The orientation of hydraulic fractures controls the productivity from hydrocarbon reservoirs. Productivity from low permeability formations is greatly improved having multiple fractures oriented transversely rather than longitudinally, relative to a horizontal wellbore. Analytical approximations from the literature for the longitudinal and transverse fracturing stresses are modified to incorporate pore pressure effects and then used to develop a criterion for the orientation of fractures initiating from perforated wells. The validity of this criterion is assessed numerically and is found to overestimate transverse fracture initiation, which occurs under a narrow range of conditions; when the formation tensile strength is below a critical value and the breakdown pressure within a "window."
In horizontal wells, it is easier to achieve longitudinal fracture initiation, as transverse fracture initiation only occurs over a narrow wellbore pressure-at-breakdown window, while longitudinal fracture initiation occurs at comparatively higher wellbore pressures. The numerical study shows that in contradiction with existing analytical approximations, the tangential stress which induces transverse fracture initiation, is a stronger function of wellbore pressure just as the stress inducing longitudinal fracture initiation is. This reduces the breakdown pressure window for transverse fracture initiation compared to what the derived analytical approximations predict. Furthermore, this creates an additional constraint for transverse fracture initiation; the critical tensile strength value, which determines the maximum tensile strength for which transverse fracture initiation is possible for a given stress state.
The range of the
Relative permeability and capillary pressure defines relative permeabilities as dimensionless functions of saturation with values generally ranging between 0 and 1. Relative permeability is important for estimating the flow of reservoir fluids. The semilog scale of Figure 1 is convenient for reading the relative permeabilities less than 0.05. Although the curves are labeled "gas" and "oil" in these figures, the phase identity of a curve can be deduced without the labels. For example, the relative permeability that increases in the direction of increasing oil saturation must be the oil relative permeability.
Water is the wetting phase. Figure 1.5 – Primary drainage, imbibition, and secondary drainage for an oil/water system in which the oil and water wet the solid surface equally. Figure 1.6 – Primary drainage and imbibition for unconsolidated dolomite powder (the lines merely connect the data). These authors wrote capillary pressure as the negative of Eq. 4 because oil was the wetting phase for most of the tests. The legend gives contact angles measured through the water phase (in degrees). Leverett and coworkers, based on the evaluation of gas/water capillary pressure data for drainage and imbibition in unconsolidated sands, proposed the following definition: ....................(15.6) The function j(Sw), defined in Eq. 15.6, is known to many as the "Leverett j-function." The j-function is obtained from experimental data by plotting against Sw. The combination is often considered an estimate of the mean hydraulic radius of pore throats.
The East Duvernay shale basin is the newest addition to the list of prolific reservoirs in Western Canada. Over the last 3 years, horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing have increased significantly. Because much of the play is still relatively new, much of the drilling has been limited to single wells or two wells per pad. Due to the low permeability of the matrix, hydraulic fracturing is required to unlock the full potential of the East Duvernay field. Because geomechanics is a critical factor in determining the effectiveness of hydraulic fracture propagation, we examined how varying the pore pressure profiles affects modeled in situ stresses, hydraulic fracture geometries, and overall field optimization.
The pore pressure varies across the East Duvernay shale basin with the depth of the reservoir and other geomechanical parameters. The stresses in the Ireton, Upper Duvernay, Lower Duvernay, and Cooking Lake reservoirs also varies from the West to the East shale basins. High-tier logging, core measurements, and field data were used to build a mechanical earth model, which is then input for hydraulic fracture simulations. Whole core images and image logs indicate the Duvernay to be a naturally fractured reservoir. Because pore pressure is a direct input into the interpretation for in situ stresses, we sensitized on seven pore pressure profiles through the Ireton, Upper and Lower Duvernay, and Cooking Lake reservoirs. Typical pumping design currently being implemented in the Upper Duvernay was used to determine hydraulic fracture geometry based on the various in situ stress profiles. Black oil PVT models were built to run numerical reservoir simulation production forecasts to understand the effect of variations in geomechanical properties on well production performance. The effect of the varying hydraulic fracture properties on well spacing was also investigated for the seven pore pressure profiles, by combining the complex hydraulic fracturing and reservoir simulation.
The results clearly indicated the need to better understand, quantify, and constrain the in situ stress profiles variations with changes in pore pressure models. Hydraulic fracture length is greater within the Upper Duvernay when a constant pore pressure is modeled in the Ireton, Duvernay and the Cooking Lake, which leads to an overestimation of production. If a normal pore pressure is modeled in the Ireton with overpressure in the Duvernay, the hydraulic fracture grows into the Ireton and gives a more realistic production forecast. When the modeled pore pressure is gradually ramped up from the Lower Ireton into the Duvernay, slightly greater fracture length is created in the Duvernay but not enough to make a huge difference in forecasted production. These varying results for the modeled hydraulic fracture geometries impact the optimum number of wells per section.
As more wells come on production and the economic viability of the play is proven, operators will drill more wells per section. Thoroughly understanding the variations in geomechanics across the formations above and below the Duvernay is important. This objective of this study was to drive the conversation about the data that need to be collected and tests that should be run to support the optimization of economic development of the play for years to come.
Analytically-derived criteria are presented for the orientation of fracture initiation from horizontal wellbores drilled in porous-permeable (poroelastic) media. This involves drilling-induced tensile fractures (DITFs) from non-perforated wellbores and completion-induced hydraulic fractures (CIHFs) from perforated wellbores with cylindrical perforation geometry. The criteria are developed considering the tangential stresses on two points (extremes) around the base of the perforation; one for the initiation of longitudinal fractures and another for the initiation of transverse fractures, with respect to the wellbore. In-situ stress state, wellbore pressure, and the formation's mechanical and poroelastic properties are independent variables that are shown to control the orientation of the initiated hydraulic fractures; the dependent variable.
The DITF orientation can be used to constrain the magnitude of the maximum horizontal stress; the most difficult aspect of the in-situ stress tensor to constrain. Transverse CIHF initiation only occurs over a narrow wellbore pressure-at-breakdown window, while longitudinal initiation occurs at comparatively higher wellbore pressures. However, transverse CIHF initiation occurs more frequently than transverse DITFs, because the presence of perforations aids transverse fracture initiation. The region of the in-situ stress states where transverse initiation is promoted is shown in dimensionless plots for perforated and non-perforated wellbores. Fracture initiation criteria for specific cases presented can be used to predict the orientation of fracture initiation in oilfield operations.
The orientation of CIHFs controls the productivity of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Productivity from low permeability formations is greatly improved having multiple fractures oriented transversely rather than longitudinally, relative to a horizontal wellbore. Fracture initiation often follows a plane different to the final fracture propagation plane. Stress re-orientation in the near-wellbore region may promote fracture initiation of different orientation than the orientation dictated by the far-field stresses. The range of in-situ stress states in which transverse fracture initiation is promoted increases as Biot's poroelastic coefficient,
ABSTRACT: Fracture initiation often follows a plane different to the final fracture propagation plane. Stress reorientation in the near-wellbore region may promote fracture initiation of different orientation than the one dictated by the far-field stresses. A three-dimensional numerical analysis using a geomechanical model is performed to assess an analytical orientation criterion for fracture initiation in perforated wellbores. This is accomplished by considering the tangential stresses on two points (extremes) around the base of the perforation; one for the initiation of transverse fractures and another for the initiation of longitudinal fractures. In-situ stress state, wellbore pressure, perforation geometry and the formation’s mechanical properties are independent variables that are shown to control the orientation of the initiated hydraulic fractures; the dependent variable.
We find that it is likely for typical hydraulic fracture treatments to achieve longitudinal fracture initiation in horizontal wells as transverse initiation will only occur over a narrow window of conditions including low wellbore pressure at breakdown and formation tensile strength. In contradiction with existing analytical models, the numerical study shows that the tangential stress which induces transverse fracture initiation is a function of wellbore pressure just as the stress inducing longitudinal fracture initiation. This makes the breakdown pressure window for transverse fracture initiation smaller compared to the prediction of the analytical model.
Hydraulic fracturing is a reservoir stimulation method used since the 1940s. This is accomplished by high pressure fluid injection which either creates cracks that propagate through the rock matrix or can reopen natural pre-existing fractures. Commonly, 20 to 40 fracture stages are placed in a horizontal well with four or more fractures pumped per stage simultaneously. The industrial impact of this technology has been massive and is responsible for the advances in the development of tight unconventional petroleum resources such as shale gas and oil (Michael, 2014 and Michael, 2016a).
The hydraulic fracture orientation controls the well productivity from hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we investigate critical parameters controlling the orientation of hydraulic fracture initiation in perforated horizontal wellbores. Productivity from low permeability (“tight”) formations is greatly improved having multiple fractures oriented transversely rather than longitudinally relative to a horizontal wellbore. This is useful for completion design engineers; when targeting low permeability formations, horizontal wells should be made to induce multiple transverse fractures, as opposed to longitudinal fractures which are more effective in higher permeability formations.
Interpretation of logs from an exploration pilot well and a lateral drilled from the pilot in the Late Cretaceous Natih formation in the Sultanate of Oman was used for designing a multistage hydraulic fracturing treatment. A high-tier logging suite including borehole image, advanced dipole sonic, geochemical, and triple combo data was acquired in both wellbores. The objective of the pilot hole was to select the best landing point in terms of reservoir quality (RQ) and completion quality (CQ) so that a horizontal well could be drilled and multistage stimulations performed in the organic-rich Natih B source rock.
In contrast to much of North America, significant tectonic forces are frequently present in this region. The geomechanical setting might thus strongly affect hydraulic fracture initiation, propagation and proppant placement. It therefore plays an important role in lateral landing point selection. Borehole images, integrated with petrophysical and geomechanical log properties, were used to identify the optimum landing zone. Breakouts as well as longitudinal and transverse drilling-induced fractures were identified on the pilot borehole images over the Natih Formation, indicating a large horizontal stress anisotropy and a compressional tectonic setting. An interval from which vertical hydraulic fractures would initiate at low initiation pressure and grow vertically to contact intervals with good RQ was selected as the target lateral landing point. Image and dipole sonic data were acquired in the horizontal well, and both longitudinal and transverse induced fractures were identified. Those data were used to selectively place hydraulic fracturing stages. Diagnostic injection tests on each stimulation treatment confirmed low fracture initiation pressures and the creation of vertical hydraulic fractures, thus validating the selection of both the landing point and the location of the hydraulic fracture initiation points. All treatments were successfully placed to completion.
This paper demonstrates that a workflow based on the combination of image and dipole sonic logs in both a pilot well and a lateral drilled from the pilot enables the creation of vertical hydraulic fractures at moderately low initiation pressures and successful placement of stimulation treatments in the lateral. This technique shows promise for effective hydraulic fracturing in regions where significant tectonic forces are present.
Rana, Rohit (Independent Geomechanics and Pore Pressure Consultant) | Hansen, Kirk S. (Shell India Markets Private Limited) | Kandpal, Jyoti (Shell India Markets Private Limited) | Kumar, Rajan (Shell India Markets Private Limited) | Schutjens, Peter (Shell India Markets Private Limited) | Muro, Leytzher (Shell India Markets Private Limited) | Rees, Daniel (Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd) | Latief, Agus I. (Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd)
Knowledge of the in-situ stress state and how it varies with reservoir depletion is important for the design and execution of in-fill drilling. This paper highlights the key geomechanical aspects and their usage in planning of wells through severely depleted (up to 25 MPa) and overpressured zones within a very short depth interval (few 10s of m), in an onshore gas field in Brunei. With focus shifting from oil to deep-gas development, drilling complications include risks of wellbore instability, excessive mud loss and internal blowouts, as well as differential sticking in the depleted reservoirs. Moreover, fracturing of the depleted sands while drilling infill wells carries the risk of jeopardizing production at nearby producing wells because of locally altered flow paths. The risks were evaluated by application of empirical and analytical geomechanical models of stress changes with depletion, and by elasto-plastic finite element models of borehole instability (collapse) due to shear failure.
Our results show that for an average depletion rate of 1 MPa/year, the drilling window (difference between maximum allowable mud weight controlled by fracture pressure and minimum mud weight controlled by formation pore pressure or borehole collapse pressure, whichever is greater) is likely to remain open for the coming 12 years. Minifrac or extended leak-off tests at different stages of field development should be taken to monitor stress changes within the reservoirs and provide updates for calibration of the geomechanical model.
Next to showing the geomechanical model results and their application to drilling, we demonstrate the refinement of pore pressure/fracture pressure predictions (i.e. narrowing down the uncertainty in the drilling window) for mature fields where producing "from the bottom up" has not been feasible. We also indicate how risks associated with drilling through depleted/undepleted reservoir sequences in a single hole section can be managed to as low as reasonably practicable with the help of geomechanical input. These results "open the door" for accessing deeper potential pay zones by drilling through severely depleted formations.
Haghighi, M (The University of Adelaide) | O'Reilly, DI (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, The University of Adelaide) | Hunt, AJ (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd) | Sze, ES (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd) | Hopcroft, BS (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd) | Goff, BH (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd)
This paper demonstrates how good technical evaluations and focused operational application can enhance the value of a mature asset. The Windalia reservoir underlies Barrow Island (BWI), situated 56 km from the coast of Western Australia, and has produced oil since 1965. Waterflooding commenced shortly after initial production, in 1967, and remains the main drive mechanism in the field today. Throughout the life of this onshore field, water injection and oil production have varied according to asset strategy and economic conditions. In this case study, we share how recent improvements made in the areas of Reservoir Surveillance and Operations activities have increased water injection efficiency and total oil recovery.
Through the use of new methods and workflows, the BWI Sub-Surface team was able to target specific areas of the field to distribute water to in order to increase injection and maximise oil production. For example, new workflows were built with the real-time PI monitoring system to analyse Pressure Fall Off (PFO) tests from each of the 147 waterflood patterns in detail. Capacitance-Resistance-Modeling was also leveraged to guide individual well target injection-rates. Operationally, several projects were also initiated to increase water injection into the right areas of the field.
The new Reservoir Management approach has significantly increased the volume of water being injected into the areas of need, supporting improved levels of oil production. For the first time in almost 10 years, the stream-day water injection rate has exceeded 90,000 bwipd. The results from PFO transient interpretation and pattern balancing proved effective in directing water to low-pressure, high-GOR areas of the field. They also provided valuable information about formation perm-thickness and skin. The phenomenon of water-cycling was also largely avoided, owing to close monitoring of production well tests and water injector transient surveys.
The present work addresses reservoir and operational aspects of Australia's largest active waterflood. The lessons shared are highly applicable to a low oil price environment, as they show how fit-for-purpose and low-cost acquisition of reservoir data can lead to improved field performance.
A collaborative study has recently completed a storage capacity prospectivity assessment and pre-competitive data acquisition program in the southern margin of the offshore Gippsland Basin, Australia. Potential CO2 storage sites that could become available in the next ~25 years will be restricted to sites in the nearshore and southern parts of the offshore Gippsland Basin. This is in order to minimize possible resource interactions with ongoing petroleum production and low salinity groundwater in the northern and central parts of the basin. The injection target, the Latrobe Group has been identified as a suitable candidate for large-scale CO2 geological storage.
As part of the storage capacity assessment, a detailed geological model of the Latrobe Group sequence was constructed in an area of the southern margin of the basin. The model evaluates two main east-west-trending fault systems separating the model into three structural segments: a deep depocentre, flanked by the Southern Terrace, and thin Southern Platform. The sedimentary sequences comprise coastal plain to shallow marine sandstone deposits interbedded with laterally continuous coals and mudstones, which act as seals and baffles of varying quality. Uncertainty in the reservoir architecture and the impact on connectivity of the permeability field was assessed by way of multiple model realizations. The model was then used as the basis for a series of capacity and injectivity estimations employing theoretical, analytical, and numerical flow simulation modelling techniques.
At the highest end, for an area excluding the platform and assuming low sweep efficiency, estimates of the theoretical CO2 storage capacity ranged between 865 million tons (Mt) and 2,800 Mt. For the analytical model estimates were up to 900 Mt and numerical methods estimates were in the order of 200 Mt to 550 Mt assuming 3 injection wells in a 40 × 40 km area over 30 years. All of the results are highly sensitive to the estimation method used and input provided such as, net area defined, injection interval selected, uncertainties on fault seal, and boundary conditions. However, the insights gained from the numerical modelling studies in the region have indicated that carbon storage injection has the greatest potential south-west of the Bream field. After 1,000 years post injection, accumulations of mobile gas can be observed at different locations within the model, suggesting several vertical and lateral pathways. Key outcomes of the simulations support the concept of the southern margin of the Gippsland Basin being prospective for further CO2 storage exploration, namely that it is feasible to achieve injection and containment of commercial scale volumes of CO2 in parts of this region without adversely impacting existing resources.