Cement is a key element for successful drilling and completing of a well. From oil and gas wells to geothermal applications, cement is a major material ensuring zonal isolation. With an increase in global energy needs and an expected uptick in drilling and plugging and abandonment activities, evaluating and understanding cement properties is crucial, since these properties are used in various engineering designs and calculations. The objective of this paper is to present how Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) can be used to understand the cement hydration process and the development of key properties such as strength and porosity. NMR applications for cement include determination of porosity, water interactions, identification of hydration stages and C-S-H gel development with curing time. Since water is present in all cement slurries, NMR can potentially help to understand microstructural changes in cement during curing. Data from more than 600 cement specimens cured for more than a year are compiled. Standard cement properties such as UCS (unconfined compressive strength) are compared with NMR responses. In this paper, we document cement hydration and porosity changes through NMR measurements in samples with five different recipes. Our study also confirms a strong correlation between NMR response and cement strength.
An operator considered using Constant Bottomhole Pressure (CBHP) Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) in the evaluation phase of a drilling project and decided not to go forward with MPD. While drilling the well, unfortunately, they had a well control event that required an increased mud-weight ultimately resulting in a differentially stuck-pipe condition.
MPD services were exclusively called to help free this differentially stuck pipe/BHA. MPD provided enough flexibility to deliberately reduce the wellbore pressure below pore-pressure and decrease the differential pressure to free the stuck pipe/BHA. Using CBHP variation of MPD resulted in unsticking the pipe as explained in this case history. The detected influx was circulated out with appropriate pump rate (high flow rate) using MPD equipment. The operator drilled forward with the assistance and additional protection of MPD to reach the Targeted Depth (TD) without having further issues in a very narrow drilling window. This successful field operation shows that CBHP MPD can indeed be used to precisely manage the annular pressures, as elaborated in the IADC’s MPD definition, and safely and successfully solve some of the baffling problems of the drilling industry.
Hurlburt, Maurice (Athabasca Oil Corp.) | Quintero, Jonathan (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Bradshaw, Robert (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Belloso, Andres (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Cripps, Evan (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Blakney, Donya (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Glass, Darnell (Baker Hughes, a GE Company)
A Canadian oil & gas operator has been setting new benchmarks drilling the vertical and tangent section of Montney horizontal wells in the Placid field of Northern Alberta. Initially, the operator drilled vertical wells to kick off point (KOP) with polycrystalline diamond compacts (PDC) and conventional mud motors. As a result of increasing well density, however, the well plans consistently required a 15° to 30° tangent section. With PDC drilling, toolface and build up rates were problematic and the sliding rate of penetration (ROP) was slow.
A Rotary Steerable System (RSS) was introduced, but despite the improved performance, the technology came at a premium cost and the severity of drilling dysfunctions generated an increase in tool failures. With falling oil prices, a more cost effective solution was required.
Hybrid bit technology, which combines the cutting mechanism of both fixed cutter and roller-cone bits, has been extensively utilized in Canada to drill build sections, providing outstanding results. They have not, however, been commonly used to drill the vertical (drill-out) and tangent sections. The operator combined a state-of-the-art hybrid bit with a mud motor to drill the interval with an 85% success rate. The combination of the hybrid bit and conventional motor, compared to PDC and RSS, resulted in a 30% cost savings to complete the interval.
The present case study outlines how hybrid bit technology development, driven by field data in a continuous improvement cycle, identifies performance opportunities, which have a significant impact on drilling time and cost savings in drill out sections. The overall objective of this current case study is to highlight the results and lessons learned throughout the implementation process.
US unconventional resource production has developed tremendously in the past decade. Currently, the unconventional operators are trying many strategies such as refracturing, infill drillings and well spacing optimization to improve recovery factor of primary production. They are also employing big data and machine learning to explore the existed production data and geology information to screen the sweet spot from geology point of view. However, current recovery factor of most unconventional reservoirs is still very low (4~10%). A quick production rate decline pushes US operator to pursue gas EOR for unconventional reservoirs, lifting the ultimate recovery factor to another higher level. The goal of this work is to improve oil recovery by implementing gas Huff and Puff process and optimizing injection pattern for one of the US major tight oil reservoirs - Eagle Ford basin. Gas diffusion is regarded as critical for gas Huff and Puff process of tight oil reservoirs. Utilizing the dual permeability model, gas diffusion effect is systematically analyzed and compared with the widely used single porosity model to justify its importance. Transport in natural fractures is proved to be dominated recovery mechanism using dual permeability model. Uncertainty studies about reservoir heterogeneity and nature fracture permeability are performed to understand their influences on well productivity and gas EOR effectiveness. Moreover, three alternative gas injectant compositions including rich gas, lean gas and nitrogen are investigated in gas Huff and Puff processes for Eagle Ford tight oil fractured reservoir. The brief economic evaluation of Huff and Puff project is conducted for black oil region of the Eagle Ford basin.
Engineers commonly expect symmetric fracture wings in multiple transverse fracture horizontal wells (MTFHWs). Microseismic surveys have shown asymmetric hydraulic fracture grow away from the recent fractured wells and grow towards previous produced wells. It might be caused by the elevated stress around the recently fractured well and the reduced stress near the depleted wells. This paper presents the asymmetric fracture growth observed by the microseismic events and develops a simple model to simulate the fracture propagation and its impact on the well productivity. Motivated by the microseismic observations, we developed a simple fracture model to simulate asymmetric fracture wings that can capture the behavior of fracture hits between two adjacent horizontal fractured wells. Also, we developed a model to estimate the productivity of a well with asymmetric fractures. The newly developed fracture model shows that the fracture can grow asymmetrically if the horizontal well is located where stress field is different between its two sides.
Managing adequately pressure drawdown should be a key technical reservoir management driver due to its major impact on cash flow, acceleration and final recovery factor for operating hydraulically fracture shale gas condensate producers. Permeability should be regarded as a key dynamic property for ultra-low permeability shale reservoirs that influences shale hydrocarbon recovery. It is paramount to develop a pressure depletion plan that captures the pressure drawdown strategy and the changes in flow capacity associated to the interaction of the nano-Darcy rock and hydraulic fractures with stress dependent permeability effects.
Defining the adequate drawdown strategy would aid maximizing the economic recovery. Considering the variability of permeability with pressure drawdown should be part of the reservoir management lifecycle for unconventional shale reservoirs. This study focus on evaluating the impact of pressure drawdown strategy on initial rates and recovery for a Duvernay Gas condensate producer with an initial condensate yield of 100-150 stb/mmscf.
A sector compositional reservoir simulation model was built for a horizontal multistage hydraulically fracture Duvernay shale gas condensate producer. A full assessment of variability of permeability in the nano-Darcy rock and in the propped hydraulic fracture stages near the wellbore region was accomplished. Aggressive, moderate and conservative pressure drawdown strategies were evaluated, considering multiple operational pressure drawdown incremental ranges from 14.5 to 95 psia per day.
Results clearly indicate that implementing daily pressure drawdown increments of 22 to 29 psia per day would provide a similar recovery factor than imposing daily pressure drawdowns of 44 to 95 psia per day. However, there is a golden operating window opportunity to accelerate recovery by imposing maximum drawdown from the early days of production and bringing significant benefits of accelerating recovery with an associate increase in revenue but the benefits of this acceleration vanished in less than one year due to substantial changes in hydraulic fracture conductivity and also in the nano-Darcy rock permeability in the near wellbore region. The reduction of nano-Darcy permeability is a function of pressure, time and distance from the hydraulic fractures. According to our results, the best reservoir management practice for operating lean/medium Gas Condensate unconventional shale producers should be maximizing pressure drawdown at the early stage of the life cycle and deferring the installation of production string to maximize inflow-outflow.
One of the considerations in hydraulic fracturing treatment optimization in unconventional (shale/tight/CBM) reservoirs is creating fracture complexity through reducing or possibly eliminating or neutralizing the in-situ stress anisotropy (differential stress) to enhance hydraulic fracture conductivity and connectivity by activating planes of weakness (natural fractures, fissures, faults, cleats, etc.) within the formation in order to create secondary or branch fractures (induced stress-relief fractures) and connect them to the main bi-wing hydraulic fractures. However, actual field experience has shown that some reservoirs under certain treatment designs exhibit excessive fracture complexity due to excessive induced stresses or stress shadowing that can result in pressureout or screenout, and thus, poor well completion and productivity performance. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the reservoir candidates and treatment strategies that are suitable for enhancing fracture complexity to avoid fracturing treatment scenarios that will have an adverse effect on the well productivity.
In this work, a three-dimensional hydraulic fracture extension simulator is coupled with a reservoir production simulator to screen for the reservoir candidates and fracturing treatment scenarios that can lead to enhancing fracture complexity, conductivity, and connectivity and positive well production performance. Furthermore, scenarios are identified under which excessive fracture complexity (due to excessive induced stresses or stress shadowing) results in poor well completion performance.
The results indicate that fracture complexity can be enhanced under the following treatment scenarios: (1) low-viscosity slickwater with smaller proppant sizes under high treatment rates, (2) hybrid fracture treatment (low-viscosity slickwater containing smaller proppants and low proppant concentrations with high treatment rates followed by viscous treatment fluids containing larger proppants and higher proppant concentrations), (3) simultaneous fracturing of multiple intervals at close spacing, and, (4) out-of-sequence pinpoint fracturing (fracturing Stage 1 and then Stage 3 followed by placing Stage 2 between the previously fractured Stages 1 and 3). It is also revealed that the success of each of the above treatment scenarios is very sensitive to rock brittleness (combination of Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio), magnitude of stress anisotropy, matrix permeability, process zone stress/net extension pressure, fracture gradients, and treatment fluid viscosity and rate. Additionally, excessive fracture complexity, which impedes fracture growth due to pressure out and screenout, can be mitigated by reducing treatment rate and pressure, increasing treatment fluid viscosity, and using small particulates, such as 100-mesh proppant.
This work is the first attempt in comparative evaluation of the impact of creating fracture complexity under a variety of operationally-feasible treatment scenarios applied to a wide range of reservoir and rock geomechanical properties. It shows that wells with certain combinations of Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, stress anisotropy, and fracture gradients are not suitable candidates for creating complexity in the hydraulic fractures system.
Xu, Zhengming (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Wu, Kan (Texas A&M University) | Song, Xianzhi (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Li, Gensheng (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Zhu, Zhaopeng (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Sun, Baojiang (China University of Petroleum, East China)
Energized fracturing fluids, including foams, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2), are widely used for multistage fracturing in horizontal wells. However, because density, rheology, and thermal properties are sensitive to temperature and pressure, it is important to understand the flow and thermal behaviors of energized fracturing fluids along the wellbore. In this study, a unified steady-state model is developed to simulate the flow and thermal behaviors of different energized fracturing fluids and to investigate the changes of fluid properties from the wellhead to the toe of the horizontal wellbore. The velocity and pressure are calculated using continuity and momentum equations. Temperature profiles of the whole wellbore/formation system are obtained by simultaneously solving energy equations of different thermal regions. Temperature, pressure, and energized-fluid properties are coupled in both depth and radial directions using an iteration scheme. This model is verified against field data from energized-fluid-injection operations. The relative average errors for pressure and temperature are less than 5%. The effects of injection pressure, mass-flow rate, annulus-fluid type, foam quality, and proppant volumetric concentration on pressure and temperature distributions are analyzed. Influence degrees of these operating parameters on the bottomhole pressure (BHP) for different energized fracturing fluids are calculated. The required injection parameters at the surface to achieve designed bottomhole treating parameters for different energized fracturing fluids are compared. The results of this study might help field operators to select the most-suitable energized fluid and further optimize energized-fluid-fracturing treatments.
Seunghwan Baek and I. Yucel Akkutlu, Texas A&M University Summary Source rocks, such as organic-rich shale, consist of a multiscale pore structure that includes pores with sizes down to the nanoscale, contributing to the storage of hydrocarbons. In this study, we observed hydrocarbons in the source rock partition into fluids with significantly varying physical properties across the nanopore-size distribution of the organic matter. This partitioning is a consequence of the multicomponent hydrocarbon mixture stored in the nanopores, exhibiting a significant compositional variation by pore size-- the smaller the pore size, the heavier and more viscous the hydrocarbon mixture becomes. The concept of composition redistribution of the produced fluids uses an equilibrium molecular simulation that considers organic matter to be a graphite membrane in contact with a microcrack that holds bulk-phase produced fluid. A new equation of state (EOS) was proposed to predict the density of the redistributed fluid mixtures in nanopores under the initial reservoir conditions. A new volumetric method was presented to ensure the density variability across the measured pore-size distribution to improve the accuracy of predicting hydrocarbons in place. The approach allowed us to account for the bulk hydrocarbon fluids and the fluids under confinement. Multicomponent fluids with redistributed compositions are capillary condensed in nanopores at the lower end of the pore-size distribution of the matrix ( 10 nm). The nanoconfinement effects are responsible for the condensation. During production and pressure depletion, the remaining hydrocarbons become progressively heavier. Hence, hydrocarbon vaporization and desorption develop at extremely low pressures. Consequently, hydrocarbon recovery from these small pores is characteristically low. Introduction Resource shale and other source-rock formations with significant amounts of organic matter, such as mudstone, siltstone, and carbonate, have a multiscale pore structure that includes fractures, microcracks, and pores down to a few nanometers (Ambrose et al. 2012; Loucks et al. 2012). The total amount of hydrocarbons stored is directly proportional to the amount of organic matter.
This is the second of a three-part tutorial describing a workflow for evaluating unconventional resources including organic mudstones and tight siltstones. Part 1 reviewed the unique challenges and provided an overview of the proposed workflow (Newsham et al., 2019). Part 2 describes in detail the many components of the workflow and how they come together to determine the storage capacity of the reservoir. Part 3 links the petrophysical results to the production potential in terms of fractional flow and water cut and will present alternate cross-checks of the storage properties to validate the results.
As stated in Part 1, one of the most important functions that the petrophysicist provides is the estimation of accurate storage properties. However, when the authors survey the range of workflows used to estimate the storage capacity of these complex systems, we find a wide range of options. Solutions can vary from simple deterministic to more complex probabilistic approaches. Whatever the method, the objective should be the same: to provide consistent, portable hence reliable estimation of hydrocarbon storage capacity, also known as “Petrophysics CPR.” As mentioned in Part 1, estimation of hydrocarbon storage is more than just the calculation of porosity and water saturation. In this tutorial, we will describe a workflow that has been successfully used to evaluate thousands of wells in the Permian Basin with great consistency. The authors have nearly 100 wells with core data to calibrate the workflow. We will show examples of the workflow’s portability by highlighting examples from the Midland Basin, the Texas Delaware Basin and the New Mexico Delaware Basin. We will show how every property measured in core matches to log-based profiles using a combination of deterministic and the constrained simultaneous solution methods. The workflow also is found to be reliable in other basins throughout the world, however, the examples will be confined to the Permian Basins.