Complex Toe-to-Heel Flooding (CTTHF) is a short distance flooding technique developed by the authors for sandstone formations. CTTHF applied on horizontal wells and requires at least one barrier and injector hydraulic fracture, also it requires at least one method to control early water production. This paper discusses the design aspects of the CTTHF including the design of barrier fracture, injector fracture, and the produced water control methods. Technical and economical evaluation to rank different design setups is performed and presented.
Advanced commercial reservoir simulator with hydraulic fracturing module was used to simulate different CTTHF setups and reservoir conditions to set the reservoir selection criteria and proper design methodology. In this study, Toe-to-Heel Waterflooding was considered the base case. Sensitivity studies for barrier fracture and injector design has been achieved and presented. Moreover, a sensitivity studies for hydraulic fractures spacing, number of barrier fractures, batch injection scheduling and changing packer location have been performed.
When CTTHF is applied in high permeable sandstone formation, early water production is expected, except produced water control method is used. This study states the feasibility conditions for each proposed produced water control technique. Also, a methodology for candidate reservoir selection, design of barrier and injector fractures is developed and presented. There are multiple fluid systems can be used to create the barrier to seal a pre-determined zone. CTTHF is better reservoir management approach.
The novelty of the CTTHF is giving multiple options for produced water control that maximizes the produced oil and minimizes the water production. CTTHF's produced water control can make some reservoirs economic to produce.
Albert, Larry (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Booher, Jason (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Wilson, Anthony (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Hamilton, Fraser (Impact Selector International) | Hradecky, Jason (Impact Selector International) | Dunning, Dustin (Wireco WorldGroup) | Pratosov, Vadim (Wireco WorldGroup)
An E&P operator was developing a reservoir and planned a horizontal well in an area where zones above the target cause drilling problems when trying to build angle and land the horizontal lateral. The operator suffered drilling difficulties on offset wells; therefore, it was decided to change the drilling plan for this prospect. The new plan required drilling through the target reservoir, into the formations below and then drill back up dip to the target. After reaching the base at a measured depth of 14,000 ft. the well plan required drilling up at maximum of 114° until reentering the target reservoir. Because of faulting in the area and required well direction, the target reservoir was dipping up at ∼10° laterally in the direction of the horizontal drilling target. To maintain position in the reservoir, the well had to drilled at ∼100° deviation to a measured depth of 21,100 ft.
This wellbore trajectory made normal wireline plug and perforating completion operations extremely difficult. The wellbore trajectory meant high frictions on the wireline when coming off bottom. Also, due to the toe-up trajectory there was risk the wireline tools would slide down the inclined casing during and after plug setting and perforating. If the tool position could not be maintained there was risk the wireline cable could be entangled and a stuck tool could result. If the tools overrun the wireline cable the result could be wireline cable next to the perforating guns when detonated and wireline cable severed. The E&P operator needed to know if this challenge could be met.
Alternatives to pump down plug and perforating could be very expensive (estimated $millions): Abandon acreage, Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target, Reposition surface location and drill down dip, Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target,
Reposition surface location and drill down dip,
Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or
Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
To meet the challenge several new methods and technologies developed for extended laterals were utilized. These products and methods included: advanced risk deployment modeling, jacketed wireline cable, addressable separation tool and downhole tension tool.
Alkinani, Husam H. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Hameedi, Abo Taleb T. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Dunn-Norman, Shari (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Alwani, Mustafa A. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Lian, David (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Bazzaz, Waleed H. (Kuwait Institute For Scientific Research)
It is not easy to obtain an optimal hole cleaning for the drilling operation because of the complicated relationship between the drilling parameters influencing hole cleaning. The two viscosity components (e.g. plastic viscosity (PV) and yield point (YP)) and the flow rate (Q) are essential parameters for effective hole cleaning. Thus, understanding the relationship between those parameters will contribute to efficient hole cleaning. The aim of this paper is to explore those relationships to provide optimal hole cleaning.
Descriptive data analytics was conducted for data of more than 2000 wells drilled in Southern Iraq. The data were first cleansed and outliers were removed using visual inspection and box plots. The Pearson correlation (PC), a widely used method to measure the linear relationship between two parameters, was utilized to access the relationships between PV and Q, YP and Q, and YP/PV and Q. Moreover, a 10% sensitivity analysis was escorted to quantify and comprehend those relationships.
The PCs were calculated to be 0.5, 0.076, and 0.22 for the relationships between YP, PV, and YP/PV with Q, respectively. YP had the highest direct relationship with Q, while PV had the lowest. When the YP increases, a sufficient Q has to be provided to initiate the flow and maintain the mud cycle. In addition, to prevent large solid particles from settling due to the slip velocity, sufficient annular and particle velocities have to be achieved. After initiating the flow, an increase in flow rate to overcome resistance due to PV will not be significant. Therefore, YP has more effect on Q than PV. To maximize hole cleaning, thickening ratio (YP/PV) should be increased. This requires an increase in flow rate, which can be quantified by using the sensitivity analysis provided to achieve the required Q for any increase in YP/PV.
The artificial lift system (AL) is the most efficient production technique in optimizing production from unconventional horizontal oil and gas wells. Nonetheless, due to declining reservoir pressure during the production life of a well, artificial lifting of oil and gas remains a critical issue. Notwithstanding the attempt by several studies in the past few decades to understand and develop cutting-edge technologies to optimize the application of artificial lift in tight formations, there remains differing assessments of the best approach, AL type, optimum time and conditions to install artificial lift during the life of a well. This report presents a comprehensive review of artificial lift systems application with specific focus on tight oil and gas formations across the world. The review focuses on thirty-three (33) successful and unsuccessful fieldtests in unconventional horizontal wells over the past few decades. The purpose is to apprise the industry and academic researchers on the various AL optimization approaches that have been used and suggest AL optimization areas where new technologies can be developed.
Gas-assisted plunger lift (GAPL) could be an effective and economically favorable artificial lift (AL) method to be considered during the AL life cycle for North American shale wells. The main advantage of GAPL is that it improves the well production by reducing liquid fallback and boosts the plunger efficiency through gas injection and increases the gas lift efficiency by assisting in delivering the slugs to the surface. The objective of this study is to capture the GAPL dynamic behavior through a transient multiphase flow simulator. The entire GAPL production cycle was modeled, including plunger fall, gas injection, pressure buildup, and production. First, the GAPL well production history was analyzed to evaluate the well operating condition. Then, a transient simulator was used to model the well flow behavior and production performance with GAPL. The study demonstrated the GAPL impact on flowing bottomhole pressure and the improvement in the well productivity.
A Delaware Basin well case study demonstrates the benefits of dynamic modeling and provides a comprehensive comparison between dynamic simulation results and field data. The simulation work provides insights into the fluid flow, GAPL behavior, and pressure and rate transients of a GAPL well.
The modeling results were validated against field data. A commercially available transient multiphase flow simulator was used and produced outcomes that were in alignment with field data collected. The dynamic plunger cycles were reproduced in the simulation, and the results showed the benefits of GAPL in a typical shale oil well. This could extend the gas lift life by delaying the transition to rod pumps or potentially act as an end-of-life AL solution. In the long term, this reduces the overall AL life cycle cost. The use of transient simulation helps validate AL design concepts, especially for unconventional wells where the flow behavior is very dynamic. This study encourages the use of this analysis in the AL selection workflow to help optimize the overall AL life cycle cost and maximize the net present value (NPV).
Al-Hameedi, Abo Taleb T. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Alkinani, Husam H. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Dunn-Norman, Shari (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Al-Alwani, Mustafa A. (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Lian, David (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
Flow rate (Q) affects many drilling operations and parameters such as equivalent circulation density (ECD), hoisting and lowering the drillstring, and breaking gel strength during circulation. The aim of this work is to understand the relationship between ECD and Q based on flow regimes (e.g. laminar, transitional, and turbulent) to avoid or at least minimize the unwanted consequence during drilling practice.
Field data from over 2000 wells drilled in Iraq were collected and analyzed to identify the physical relationship between flow regimes and ECD to enhance the drilling rates. After visualizing the whole dataset, a decision was made to break down the data into three parts based on flow regimes (e.g. laminar, transitional, and turbulent). Descriptive data mining techniques were utilized to establish the relationship between flow regimes and ECD. By achieving better control of ECD in the well, not only faster and cheaper operations are possible, but also safety will be improved.
Previous studies and literature showed that flow regimes can tremendously affect ECD. Many studies have been conducted to understand the relationship between Q and ECD. Nevertheless, the consideration of flow regimes was not implemented in these studies. Inconsistency in the literature results was identified, some concluded the relationship between Q and ECD to be direct, and others showed it to be inverse. Thus, this paper will eliminate this discrepancy in the literature, and it will show that the flow regimes have a pivotal role in the relationship between Q and ECD.
The results of this paper showed that if the flow regime is laminar, the relationship between ECD and Q is inverse. However, in transitional and turbulent flow regimes, the relationship between ECD and Q is direct. That is because, in the laminar flow regime, the cutting will fall out of suspension due to low Q, which will cause a cutting bed to be built and decreases ECD. As Q increases (entering the transitional and turbulent flows) the cutting bed will be eroded, and most of the cuttings will be suspended in the fluid which will increase ECD.
This study examines and expands the understanding between how the characteristics of flow regimes affect ECD. Additionally, this paper will eliminate the discrepancy in the literature about this relationship between ECD and Q.
Pre-set or off-depth composite plugs can cause significant non-productive time for a well operator. In the past, fracturing operations using a composite frac or bridge plug that has been pre-set or set off depth required a coiled tubing unit or workover rig to drill the plug out. Then, the well operator could resume the fracturing job or access the wellbore below the plug. However, as this paper demonstrates, composite plug milling via wireline using a tractor and a tractor-based milling tool is a faster, safer, and more cost-effective solution.
In a shale well located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, a composite frac plug was set off- depth. Prior to mobilizing the tractor-based solution to location, the operator attempted pumping approximately 60,000 pounds of sand to sand-cut the off-depth frac plug out of the well. The sand cutting, though, did not work because perforations above the frac plug took the sand. Other tubing-based solutions required more mobilization time and complex logistics for rigging down and/or moving equipment on location. Therefore, the operator chose a wireline-based method for ease of operation, reduced HSE risk, and cost savings.
The tractor took 50 minutes to drive down 1718 ft in the lateral to the plug. The milling tool milled the top slips on the frac plug in approximately nine hours, and the tractor then pushed the plug 222 ft downhole on top of the previous frac plug. The total time rigged up on the well was 14 hours, and the total time on location was 18 hours. Although this wireline-based plug-milling method takes several hours to mill a plug, the rig-up and execution is simpler than conventional methods, and associated HSE risks on the wellsite are greatly reduced.
The ability to effectively release plugs via wireline provides well operators with another option to complete their objectives, especially when tubing-based methods often take many days or weeks to mobilize at substantial cost to operators.
The current scheme for developing shale reservoirs necessitates special considerations while estimating the reserve. While reservoir characteristics lead to an extended infinite acting flow regime, completion schemes could result in a series of linear flows. Therefore, the initial linear flow does not have to be followed by a boundary-dominated flow. Overlooking this observation leads to unphysical Arps’ exponents and overestimations of the Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR). We are proposing a workflow to overcome these challenges and honor the inherited uncertainty while using the classic
The most common stimulation technique of shale gas production is multistage hydraulic fracturing. However, the implementation of the technique brings in new formation damage considerations. Large quantities of water-based fracture fluids, over 75% of the injected volume, usually left unrecovered at the start of production that leads to permeability reduction and low productivity. Accidently, some operators found an improvement in gas recovery after shut in the wells after flowback due to pipeline restriction. They called this behavior as the soaking effect.
This study presents a workflow to evaluate the effect of the soaking process on the well performance after the hydraulic fracturing process in actual field cases. Waterflow back analysis was conducted for 21 well to estimate the effective fracture volume before and after the soaking process. Rate transient analysis (RTA) was conducted on the production data to estimate the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) in each well. SRV and the enhanced recovery were correlated to the soaking time. Decline curve analysis for water and gas flow rates were conducted to estimate the estimated ultimate gas and water recovery (EURg, and EURw) before and after the soaking process.
An increase in the gas flow rate was observed with soaking time with low water production. SRV increased with the soaking process up to 53% of its initial value with shut-in the well for 180 days. EURw decreased by 52 % of its value before the soaking process, while EURg increased by 48%. Shut-in the well before gas-kick off after hydraulic fracturing operations negatively impact the well performance and the gas production can decrease by 22% even after soaking process for 315 days.
This study will present a methodology to evaluate the soaking process, and recommendations to improve the impact of the soaking process on well performance.
With maturing oil fields there is an increasing focus on improving the oil recovery factor and pushing the envelope toward a 70% target. This target is indeed very challenging and depends on a number of factors including enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods, reservoir heterogeneities, displacement efficiency, and reservoir sweep. Other factors also play a role including vertical sweep due to flow behind the casing, well integrity issues, presence of conductive faults, or fractures. Proper surveillance performed to evaluate the injectant plume front, reservoir conformance, well connectivity, assessment of the integrity of wells, and other factors can be crucial for the success of the project and its future development.
The paper discusses special downhole logging techniques including a set of conventional multiphase sensors alongside high precision temperature (HPT) and high-definition spectral noise logging (SNL-HD). It was run to provide complete assessment of the injection – production distribution and any associated well integrity issues that might impair the lateral sweep of injectants into the target layer. This will be done for an injector and producer pair near the wellbore area. The operation was carried out with a tool string that contained no mechanical parts and was not affected by downhole fluid properties. It was conducted under flowing and shut-in conditions to identify flow zones and check fracture signatures. It also provided multiphase fluid velocity profiles.
The results of the survey allowed for in-depth assessment of borehole and behind casing flow, confirming lateral continuity, and provided an assessment of production-injection outside the pay zone. Results will allow for better well planning and anticipation of possible loss of well integrity that might impair production in the future. Combining the behind casing flow assessment with borehole multiphase flow distribution can be used for production optimization by sealing unwanted water contributing zones.