to be the workhorse of the company’s logging operations in low-conductivity well fluids, and the basic elements of the design continue to be built into every array-induction tool operated by Weatherford today. This article tells the story of why the DIS was developed, the challenges faced by the engineering team, how they were overcome, and why it was not called an Array Induction until five years after its introduction.
Background: The Digital Revolution
Logging tools—like most devices—evolve through incremental change, and it’s rare for a design team to have the opportunity to start with a blank canvas, yet that was the situation in 1979 when Dick Reeves, Managing Director of BPB Instruments (later rebranded BPB Wireline), instructed his R&D team to design a logging system for oilfield operations from scratch—from the systems level up. It would include surface and downhole hardware, processing and communications protocols, and all the myriad of hard and soft components that make up a complete logging system. The Digital Induction Sonde was one part of that project; the technology needed to build it was unknown, and none of the design team had any induction-measurement experience. They were given two years to deliver the whole system.
BPB was entering a technical market dominated by three large established players. Business success would depend on the right business model and on providing customers with compelling reasons to use the service. Important to both would be operational efficiency, and the challenge would be addressed in part by exploiting the potential of digital systems to simplify workflows associated with routine tasks such as calibration and the generation of hardcopy prints and digital media. The decision to go digital proved to be right, but it compounded an already substantial challenge.
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