This paper presents a method for pinpointing intervals for fracture stimulation in horizontal wells targeting unconventional oil plays. The observation of crossflow among fractures has been of great concern as this phenomenon affects the productivity of producing wells. The cause is related to the effectiveness of fracturing stages, which by itself depends on the rock lithology. We identified interaction among fractured intervals from diagnostic modeling of performance data that exhibited cross flows in the wellbore. On wells exhibiting the most prolonged duration of crossflow, we noted the disadvantages of equal space fracturing. We then used the drilling parameters from MWD data for individual wells and computed the d-exponent profiles and noted significant differences in rock brittleness as characterized by their d-exponent data. Out of the more than 60 wells studied, wells exhibiting minor changes in the d-exponent showed the least indications of cross flows from performance data while in wells with significant cross flows we see the nonuniformity of the d-exponent profile and the negative impact of equal space fracturing.
Today, almost half of Western Canada's natural-gas production comes from the Triassic-aged Montney formation, a sixfold increase over the last 10 years while gas production from most other plays has declined. In the last few years, demand for condensate as diluent for shipping bitumen has driven development of liquids-rich Montney natural gas leading to a surge in gas production and gas-on-gas competition in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), which has driven local natural gas prices down. This has had a material effect on the operations and finances of companies active in the Western Canada and is reshaping the Canadian gas industry. A significant portion of this growth has taken place in NE British Columbia and with the planned electrification of the industry in British Columbia, including the nascent LNG operations, will influence tomorrow's power industry in this region. NE British Columbia is a geographically large area with sparse population and the power supply into this region has lagged behind development of oil and natural gas resources. The area was originally served from geographically closer NW Alberta. More recently, supply was established from the BC Hydro power grid with the most significant developments being Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission (DCAT) completed in 2016 and the additional 230 kV transmission projects scheduled for completion in 2021.
Oil production from shale and tight formations will increase to more than 6 million barrels per day (b/d) in the coming decade, making up most of total U.S. oil production (> 50%). However, achieving an accurate formation evaluation of shale faces many complex challenges. One of the complexities is the accurate estimation of shale properties from well logs, which is initially designed for conventional reservoirs. When we use the well logs to obtain shale properties, they often cause some deviations. Therefore, in this work, we combine cores and well logs together to provide a more accurate guideline for estimation of total organic carbon, which is primarily of interest to petroleum geochemists and geologists.
Our work is based on Archie's equation. Resistivity log will lead to some incorrect results, such as total resistivity, when we follow the conventional interpretation procedure in well logs. Porosity is another complex parameter, which cannot be determined only by well log, i.e. density, NMR, and Neutron log. Therefore, the flowchart of TOC calculation includes five main parts: (I) the shale content calculation using Gamma log; (II) the determination of shale distributions using Density and Neutron logs and cross-plot; (III) the calculation of total resistivity at different distribution types; (IV) obtaining porosity using core analysis, NMR and density logs; and (V) the calculation of TOC from modified Archie's equation.
The results indicate that the shale content has a strong effect on estimation of water saturation and hydrocarbon saturation. Especially, the effect of shale content is exacerbated at a low water saturation. A more accurate flowchart for TOC calculation is established. Based on Archie's equation, we modify total resistivity and porosity by combining Gamma Log, Density Log, Neutron Log, NMR Log, and Cross-plot. An easier way to estimate porosity is provided. We combine the matrix density and kerogen density together and obtain them from core analysis. Poupon's et al. (1954) laminar model has some limitations when applying in shale reservoirs, especially at a low porosity.
Literature surveys show few studies on the flowchart of TOC calculation in shale reservoirs. This paper provides some insights into challenges of well logs, core analysis in shale reservoirs and a more accurate guideline of TOC calculation in shale reservoirs.
Objectives/Scope: In order to maximize the recovery of hydrocarbons from liquids rich shale reservoir systems, the cause and effect relationships between production and the stimulation methods need to be clearly understood. In this study, we utilize multivariate regression models to narrow down the variables in flow simulation models and their range. We then use the flow simulation model to understand the fractured well production behavior and field wide well performance in a liquids rich petroleum system in the Duvernay Basin.
Methods, Procedures, Process: Statistical models assume no physical relationship between the model parameters and the response variable, which in this case is produced volumes over a period of time. On the other hand, simulation studies incorporate physical mechanisms of flow to model and predict the production behavior. The simulation models, however, fall short of incorporating all the mechanisms contributing to the production behavior in the complex shale gas reservoir. Thus there is a need for integration of statistical approaches of understanding production behavior along with physics based model and simulation approach. We use the statistical methods to identify the important physical mechanisms that control the production.
Results, Observations, Conclusions: Multivariate linear regression analysis of the 6 month produced volume and its relationship with parameters such as fracture fluid volumes used, proppant weight placed, number of stages fractured provides a model with reasonably good correlation. The 6 month produced volumes correlate with large proppant weights, lower fluid placements and greater density of fracture stages. Use of Random Forests machine learning algorithm on the dataset confirms that the total proppant placed, well length completed with fractures have high importance coefficients. In order to examine the well performance using full physical models, fractured well simulations are performed on particular wells using the trilinear model. The trilinear model predictions are then compared against other production analyses and the regression model results for consistency. The models showed that in the absence of stress dependent permeability, the production forecast was much higher. Thus, stress dependent permeability appears to be an important factor in the modeling and prediction of production from liquids rich shale reservoirs.
Novel/Additive Information: In this study we describe a method to understand the production data from a liquids rich shale reservoir, by integrating multivariate linear regression analysis, machine learning algorithms along with physical model simulations. The results are novel and offer a method to validate either approach to understand cause and effect relationships. This approach may be classified as a new hybrid modeling workflow that may potentially be used to optimize stimulation techniques in liquids rich shale reservoirs.
The amount of trapped oil in hydrocarbon rich shale reservoirs recoverable through Enhanced Oil Recovery methods such as low salinity water flooding has been an ongoing investigation in the oil and gas industry. Reservoir shales typically have relatively lower amounts of swelling clays and in theory, can be exposed to a higher chemical potential difference between the native and injected fluid salinity before detrimental permeability reduction is experienced through the volumetric expansion of swelling clays. This fluid flux into the pore spaces of the rock matrix acting as a semi permeable membrane is significant enough to promote additional recovery from the extremely low permeability rock. The main goal of this paper is to determine how osmosis pressure build up within the matrix affects geomechanical behavior and hydrocarbon fluid flow. In this study we investigate Pierre shale samples with trace amount of organic content and high clay content as an initial step to fully understanding how the presence of organic content affects the membrane efficiency for EOR applications in shales using low salinity fluid injection. The same concept is also valid when slickwater is utilized as fracturing fluid as majority of the shale reservoirs contain very high salinity native reservoir fluid that will create large salinity contrast to the injected slickwater salinity.
The organic-rich reservoir shales typically have a TOC content of approximately 5 wt% or higher with TOC occupying part of the bulk matrix otherwise to be filled up by clays and other minerals. With less clay within the rock structure, the amount of associated clay swelling arising from rock fluid interaction will be limited. The overall drive of water into the matrix brings added stress to the pore fluid known as osmotic pressure acting on the matrix that also creates an imbalance in the stress state. The native formation fluid with salinity of 60,000 ppm NaCl has been used while 1,000 ppm NaCl brine is utilized to simulate the low salinity injection fluid under triaxial stress conditions in this phase of the study reported here. A strong correlation is obtained between the osmotic efficiency and effective stress exerted on the shale formation. The triaxial tests conducted in pursuit of simulating stress alteration under the osmotic pressure conditions and elevated pore pressure penetration tests indicated that the occurrence of swelling directly impact the formation permeability. These structural changes observed in our experimental results are comparable to field case studies.
Martini, Brigette (Corescan Inc.) | Bellian, Jerome (Whiting Petroleum Corporation) | Katz, David (Encana Corporation) | Fonteneau, Lionel (Corescan Pty Ltd) | Carey, Ronell (Corescan Pty Ltd) | Guisinger, Mary (Whiting Petroleum Corporation) | Nordeng, Stephan H. (University of North Dakota)
Hyperspectral core imaging studies of the Bakken-Three Forks formations over the past four years has revealed non-destructive, high resolution, spatially relevant insight into mineralogy, both primary and diagenetically altered that can be applied to reservoir characterization. While ‘big’ data like co-acquired hyperspectral imagery, digital photography and laser profiles can be challenging to analyze, synthesize, scale, visualize and store, their value in providing mineralogical information, structural variables and visual context at scales that lie between (and ultimately link) nano and reservoir-scale measurements of the Bakken-Three Forks system, is unique.
Simultaneous, co-acquired hyperspectral core imaging data (at 500 μm spatial resolution), digital color photography (at 50 μm spatial resolution) and laser profiles (at 20 μm spatial and 7 μm vertical resolution), were acquired over 24 wells for a total of 2,870 ft. of core, seven wells of which targeted the Bakken-Three Forks formations. These Bakken-Three Forks data (~5.5 TB) represent roughly 175,000,000 pixels of spatially referenced mineralogical data. Measurements were performed at a mobile Corescan HCI-3 laboratory based in Denver, CO, while spectral and spatial analysis of the data was completed using proprietary in-house spectral software, offsite in Perth, WA, Australia. Synthesis of the spectral-based mineral maps and laser-based structural data, with ancillary data (including Qemscan, XRD and various downhole geophysical surveys) were completed in several software and modelling platforms.
The resulting spatial context of this hyperspectral imaging-based mineralogy and assemblages are particularly compelling, both in small scale micro-distribution as well as borehole scale mineralogical distributions related to both primary lithology and secondary alteration. These studies also present some of the first successful measurement and derivation of lithology from hyperspectral data. Relationships between hyperspectral-derived mineralogy and oil concentrations are presented as are separately derived structural variables. The relationship between hyperspectral-based mineralogy to micro-scale reservoir characteristics (including those derived from Qemscan) were studied, as were relationships to larger-scale downhole geophysical data (resulting in compelling correlations between variables of resistivity and hyperspectral-mineralogy). Finally, basic Net-to-Gross calculations were completed using the hyperspectral imaging data, thereby extending the use of such data from geological characterizations through to resource estimations.
The high-fidelity mineralogical maps afforded by hyperspectral core imaging have not only provided new geological insight into the Bakken-Three Forks formations, but ultimately provide improved well completion designs in those formations, as well as a framework for applying the technology to other important unconventional reservoir formations in exploration and development. The semi-automated nature of the technology also ushers in the ability to consistently and accurately log mineralogy from multiple wells and fields globally, allowing for advanced comparative analysis.
Smith, Steve A. (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Kurz, Bethany (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Sorensen, James (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Beddoe, Christopher (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Mibeck, Blaise (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Azenkeng, Alexander (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Hawthorne, Steve (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Gorecki, Charles (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center)
Deployment of CO2-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is considered a potential secondary recovery option for unconventional reservoirs undergoing primary pressure depletion. In conjunction with EOR operations, there is a practical aspect of understanding CO2 permeability and retention over the injection period. To assess CO2 injectivity and storage potential within the organic-rich shales and middle member of the Bakken Formation, a series of laboratory tests were performed.
Flow-through tests were performed on Bakken Formation core plug samples, including organic-rich shales and siltstone reservoir rock. Testing was conducted at near-reservoir conditions of 5000 psi and 160°F. Flow rate, differential pressure, and fluid volume data were collected. Test durations were 6, 21, and 17.5 days for the reservoir and upper and lower shale samples, respectively.
Analytical work included x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray fluorescence (XRF), thin section, and pre- and posttest nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Pre- and posttest samples were solvent-extracted to determine the efficiency of hydrocarbon mobilization from inlet to outlet. After extraction, samples were analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy (GC–MS). CO2 adsorption isotherm data were also obtained.
Test results differed among each sample run. CO2 breakthrough occurred very shortly after injection started in the Upper Bakken shale sample. Micro-computed tomography (CT) data showed that the sample was fractured along bedding and was contributing to early breakthrough. The reservoir siltstone sample showed a similar trend in breakthrough, but no fractures were present. The Lower Bakken shale sample was tested perpendicular to bedding to avoid bedding influences on flow. In this case, there was a period of CO2 uptake, then a slow transition to breakthrough. Permeability to CO2 for the upper, middle, and lower samples was 7.6, 54, and 1.4 nD, respectively. NMR analyses showed a shift in the fluid-saturated pore space, providing evidence that residual fluids were mobilized during testing. Solvent extractions and GC–MS work confirmed that hydrocarbons were received in the produced fluids from each test. Analyses also showed that the inlet side was depleted of hydrocarbons more effectively than the outlet. The CO2 adsorption isotherm data showed the Bakken shale has an almost tenfold increase in CO2 adsorption versus the siltstone, with values of 7.5 and 0.85 mg CO2/g-rock, respectively. Qualitatively, this correlates to the flow-through test data in that each of the samples tested had volumetric differences between the cumulative CO2 injection and receiver sides of the system.
Results of this work provide insight with respect to utilization of CO2 for EOR within the Bakken Formation and provide a mechanism for evaluating the CO2 storage potential of organic-rich shales. Flow-through testing will provide a baseline for future testing of other gases and gas blends and allow for the comparison of the CO2-based test results to those derived using other gases.
Geri, Mohammed Ba (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Ellafi, Abdulaziz (University of North Dakota) | Ofori, Bruce (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Flori, Ralph (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Sherif, Huosameddin (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
Recent studies have presented successful case studies of using HVFR fluids in the field. Reported cost reductions from using fewer chemicals and less equipment on the relatively small Marcellus pads when replacing linear gel fluid systems by HVFR. The investigation provided a screening guideline of utilizing HVFRs in terms of its viscosity and concentration. The study notes that in field application the average concentration of HVFRs is 2.75 gpt (gal per 1,000 gal)
Three different scenarios were selected to study fluid type effect using 3D pseudo simulator; as a first scenario; fracture dimensions as a second scenario; the last scenario was proppant type. The first scenario consists of two cases: utilizing HVFR-B as new fracture fluid in 20% of produced water was investigated in scenario I (base case). Comparison between HVFR and linear gel in the Middle Bakken was investigated in Case II of the first scenario. At the second scenario, fracture half-length was studied. Proppant distribution impact by using HVFR in Bakken formation was analyzed as the third scenario. The final scenario investigated the pumping flow rate influence on proppant transport of using HVFR. The concentration of HVFR-B was 3 gpt and the proppant size was 30/50 mesh. The treatment schedule of this project consists of six stages. The proppant concentration was increased gradually from 0.5 ppt to 6 ppt at the later stage.
In the case of using HVFR-B the fracture half-length was approximately 1300 ft while using linear gel created smaller fracture half-length. In contrast, using linear gel makes the fracture growth increase rapidly up to 290 ft as showed. To conclude, using HVFR-B created high fracture length with less fracture height than linear gel. Additionally, in using HVFR-B, the average fracture height was approximately 205 ft while using linear gel created increasing of the fracture growth rapidly up to 360 ft which represent around 43% increasing of the fracture height. In studying the impact of fracture half-length on proppant transport, increasing fracture half-length from 250 ft to 750 ft leads to the fracture growth rapidly up to 205 ft
Studying the impact of proppant size effect on proppant transport, we observed changing fracture conductivity across fracture half-length. Thus, the fracture height increasing with decreasing proppant mesh size. Fracture height increased from 193 ft to 206 ft by changing proppant mesh size from 20/40 to 40/70 mesh. With flow rate impact on proppant transport, it was observed that, the fracture height increases by increasing the pump rate. Utilizing HVFR-B in the fracture treatment provides higher absolute open flow rate (AOF) which is around 2000 BPD. On the other hand, the outcomes of using linear gel has less AOF that about 1600 BPD. Also, Increasing the Xf and proppant mesh size leads to increase the AOF.
This project describes comparison of the successful implementation of utilizing HVFR as an alternative fracturing system to linear gel.
The Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin has become one of the largest oil producers in the United States. With the increase in activity, there has been an increase in water production. Normally, produced water is injected into the Dakota Formation, which lies about halfway between the Bakken target and the surface. In recent years, the Dakota formation pressure has increased, causing drilling problems for multiple operators across the basin. In some cases, drillers were able to kill saltwater kicks by increasing mud weight; in others, a fourth string of casing had to be deployed. Given the potential safety issues and increased drilling costs, accurate pore pressure predictions for the Dakota Formation will be extremely valuable to operators. Currently, there is no comprehensive geologic or reservoir model of the Dakota Formation in the Bakken play that can guide drilling decisions.
The Dakota Formation in the Williston Basin does not contain hydrocarbons, resulting in limited core and log data coverage. It is challenging to build reliable geologic models given the limited amount of reservoir properties, and matching model complexity to data availability is crucial. A geologic model was developed consistent with the depositional environment of the Dakota Sandstone. Resistivity, density, neutron and gamma ray measurements from well logs in this area were used to develop a robust petrophysical model. This model was calibrated against core data and actual performance of injection wells. Using these logs, a six-layer geologic model was built to represent the channelized reservoir.
The geo-model was used to build a reservoir simulation model, which covers large area including the company operated acreage. The simulation model was calibrated to injection rates and pressures of salt water disposal wells in the modelled area. Additionally, model prediction of formation pressure was matched to observations from drilling of operated Bakken oil wells and influxes from Dakota Formation.
The model provides insight in to the long-term formation pressure trend in the Dakota Formation in the basin. ConocoPhillips now uses the model pressure predictions as a decision-making tool for Bakken well drilling design (mud weight and number of casing strings), pad placement, development timing, and project capital allocation.
The authors include a geologist, a reservoir engineer specializing in petrophysics and a reservoir engineer specializing in simulation, modelling and economics. This work was done to improve drilling design and provide long range forecast for drilling hazards due to salt water disposal.
Butler, Shane (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Azenkeng, Alexander (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Mibeck, Blaise (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Kurz, Bethany (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center) | Eylands, Kurt (University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center)
Advanced characterization of the Bakken Formation, an unconventional oil and gas play of the Williston Basin, was performed via newly developed analytical tools of microscopic investigation in concert with standard laboratory methods. Characterization of an unconventional formation to understand the composition and distribution of framework grains, organic matter (OM), clay minerals, and porosity is difficult because of the extremely lithified nature of the lithofacies within the formation and the small grain and particle sizes. In this study, corroborative methods aimed to define micro- and nanoscale fabrics that impact parameters such as maturity, recovery, clay content, micropore networks, and CO2 interactions for either storage or enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Lateral and vertical variations in the rock fabric across multiple wellsites were observed on a micro- to nanometer scale with innovative analytical technologies.
Detailed morphologies and chemical compositions of ion-milled samples were obtained with field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) coupled with energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Furthermore, a new software suite, Advanced Mineral Identification and Characterization System (AMICS), was used to classify and quantify mineralogy, OM, and porosity from the FESEM images. For validation purposes, x-ray diffraction was used to obtain bulk mineral and clay mineral data and x-ray fluorescence to obtain bulk chemical compositions of the samples. Advanced image analysis was performed on high-resolution FESEM images as another corroborative approach to characterize key features of interest within the lithofacies. Each sample consisted of high-resolution FESEM backscattered electron (BSE) images taken at multiple magnifications to maximize particle morphology in the fine-grained rock of the unconventional reservoir.
The data highlighted trends related to factors that impact CO2 transport and sorption in unconventional reservoirs. Segmented BSE images from the FESEM using program parameters that included texture, gray scale, and other morphological properties made it possible to estimate OM, clays, and porosity for each sample. The compositional analysis, including matrix porosity, OM porosity, and mineralogical composition maps, provided context for the potential of organic-rich and tight rock formations as CO2- based EOR targets or CO2 storage targets.
Advanced image analysis techniques were applied to better understand and quantify factors that could affect CO2 storage in the Bakken Formation, with an ultimate goal of improved method development to estimate CO2 storage potential of unconventional reservoirs. Discernible differences in fabric, mineral, and elemental content in comparable lithofacies across wellsites provided insight into the nature of the Bakken Formation, which could serve as a proxy for other tight rock, organic-rich reservoirs that could be potential targets for both CO2-based EOR and CO2 storage.