To maintain oil reservoir production, it is necessary to re-pressurize the reservoir through the injection of water or gas. Because water and gas are lighter and heavier than oil respectively, this help confine the oil around the production zone. The re-pressurizing procedure requires continuous monitoring using sensors. The sensors can be utilized to monitor the oil/water contact in multiple zones. By knowing how the oil/water contact moves towards the well, the production from the specific zone can be reduced to avoid water breaking through to the well.
The sensing technologies currently used during production of oil reservoirs do not satisfy all the monitoring requirements, in particular regarding early detection of fluid fronts approaching the wells. The most commonly used downhole sensors measure pressure and temperature and sample only the region inside the well. Reservoir imaging techniques however, can sense at distance but has low resolution. 4D seismic imaging, which is the best-established technique, cannot image flow processes within ten meters from the well; moreover, it is not sensitive to the oil-water contact movements and it cannot be acquired continuously.
In recent years, research on utilizing radar in the Giga Hertz range for monitoring reservoirs have been conducted. This research includes laboratory tests and concludes that radar technology as a principle is the most suitable technology for monitoring fluid fronts. However, the research also points out that available radar technology is too large to be placed in oil wells, and have a current consumption that is too high for downhole applications.
The Doremon project will provide impulse radar technology, with comparable properties as the described research, comprising a unique impulse radar technology suitable for downhole reservoir monitoring. The Doremon radar will be smaller in size and have significantly lower current consumption.