The primary purpose of using traditional friction reducers in stimulation treatments is to overcome the tubular drag while pumping at high flow rates. Hydraulic fracturing is the main technology used to produce hydrocarbon from extremely low permeability rock. Even though slickwater (water fracturing with few chemical additives) used to be one of the most common fracturing fluids, several concerns are still associated with its use, including usage of freshwater, high-cost operation, and environmental issues. Therefore, current practice in hydraulic fracturing is to use alternative fluid systems that are cost effective and have less environmental impact, such as fluids which utilize high viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs), which typically are high molecular weight polyacrylamides. This paper carefully reviews and summarizes over 40 published papers, including experimental work, field case studies, and simulation work. This work summarizes the most recent improvements of using HVFR’s, including capability of carrying proppant, reducing water and chemical requirements, its compatibility with produced water, and environmental benefits in hydraulic fracturing treatments. A further goal is to gain insight into the effective design of HVFR based fluid systems.
The findings of this study are analyzed from over 26 field case studies of many unconventional reservoirs. In comparing to the traditional hydraulic fracture fluids system, the paper summaries many potential advantages offered by HVFR fluids, including: superior proppant transport capability, almost 100% retained conductivity, cost reduction, minimizing chemicals usage by 50%, less operating equipment on location, reducing water consumption by 30%, and fewer environmental concerns. The study also reported that the common HVFR concentration used was 4gpt. HVFRs were used in the field at temperature ranges from 120°F to 340°F. Finally, this work addresses up-to-date challenges and emphasizes necessities for using high viscosity friction reducers as alternative fracture fluids.
In recent years, an industry-wide demand for increased drilling efficiency has led to the development of technologies and methods focused on multi-well pad development and the minimization of the transportation of drilling rigs between locations. Studies have indicated the potential for improving drilling cycle efficiency through improvements in rig design and procedural documentation but have given limited consideration to the unitization and mobilization practices surrounding ancillary components such as mud pumps, light plants, bulk fluid storage and other systems that comprise modern land rigs. This study examines current unitization practices, as well as offers alternative methods of integrating ancillary system components to improve current transport configurations. Specifically, ancillary systems whose transport dimensions and weight exceed the federal and state requirements for commercial vehicles operating within the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN).
In this study, the application of transport logistics software is used to demonstrate that there exists the potential for significant reduction in land rig mobilization costs through revised unitization of drilling rig ancillary systems. Permit data from proposed wells located in the Permian, Bakken, and Marcellus are utilized to develop transport scenarios whose focus is to quantify the impact of ancillary system unitization on the total fee structure associated with rig mobilization between geographical regions. Within each scenario, ancillary systems from currently active rigs are compiled and itemized according to their weight, transport dimensions, and degree of component unitization. The resulting schedule is then processed through transport logistics software to identify fee schedules associated with oversize permits, overweight permits, civilian and police escorts, driver rate/fuel costs, and associated service fees for the individual loads. Following the conclusions derived from the analysis of the existing rig systems, the series of transport scenarios are repeated using revised component configurations. The revised system employs a combination of divisible and non-divisible loads whose components are either integrated as part of dedicated transport trailers or located within ISO containers loaded onto commercially available transport trailers. The fee schedules from active rigs, as well as the results from the proposed unitization, are explored in detail to identify critical areas for improvement regarding unitization practices for active rigs and future builds.
This paper presents a data driven approach to answer the question of whether premium, high strength white sand proppant, while more expensive than regional (brown) sand, is justified due to its alleged ability to make better producing wells. For this study, 739 horizontal wells with production, and stimulation data were used in a robust statistical approach to conclude that, for the most common set of well characteristics, white sand will produce a superior NPV weighted economic outcome than lower cost regional (brown) sand alternatives. While there are wells in this analysis that did not produce this robust conclusion of "white sand is better", none of them produced an outcome that "brown sand was better". Rather, several of the wells simply had results that were statistically inconclusive. This paper serves as a good example of what data are needed to perform such an analysis and the challenges of normalizing'first order effects' that dominate the influence on well productivity (TVD, lateral length, and proppant intensity) while attempting to ascertain the influence of'second order' factors such as Sand Type. Becoming familiar and adept at these analysis methods should facilitate the statistical verification of other second order effects on finding the optimal stimulation treatment.
This paper evaluates the impact of decision making and uncertainty associated with production forecast for 2000+ wells completed in Permian basin. Existing studies show that unconventional reservoirs have complex reservoir characteristics making traditional methods for ultimate recovery estimation insufficient. Based on these limitations, uncertainty is increased during the estimation of reservoir properties, reserve quantification and, evaluation of economic viability. Thus, it is necessary to determine and recommend favorable conditions in which these reservoirs are developed.
In this study, cumulative production is predicted using four different decline curve analysis (DCA) − power law exponential, stretched exponential, extended exponential and Duong models. A comparison between the predicted cumulative production from the models using a subset of historical data (0-3months) and actual production data observed over the same time period determines the accuracy of DCA's; repeating the evaluation for subsequent time intervals (0-6 months, 0-9 months,) provides a basis to monitor the performance of each DCA with time. Moreover, the best predictive models as a combination of DCA's predictions is determined via multivariate regression. Afterwards, uncertainty due to prediction errors excluding any bias is estimated and expected disappointment (ED) is calculated using probability density function on the results obtained.
In this paper, uncertainty is estimated from the plot of ED versus time for all wells considered. ED drops for wells having longer production history as more data are used for estimation. Also, the surprise/disappointment an operator experiences when using various DCA methods is estimated for each scenario. However, it appears that whilst Duong (DNG) method always overpredicts, power law exponential (PLE) decline mostly under predicts, the stretched exponential lies between DNG & PLE estimates and the extended exponential DCA demonstrates an erratic behavior crossing over the actual trend multiple times with time. In conclusion, profitability zones for producing oil in the Permian basin are defined implicitly based on drilling and completion practices which paves the path to determine the "sweet spot" via optimization of fracture spacing and horizontal length in the wells.
The outcome of the paper helps improve the industry's take on uncertainty analysis in production forecast, especially the concept of expected disappointment/surprise. This study suggests that effects of
Yang, Junjie (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Karam, Pierre (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Cozyris, Kristian (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Hustak, Crystal (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Doherty, James (Riley Exploration – Permian, LLC) | Allen, Carmen (Riley Exploration – Permian, LLC)
As a well-known tight oil dolomite reservoir in Texas, San Andres formation has attracted broad attention about horizontal drilling and development strategy. To optimize the oil recovery and asset’s economics, the aim of the study was to use an integrated approach to understand reservoir heterogeneity and performance, determine optimal landing zone and its impact on production, understand fracture geometry using different pumping schedules, and the optimal cluster spacing. In addition, the potential benefit of a refrac and infill drilling program was also investigated.
To tackle the optimization problem, an integrated reservoir modeling workflow was developed. Starting with a 1-D geomechanical model which captures the in situ stress profile and rock mechanics, hydraulic fracture modeling was developed to history match the treatment process, and therefore a comprehensive fracture geometry can be estimated. In the interim, a geological model with populated reservoir properties was established based on the offset data including petrophysical logs, imaging logs and cores. After calibration, the dynamic reservoir model was built to test multiple sensitivity runs for an optimized field development strategy.
Geological modeling separated the field into two models to study the variation of properties on the east and west side. The east section shows a higher porosity and lower saturations. Those water saturations increase below the main pay zone indicating a potential water source. In addition, special core analysis shows a strong oil-wet nature of the reservoir rock. In the east section, sensitivity runs included infill development and variations in landing depth. It is noted that the production is not sensitive to landing zone because fracture geometry is primarily controlled by vertical stress profile. In the west section, sensitivity runs included refrac, infill drilling, and a greenfield development plan with variations on well spacing and completion design. The observation shows tighter well spacing or cluster spacing accelerates the oil production in early time, while yielding similar long term oil recovery and shows a combination of refrac and infill drilling yields a 21% incremental oil production beyond the base case.
This study provides valuable information about the workflow to develop tight oil plays by describing a detailed case study. The result also sheds light on the optimized field development strategy for analogous fields.
This study presents a novel, integrated workflow to maximize recovery using PVT compositional modeling, history matching, and numerical reservoir simulation in a tight oil sand formation, the Second Bone Spring. Advancements in unconventional resource development have enabled the Delaware Basin to become highly significant. However, optimizing the development of each formation is still lacking in understanding. This study is one of multiple future studies over tight reservoirs in the Delaware Basin and exhibits a comprehensive approach. Properties that will be optimized are well spacing, reservoir parameters, and EOR feasibility.
To determine the behavior and optimize the development of each of these reservoirs, data from multiple sources was necessary. The data compiled consisted of reports from PVT analysis, completions design, petrophysical analysis, daily production and pressure, deviation surveys, structure and isopach maps, and well design. This data was then implemented into a 3D numerical reservoir simulator (CMG-GEM), first to confirm PVT output in a compositional simulation (CMG-WINPROP), then to simulate up to 20 years of production, and finally to use uncertainty analysis (CMG-CMOST) to optimize reservoir input parameters. Once a base case scenario was established, we then furthered our investigation of well spacing and EOR feasibility by setting up multiple different scenarios for each and running them for 20 years. EOR scenarios included 1-3 month huff-and-puff CO2, as well as low salinity water injection. Results are normalized per foot of completely lateral length and lab data is implemented in EOR simulations.
Our results confirm that reservoir parameters, once established after uncertainty analysis, have a large impact on both optimizing well spacing and EOR feasibility in the Second Bone Spring formation. With each well having very similar cluster spacing, proppant amount and type, and fracturing fluid and type, up to 250 feet of inter-well spacing is unaccounted for. Optimized models show that closer spacing of at least 150 feet can increase EUR estimates an average of 11.25%. An increase of 5-17% recovery is observed once a smaller spacing is implemented. EOR models showed that CO2 and low salinity water injection are viable candidates for the formation (7.25-9% increase for CO2, 6.25% for LSWI).
This integrated study refines our reservoir parameter estimates and helps identify potential to maximize recovery. It suggests that a tighter spacing is necessary to cover a larger portion of the reservoir, as well as showing that EOR is feasible. An improved understanding of the entire reservoir leads to better production and economic estimates.
Long known for its tolerance of solids-laden fluid and wellbore deviation, gas lift is an increasingly popular artificial lift method for horizontal unconventional wells. A variation of gas lift known as Single Point High Pressure Gas Lift (SPHPGL), noted for the absence of gas lift valves, is now practical because of the availability of high discharge pressure compression equipment.
In SPE 187443 (
When the referenced paper was presented at the October 2017 SPE ATCE, high pressure compressors were not available from industry for lease. This situation changed in early 2018, with rental equipment becoming available in the Permian Basin. Subsequently, a Permian Basin operator (SM Energy) agreed to perform a pilot test in Howard County, Texas to test the conclusions listed in the paper, primarily that Annular SPHPGL could compete rate-wise with ESPs. Plans for a pilot test were made. Additionally, the production facility was modified to handle the possibility of higher flowrates than normally observed with ESPs, as well as increased slugging.
Injection down the tubing with returning flow up the tubing-casing annulus began in September 2018. Initial production rates were close to Nodal Systems Analysis predictions, and comparable with ESP flowrates. This proved that this technique could in fact compete rate-wise with ESPs.
For operators using liquids-rich produced gas for gas lift, the importance of maintaining gas temperatures elevated throughout the compression process is documented. Also, the positive results of the production facility modifications to handle higher flowrates and possible slugging are presented.
Failures due to solid particles flowing with the production fluid is one of the main causes of interventions in wells with beam pumping systems. When this problem is accompanied with chemical deposition like scale, leads to a very common intervention during well operation. This paper proposes an analytical methodology that consists of evaluation of the particle size distribution, viability for the use of sand screens and centrifugal separation systems for sand control management in wells with short run time. These systems have proven effective for failure wells that requires a sand control management system when if not addressed increase the lifting costs leading many projects to be infeasible from an economic standpoint. All the technical considerations are explained focusing on the information required and the parameters analyzed to recommend the most accurate design for sand control; selected approaches and models that have been developed to improve the run time due to sand issues are shown in this paper. A case study is showed in a well with average run time of 27 days indicating that identification of particle size distribution was a key factor to provide the right solution for sand control management. These novel applications help operators to reduced OPEX (operating expense), by minimizing well Interventions, decreasing failures in the pump; stabilizing the production and reducing the unforeseen interruption.
Case studies of mill-out operations in the Permian Basin which evaluate chemical programs and processes used. Results show how existing processes and chemicals used or lack thereof, can affect equipment and undo the preventative chemical treatments used during the hydraulic fracturing process.
The study looks at field water testing performed during various mill-out operations and considered workover rig vs coiled tubing, equipment set up, water & chemicals used, and operational challenges. Water analyses were completed on the injection water and returns at various intervals of the mill-out. Effectiveness of chemical treatment was also monitored when biocide was used.
Field case studies of horizontal wells for two operators in the Permian Basin are presented. Wells were milled-out utilizing workover rigs or coiled tubing units. Testing results show the impact of equipment setup and operations process on the water quality and efficiency of the chemicals used. Water fouling was prevalent in all cases, with coiled tubing jobs showing the highest degree of water contamination and chemical inefficiency. Changes in the water treatment program during operations showed significant improvement and sustainable results. Potential corrosion of the work string due to water fouling and water composition were also observed. The effects of changes to chemical dosages were also monitored. This was important because it identified operational improvements that can reduce equipment replacement costs, reduce chemical overuse and help protect wells from fouling due to high bacteria.
These case study provides a comprehensive review of mill-out operations, which provides guidelines for improving chemical efficiency and potential of extending life of the work string.
Unconventional oil reservoirs such as the Eagle Ford have had tremendous success over the last decade, but challenges remain as flow rates drop quickly and recovery factors are low; thus, enhanced oil recovery methods are needed to increase recovery. Interest in cyclic gas injection has risen as a number of successful pilots have been reported; however, little information is available on recovery mechanisms for the process. This paper evaluates oil swelling caused by diffusion and advection processes for gas injection in unconventional reservoirs.
To accurately evaluate gas penetration into the matrix, the surface area of the hydraulic fractures needs to be known, and in this work, three different methods are used to estimate the area: volumetrics, well flow rates and linear fluid flow equations. Fick's law is used to determine the gas penetration depth caused by diffusion, and the linear form of Darcy's law is used to find the amount from advection. Then, with the use of swelling test information from lab tests, we are able to approximate the amount of oil recovery expected from cyclic gas injection operations.
During the gas injection phase, gas from the fractures can enter the matrix by both advection (Darcy driven flow) and diffusion. We estimate that over 200 million scf of gas can enter the matrix during a 100 day injection/soak period. Using typical reservoir and fluid parameters, it appears that 40% is due to diffusion and 60% is due to advection. Sensitivity analysis shows that these numbers vary considerable based on the parameters used. Analytical models also show that during a 100 day production timeframe, over 14,000 stock tank barrels (STB) of oil can be produced due to huff-n-puff gas injection.
Both gas injection and oil recovery amounts are compared to recent Eagle Ford gas injection pilot data, and the model results are consistent with the field pilot data.
By determining the relative importance of the different recovery mechanisms, this paper provides a better understanding of what is happening in unconventional reservoirs during cyclic gas injection. This will allow more efficient injection schemes to be designed in the future.