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This issue marks the debut of the Hydraulic Fracturing Operations feature in JPT. While hydraulic fracturing has long been a feature topic, this year, we are branching this major area of interest into both this feature and a Hydraulic Fracturing Modeling feature, which will appear in the November issue of the magazine. For this issue, reviewer Nabila Lazreq of ADNOC has selected three papers that reflect industry efforts to achieve new goals in production and sustainability. Paper 201450 investigates the potential of natural gas (NG) foam fracturing fluid to reduce the major water requirements seen in stimulation. The authors write that such requirements can be reduced up to 80% in some cases by the use of NG foams.
Se, Yegor (Chevron ETC) | Sullivan, Michael (Chevron Canada) | Tohidi, Vahid (Chevron Canada) | Lazorek, Michael (Chevron Canada) | Attia, Ahmed (Ziebel US) | Chen, Phillip (Ziebel US) | Abbassi, Linda (Openfield Technology) | Schoepf, Virginie (Openfield Technology)
Abstract The well design with long lateral section and multistage frac completion has been proven effective for development of the unconventional reservoirs. Top-tier well production in unconventional reservoir can be achieved by optimizing hydraulic completion and stimulation design, which necessitates an understanding of flow behavior and hydrocarbon contribution allocation. Historically, conventional production logging (PL) surveys were scarcely used in unconventional reservoirs due to limited and often expensive conveyance options, as well as complicated and non-unique inflow interpretations caused by intricate and changing multiphase flow behavior (Prakash et al., 2008). The assessment of the cluster performance gradually shifted towards distributed acoustic (DAS) and temperature (DTS) sensing methods using fiber optics cable, which continuously gained popularity in the industry. Fiber optics measurements were anticipated to generate production profiles along the lateral with sub-cluster resolution to assist with optimal completions design selection. Encapsulation of the fiber in the carbon rod provided alternative conveyance method for retrievable DFO measurements, which gained popularity due to cost-efficiency and operational convenience (Gardner et al., 2015). Recent utilization of micro-sensor technology in PL tools, (Abbassi et al, 2018, Donovan et al, 2019) allowed dramatic reduction of the size and the weight of the PL toolstring without compromising wellbore coverage by sensor array. Such ultra-compact PL toolstring could utilize the carbon rod as a taxi and provide mutually beneficial and innovative surveillance combination to evaluate production profile in the unconventional reservoirs. Array holdup and velocity measurements across wellbore from PL would reveal more details regarding multi-phase flow behavior, which could be used for cross-validation and constraining of production inflow interpretation based on DFO measurements. This paper summarizes the lessons learned, key observations and best practices from the unique 4 well program, where such innovative combination was tested in gas rich Duvernay shale reservoir.
Nicholson, A. Kirby (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Bachman, Robert C. (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Scherz, R. Yvonne (Endeavor Energy Resources) | Hawkes, Robert V. (Cordax Evaluation Technologies Inc.)
Abstract Pressure and stage volume are the least expensive and most readily available data for diagnostic analysis of hydraulic fracturing operations. Case history data from the Midland Basin is used to demonstrate how high-quality, time-synchronized pressure measurements at a treatment and an offsetting shut-in producing well can provide the necessary input to calculate fracture geometries at both wells and estimate perforation cluster efficiency at the treatment well. No special wellbore monitoring equipment is required. In summary, the methods outlined in this paper quantifies fracture geometries as compared to the more general observations of Daneshy (2020) and Haustveit et al. (2020). Pressures collected in Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests (DFITs), select toe-stage full-scale fracture treatments, and offset observation wells are used to demonstrate a simple workflow. The pressure data combined with Volume to First Response (Vfr) at the observation well is used to create a geometry model of fracture length, width, and height estimates at the treatment well as illustrated in Figure 1. The producing fracture length of the observation well is also determined. Pressure Transient Analysis (PTA) techniques, a Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) fracture propagation model and offset well Fracture Driven Interaction (FDI) pressures are used to quantify hydraulic fracture dimensions. The PTA-derived Farfield Fracture Extension Pressure, FFEP, concept was introduced in Nicholson et al. (2019) and is summarized in Appendix B of this paper. FFEP replaces Instantaneous Shut-In Pressure, ISIP, for use in net pressure calculations. FFEP is determined and utilized in both DFITs and full-scale fracture inter-stage fall-off data. The use of the Primary Pressure Derivative (PPD) to accurately identify FFEP simplifies and speeds up the analysis, allowing for real time treatment decisions. This new technique is called Rapid-PTA. Additionally, the plotted shape and gradient of the observation-well pressure response can identify whether FDI's are hydraulic or poroelastic before a fracture stage is completed and may be used to change stage volume on the fly. Figure 1: Fracture Geometry Model with FDI Pressure Matching Case studies are presented showing the full workflow required to generate the fracture geometry model. The component inputs for the model are presented including a toe-stage DFIT, inter-stage pressure fall-off, and the FDI pressure build-up. We discuss how to optimize these hydraulic fractures in hindsight (look-back) and what might have been done in real time during the completion operations given this workflow and field-ready advanced data-handling capability. Hydraulic fracturing operations can be optimized in real time using new Rapid-PTA techniques for high quality pressure data collected on treating and observation wells. This process opens the door for more advanced geometry modeling and for rapid design changes to save costs and improve well productivity and ultimate recovery.
Rodríguez-Pradilla, Germán (School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.) | Eaton, David (Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Canada.) | Popp, Melanie (geoLOGIC Systems Ltd., Calgary, Canada.)
Abstract The goal of this work is to calibrate a regional predictive model for maximum magnitude of seismic activity associated with hydraulic-fracturing in low-permeability formations in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). Hydraulic fracturing data (i.e. total injected volume, injection rate, and pressure) were compiled from more than 40,000 hydraulic-fractured wells in the WCSB. These wells were drilled into more than 100 different formations over a 20-year period (January 1st, 2000 and January 1st, 2020). The total injected volume per unit area was calculated utilizing an area of 0.2° in longitude by 0.1° in latitude (or approximately 13x11km, somewhat larger than a standard township of 6x6 miles). This volume was then used to correlate with reported seismicity in the same unit areas. Collectively, within the 143 km area considered in this study, a correlation between the total injected volume and the maximum magnitude of seismic events was observed. Results are similar to the maximum-magnitude forecasting model proposed by A. McGarr (JGR, 2014) for seismic events induced by wastewater injection wells in central US. The McGarr method is also based on the total injected fluid per well (or per multiple nearby wells located in the same unit area). However, in some areas in the WCSB, lower injected fluid volumes than the McGarr model predicts were needed to induce seismic events of magnitude 3.0 or higher, although with a similar linear relation. The result of this work is the calculation of a calibration parameter for the McGarr model to better predict the magnitudes of seismic events associated with the injected volumes of hydraulic fracturing. This model can be used to predict induced seismicity in future unconventional hydraulic fracturing treatments and prevent large-magnitude seismic events from occurring. The rich dataset available from the WCSB allowed us to carry out a robust analysis of the influence of critical parameters (such as the total injected fluid) in the maximum magnitude of seismic events associated with the hydraulic-fracturing stimulation of unconventional wells. This analysis could be replicated for any other sedimentary basin with unconventional wells by compiling similar stimulation and earthquake data as in this study.
Abstract Recovery factor for multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs) at development spacing in tight reservoirs is closely related to the effective horizontal and vertical extents of the hydraulic fractures. Direct measurement of pressure depletion away from the existing producers can be used to estimate the extent of the hydraulic fractures. Monitoring wells equipped with downhole gauges, DFITs from multiple new wells close to an existing (parent) well, and calculation of formation pressure from drilling data are among the methods used for pressure depletion mapping. This study focuses on acquisition of pressure depletion data using multi-well diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFITs), analysis of the results using reservoir simulation, and integration of the results with production data analysis of the parent well using rate-transient analysis (RTA) and reservoir simulation. In this method, DFITs are run on all the new wells close to an existing (parent) well and the data is analyzed to estimate reservoir pressure at each DFIT location. A combination of the DFIT results provides a map of pressure depletion around the existing well, while production data analysis of the parent well provides fracture conductivity and surface area and formation permeability. Furthermore, reservoir simulation is tuned such that it can also match the pressure depletion map by adjusting the system permeability and fracture geometry of the parent well. The workflow of this study was applied to two field case from Montney formation in Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. In Field Case 1, DFIT results from nine new wells were used to map the pressure depletion away from the toe fracture of a parent well (four wells toeing toward the parent well and five wells in the same direction as the parent). RTA and reservoir simulation are used to analyze the production data of the parent well qualitatively and quantitatively. The reservoir model is then used to match the pressure depletion map and the production data of the parent well and the outputs of the model includes hydraulic fracture half-lengths on both sides of the parent well, formation permeability, fracture surface area and fracture conductivity. In Field Case 2, the production data from an existing well and DFIT result from a new well toeing toward the existing wells were incorporated into a reservoir simulation model. The model outputs include system permeability and fracture surface area. It is recommended to try the method for more cases in a specific reservoir area to get a statistical understanding of the system permeability and fracture geometry for different completion designs. This study provides a practical and cost-effective approach for pressure depletion mapping using multi-well DFITs and the analysis of the resulting data using reservoir simulation and RTA. The study also encourages the practitioners to take every opportunity to run DFITs and gather pressure data from as many well as possible with focus on child wells.
Hui, Gang (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) | Chen, Shengnan (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) | Gu, Fei (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing, China)
Abstract The recent seismicity rate increase in Fox Creek is believed to be linked to the hydraulic fracturing operations near the region. However, the spatiotemporal evolution of hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity is not well understood. Here, a coupled approach of geology, geomechanics, and hydrology is proposed to characterize the spatiotemporal evolution of hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity. The seismogenic faults in the vicinity of stimulated wells are derived from the focal mechanisms of mainshock event and lineament features of induced events. In addition, the propagation of hydraulic fractures is simulated by using the PKN model, in combination with inferred fault, to characterize the possible well-fault hydrological communication. The original stress state of inferred fault is determined based on the geomechanics analysis. Based on the poroelasticity theory, the coupled flow-geomechanics simulation is finally conducted to quantitatively understand the fluid diffusion and poroelastic stress perturbation in response to hydraulic fracturing. A case study of a moment-magnitude-3.4 earthquake near Fox Creek is utilized to demonstrate the applicability of the coupled approach. It is shown that hydraulic fractures propagated along NE45° and connected with one North-south trending fault, causing the activation of fault and triggered the large magnitude event during fracturing operations. The barrier property of inferred fault under the strike-slip faulting regime constrains the nucleation position of induced seismicity within the injection layer. The combined changes of pore pressure and poroelastic stress caused the inferred fault to move towards the failure state and triggered the earthquake swarms. The associated spatiotemporal changes of Coulomb Failure Stress along the fault plane is well in line with the spatiotemporal pattern of induced seismicity in the studied case. Risks of seismic hazards could be reduced by decreasing fracturing job size during fracturing stimulations.
Summary In this work, we investigate the efficient estimation of the optimal design variables that maximize net present value (NPV) for the life-cycle production optimization during a single-well carbon dioxide (CO2) huff-n-puff (HnP) process in unconventional oil reservoirs. A synthetic unconventional reservoir model based on Bakken Formation oil composition is used. The model accounts for the natural fracture and geomechanical effects. Both the deterministic (based on a single reservoir model) and robust (based on an ensemble of reservoir models) production optimization strategies are considered. The injection rate of CO2, the production bottomhole pressure (BHP), the duration of injection and the production periods in each cycle of the HnP process, and the cycle lengths for a predetermined life-cycle time can be included in the set of optimum design (or well control) variables. During optimization, the NPV is calculated by a machine learning (ML) proxy model trained to accurately approximate the NPV that would be calculated from a reservoir simulator run. Similar to the ML algorithms, we use both least-squares (LS) support vector regression (SVR) and Gaussian process regression (GPR). Given a set of forward simulation runs with a commercial compositional simulator that simulates the miscible CO2 HnP process, a proxy is built based on the ML method chosen. Having the proxy model, we use it in an iterative-sampling-refinement optimization algorithm directly to optimize the design variables. As an optimization tool, the sequential quadratic programming (SQP) method is used inside this iterative-sampling-refinement optimization algorithm. Computational efficiencies of the ML proxy-based optimization methods are compared with those of the conventional stochastic simplex approximate gradient (StoSAG)-based methods. Our results show that the LS-SVR- and GPR-based proxy models are accurate and useful in approximating NPV in the optimization of the CO2 HnP process. The results also indicate that both the GPR and LS-SVR methods exhibit very similar convergence rates, but GPR requires 10 times more computational time than LS-SVR. However, GPR provides flexibility over LS-SVR to access uncertainty in our NPV predictions because it considers the covariance information of the GPR model. Both ML-based methods prove to be quite efficient in production optimization, saving significant computational times (at least 4 times more efficient) over a stochastic gradient computed from a high-fidelity compositional simulator directly in a gradient ascent algorithm. To our knowledge, this is the first study presenting a comprehensive review and comparison of two different ML-proxy-based optimization methods with traditional StoSAG-based optimization methods for the production optimization problem of a miscible CO2HnP.
von Gunten, Konstantin (University of Alberta) | Snihur, Katherine N. (University of Alberta) | McKay, Ryan T. (University of Alberta) | Serpe, Michael (University of Alberta) | Kenney, Janice P. L. (MacEwan University) | Alessi, Daniel S. (University of Alberta)
Summary Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) friction reducer was investigated in produced water from hydraulically fractured wells in the Duvernay and Montney Formations of western Canada. Produced water from systems that used nonencapsulated breaker had little residual solids (<0.3 g/L) and high degrees of hydrolysis, as shown by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Where an encapsulated breaker was used, more colloidal solids (1.1–2.2 g/L) were found with lower degrees of hydrolysis. In this system, the molecular weight (MW) of polymers was investigated, which decreased to <2% of the original weight within 1 hour of flowback. This was accompanied by slow hydrolysis and an increase in methine over methylene groups. Increased polymer-fragment concentrations were found to be correlated with a higher abundance of metal-carrying colloidal phases. This can lead to problems such as higher heavy-metal mobility in the case of produced-water spills and can cause membrane fouling during produced-water recycling and reuse.
Denver-based Ovintiv announced this week an agreement to sell its Eagle Ford Shale properties to Validus Energy in a deal valued at $880 million. Ovintiv said the proceeds from the south Texas development will help accomplish its goal to divest at least $1 billion in assets, a move designed to bring its total debt below $5 billion by year-end. Combined with a February deal to divest assets in Alberta's Duvernay Shale for $263 million, Ovintiv has raised at least $1.1 billion. Ovintiv said the Eagle Ford asset is on track to reach a 2021 average production rate of 21,000 BOED, including 14,000 B/D of crude and condensates. With the divestures accounted for, Ovintiv estimates its full-year production will be around 190,000 B/D of oil and condensates.
Wei, Bing (Southwest Petroleum University) | Zhong, Mengying (Southwest Petroleum University) | Tang, Haoran (Sichuan University) | Wang, Lele (Southwest Petroleum University) | Gao, Ke (Southwest Petroleum University) | Lu, Jun (The University of Tulsa)
Abstract The potential of CO2 injection in stimulating tight oil recovery after primary production has been extensively demonstrated previously. However, the processes of mass transport and exchange inside dual-permeability matrix-facture system driven by CO2 remain unclear. To improve our understanding and supplement the existing knowledge, three types of matrix-fracture models were designed and employed to mimic CO2 injection processes (huff-n-puff and flooding modes), named fully open fracture (FOF), partially open fracture (POF), and crossed open fracture (COF) models, respectively. CO2 huff-n-puff and flooding experiments were conducted on these three models to observe the dynamics of pressure and oil recovery factor. Core-scale models were built up by history-matching the oil recovery dynamics through modifying the relative permeability curves based on Corey correlations. The mass transport and exchange processes with the proceeding of CO2 injection were delineated. The results showed that either CO2 huff-n-puff or CO2 flooding was capable of extracting the oil from tight matrix substantially but the increase in oil recovery factor became insignificant with the increase in cycle number or injection time. The oil resided in the proximity of injector, fracture and producer were primarily recovered during CO2 flooding. In the FOF and COF models, the matrix oil near the injector and producer was mainly mobilized. As for CO2 huff-n-puff, the oil saturation of the three models was reduced uniformly throughout the cores with cycles. The high sweep efficiency of CO2 largely mobilized the oil near the injector. It can be generally concluded that injecting CO2 by huff-n-puff protocol might be more beneficial than flooding mode for unconventionals. The results of this paper can provide insights into the oil recovery dynamics and mass transport and exchange induced by CO2 injection in tight reservoirs.