July 7, 2016 - 5:51 PM EDT
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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Laser Spectroscopy for Downhole Sensing of Gases and Fluids", for Approval (USPTO 20160178793)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Vijayakumar, Arjun (Sugar Land, TX), filed on December 17, 2014, was made available online on June 30, 2016.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Wells are generally drilled into subsurface rocks to access fluids, such as hydrocarbons, stored in subterranean formations. The formations penetrated by a well can be evaluated for various purposes, including for identifying hydrocarbon reservoirs within the formations. During drilling operations, one or more drilling tools in a drill string may be used to test or sample the formations. Following removal of the drill string, a wireline tool may also be run into the well to test or sample the formations. These drilling tools and wireline tools, as well as other wellbore tools conveyed on coiled tubing, drill pipe, casing or other means of conveyance, are also referred to herein as 'downhole tools.' Certain downhole tools may include two or more integrated collar assemblies, each for performing a separate function, and a downhole tool may be employed alone or in combination with other downhole tools in a downhole tool string.

"Formation evaluation may involve drawing fluid from the formation into a downhole tool. In some instances, the fluid drawn from the formation is retained within the downhole tool for later testing outside of the well. In other instances, downhole fluid analysis may be used to test the fluid while it remains in the well. Such analysis can be used to provide information on certain fluid properties in real time without the delay associated with returning fluid samples to the surface."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Certain aspects of some embodiments disclosed herein are set forth below. It should be understood that these aspects are presented merely to provide the reader with a brief summary of certain forms the invention might take and that these aspects are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Indeed, the invention may encompass a variety of aspects that may not be set forth below.

"In one embodiment of the present disclosure, a method includes sampling formation fluid and determining properties of the sampled formation fluid through downhole fluid analysis. Determining properties of the sample formation fluid includes using a spectrometer having quantum cascade lasers to determine optical properties of the formation fluid and determining levels of multiple chemical species in the formation fluid using the determined optical properties of the formation fluid.

"In another embodiment, a method includes receiving a fluid in a spectrometer having an emitter with multiple quantum cascade lasers fabricated on a shared semiconductor substrate. The method also includes using the multiple quantum lasers to irradiate the received fluid with mid-infrared radiation at different energy levels and detecting portions of the radiation transmitted through the received fluid. Multiple chemical species within the received fluid can then be identified based on the detected portions of the mid-infrared radiation.

"In a further embodiment, an apparatus includes a downhole tool having an intake for receiving formation fluid within the downhole tool. The downhole tool also includes a spectrometer with a laser for emitting electromagnetic energy within the mid-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and a detector positioned to receive the electromagnetic energy transmitted from the laser through the formation fluid. Further, the apparatus includes a controller for identifying chemical species in the formation fluid based on optical data for the formation fluid acquired with the spectrometer in the mid-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

"Various refinements of the features noted above may exist in relation to various aspects of the present embodiments. Further features may also be incorporated in these various aspects as well. These refinements and additional features may exist individually or in any combination. For instance, various features discussed below in relation to the illustrated embodiments may be incorporated into any of the above-described aspects of the present disclosure alone or in any combination. Again, the brief summary presented above is intended just to familiarize the reader with certain aspects and contexts of some embodiments without limitation to the claimed subject matter.


"The present disclosure is understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with the standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.

"FIG. 1 generally depicts a drilling system having a fluid sampling tool in a drill string in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 generally depicts a fluid sampling tool deployed within a well on a wireline in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of components of a fluid sampling tool operated by a controller in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram of components in one example of the controller illustrated in FIG. 3;

"FIG. 5 generally depicts a spectrometer positioned about a flowline to enable measurement of an optical property of a fluid within the flowline in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIG. 6 is an example of a spectrometer having a laser for emitting electromagnetic radiation into a fluid in the flowline in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an apparatus that can be used in a spectrometer, the apparatus including multiple quantum cascade lasers formed on a semiconductor substrate, in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIG. 8 is a flowchart for identifying species in a sampled fluid using mid-infrared radiation in accordance with one embodiment;

"FIGS. 9 and 10 are graphs generally depicting optical densities of certain fluids at wavelengths in the near-infrared and mid-infrared spectral regions; and

"FIG. 11 is a flowchart for identifying species in a sampled formation fluid using multiple quantum cascade lasers for spectroscopic analysis in accordance with one embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Vijayakumar, Arjun. Laser Spectroscopy for Downhole Sensing of Gases and Fluids. Filed December 17, 2014 and posted June 30, 2016. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4651&p=94&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20160623.PD.&OS=PD/20160623&RS=PD/20160623

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Electromagnet, Semiconductor.

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