Title:
System And Method For Communicating Data Between Wellbore Instruments And Surface Devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool having steps of determining at least one of a drilling pause and a seismic measurement, transmitting a trigger signal to a tool controller, actuating the seismic source; receiving the trigger signal and recording seismic waves in a data storage medium.



Inventors:
Alford, Jeff (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Hawthorn, Andy (Missouri City, TX, US)
Application Number:
13/884155
Publication Date:
11/14/2013
Filing Date:
11/04/2011
Assignee:
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E21B47/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AZIZ, ADNAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schlumberger (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool comprising: determining at least one of a drilling pause and a seismic measurement; transmitting a trigger signal to a tool controller; actuating the seismic source; receiving the trigger signal; and recording seismic waves in a data storage medium.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished through a rig controller.

3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished by the rig controller that actuates the seismic source a predetermined amount of time after transmitting the trigger signal.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished a predetermined amount of time after transmitting the trigger signal.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the receiving the trigger signal is by a tool controller.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the initiating the recording of the seismic waves is accomplished by the tool controller.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the recording the seismic waves in the data storage medium occurs one of immediately after receiving the trigger signal, after a predetermined amount of time, and at a specified time.

8. A configuration for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool, comprising: a data storage medium; a seismic source configured to produce acoustic signals; an acoustic receiver configured to receive the acoustic signals; a rig controller configured to receive measurements from rig operations and transmit a trigger signal; and a tool controller configured to receive the trigger signals and initiate recording in the data storage medium.

9. A method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool comprising: determining at least one of a drilling pause; transmitting a trigger signal to the seismic source; recording seismic waves in a data storage medium; receiving the trigger signal; and actuating the seismic source.

10. The method according to claim 9, further comprising: terminating the recoding of the seismic waves in the data storage medium.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Aspects relate to communication between a seismic source and a seismic tool positioned within a wellbore. More specifically, non-limiting aspects relate to a system and method for communicating data between wellbore instruments and surface devices.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Logging while drilling (“LWD”) while drilling operations may be performed using one or more remote signal sources and one or more signal receiver modules disposed on a drill string. Examples of sources/receivers include acoustic, and electro-magnetic sources/receivers, for example similar to those used in seismic while drilling, controlled sources electromagnetics (“CSEM”), and/or wellbore electro-magnetic imaging (deep resistivity imaging) as well as seismic while drilling (“SWD”) operations.

Currently, conventional systems have significant difficulty in timing between transmitting seismic signals and receiving those seismic signals. Such difficulty results in excessive recording times, loss of power of critical components from inefficient use and excessive analysis time for evaluation.

SUMMARY

Aspects presented provide a capability to record seismic signals without the defects of conventional systems. A seismic while drilling tool (“SWD tool”) may be incorporated or positioned in a drill string and conveyed downhole into a wellbore. The SWD tool typically includes at least one acoustic sensor used to measure acoustic waves that have been generated by at least one remote seismic source (for example an air-gun located near the Ocean's surface), and that have travelled through the Ocean and/or Earth formations.

The SWD tool may record the acoustic signals sensed during time intervals in the tool memory. During some recorded time intervals, no acoustic wave generated by the remote seismic source may possibly reach the acoustic sensor of the SWD tool. For example, this may occur because the remote seismic source may not have recently been actuated. As a result, the tool memory stores data for time intervals where a seismic source has not even generated an acoustic wave.

In one example embodiment, a method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool is presented, comprising determining at least one of a drilling pause and a seismic measurement, transmitting a trigger signal to a tool controller, actuating the seismic source, receiving the trigger signal; and recording seismic waves in a data storage medium.

In another example embodiment, a configuration for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by the seismic tool, comprising: a data storage medium; a seismic source configured to produce acoustic signals; and an acoustic receiver configured to receive the acoustic signals. The configuration may also provide a rig controller configured to receive measurements from rig operations and transmit a trigger signal and a tool controller configured to receive the trigger signals and initiate recording in the data storage medium.

In another example embodiment, a method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool comprising: determining at least one of a drilling pause, transmitting a trigger signal to the seismic source, recording seismic waves in a data storage medium, receiving the trigger signal; and actuating the seismic source.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an example of a well site having a seismic source and a seismic tool in an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic of communication between a seismic source and a seismic tool in an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 3 illustrates a flow chart related to a method of triggering a seismic source in an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 4 illustrate a flow chart related to another method of triggering a seismic source in an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The disclosure provides a system and a method that may eliminate or at least reduce the number of recorded time intervals during which no acoustic wave was generated by the seismic source or could possibly reach the acoustic sensor of the SWD tool. Such systems and methods cure the defects of systems not configured to efficiently record acoustic waves. These systems allow for increased capabilities as well as financial gains for operators. Aspects of the system and methods provided may ensure that the time intervals during which an acoustic wave has been generated by the remote seismic source has reached the acoustic sensor are recorded, thus reducing error in the entire system and recording of seismic wave. In addition, the system and method may reduce the duration of the recorded time intervals during which an acoustic wave generated by the remote seismic source has reached the acoustic sensor.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic of one example of a well site 100, which may be located onshore or offshore. The well site 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 is located offshore on a drilling vessel 10. The drilling vessel 10 has a drill rig 20 on it that is used to drill a well 50 in Earth's formations with a drill string 30. The drill string 30 may be assembled by threadedly coupling together end to end a number of segments (“joints”) 22 of drill pipe. The drill string 30 may include a drill bit 12 at its lower end. Casing 13 and/or a blow out preventer 8 may be positioned in the well 50 as shown in FIG. 1. The drill string 30 may be composed of conventional drill pipe or may be wired drill pipe or coiled tubing, as necessary and as non-limiting embodiments. When the drill bit 12 is axially urged into the formations F at the bottom of the wellbore 50 and when it is rotated by equipment (e.g., top drive or rotary table) on the drilling rig 20, such urging and rotation causes the drill bit 12 to axially extend the well 50. The drill string 30 in the present example may be a so-called “wired” drill pipe that has associated with each pipe joint a cable, such as an electrical and/or optical conductor (not shown in FIG. 1) for communicating electrical power and signals from wellbore instruments 14 to the surface. The cable is typically communicatively coupled at each end of each joint 22, such as by use of an inductive or flux coupler. Non-limiting examples of such wired, threadedly coupled drill pipe are described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0225926 filed by Madhavan et al., the underlying patent application for which is assigned to the assignee of the present invention. Another example of wired drill pipe is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,641,434 issued to Boyle et al. and assigned to the assignee of the present invention. Such drill pipe structures are only provided as examples and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

The wellbore instruments 14 may be in communication with a logging unit 70, which may be positioned at the Earth's surface, as a non-limiting embodiment. The logging unit 70 may transmit and may receive signals to and from the wellbore instruments 14 via a telemetry system, such as mud pulse telemetry, electromagnetic telemetry, acoustic telemetry, wireline telemetry and/or wired drill pipe telemetry (previously discussed). The logging unit may record data obtained from the wellbore instruments 14. The wellbore instruments 14 may be any tool, sensor, or device capable of obtaining data related to the formation F, the well 50 and/or the drill string 30. The wellbore instruments 14 may obtain a measurement or sample of the formation F or the well 50. In one non-limiting embodiment, the wellbore instruments 14 may be logging while drilling (“LWD”) instruments or measurement while drill (“MWD”) instruments. As defined, the formation F is a geological formation or set of geological formations which is desired to be evaluated. In embodiments, the wellbore instruments 14 may be one or more devices that measure formation characteristics: a resistivity measuring device; a directional resistivity measuring device; a sonic measuring device; a nuclear measuring device; a nuclear magnetic resonance measuring device; a pressure measuring device; a seismic measuring device; an imaging device; a formation sampling device; a natural gamma ray device; a density and photoelectric index device; a neutron porosity device; and a borehole caliper device. In embodiments, the wellbore instruments 14 may be one or more devices for measuring characteristics of the drill string 30 and/or may include one or more of the following types of measuring devices: a weight-on-bit measuring device; a torque measuring device; a vibration measuring device; a shock measuring device; a stick slip measuring device; a direction measuring device; an inclination measuring device; a natural gamma ray device; a directional survey device; a tool face device; a borehole pressure device; and a temperature device. The wellbore instrument 14 may be a wireline configurable tool which may be a tool commonly conveyed by wireline cable as known to one having ordinary skill in the art. For example, the wireline configurable tool may be a tool for obtaining a sample of the formation F, such as a coring tool, a sampling tool, a fluid analyzing tool, and/or a tool for measuring characteristics of the formation F, such as gamma radiation measurements, nuclear measurements, density measurements, and porosity measurements. For the drill string components disclosed, power may be provided to the components through use of batteries or by use of a fluid turbine, as a non-limiting embodiment.

In an embodiment, the wellbore instruments 14 include at least one seismic tool 60 that may include a seismic receiver, a seismic source, and/or memory for storing information or data related to the generation or receipt of a seismic wave. It should also be noted that more than one seismic tool 60 may be positioned within the wellbore instruments 14. In addition, one or more of the seismic tools 60 may be positioned along the drill string 30, such as at distinct distance from the rig 20 and/or the Earth's surface. For example, a plurality of seismic tools 60 may be disposed along the drill string 30 and be communicatively coupled at any position along the wired drill pipe string.

The drilling rig 20 may have or may be in communication with a seismic source 40. The seismic source 40 may be provided in another vessel located remote from the drilling vessel 10 and/or located downhole within the well 50. The seismic source 40 may be actuated to generate acoustic waves that travel through the formations F, for example through the ocean and through the Earth's formations. While a “surface” source is shown in FIG. 1, the source may alternatively or additionally be a “downhole” source conveyed in the wellbore via the drill string, for example, a source of type similar to the source described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,782,970.

The seismic tool 60 may sense, record, and process acoustic waves generated by the seismic source 40. For example, the seismic tool 60 may utilize a seismic/acoustic receiver to receive the acoustic wave, a processor to analyze the received acoustic wave, and a memory to store data related to the processed or unprocessed acoustic wave. The seismic tool 60 may transmit data indicative of the recorded acoustic wave, such as filtered/decimated recorded waves. The data indicative of the recorded acoustic waves may be used to control the trajectory of the well, and/or determine pore pressure, among other uses. It should be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that while FIG. 1 shows one seismic tool 60 and one seismic source 40, a plurality of the seismic tools 60 and/or a plurality of seismic sources 40 may also be used.

FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic 120 of one example implementation of the invention. In the schematic 120, the seismic source is in communication with the seismic tool via a telemetry system 200, which may comprise one or more of the above telemetry systems, such as wired drill pipe. The seismic tool 60 may include a data storage medium 23 and/or an acoustic receiver 25. The data storage medium 23 may be any device or component capable of storing data, such as flash memory, a database, read only memory. The acoustic receiver 25 may include one or more hydrophones, geophones or other devices capable of receiving and/or deciphering an acoustic wave. It should be understood that the acoustic receiver and the data storage medium 23 may be incorporated into the seismic tool 60, such as internal to the seismic tool 60, or may be external to the seismic tool 60 and in communication. The seismic tool 60 may have an internal clock and/or may be in communication with a clock to have a precise and accurate time with respect to a surface clock.

A tool controller 27 may be incorporated into and/or in communication with seismic tool 60. The tool controller 27 may be in communication with the seismic source 40 via the telemetry system 200 and/or a rig controller 41. The rig controller 41 may be communicatively coupled to the acoustic source 40. When instructed to, the tool controller 27 acquires waveforms (a waveform may be an acoustic wave signal) from the acoustic receiver 25. The seismic tool may store the acquired acoustic wave in the data storage medium 23.

The rig controller 41 may be incorporated in or in communication with the logging unit 70. The rig controller 41 may be in communication with the acoustic source 40 to activate the seismic source 40. The seismic source 40 may be any device capable of generating acoustic waves through the Earth, such as an air gun, an explosive, for example dynamite, a plasma sound source, or a seismic vibrator. The rig controller 41 may receive a command signal from the tool controller 27 to activate the seismic source 40. The tool controller 27 may send a command signal to the rig controller 41 to activate the seismic source 40.

In an embodiment, both uphole and downhole components are coupled with a fast telemetry system, for example a telemetry system with low latency and/large bandwidth, such as wired drill pipe telemetry. Operations controlled by the rig controller 41 and operations controlled by the tool controller 27 may be synchronized.

The arrangements disclosed may be used in conventional vertical wellbores, deviated wellbores and in extended reach systems as non-limiting embodiments. Geological conditions may vary along the paths traversed by the seismic waves allowing the operator to accurately record signals.

FIG. 3 illustrates a flow chart 300 of a method of actuating the seismic source 40 with the seismic tool 60. For example, synchronizing the actuation of acquisition and storage of the acoustic waves generated by the seismic source 40 and measured with the acoustic receiver (or sensor) 25 of the seismic tool 60.

As provided in step 302, a drilling and/or tripping pause is detected. For example, the tool controller 27 may determine that drilling has momentarily paused and that a seismic measurement may be performed. U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,404 describes at least one example of how this may be accomplished. In another example, the drilling and/or tripping pause may be detected by the logging unit 70 and/or one of the wellbore instruments 14, such as the seismic tool 60. The drilling and/or tripping pause may also be manually detected, such as by an operator. In such an instance, a command may be input and/or transmitted to the logging unit 70 and/or the seismic tool 60.

As shown at step 304, a trigger signal may be transmitted. For example, the tool controller 27 may transmit a trigger signal to the rig controller 41, such as by use of the telemetry system. Instead or in addition to, the rig controller 41 may transmit the trigger signal to the tool controller 27.

Recording of the acoustic wave may be initiated as shown at step 306. In this step, the recording in the data storage medium 23 of the acoustic wave measured by the acoustic receiver 25 is initiated. For example, it can be initiated shortly after step 304 is performed, or after a predetermined time or duration stored or transmitted to the seismic tool 60 as a configuration parameter.

At step 308, as shown in FIG. 3, the rig controller 41 may receive the trigger signal transmitted by the tool controller 27. Of course, the tool controller 27 may receive a signal that triggering of the seismic source 40 has or is about to occur, such as from the seismic source 40, the logging unit 70 and/or the rig controller 41.

The rig controller 41 may actuate the seismic source 40 upon receiving the trigger signal as shown at step 310. The rig controller 41 may have instructions to await a predetermined about of time after receiving the trigger signal to actuate the seismic source 40. The trigger signal may request that the seismic source 40 be actuated at a predetermined time.

The recording of the acoustic wave by the seismic tool 60 may be terminated at step 312. For example, the tool controller 27 may terminate the recording of the acoustic wave after a predetermined time after sending the trigger signal to the rig controller 41. The tool controller 27 may terminate recording upon receipt of a signal from the rig controller 41 and/or the logging unit 70.

It is apparent, in at least an embodiment, that by applying this method, the seismic source 40 may be systematically fired each time the tool controller 27 initiates the recording a waveform. In addition, the initiation of recording and the firing can be synchronized. Of course, to achieve this, the telemetry system should provide sufficiently fast (or repeatable) communication of the trigger signal.

The acoustic waveform obtained by the acoustic receiver 25 may be processed as shown at step 314. The acoustic waveform may be processed downhole by the seismic tool 60 and/or processed at the surface at the logging unit 70. In addition, a portion of the stored waveform having signals of interest may be determined. The processed waveform or a portion of the waveform may be transmitted to the logging unit 70 and/or the rig controller 41, as shown at step 316.

The processed waveform may be utilized for any reason known to those having ordinary skill in the art as shown at step 318. For example, the processed waveform may be used to adjust a time-depth conversion on a seismic map, to make a drilling decision, or to make a production decision.

FIG. 4 illustrates a flow chart 400 of an alternate method of synchronizing the actuation of the seismic source 40 with the acquisition and storage of the acoustic wave by the seismic tool 60. Determination of a drilling pause and/or that a seismic measurement is desired may occur at step 402. For example, the rig controller 41, a “master” controller disposed at the Earth's surface, such as the logging unit 70, or the seismic tool 60 may identify the drilling pause or the desire for a seismic measurement. The rig controller 41 may receive measurement from draw-works, mud pumps, top drives, from an input interface (a keyboard) with a surface operator, or from another source as will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art. These measurements or inputs may be used to determine the drilling pause and/or the desire for a seismic measurement.

A trigger signal may be transmitted to the seismic source 40 as shown at step 404. For example, the rig controller 41 may transmit a trigger signal to the tool controller 27. Another device at the surface or in communication with the seismic source 40 may transmit the trigger signal, such as via the logging unit 70. The rig controller 41 may actuate the seismic source 40 as shown at step 406. As an example, the rig controller 41 may actuate the seismic source a predetermined amount of time after transmitting the trigger signal. The tool controller 27 may receive the trigger signal as shown at step 408.

The tool controller 27 may initiate the recording seismic waves in the data storage medium 23 as shown at step 410. The recording may be initiated immediately after receiving the trigger signal, after a predetermined amount of time, and/or at a certain time. The seismic tool 60 may terminate the recording of the seismic waves at a predetermined time, after a predetermined duration and/or upon receipt of a signal from the rig controller 41 or logging unit 70. The seismic waves obtained may be processed, transmitted to the logging unit 70 and/or used for drilling, production or well service decisions as previously described.

In one example embodiment, a method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool is presented. The method may comprise determining at least one of a drilling pause and a seismic measurement; transmitting a trigger signal to a tool controller; actuating the seismic source; receiving the trigger signal; and recording seismic waves in a data storage medium.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished through a rig controller.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished by the rig controller that actuates the seismic source a predetermined amount of time after transmitting the trigger signal.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the actuating the seismic source is accomplished a predetermined amount of time after transmitting the trigger signal.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the receiving the trigger signal is by a tool controller.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the initiating the recording of the seismic waves is accomplished by the tool controller.

In another example embodiment, the method may be accomplished wherein the recording the seismic waves in the data storage medium occurs one of immediately after receiving the trigger signal, after a predetermined amount of time, and at a specified time.

In another example embodiment, a configuration for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by the seismic tool is presented comprising: a data storage medium; a seismic source configured to produce acoustic signals; an acoustic receiver configured to receive the acoustic signals; a rig controller configured to receive measurements from rig operations and transmit a trigger signal; and a tool controller configured to receive the trigger signals and initiate recording in the data storage medium.

In another example embodiment, a method for synchronizing an actuation of a seismic source with at least one of an acquisition and storage of an acoustic wave by a seismic tool comprising: determining at least one of a drilling pause; transmitting a trigger signal to the seismic source; recording seismic waves in a data storage medium; receiving the trigger signal; and actuating the seismic source.

In another example, the method may further comprise terminating the recoding of the seismic waves in the data storage medium.

While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art, having benefit of this disclosure, will appreciate that other embodiments can be devised which do not depart from the scope of the invention as disclosed herein. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the attached claims.