Multistage hydraulically fractured horizontal well completions have come a long way in the last two decades. Much of this advancement can be attributed to the shale gas revolution, from which numerous transformational tools, techniques, and concepts have led to the efficient development of ultralow-permeability resources on a massive scale. Part of this achievement has been through a widespread trial and error approach, with the higher risk/failure tolerance that is a trademark of the statistical nature of the North American unconventional resource business. However, careful consideration must be taken not to blindly apply these techniques in more permeable tight gas formations, which often cover an extensive range of permeability. Inappropriate application can compromise the effectiveness of the hydraulic fracture treatment and impair long-term well productivity.
Khazzan is a tight to low-end conventional gas field in the Sultanate of Oman, with low porosity and permeability in comparison to conventional formations. The target formations comprise extremely hard, highly stressed rocks at high temperature. The development strategy included vertical wells with massive hydraulic fracture treatments and multistage fractured horizontal wells. The former has been largely successful in the higher-permeability areas, and the economic transition from vertical to horizontal well development, based on rock quality, is continuously evolving. Compared to the rapid learning curve achieved through the more than 80 vertical wells drilled to date, fewer horizontal wells have been drilled, and, as a result, the understanding is still relatively immature.
The paper outlines the technical and operational journey experienced in horizontal wells, to prepare the wellbore and ensure a suitable frac/well connection for successful fracturing and well testing. The paper will describe how the intervention tools and practices have varied between the Barik and Amin formations; depending upon rock quality, frac treatment type, drive to maximize operational efficiency and availability of local resources. The differential application of these techniques, that result in measurable under-flush versus in contrast to the typical North American unconventional practice of defined but limited overflush (e.g., pump-down plug-and-perf will be described). Justification for these different approaches in two very different formations will be demonstrated, including supporting evidence of their relative value.
The obstacles that have been faced, overcome and are still ongoing with this campaign highlight the importance of several critical factors: including multi-disciplinary integration and planning, wellbore construction impacts, contractor performance and tool reliability. Although practices for shale and very low permeability sands are well documented, this paper provides a suite of case histories and operational results for horizontal well intervention techniques used in high-pressure and high-temperature sandstones that are in the very specialized transition zone between conventional and unconventional.
The paper discusses a petrophysical evaluation method for complex tight gas formations in a mature and partially depleted gas condensate field in Oman, allowing a full petrophyscial evaluation as well as geomechanical modeling from a source-less petrophysical dataset, thus reducing operational data acquisition risk in partially depleted reservoirs without compromising on hydraulic fracturing design. The developed methodology includes the volume of shale estimation from correlation with Poisson's ratio for the feldspathic rich tight formation. This methodology was used in deep tight fields in Oman for more than 3 years in both vertical and highly deviated wells greatly reducing the risk, logging cost and complexity of operations.
Monitoring and reevaluation of petrophysical attributes in a mature field under production for many decades is crucial for optimizing production and further development planning. In this case study, a multidisciplinary approach is deployed for formation evaluation and reservoir characterization using logging-while-drilling (LWD) sensors spanning formation volumetrics, fluid analysis, high-resolution image interpretation, and geomechanics to confirm remaining oil saturations and help identify recompletion intervals. LWD technologies were used in four wells in Sahmah field of Oman to provide an integrated petrophysical and geomechanical field study using a bottomhole assembly (BHA) including gamma ray, resistivity, formation bulk density, thermal neutron, acoustic, high-resolution imaging, and formation pressure testing sensors. A deterministic multimineral petrophysical model was used to derive formation volumetrics and fluid analysis. Geomechanical interpretation used high-resolution microresistivity imaging, acoustic slownesses, and formation pressure data to verify principal stress orientations and to quantify pore pressure and horizontal minimum and maximum stress magnitudes. These data were then correlated with historical data to evaluate sweep efficiency and residual fluid saturations. LWD sensors have proven to provide robust geological, petrophysical, and geomechanical data compared to previous traditional wireline data acquisition.
Sayapov, Ernest (Petroleum Development Oman) | Nunez, Alvaro Javier (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Salmi, Masoud (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Farei, Ibrahim (Petroleum Development Oman) | Gheilani, Hamdan (Petroleum Development Oman) | Benchekor, Ahmed (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al-Shanfari, Abdul Aziz (Petroleum Development Oman)
Multistage frac completion (MFC) has been playing a significant role in modern oilfield industry being one of the key tools making development of low permeable formations economical. Commonly, it is applied in horizontal wells that are drilled to compensate for reduced drainage radius of these wells due to a lack of formation conductivity. This technique is evolving, there are quite a few inventions introduced every year that make MFC easier, more economical and that allow the operators to control and precisely evaluate both the treatment itself and performance of the created fractures. However, due to its nature and initial focus on horizontal wells, it did not become very popular in vertical wells. One of the reasons for it is its limited formation access since the sleeves that are providing the access are short and cannot cover the entire net pay. What historically more common in vertical wells are either conventional "plug and perf" approach or its modifications, whereas intervals are perforated with either coiled tubing and sand-blasting perforation or wireline guns, while isolation of the zones is achieved by setting frac plugs, sand plugs or frac packers depending on pumping conduits. In Petroleum Development Oman, some of these vertical wells were stimulated via multistage frac completion.
In central part of the Sultanate of Oman, a deep tight gas field is developed using hydraulic fracture stimulation technique since the formation conductivity is low and the near wellbore damage after drilling is making it even worse. Normally, between 6 and 13 frac intervals are stimulated in each well. Majority of wells are completed vertically with pay zones separated with strong shale layers that restrict fracture height development. Since plug & perf has been the main technique used in this field, there are multiple well interventions during hydraulic fracture operations that consume time, money and delay the well delivery. Moreover, the depletion of the field and its main productive zones make well intervention activities much more challenging whereas the risks of getting coiled tubing string or even wireline tools stuck in wellbore are high due to immediate losses faced after opening those low pressurized zones having as low as 8,000 KPa formation pressure, which can be 5-7 times less than hydrostatic pressures in the wellbore depending on depths and fluid s used. At the same time, with downhole temperatures ranging from 135 to 150 deg C and fracturing pressures reaching around 145,000 KPa bottomhole (~21,000 psi), differential pressures across the target zones can reach enormous levels of 15,000-20,000psi. Conditions in general become very risky, making it extremely difficult to source the right tools and equipment from what is available on the market. Another challenge associated with depletion of this field is an effective deliquification of the wells after stimulation treatments to allow them to effectively get rid of frac fluids and be able to produce gas to surface.
By deploying multistage frac completion with the objective of producing, enhancing and cost/time savings, the effectiveness of the fracturing operations was expected to increase. Multistage frac completion allows the frac operation to be continuously performed without the need to conduct well interventions such as running/setting frac plugs, perforating, milling and clean out between intervals. If needed so, the intervention activities can be completed after frac operations. Equipment selection and completion design were performed based on well conditions, market availabilities, operational parameters and composition of the produced gas. However, this technique is associated with its specific challenges that require attention and tailored solutions. The main challenge in deployment of this system in vertical wells is the accurate positioning of the sleeves. The shale layers between the pay zones could be as narrow as 5 m or less and a small pay zone can be easily missed. Besides, deployment and cementing operations are equally essential because of water zones embedded in between the pays.
This paper is discussing the recognized benefits and lessons learned from utilization of multistage frac completion in vertical deep (around 5000 m) depleted tight gas wells covering the completion and hydraulic fracturing stimulation operations. This technique has industry proven cost & time reduction and efficiency gain, as well as faster well cleanup and reduced HSE exposure contributing to better gas recovery, improvement in operator's performance and energy delivery to the country; it was expected to demonstrate a step change in the efficiency compared to conventional approach to the field development.
This paper will describe a methodology which has been developed as an alternative to four-dimensional (4D) Seismic. The main objective is to track heat conformance over time in the thermally developed "A" Field, Sultanate of Oman. The method has several significant advantages over 4D Seismic, including: Negligible cost and manpower requirements; Provision of close to real-time information and no processing time requirements; No Health, Safety or Environmental exposure, or disruption to ongoing operations.
Negligible cost and manpower requirements;
Provision of close to real-time information and no processing time requirements;
No Health, Safety or Environmental exposure, or disruption to ongoing operations.
The paper will also demonstrate the power of integrating wide-ranging data sources for effective well and reservoir management.
The increasingly close well spacing at "A" Field has made Seismic Acquisition progressively more challenging. Conversely, it has created an opportunity to utilize dynamic Tubing-Head Temperatures (THTs) for tracking areal thermal conformance over time. For each month in turn an automated workflow:- Grids the monthly THT averages; Integrates the production and injection data, represented as bubble plot overlays; Adds the top reservoir structure from the subsurface model, highlighting structural dip, and fault locations.
Grids the monthly THT averages;
Integrates the production and injection data, represented as bubble plot overlays;
Adds the top reservoir structure from the subsurface model, highlighting structural dip, and fault locations.
Morphing (movie) software then interpolates the monthly images to create a smoothly transitioning "Heat Movie".
The Heat Movie demonstrates the general effectiveness of the Development in terms of warming the reservoir over time. This in turn is reducing the oil viscosity and increasing production. However, it also highlights temperature anomalies that can be linked to geological features such as faults and high permeability layers. Identification of these anomalies may underpin decisions to optimise the thermal development.
In addition to the Movie, time-lapse images can be created for any chosen period. This is similar to 4D Seismic, but more powerful, since the period can be directly linked to significant field milestones, for example equal time periods before and after upgrading the steam generation process.
Proof of Concept was demonstrated in early 2018, and the technique has already been deemed sufficiently mature to utilize it for tracking and managing Thermal Conformance in place of 4D Seismic. This is resulting in annual cost savings of millions of dollars and man-years of staff time.
One potential advantage of 4D Seismic is highlighting vertical conformance. Although this is not possible using THTs alone, at "A" Field the plan is to mitigate this by integrating data from ongoing Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and well temperature surveys.
Regarding applicability, the workflow can be adapted for other objectives, for example creating a movie of surface uplift and/or subsidence integrated with bubble plots of production and injection data, or water breakthrough for wells with downhole gauges, in water flood developments.
In addition to describing the methodology underpinning this innovative approach, this paper will also discuss the vision for further improving the workflow and expanding the functionality.
The Khazzan field is being developed currently and includes multiple gas-bearing formations. The primary development reservoir is the Barik sandstone, which is characterized by permeabilities on the order of 0.1 to 1 md. An additional reservoir under development is the Amin formation, which lies deeper than the Barik and is perhaps more unconventional in nature, with estimated permeabilities an order of magnitude lower than the Barik formation. Both reservoirs require hydraulic fracturing to produce at economically attractive rates and, as such, carry the same sort of challenges to reservoir understanding inherent to all unconventional plays. This was recognized in advance of the appraisal program, and an approach was taken to address these challenges in a more-holistic fashion, encompassing a full suite of data gathering, including surveillance and well testing. One of the key tools used was DFIT along with associated ACA of the decline to determine reservoir properties. During the appraisal phase, significant rigor was aimed at ensuring high-quality data would be recorded and that an appropriate amount of time would be allocated to monitoring pressure declines to enable valid interpretations. This resulted in the ability to draw a good correlation between data gathered from the ACA operations and data collected from post-fracturing well-test data.
This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 191437, “ACA Practical Considerations: When Is It Accurate and How Should It Be Used To Improve Reservoir Stimulation,” by O.A. Ishteiwy, SPE, M. Jaboob, and G. Turk, BP; S. Dwi-Kurniadi, SPE, Schlumberger; A. Al-Shueili, SPE, A. Al-Manji, and P. Smith, BP, prepared for the 2018 SPE International Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 16–18 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
The use of diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFITs) for prefracture investigation has become routine in the oil field, particularly for understanding reservoir properties and subsequently optimizing hydraulic-fracture design. A key component of an effective DFIT is an after-closure analysis (ACA) to assess the transmissibility of the formation and allow for effective design. This paper describes a DFIT-analysis program and the suitability of the results from ACAs for use in hydraulic-fracture design.
The Khazzan field is being developed currently and includes multiple gas-bearing formations. The primary development reservoir is the Barik sandstone, which is characterized by permeabilities on the order of 0.1 to 1 md. An additional reservoir under development is the Amin formation, which lies deeper than the Barik and is perhaps more unconventional in nature, with estimated permeabilities an order of magnitude lower than the Barik formation. Both reservoirs require hydraulic fracturing to produce at economically attractive rates and, as such, carry the same sort of challenges to reservoir understanding inherent to all unconventional plays. This was recognized in advance of the appraisal program, and an approach was taken to address these challenges in a more-holistic fashion, encompassing a full suite of data gathering, including surveillance and well testing.
One of the key tools used was DFIT along with associated ACA of the decline to determine reservoir properties. During the appraisal phase, significant rigor was aimed at ensuring high-quality data would be recorded and that an appropriate amount of time would be allocated to monitoring pressure declines to enable valid interpretations. This resulted in the ability to draw a good correlation between data gathered from the ACA operations and data collected from post-fracturing well-test data.
Methods and Process Stimulation and Testing Sequence. The approach taken to stimulate and test the wells in Khazzan was to use a dedicated well-test unit. The overall sequence was as follows:
The subject field (Field NG) is one of the largest matured oil accumulations located in the South of Oman Salt Basin. Production and integrity issues have been the main challenge in recent years, manifesting in abnormal behavior of water-cut with time. Hence, detailed technical multidisciplinary studies were conducted in order to identify causes and propose mitigations.
The base historical performance of the field showed water cut progression behaving as a matrix block, however, in recent years new wells started showing unexpectedly higher initial water production (fracture like behavior). A thorough investigation was carried out utilizing numerical simulation models calibrated to Field NG production history in order to characterize the type of rock behavior (matrix behavior, conductive streaks, fractures, faults, etc). The study concluded that the water cut behavior was due to naturally-occurring fractures which are limited in length and not vertically extensive. During the early stages of production, when the initial water-cut shows matrix like behavior, the bottom water is not in contact with the fracture network. However, after years of production and rise of the water table, the fracture behavior became dominant as the water gets in contact with the small vertical fractures. The presence of these fractures were confirmed by a total of 11 FMI data taken since 2015.
The proposed solutions included detecting fractures early on using bore-hole imaging techniques and utilizing EZIPS in sealing as many fractures as possible. This completion method resulted in delayed water production and increased NPV by 2-3 $MM per well. Moreover, new and efficient WRFM technologies such as Autonomous Inflow Control Devices (AICDs) have been deployed in horizontal wells which selectively limit water flow. Initial results from the early implementations of AICDs are very encouraging.
Ibrahim, Ehab (Petroleum Development Oman) | Sayapov, Ernest (Petroleum Development Oman) | Hinai, Rashid (Petroleum Development Oman) | Qarni, Sulaiman (Petroleum Development Oman) | Kristanto, Royke (Petroleum Development Oman)
In low-permeability formations such as tight gas reservoirs, a well would be economic only if an effective hydraulic fracturing technique is selected. In central part of Sultanate of Oman a deep tight gas field is developed with hydraulic fracture stimulation. Normally, between 7 and 13 frac stages are done per well. Majority of wells are vertical with pay zones separated with shale layers that prevent fracture growth. Plug & perf is a common technique used in this field, therefore there are multiple well interventions during Hydraulic Fracture operations that consume time and delay the well delivery. By deploying multistage frac completion with the objective of producing, enhancing and cost/time savings, the effectiveness of the fracturing operations was expected to increase. Equipment selection, design and development was performed based on well conditions, casing design, operational parameters and production gas composition.
Multistage frac completion allows the frac operation to be continuously performed without the need to conduct intervention activities such as running/setting frac plugs, perforating, milling and clean-out between intervals. The intervention activities can be conducted at the end of the frac operation in single-trip deployment if desired. The success in North America in horizontal tight gas wells has opened a door for implementation of this system in vertical wells in Sultanate of Oman. The main challenge in deployment of this system in vertical wells is the accurate positioning of the sleeves. The shale layers between the pay zones could be as narrow as 5 m or less and a small pay zone might be easily missed. Besides, deployment and cementing operations are equally essential as proper zonal isolation is a must with water zones embedded in between.
This paper is discussing the lessons learned from utilization of multistage frac completion in vertical deep wells (around 5000 m) covering the completion and Hydraulic fracturing stimulation operations. This technique has proven significant cost & time reduction and production increase as well as reduced HSE exposure contributing to better gas recovery, improvement in operator's performance and energy delivery to the country.
Sayapov, Ernest (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Farei, Ibrahim (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Salmi, Masoud (Petroleum Development Oman) | Nunez, Alvaro (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Shanfari, Abdulaziz (Petroleum Development Oman) | Al Gheilani, Hamdan (Petroleum Development Oman) | Smith, Andy (Welltec) | Yakovlev, Timofey (Welltec)
In recent years, horizontal drilling has become increasingly important to the oil and gas industry to enable efficient access to complex structures and marginal fields and to increase the reservoir contact area. New technologies have emerged during this time to address post-drilling intervention challenges in such wells. However, complexity of operations in horizontal wells is much higher than that of the vertical wells; therefore effectiveness of the selected technique has a major impact on the operational success and economics. In depressed market environment, economical and operational effectiveness becomes even more important especially when it’s down to complicated, challenging projects that require not only large investments but also simultaneous and continuous utilization of multiple resources, technical disciplines and assets. This paper reviews and compares different ways of horizontal multizonal well preparation for hydraulic fracture stimulation using plug & perf technique in challenging downhole conditions - differential pressures over 15,000 psi, presence of depleted zones complicating cleanout and milling operations between the frac stages, depth control issues.
In PDO, there are some gas fields sharing similar downhole conditions whereas fracturing operations are complicated by the requirement of CT cleanouts and/or milling in between the stages. A horizontal well development trial has been implemented to evaluate its economic efficiency and prospects. Depending on the success of this trial, this approach can be spread to other fields with similar characteristics. In these trial wells, multistage completion technologies were not available due to either differential pressure limitations, downhole conditions or completion restrictions, therefore conventional plug & perf approach had to be applied. Such approach, in turn, becomes very challenging in horizontal wells crossing several different formations having multiple severely depleted intervals along the wellbore. These challenges include not only cleanout efficiency and precise depth control during zonal isolation and perforation but also conveyance capabilities.
Several different techniques have been tried in PDO so as to discover the most efficient and economical way to complete this task: CT with deployed wireline cable, CT with fiber optic cable, DH tractors and conventional CT with GR-CCl tools in memory mode. All of them have their pros and cons and while saving some money in one small thing, a technique may cause major losses in the other and an operator needs to select the optimum approach taking into consideration multiple aspects.
All technologies covered in the paper are well known in the oil business; however some of them were tried in an uncommon environment. For example, although not commonly used in horizontal frac applications (except for perforating for the first stage), tractors were used for plug setting and perforating between the stages and that required well cleaned wellbore for each run which is not an easily achievable task in a horizontal wells with multiple depleted zones. With certain measures aimed to improve their performance, tractors proved their efficiency; these measures are also discussed in this paper. Advantages and disadvantages of CT conveyance in comparison to tractor have also been discussed.
E-line tractor technology has been successfully deployed in the Sultanate of Oman for reservoir surveillance using production logging assemblies in mature fields. Tractors provide specific advantages, as compared to other forms of conveyance, such as coiled tubing, and can successfully negotiate complex well trajectories in both horizontal openhole and cased hole well completions, enabling acquisition of good quality flow profiles in producers and injectors.