Well Testing with Test Separators

How the Well Test Application can ease the process of performing well tests on a test separator.


traditional well test duration

A common denominator for all assets is that they routinely perform well tests. The duration of a test can typically range from a few hours to days, and usually requires that a single well is routed to a test separator. This introduces a capacity constraint on the number of tests you can run within a given time period as each well needs to be routed to the separator in turn.

When performing these tests, many operators either run fixed length tests (e.g. 8 hours) or run the test until certain production parameters seem stable, often by visual inspection. In truth, the parameters are subject to uncertainty that is difficult to measure with current solutions.

Live view during testing with visualization of signal mean and uncertainty

Finally, the results from well tests are often stored ad-hoc in various spreadsheets with little or no possibility for easy access to historic sensor data that was measured during the test. This might be a risk as there is no single source of truth or quick access to a well test database.

Solution - a software that helps you get the most out of a well test
Together with our partners we have developed a solution for a well test application as a module on our production optimization platform. Our algorithm automatically detects when a well is routed to the test separator and can start gathering relevant data.

The application displays, in real-time, all the information the engineers need from the test. Start time, duration, configurable parameters relevant to the test and more. Also, measured uncertainty is presented together with the raw data in the application. When the uncertainties of predetermined measurements are below a given threshold the application lets the user know that the test can be ended.

All historical tests are managed in a structured well test database that lets the users find relevant tests. Also, the application supports import of well test such that the entire history of each well can be imported into the same well test database.

Oil and gas separator

A typical oil and gas separator utilizes the density differences between oil, gas and water to separate the three phases. Gravity pulls strongest on water and, over time, the water will gather at the bottom of the separator, followed by oil and then gas at the top.

Outcome - higher quality well test results
With the use of our Well Test Application our partners have been able to address several of the pain-points associated with well testing.

The uncertainty tracking allows for notifying when the data gathered during a test is of sufficient quality and has allowed our users to significantly optimize their well testing. "Stable" wells with little noise in the measurements can have shorter test durations, be tested more seldom, or both. This increases testing capacity and allows the engineers to focus on testing more "troublesome" wells. Also, shorter total test cycles lets the engineers test each well more often than before and have greater insight into how each individual well is performing.

Each test is stored in the application, leaving the engineers with an accessible and organized database of all historical test results. The test results can be analyzed in the application itself or exported for more in-depth analysis.

Well test data is often the most reliable data we have about our wells’ behavior. Therefore, it is also the most valuable data in all types of model building. An example is the modelling of flow rates where the test results become the dataset which is used to train the machine learning model. When set up, the Well Testing Application automatically generates the high-quality data which is needed to develop a data-driven virtual flow meter.