Description: The development of microdrilling technology, nominally defined as drilling technology for 1-in.-diameter boreholes, shows potential for reducing the cost of drilling monitoring wells. A major question that arises in drilling microholes is if downhole logging and monitoring in general--and downhole seismic surveying in particular--can be conducted in such small holes since the inner working diameter of such a seismic tool could be as small as 0.31 in. A downhole three-component accelerometer package that fits within a 031-in. inner diameter tube has been designed, built, and tested. The package consists of three orthogonally mounted Entran EGA-125-5g piezoresistive silicon micromachined accelerometers with temperature compensation circuitry, downhole amplification, and line drivers mounted in a thin-walled aluminum tube. Accelerometers are commercially available in much smaller package sizes than conventional geophones, but the noise floor is significantly higher than that for the geophones. Cross-well tests using small explosives showed good signal-to-noise ratio in the recorded waveform at various receiver depths with a 1,50-ft source-receiver well separation. For some active downhole surveys, the accelerometer unit would clearly be adequate. It can be reasonably assumed, however, that for less energetic sources and for greater well separations, the high accelerometer noise floor is not acceptable. By expanding the inner working diameter of a microhole seismic tool to 0.5 in., other commercial accelerometers can be used with substantially lower noise floors.
Date: January 7, 1997
Creator: Hunter, S.L. & Harben, P.E.
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