|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
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.
Abstract Growth in the coal seam gas industry in Queensland, Australia, has been rapid over the past fifteen years, with greater than USD 70 billion invested in three liquified natural gas export projects supplied by produced coal seam gas. Annual production is of the order of 40 Bscm or 1,500 PJ, with approximately 80% of this coming from the Jurassic Walloon Coal Measures of the Surat Basin and 20% from Permian coal measures of the Bowen Basin. The Walloon Coal Measures are characterized by multiple thin coal seams making up approximately 10% of the total thickness of the unit. A typical well intersects 10 to 20 m of net coal over a 200 to 300 m interval, interbedded with lithic-rich sandstones, siltstones, and carbonaceous mudstones. The presence of such a significant section of lithic interburden within the primary production section has led to a somewhat unusual completion strategy. To maximize connection to the gas-bearing coals, uncemented slotted liners are used; however, this leaves fluid-sensitive interburden exposed to drilling, completion, and produced formation fluids over the life of a well. External swellable packers and blank joints are therefore used to isolate larger intervals of interburden and hence minimize fines production. Despite these efforts, significant fines production still occurs, which leads to failure of artificial lift systems and the need for expensive workovers or lost wells. Fines production has major economic implications, with anecdotal reports suggesting up to 40% of progressive cavity pump artificial lift systems in Walloon Coal Measures producers may be down at any one time. The first step in solving this problem is to identify the extent and distribution of fines production. The wellbore completion strategy above, however, precludes use of mechanical calipers to identify fines production-related wellbore enlargement. A new caliper-behind-liner technique has therefore been developed using a multiple-detector density tool. Data from the shorter spacing detectors is used to characterize the properties of the liner as well as the density of the annular material. This is particularly important to evaluate as the annulus fill varies between gas, formation water, drilling and completion fluids, and accumulated fines. The longer spacing detector measurements are then used in conjunction with pre-existing open-hole formation density measurement to determine the thickness of the annulus, and hence hole size, compensating for liner and annulus properties. This methodology has been applied to several wells completed in the Walloon Coal Measures. Results have demonstrated the ability to identify zones of borehole enlargement behind slotted liner, as well as intervals of either gas or fines accumulation in the annulus. In addition, the technique has been successful in verifying the placement of swellable packers and their integrity. The application of this solution has been used to drive improvements in the design of in-wellbore completion programs and in the future will help drive recompletion decisions and trigger proactive workovers.
Abstract While proactive geosteering, special inversion algorithms are used to process the readings of logging-while-drilling resistivity tools in real-time and provide oil field operators with formation models to make informed steering decisions. Currently, there is no industry standard for inversion deliverables and corresponding quality indicators because major tool vendors develop their own device-specific algorithms and use them internally. This paper presents the first implementation of vendor-neutral inversion approach applicable for any induction resistivity tool and enabling operators to standardize the efficiency of various geosteering services. The necessity of such universal inversion approach was inspired by the activity of LWD Deep Azimuthal Resistivity Services Standardization Workgroup initiated by SPWLA Resistivity Special Interest Group in 2016. Proposed inversion algorithm utilizes a 1D layer-cake formation model and is performed interval-by-interval. The following model parameters can be determined: horizontal and vertical resistivities of each layer, positions of layer boundaries, and formation dip. The inversion can support arbitrary deep azimuthal induction resistivity tool with coaxial, tilted, or orthogonal transmitting and receiving antennas. The inversion is purely data-driven; it works in automatic mode and provides fully unbiased results obtained from tool readings only. The algorithm is based on statistical reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo method that does not require any predefined assumptions about the formation structure and enables searching of models explaining the data even if the number of layers in the model is unknown. To globalize search, the algorithm runs several Markov chains capable of exchanging their states between one another to move from the vicinity of local minimum to more perspective domain of model parameter space. While execution, the inversion keeps all models it is dealing with to estimate the resolution accuracy of formation parameters and generate several quality indicators. Eventually, these indicators are delivered together with recovered resistivity models to help operators with the evaluation of inversion results reliability. To ensure high performance of the inversion, a fast and accurate semi-analytical forward solver is employed to compute required responses of a tool with specific geometry and their derivatives with respect to any parameter of multi-layered model. Moreover, the reliance on the simultaneous evolution of multiple Markov chains makes the algorithm suitable for parallel execution that significantly decreases the computational time. Application of the proposed inversion is shown on a series of synthetic examples and field case studies such as navigating the well along the reservoir roof or near the oil-water-contact in oil sands. Inversion results for all scenarios confirm that the proposed algorithm can successfully evaluate formation model complexity, recover model parameters, and quantify their uncertainty within a reasonable computational time. Presented vendor-neutral stochastic approach to data processing leads to the standardization of the inversion output including the resistivity model and its quality indicators that helps operators to better understand capabilities of tools from different vendors and eventually make more confident geosteering decisions.
Abstract The Walloons coal measures located in Surat Basin (eastern Australia) is a well-known coal seam gas play that has been under production for several years. The well completion in this play is primarily driven by coal permeability which varies from 1 Darcy or more in regions with significant natural fractures to less than 1md in areas with underdeveloped cleat networks. For an economic development of the latter, fracturing treatment designs that effectively stimulate numerous and often thin coals seams, and enhance inter-seam connectivity, are a clear choice. Fracture stimulation of Surat basin coals however has its own challenges given their unique geologic and geomechanical features that include (a) low net to gross ratio of ~0.1 in nearly 300 m (984.3 ft) of gross interval, (b) on average 60 seams per well ranging from 0.4 m to 3 m in thickness, (c) non-gas bearing and reactive interburden, and (d) stress regimes that vary as a function of depth. To address these challenges, low rate, low viscosity, and high proppant concentration coiled tubing (CT) conveyed pinpoint stimulation methods were introduced basin-wide after successful technology pilots in 2015 (Pandey and Flottmann 2015). This novel stimulation technique led to noticeable improvements in the well performance, but also highlighted the areas that could be improved – especially stage spacing and standoff, perforation strategy, and number of stages, all aimed at maximizing coal coverage during well stimulation. This paper summarizes the findings from a 6-well multi-stage stimulation pilot aimed at studying fracture geometries to improve standoff efficiency and maximizing coal connectivity amongst various coal seams of Walloons coal package. In the design matrix that targeted shallow (300 to 600 m) gas-bearing coal seams, the stimulation treatments varied in volume, injection rate, proppant concentration, fluid type, perforation spacing, and standoff between adjacent stages. Treatment designs were simulated using a field-data calibrated, log-based stress model. After necessary adjustments in the field, the treatments were pumped down the CT at injection rates ranging from 12 to 16 bbl/min (0.032 to 0.042 m/s). Post-stimulation modeling and history-matching using numerical simulators showed the dependence of fracture growth not only on pumping parameters, but also on depth. Shallower stages showed a strong propensity of limited growth which was corroborated by additional field measurements and previous work in the field (Kirk-Burnnand et al. 2015). These and other such observations led to revision of early guidelines on standoff and was considered a major step that now enabled a cost-effective inclusion of additional coal seams in the stimulation program. The learnings from the pilot study were implemented on development wells and can potentially also serve as a template for similar pinpoint completions worldwide.
Abstract Fracture growth in layered formations with depth-dependent properties has been a topic of interest amongst researchers because of its critical influence on well performance. This paper revisits some of the existing height-growth models and discusses the evaluation process of a new and modified model developed after incorporating additional constraints.The net-pressure is the primary driver behind fracture propagation and the pressure distribution in the fracture plays an important role in vertical propagation, as it supplies the necessary energy for fracture advancement in the presence of opposing forces. The workflow adopted for this study included developing a preliminary model that solves a system of non-linear equations iteratively to arrive at fracture height versus net pressure mapping. The theoretical results were then compared to those available in the literature. The solution set was then extended to a 100-layer model after incorporating additional constraints using superposition techniques.The predicted outcomes were finally compared to the fracture height observations made in the field on several treatments. A reasonable agreement between model-predicted and observed height was observed when a comparison between the two was made, for most cases.The majority of these treatments were pumped in vertical wells, at low injection rates of up to 8.0 bbl/min (0.021 m/s) where net pressures were intentionally restricted to 250 psi (1.72 MPa) in order to prevent fracture rotation to the horizontal plane.The leak-off was minimal given the low permeability formations. In some cases, however, the pumping parameters and fluid imparted pressure distribution appeared to dominate. Overall, it was apparent that for a slowly advancing fracture front, which is the case in low injection rate treatments, the fracture height could be predicted with reasonable accuracy. This condition could also be met in high rate treatments pumped down multiple perforation clusters such as in horizontal wells, though fracture-height measurement may not be as straightforward as in vertical wells. The model developed under the current study is suitable for vertical wells where fracture treatments are pumped at low injection rates. The solid-mechanics solution that is presented here is independent of pumping parameters and can be readily implemented to assist in selection of critical design parameters prior to the job, with a wide range of applicability worldwide.
Soroush, Mohammad (RGL Reservoir Management, University of Alberta) | Mohammadtabar, Mohammad (RGL Reservoir Management, University of Alberta) | Roostaei, Morteza (RGL Reservoir Management) | Hosseini, Seyed Abolhassan (RGL Reservoir Management, University of Alberta) | Mahmoudi, Mahdi (RGL Reservoir Management) | Keough, Daniel (Precise Downhole Services Ltd) | Cheng, Li (University of Alberta) | Moez, Kambiz (University of Alberta) | Fattahpour, Vahidoddin (RGL Reservoir Management)
Abstract Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) system using optical fiber has been deployed for downhole monitoring over two-decades. Several technological advancements led to a wide acceptance of this technology as a reliable surveillance technique. This paper presents a comprehensive technical review of all the applications of the DTS, with focus on oil and gas industrial deployments. The paper starts with the advantages of the DTS over other methods and an overview of the DTS basics, including theory, the DTS components, deployment types, fiber types, design and limitations. Then, it is followed by the oil and gas applications of the DTS including hydraulic fracturing (during and after fracturing), well treatment/stimulation (acid injection, fluid distribution, diversion monitoring), inorganic (scaling) and organic (wax/asphaltene/hydrate) deposition detection, leak detection (in well and pipeline), flow monitoring (rate monitoring, water/steam injection and SAGD monitoring, CO2 storage monitoring, zonal contribution determination, gas lift optimization) and reservoir/fluid characterization (facies, porosity, permeability and fluid composition determination). This study reviews the historical development, applications and limitations of the DTS systems. The paper mainly focusses on deployment techniques, the application of the DTS for the prediction and surveillance of the non-thermal and thermal producer/injector wells, hydraulically fractured wells and those wells with treatments. The paper provides a concise review using several field cases from over two hundred published papers of Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) and journal databases. The application of the DTS in downhole monitoring can be divided into the qualitative and quantitative applications. In quantitative approaches, numerical models should be combined with the DTS data. This study discusses case by case worldwide field applications of DTS along with proposed modeling methods and interpretations. It also summarizes main challenges, including the fiber reliability, longevity, and operational limitations such as the installation and the complexity of quantitative approaches. This study is the foundation for an ongoing study on wellbore and reservoir surveillance through real-time distributed fiber optic sensing recordings along the wellbore. It summarizes the historical development and limitations to identify the existing gaps and reviews the lessons learned through the two decades of the application of the DTS in production performance.
Ming, Li (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina) | Zhaohui, Xia (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina) | Lingli, Liu (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina) | Zehong, Cui (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina) | LiJiang, Duan (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina) | Jianjun, Wang (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Petrochina)
Abstract The Coalbed Methane in Australia Surat Basin is main gas source for LNG project in east coast of Australia. Traditionally, Coalbed Methane are drilled by vertical wells. But there are big intensively farmed land coverage in the Surat Basin, the multiple wells on single, larger pad from the surface, the bores slant away at around 70 degrees to intersect multiple, thin coal seams are applied to avoid the extra "footprint" and decrease the environment affect. Many pad wells production failure because of poor interburden isolation. Excessive solids production in pad wells resulted in new failures of holes in tubing due to accelerated erosion, which bring big challenges for the Coalbed methane production in deviated pad wells. The gas production in pad wells are analysised and the new pad wells optimization are proposed. First, the complete wire log (at least include GR and density log curves) need to acquire for correct thin coal seams correlation and locate the interburden sandstone position for future good sandstone isolation. Second the customized completion strategy and placement (swell packer) are applied in the pad wells and specialized tubing with enhanced erosion resistance to extend the run life. Thirdly ESP pumps and optimized tubing are installed in new deviated wells for good gas production. After the pad wells were put into production, the gas production was kept well for long time without pump problems. Swell able packer completion significantly eliminates sand problem by isolating in excess of or close to 80% of interburden sand. The above well completion and artificial lift optimization methods bring good production performance for the new pad wells and contribute much production for the producing gas field. The swellable packer completion also can be used in vertical wells and will be standard well completion methods for future gas development wells.
Abstract The world of energy is transitioning from one based on fossil-fuels to one based on renewable energies and hydrogen as an energy carrier. At present, only 11% of the world's final energy consumption and less than 1% of industrial hydrogen come from renewable energies. Our analysis shows that this energy transition will take several decades because of two factors. First, renewable energies give more CO2 savings in replacing fossil fuels in the power sector than producing hydrogen for heat generation in the industry sector. Therefore, significant quantities of green hydrogen will not be available until renewable energies have replaced fossil fuels in power generation. This will take at least two decades for advanced economies and twice as long for developing economies. Second, even if blue hydrogen produced by fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is available in large quantities, it is still more expensive than blue fossil fuels which is also decarbonized by CCS. Consequently, fossil fuels and CCS will continue to play a key role in this energy transition. To accelerate this energy transition, governments should introduce a significant carbon tax or carbon credit to incentivize companies to implement large-scale CCS projects. Nations whose governments adopt such policies will go through this energy transition faster and benefit from the associated job creation and economic opportunities.
Case studies can be instructive in the evaluation of other coalbed methane (CBM) development opportunities. The San Juan basin, located in New Mexico and Colorado in the southwestern U.S. (Figure 1), is the most prolific CBM basin in the world. It produces more than 2.5 Bscf/D from coals of the Cretaceous Fruitland formation, which is estimated to contain 43 to 49 Tscf of CBM in place. For a long time, the Fruitland formation coals were recognized only as a source of gas for adjacent sandstones. In the 1970s, after years of encountering gas kicks in these coals, operators recognized that the coal seams themselves were capable of commercial gas rates. CBM development benefited greatly from drilling and log data compiled from previous wells targeting the deeper sandstones and an extensive pipeline infrastructure that was built to transport conventional gas. These components, along with a U.S. federal tax credit and the development of new technologies such as openhole-cavity completions, fueled a drilling boom that resulted in more than 3,000 producing CBM wells by the end of 1992. The thickest Fruitland coals occur in a northwest/southeast trending belt located in the northeastern third of the basin. Total coal thickness in this belt locally exceeds 100 ft and individual coal seams can be more than 30 ft thick. The coals originated in peat swamps located landward (southwest) of northwest/southeast trending shoreline sandstones of the underlying Pictured Cliffs formation. The location of the thickest coals (Figure 1) coincides with the occurrence of overpressuring, high gas content, high coal rank, and high permeabilities in the San Juan fairway ("fairway"). The overpressuring is artesian in origin and is caused by water recharge of the coals through outcrops along the northern margin of the basin. This generates high vertical pressure gradients, ranging from 0.44 to 0.63 psi/ft, which allow a large amount of gas to be sorbed to the coal. Coal gas in the San Juan basin can contain up to 9.4% CO2 and 13.5% C2 . Chemical analyses suggest that thermogenic gases have been augmented by migrated thermogenic and secondary biogenic gas sources, resulting in gas contents ranging up to 700 ft 3 /ton. Coal rank in the fairway ranges from medium- to low-volatile bituminous and roughly coincides with those portions of the basin that were most deeply buried. Coals in the fairway typically have low ash and high vitrinite contents, resulting in large gas storage capacities and excellent permeabilities of 10 md from well-developed cleat systems. Southwest of the fairway, Fruitland coals are typically 20 to 40 ft thick and are considerably underpressured with vertical pressure gradients in some areas of less than 0.20 psi/ft.
Summary In coal-seam-gas (CSG) fields, where single wells tap multiple seams, it is likely that some of the individual seams hardly contribute to gas recovery. This study aims to examine the contribution of individual seams to the total gas and water production considering that each seam can have different properties and dimensions. A sensitivity analysis using reservoir simulation investigates the effects of individual seam properties on production profiles. A radial model simulates the production of a single CSG well consisting of a stack of two seams with a range of properties for permeability, thickness, seam extent, initial reservoir pressure, coal compressibility and porosity. The stress dependency of permeability obeys the Palmer and Mansoori (1998) model. A time coefficient (α) relates seam radius, viscosity, porosity, fracture compressibility, and permeability. It is used to aid interpretation of the sensitivity study. Finally, two hypothetical simulation scenarios with five seams of different thicknesses and depths obtained from producing wells are explored. The range in properties represents conditions found in the Walloon Coal Measures (WCM) of the Surat Basin, relevant to the Australian CSG industry. Each seam in the stack achieves its peak production rate at different times, and this can be estimated using α. Seams with lower α reach the peak gas rate earlier than those with higher α-coefficient. The distinct behavior of gas-production profiles depends on the combination of individual seam properties and multiseam interaction. At a αratio > 1 (i.e., αtop/αbottom > 1), the bottom seam peaks first but achieves lower gas recovery than the top seam. An increasing αratio is associated with the inhibition of less-permeable seams and reduced overall well productivity. For αratio < 1, the top seam experiences fast depletion and total gas-production rates decrease drastically. This outcome is confirmed by a more realistic scenario with a higher number of coal layers. Poor combination of seams leads to severe production inhibition of some coal reservoirs and possible wellbore crossflow. The contrast of the seam-lateral extent in the stack and fracture compressibility play an important role in well productivity in the commingled operation of a stack of coal seams. Unfortunately, the lateral extent of individual coal seams is difficult to estimate and poorly known and, therefore, represents a major uncertainty in gas-production prognosis. The αratio analysis is a useful tool to gain understanding of modeled well productivity from commingled CSG reservoirs.