Detection of water or gas entries in horizontal wells from temperature profiles Conference Paper uri icon


  • With the recent development of temperature measurement systems such as fiber optic distributed temperature sensors (DTS), continuous temperature profiles in a horizontal well can be obtained with high precision. Small temperature changes with a resolution on the order of 0.1F can be detected by modern temperature-measuring instruments in intelligent completions and may aid the diagnosis of downhole flow conditions. Since in a producing horizontal well, fluid inflowing temperature is not affected by elevational geothermal temperature changes, the primary temperature differences for each phase (oil, water, and gas) are caused by frictional effects. While gas production usually causes a temperature decrease, water entry results in either warming or cooling of the wellbore. Warmer water entry is a result of water flow from a warmer aquifer below the producing zone (water coning). In contrast, produced water can be cooler than produced oil because of differences in the thermal properties of these fluids. If both oil and water are produced from the same elevation, oil is heated more by friction while flowing in a porous medium than water, resulting in the produced water having a lower inflow temperature than the oil. Water entry by coning is relatively easy to detect from the temperature profile because of its warmer inflow temperature, but water breakthrough from the same elevation as the oil may not be obvious. In this paper, we illustrate the range of inflow conditions for which water or gas entry locations can be identified from the temperature profile of a well from measurable temperature changes. Using a temperature prediction model1, we calculated temperature profiles for a wide range of water inflow conditions. In these calculations we assumed that one section of the well was producing water or gas, while the rest of the open section of the well produced oil. From sensitivity studies, we identified the relative water and gas production rates that create detectable temperature anomalies in the temperature profile along the well. Copyright 2006, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers.

published proceedings

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers, 68th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition, incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2006, EAGE 2006: Opportunities in Mature Areas

author list (cited authors)

  • Yoshioka, K., Zhu, D., Hill, A. D., Dawkrajai, P., & Lake, L. W.

complete list of authors

  • Yoshioka, K||Zhu, D||Hill, AD||Dawkrajai, P||Lake, LW

publication date

  • January 1, 2006 11:11 AM