Teklu, Tadesse Weldu (Colorado School of Mines) | Park, Daejin (Korea Gas Corporation and Colorado School of Mines) | Jung, Hoiseok (Korea Gas Corporation and Colorado School of Mines) | Amini, Kaveh (Colorado School of Mines) | Abass, Hazim (Halliburton and Colorado School of Mines)
Tadesse Weldu Teklu, Colorado School of Mines; Daejin Park and Hoiseok Jung, Korea Gas Corporation, and Colorado School of Mines; Kaveh Amini, Colorado School of Mines; and Hazim Abass, Halliburton and Colorado School of Mines Summary Matrix and fracture permeability of carbonate-rich tight cores from Horn River Basin, Muskwa, Otter Park, and Evie Shale formations, were measured before and after exposing the core samples to spontaneous imbibition using dilute acid [1-or 3-wt% hydrochloric acid (HCl) diluted in 10-wt% potassium chloride (KCl) brine]. Permeability and porosity were measured at net stress between 1,000 and 5,000 psia. Brine and dilute-acid imbibition effect on proppant embedment, rock softening/weakening, and fracture roughness were assessed. The following are some of the experiment observations: (a) Formation damage caused by water blockage of water-wet shales can be improved by adding dilute HCl or by using hydrocarbon-based fracturing fluids; (b) matrix permeability of clay-rich or calcite-poor shale samples is usually impaired/damaged by dilute-acid imbibition; (c) matrix permeability and porosity of calcite-rich shales usually improved with dilute-acid imbibition; (d) effective fracture permeability of unpropped calcite-rich shales is reduced by dilute-acid imbibition; the latter is because of "rock softening" and "etching/smoothing" of fracture roughness on the "fracture faces." Nevertheless, dilute-acid imbibition is less damaging than brine (slickwater) imbibition; and (e) proppant embedment was observed during both brine (slickwater) and diluteacid imbibition. Introduction A statistical report in EIA (2016) shows that, in the United States, oil and gas production from tight formations have become increasingly significant since 2007. This is mainly because of the advancement of multistage hydraulic-fracture stimulation in horizontal wells. Even with multistage hydraulic-fracture stimulation horizontal-well technology, oil recovery from tight formations such as the Bakken is usually less than 10% (Alharthy et al. 2015; Sheng 2015; Teklu et al. 2017a). Hence, many researchers are devoted to improving this low oil recovery. Enhanced-oil-recovery studies in tight formations through surfactant and gas injection and acid treatment are among the recent research directions toward improving the ultimate recovery of tight formations or shales (Teklu et al. 2017a, 2018).
Unconventional reservoirs, especially shale gas reservoirs, exhibit dual porosity (free fluid porosity and adsorbed fluid porosity). The adsorbed volume is a function of total organic carbon (TOC) and thus, higher organic contents are assumed to be directly related to higher hydrocarbons in place. However, this case study tried to evaluate this concept and found that with higher TOC, though gas in place increases the recoverable hydrocarbons reduces due to the low contribution from adsorbed heavier components.
We thoroughly evaluate the impact of organic contents on adsorbed hydrocarbons and further compare with the petrophysical properties and production behaviors; herein using information from the Devonian aged Duvernay Formation in Western Canada. First, multi-well analysis of core and log-derived TOC revealed that variations in organic contents are a function of the stratigraphy and thermal maturity, particularly increases in carbonate contents seems to correlate with lower organic contents, whereas increases in quartz and clays correlate with higher organic contents. Then, adsorption capacities were analyzed as a function of variations in the TOC. Finally, comparisons of hydrocarbons in-place and production contribution of the adsorbed volume is analyzed for different average TOC wells.
It is observed that TOC impacts relative adsorption of methane which further impacts the fluid characteristics (gas wells have higher average TOC as compared to the oil wells). This observation becomes relevant as we could partially understand well performance from fundamental understandings of the variations in organic contents. Results of Langmuir isotherms indicate a significant increase in adsorption of heavier components compared to the increment in adsorption of methane components with higher TOC. This observation is further analyzed for production data of the multi-fractured horizontal wells which suggested the following: 1) desorption in the oil flowing wells increases as the saturation of the oil phase decreases, or in other words when the relative permeability of the gas increases. 2) In the gas flowing wells, desorption does not follow the trend of the relative permeability, while based on Langmuir pressure initial contribution is significant which declines as reservoir pressure drops. Further, for the gas flowing well, the production forecast from calibrated production model (with measured produced volumes) shows that post-production of 10 years, recovery is 3.66% in which contribution from desorption is about 17.6%. This observation in the production analyses highlights how with different adsorption capacities of heavier components, adsorption contribution in the production varies. Finally, post this study it is found that TOC plays a vital role in adsorption capacity, gas in place and in the production performance. The relation of the TOC with fluid characterization and recoverable reserves is complex and should be analyzed with the variation in adsorption and desorption capacity of lighter and heavier components.
A hybrid-hydraulic-fracture (HHF) model composed of (1) complex discrete fracture networks (DFNs) and (2) planar fractures is proposed for modeling the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV). Modeling the SRV is complex and requires a synergetic approach between geophysics, petrophysics, and reservoir engineering. The objective of this paper is to characterize and evaluate the SRV in nine horizontal multilaterals covering the Muskwa, Otter Park, and Evie Formations in the Horn River Shale in Canada, with a view to match their production histories and to evaluate the effectiveness and potential problems of the multistage hydraulic-fracturing jobs performed in the nine laterals.
To accomplish this goal, the HHF model is run in a numerical-simulation model to evaluate the SRV performance in planar and complex fracture networks using good-quality microseismicity data collected during 75 stages of hydraulic fracturing (out of 145 stages performed in nine laterals). The fracture-network geometry for each hydraulic-fracture (HF) stage is developed on the basis of microseismicity observations and the limits obtained in the fracture-propagation modeling. Post-fracturing production is appraised with rate-transient analysis (RTA) for determining effective permeability under flowing conditions. Results are compared with the HHF simulation and the hydraulic-fracturing design.
The HHF modeling of the SRV leads to a good match of the post-fracturing production history. The HHF simulation indicates interference between stages. The vertical connectivity in the reservoir is larger than the horizontal connectivity. This is interpreted to be the result of the large height achieved by HFs, and the absence of barriers between the formations.
It is concluded that the HHF model is a valuable tool for evaluating hydraulic-fracturing jobs and the SRV in shales of the Horn River Basin in Canada. Because of the generality of the Horn River application, the same approach might have application in other shale gas reservoirs around the world.
Yang, Sheng (University of Calgary) | Wu, Wei (University of Calgary) | Xu, Jinze (University of Calgary) | Ji, Dongqi (University of Calgary) | Chen, Zhangxing (University of Calgary) | Wei, Yizheng (Computer Modeling Group)
Micropores and mesopores are the main storage volumes in shale matrix. Because of their small pore sizes, the force between pore boundary and gas molecules is significant. A larger amount of adsorbed gas is in a shale gas reservoir than in a conventional gas reservoir. People usually measure adsorption through volumetric methods under an isothermal condition. Because of a limitation of volumetric methods, only excess adsorption data are directly measured; then, a chosen model is applied to calculate an absolute adsorption through fitting the measured data.
An adsorption process induces changes in free-gas volume. However, the changes in absorbent volume and methane absorption into organic matter also alter the measured gas volume, which is widely neglected in previous studies. In this study, one volume term, which accounts for the unexpected changes in gas volumes caused by the other mechanisms except adsorption, is added to the Dubinin-Astakhov (DA) model (pore-filling theory). The in-situ methane is in a supercritical condition under reservoir conditions. Because of the lack of a saturation pressure of a supercritical fluid, an adsorbed-phase gas density is used to replace the saturation pressure in the DA model.
The modified model is validated by the isothermal adsorption data from four different shale plays. The calculated data by the proposed model have a better match with the measured data than those by the DA model. All shale samples demonstrate a nonmonotonic deformation of adsorbent (volume shrinkage in the low-pressure region, then swelling as pressure increases), which coincides with the results of previous molecular simulation. The key parameters of the proposed model such as a maximum adsorption capacity are more accurate and reasonable than the ones of the DA model. The proposed model provides a good approach to quantify absolute adsorption through experimental data, especially under reservoir conditions, and to emphasize the important effects of volume on methane/shale adsorption.
Wüst, Raphael A. J. (AGAT Laboratories, Calgary) | Mattucci, Mike (ChemTerra Innovation, Calgary) | Hawkes, Robert (Trican Well Service LTD., Calgary) | Quintero, Harvey (ChemTerra Innovation, Calgary) | Sessarego, Sebastian (ChemTerra Innovation, Calgary)
The Devonian Duvernay Formation in Alberta, characterized as a carbonate-siliceous source rock, is ramping up to be one of the largest and most prolific shale oil plays in Canada. In the southern part of the Duvernay Shale Basin (i.e. East Shale Basin), tight limestone beds are interbedded with laminated organic-rich calcareous shales, which show an organic maturity ranging mostly from early oil- to condensate-window. This new light oil shale play is still in the initial stages of development and the nature of these deposits requires hydraulic fracturing to increase stimulated rock volume. General completion programs involve ≥50 clustered plug ‘n’ perf stages with slickwater treatments in excess of 40,000 m3 with ~4000 tonnes of proppant per well. The large water volume treatments will inevitably interact directly with the rock surface in the stimulated area and cause both oil-water and rock-water interactions. Post-hydraulic fracturing water retention is especially pronounced in light oil shale plays. The oil-wet nature of the Duvernay, along with calcareous and siliceous shale lithologies, adds to the complexity of water retention and perceived water-blockage. In addition, because of operational delays such as road bans and pipeline constraints, some wells may be shut-in after the fracturing treatment for weeks and even months, which will affect rock-oil-water behavior (i.e. production). The extent of water displacing into the matrix of the rocks of the Duvernay Formation in the East Shale Basin, as measured by load fluid recovery, varies significantly and appears to heavily rely on the choice of surfactant. Although the use of surfactants is generally accepted for this play, detailed understanding of the rock-fluid interaction mechanisms is still incomplete.
This paper investigated the response of Duvernay Shale rocks from the East Shale Basin to various types of surfactants and analyzed production and fluid flowback data. Amott Cell analyses, which test for spontaneous oil displacement using various stimulation fluid types, demonstrated that in the East Shale Basin, nano-sized surfactants including multi-functional surfactants (MFS) and microemulsions significantly outperformed common surfactant chemistry when tested with mixed wettability shale core samples. The results provide an estimate as to extent of water migration into the matrix of the Duvernay as a result of the choice of surfactant. Our analysis is made possible from publicly available cores, laboratory analysis and high quality well production data from the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Yousefzadeh, Abdolnaser (Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary) | Li, Qi (Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary) | Virues, Claudio (Nexen Energy ULC) | Aguilera, Roberto (Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary)
We present a comparison of three different hydraulic fracture models as well as an anisotropic diffusivity model with the observed microseismic data from shale gas reservoirs in the Horn River Basin of Canada. We investigated the validity of these models in the prediction of hydraulic fracture geometries using tempo-spatial extension of microseismic data. In the study area, ten horizontal wells were drilled and hydraulically fractured in multiple stages in the Muskwa, Otter Park, and Evie shale gas formations in 2013. The treatments were monitored by downhole microseismic measurements.
We integrated microseismic analyses, geomechanical information extracted from well logs, and fracturing treatment parameters performed in the area. We compared fracture geometry predicted by Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN), Khristianovic-Geertsma-de Klerk (KGD), and a Pseudo-3D (P3D) fracturing models as well as an anisotropic diffusivity model with actual fracture geometries derived from microseismic records in more than one hundred fracturing stages.
For the study area, we find that there are no barriers to hydraulic fracture vertical growth between the Muskwa, Otter Park and Evie shales. Therefore, the fracture height to length ratio is higher than unity in many stages. Large fracturing heights suggest that the PKN model might be more suitable for fracture modeling than the KGD model. However, our analyses show that the fracture length predicted by the KGD model is closer to, but still far less than the fracture length illustrated by microseismic events. Pseudo 3D model also predicts fracture lengths which are slightly larger than the modeled fracture lengths by the KGD and PKN equations and still significantly smaller than the microseismic fracture lengths.
These differences are observed throughout all stages suggesting that these methods are not able to perfectly predict the hydraulic fracturing behavior in the study wellpad. Vertical extension of microseismic data with linear patterns into the Keg River formation below the shale formations suggests the presence of natural fractures in the study area.
This study presents a distinctive insight into the complex hydraulic fracture modeling of shales in the Horn River basin and suggests that diffusivity mapping is a simple, but powerful tool for hydraulic fracture modeling in these formations. Observed microseismic fracture lengths are significantly higher than lengths predicted by the geomechanical models and closer to diffusivity models, which suggests the possibility of increasing well-spacing in future development using diffusivity equation for improving treatment design.
Research is based on conception about field as not only migrating fluids trap with formed pore volume and shielding cover but as self-assembling oil-gas source system on one or another oil-gas generation stage.
In order to study oil-and-gas source carbonate rocks in detail a core studying laboratory investigations complex was developed. Core samples, salt exhausted but not extracted, were studied by petrophysic, geochemical, electron microscope and physicochemical methods.
Complex treatment to investigations allowed to discover regularities of carbonate oil-and-gas source deposits' catagenetic transformations. These regularities were put into created hearth-clustered algorithm for rock properties modeling. A hearth-clustered conception taking into account oil-and-gas source rocks' transformation regularities would allow to differentially estimate and classify hydrocarbons reserves and also choose directed recovery technologies in hearths' pay zones which correspond to different organic matter and rock-forming matrix catagenetic transformation stages.
Geological hard-to-recover oil reserves in gas-saturated zones of gas-condensate and oil-gas-condensate fields are traditionally not considered in estimation of reserves, nor in field-development program but they represent tremendous unaccounted and not realized resource base of Russian Federation in regions and fields with wholly developed infrastructure. They should be necessarily considered in design estimates as on early so on late field development stages.
Sayers, Colin (Schlumberger) | Lascano, Maria (Schlumberger) | Gofer, Edan (Schlumberger) | Boer, Lennert Den (Schlumberger) | Walz, Milton (Schlumberger) | Hannan, Andrew (Schlumberger) | Dasgupta, Sagnik (Schlumberger) | Goodway, William (Apache Corporation) | Perez, Marco (Apache Corporation) | Purdue, Gregory (Apache Corporation)
Summary Economic production from tight shale formations entails increasing the surface area in contact with the reservoir via hydraulic fracturing. Important to the design of efficient hydraulic fractures is knowledge of the orientation and magnitude of principal stresses and geomechanical rock properties. Using the results of seismic AVA (Amplitude Variation with Angle) inversion calibrated to geomechanical measurements on cores, a 3D MEM (Mechanical Earth Model) is built for an area in the Horn River Basin. The variation in principal stresses over the area is evaluated using the Finite Element Method. Computed stresses are seen to be consistent with variability in production over the area and show stress rotations near faults in agreement with microseismic data.
The topic of interwell communication in unconventional reservoirs has received significant attention because it has direct implications for well-spacing considerations. However, it has been the observation of the authors that interference is often inferred without direct evidence of its occurrence, or without an understanding of the various mechanisms of interference. Some common discussions on interference among engineers refer to fracture “hits” and fracture-fluid production that suddenly appears at offset producing wells. These are indications of communication, but do not necessarily imply that a strong connection will be maintained throughout the life of the wells.
This paper presents a rigorous procedure for correctly identifying interference by use of data acquired during a typical multiwell-pad-production scheme. First, the various mechanisms of interference are defined. Next, analytical simulations are run to reveal the expected behavior for interference through fractures and reservoir matrix. Data provided from an eight-well pad in the Horn River basin are then scoured, revealing evidence of interference between at least two wells. Through this exercise, a procedure is developed for identifying interference by searching for changes in buildup trends while wells are staggered on/off production. Finally, the data are history matched with numerical models to confirm the interference mechanism.
The procedure in this paper is designed to help production analysts diagnose interference and avoid common pitfalls. The work flow is generalized and can be applied to other multiwell-pad completions.
The importance of evaluating well productivity after hydraulic fracturing cannot be overemphasized. This has necessitated the improvement in the quality of rate and pressure measurements during flowback of multistage-fractured wells. Similarly, there have been corresponding improvements in the ability of existing transient models to interpret multiphase flowback data. However, the complexity of these models introduces high uncertainty in the estimates of resulting parameters, such as fracture pore volume (PV), half-length, and permeability. This paper proposes a two-phase tank model for reducing parameter uncertainty and estimating fracture PV independent of fracture geometry. This study starts by use of rate-normalized-pressure (RNP) plots to observe changes in fluid-flow mechanisms from multistage- fractured wells. The fracture “pressure-supercharge” observations form the basis for developing the proposed two-phase tank model. This model is a linear relationship between RNP and time, useful for interpreting flowback data in wells that show pseudosteady-state behavior (unit slope on log-log RNP plots). The linear relationship is implemented on a simple Monte Carlo spreadsheet. This is then used to estimate and conduct uncertainty analysis on effective fracture PV by use of probabilistic distributions of average fracture compressibility and gas/water saturations. Also, the proposed model investigates the contributions of various drive mechanisms during flowback (fracture closure, gas expansion, and water depletion) by use of quantitative drive indices similar to those used in conventional reservoir engineering. Application of the proposed tank model to flowback data from 15 shale-gas and tight-oil wells estimates the effective fracture PV and initial average gas saturation in the active fracture network. The results show that fracture-PV estimation is most sensitive to fracture closure compared with gas expansion and water depletion, making fracture closure the primary drive mechanism during early-flowback periods. Also, the initial average gas saturation for all wells is less than 20%. The parameters estimated from the proposed model could be used as input guides for more-complex studies (such as discrete-fracture-network modeling and transient-flowback simulation). This reduces the number of unknown parameters and uncertainty in output results from complex models.