Downhole fiber-optic sensor records accoustic signals in California test

The Kern River field near Bakersfield, Calif., was the test site for a prototype downhole fiber optical acoustic sensor for investigating the continuity of oil-bearing layers.Litton Guidance & Control Systems, Paulsson Geophyical Services Inc., and Texaco Inc. conducted the test in one of Texaco's wells in the Kern River formation steamflood, containing about nine layers of oil-bearing sandstones and averaging 700 ft in total thickness. The formation lies at a relatively shallow 1,000-ft depth.The sandstone layers are separated by impermeable siltstones and shales with limited lateral continuity that can allow steam injected into one layer to break through to another, less-productive ...

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