High Temperature Logging and Monitoring Instruments to Explore and Drill Deep into Hot Oceanic Crust.
Abstract:Drilling an entire section of the oceanic crust and through the Moho has been a goal of the scientific community for more than half of a century. On the basis of ODP and IODP experience and data, this will require instruments and strategies working at temperature far above 200°C (reached, for example, at the bottom of DSDP/ODP Hole 504B), and possibly beyond 300°C. Concerning logging and monitoring instruments, progress were made over the past ten years in the context of the HiTI (“High Temperature Instruments”) project funded by the european community for deep drilling in hot Icelandic geothermal holes where supercritical conditions and a highly corrosive environment are expected at depth (with temperatures above 374 °C and pressures exceeding 22 MPa).
For example, a slickline tool (memory tool) tolerating up to 400°C and wireline tools up to 300°C were developed and tested in Icelandic high-temperature geothermal fields. The temperature limitation of logging tools was defined to comply with the present limitation in wireline cables (320°C). As part of this new set of downhole tools, temperature, pressure, fluid flow and casing collar location might be measured up to 400°C from a single multisensor tool. Natural gamma radiation spectrum, borehole wall ultrasonic images signal, and fiber optic cables (using distributed temperature sensing methods) were also developed for wireline deployment up to 300°C and tested in the field. A wireline, dual laterolog electrical resistivity tool was also developed but could not be field tested as part of HiTI.
This new set of tools constitutes a basis for the deep exploration of the oceanic crust in the future. In addition, new strategies including the real-time integration of drilling parameters with modeling of the thermo-mechanical status of the borehole could be developed, using time-lapse logging of temperature (for heat flow determination) and borehole wall images (for hole stability and in-situ stress determination) as boundary conditions for the models. In all, and with limited integration of existing tools, to deployment of high-temperature downhole tools could contribute largely to the success of the long awaited Mohole project.