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This paper presents a multidomain integrated workflow that combines geophysics, borehole geology, fracture modeling, and petroleum systems analysis for characterization and resource assessment of basement plays. A 3D fracture model is developed by integrating image log interpretation and seismic data to assess the reservoir potential of fractured basement. The 3D fracture modeling is done using the discrete fracture network (DFN) approach with image log interpretation and other fracture drivers serving as the main input. The DFN is upscaled to generate fracture porosity and fracture permeability properties in a 3D grid. The upscaled fracture porosity is used to estimate the petroleum initially in place (PIIP) for the prospects. Multiple 2D petroleum system modeling is performed where large fault throws are identified from seismic interpretation. The petroleum system study helps in identification of areas with most prolific hydrocarbon generation and expulsion centers, which, coupled with the cross-fault juxtapositions, are the main locales of charging for basement reservoir. Further analysis of all the elements of basement play (i.e., source, reservoir, seal, trap, and migration) is done, and prospective areas within the basement play are delineated with high geological chance of success.
The significant temperature difference between the fractured and non-fractured regions during the stimulation fluid flow-back period can be very useful for fracture diagnosis. The recent developments in downhole temperature monitoring systems open new possibilities to detect these temperature variations to perform production logging analyses. In this work, we derive a novel analytical solution to model the temperature signal associated with the shut-in during flow-back and production periods. The temperature behavior can infer the efficiency of each fracture. To obtain the analytical solution from an existing wellbore fluid energy balance equation, we use the Method of Characteristics with the input of a relevant thermal boundary condition. The temperature modeling results acquired from this analytical solution are validated against those from a finite element model for multiple cases.
Compared to the warm-back effect in the non-fractured region after shut-in, a less significant heating effect is observed in the fractured region because of the warmer fluid away from the perforation moving into the fracture (after-flow). Detailed parametric analyses are conducted on after-flow velocity and its variation, flowing, geothermal, and inflow temperature of each fracture, surrounding temperature field, and casing radius to investigate their impacts on the wellbore fluid temperature modeling results.
The inversion procedures characterize each fracture considering the exponential distribution of temperature based on the analytical solutions in fractured and non-fractured regions. Inflow fluid temperature, surrounding temperature field, and after-flow velocity of each fracture can be estimated from the measured temperature data, which present decent accuracies analyzing synthetic temperature signal. The outputs of this work can contribute to production logging, warm-back, and wellbore storage analyses to achieve successful fracture diagnostic.
Well interference in unconventional CBM reservoirs is often desired. It reduces reservoir pressure; significantly increasing gas production through desorption. However, identifying interference between wells and extracting quantitative reservoir information using production data analysis is a challenge. The primary objectives of this study are to identify production characteristics of interfering CBM wells, evaluate reservoir parameters, demonstrate the application of interference data using field examples to predict well performance and develop guidelines to optimize geospatial well-pattern.
A field wide interference study has been undertaken to track changes in gas rate, water rate, wellhead pressure and fluid level in each well. An ‘event-based’ filter is applied to the dataset to correlate production behaviour of a well with any unplanned ‘event’ in its offset well. Planned well tests are then conducted to ascertain these evidences of interference. Using production data analysis of interfering wells, a set of semi-analytical correlations have been developed based on the transient drainage radius model to determine production-governing permeability of coal formation, and also quantify the flow contribution of natural fractures and reservoir matrix.
Preliminary analysis of the study demonstrates several forms of interference. Well specific field examples have been presented for each case. Interference between producing wells having long production history show a trend reversal in gas flow rate due to additional dewatering support by its offset well. Similar behaviour is observed in the production characteristics of an old producer when a new well is drilled in a nearby location. However, effects of interference are more dominant when a well stimulation activity (fracturing or re-fracturing) is carried out in an offset well. During stimulation activity, offset wells show an abnormal decline in gas rate and wellhead pressure due to fracking fluid (water) load up in the reservoir. Conversely, a significant positive impact is seen in gas rate of both wells after the well is put back on production due to improved water production rate in the stimulated well. Permeability calculations show that natural and artificial fractures dominate production behaviour of CBM wells. The study also presents results of various simulated geo-spatial well patterns. Furthermore, it is shown that planned interference at an early time with an economically designed well spacing can maximize the production NPV of an asset for an operator.
The optimal well spacing to maintain and/or increase gas production with the right amount of resources is critical for maximised returns. This result of this study can be used as foundation to help operators optimize multi-well pad and future infill well development program based on the assessment of short-term and long-term recovery targets.
The use of high viscosity friction reducers (HVFR) as alternatives to guar-based fluids to improve proppant transport and lessen formation damage has increased rapidly. While several product options are available, the criteria for selection of a product has focused on viscosity at 300 RPM (511s-1) that meets or exceeds that of linear gel fluids. However, there has been limited data available on what the target viscosity should be, how it influences the fluid's ability to transport sand, and the potential for damage to proppant conductivity. This study presents methodology used to screen HVFR's and results on product performance, which identified a need for alternative specifications to viscosity to achieve maximum performance.
The proppant transport capacity in dynamic conditions was evaluated for twenty-eight commercially available friction reducers and HVFR's in field waters which could have up to 40,000 TDS. A slot flow apparatus was used to mimic fluid flow through a fracture under different shear and flow rate conditions. Viscosity and elasticity measurements were also obtained using an advanced rotational rheometer. For comparison, linear gel and crosslinked guar fluid were also evaluated.
While viscosity at 300 RPM (511s-1) and more recently high viscosity at lower shear rates, have been used for selection of HVFR's, these parameters alone do not indicate proppant carrying capacity. The authors did not find a correlation between higher viscosity and better proppant transport, rather they propose that too high a viscosity can negatively impact transport. The results provided insight into the effect of flow rate on proppant transport, with some HVFR's that exhibited higher viscosities at low shear, losing their transport capacity at the same low shear. Elasticity testing of those same products suggested that HVFR's have a critical elasticity range at which they will provide optimal performance. Polymer residuals were also evaluated on proppant post-test and compared to traditional linear gels and crosslinked fluids. Results suggested potential for damage if HVFR's are used without breakers. Different viscosity targets should be set when selecting a HVFR and coupled with other testing criteria such as elasticity and dynamic proppant transport.
This paper provides insight into the need for development of standardized test criteria for HVFR selection. Further testing and screening of HVFR's will help increase the understanding of key factors influencing sand transport and their effect on proppant pack conductivity.
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.
Fiallos Torres, Mauricio Xavier (The University of Texas at Austin) | Yu, Wei (The University of Texas at Austin) | Ganjdanesh, Reza (The University of Texas at Austin) | Kerr, Erich (EP Energy) | Sepehrnoori, Kamy (The University of Texas at Austin) | Miao, Jijun (SimTech LLC) | Ambrose, Raymond (EP Energy)
Optimizing spacing of infill wells and fractures can lead to large rewards for shale field operators, and these considerations have influences on primary and tertiary development of the field. Although several studies have been employed to show the existence of well interference, few models have also implemented Huff-n-Puff and injection containment methods to optimize further hydraulic fracture designs and pressure containment to improve the efficiency of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). This study has performed a rigorous workflow for estimating the impacts of spatial variations in fracture conductivity and complexity on fracture geometries of interwell interference. Furthermore, we applied a non-intrusive embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) method in conjunction with a commercial compositional reservoir simulator to investigate the impact of well interference through connecting fractures by multi-well history matching to propose profitable opportunities for Huff-n-Puff application. First, based on a robust understanding of fracture properties, updated production data and multi-pad wellbore image logging data from Eagle Ford, the model was constructed to perform nine wells sector model history matching. Later, inter-well connecting fractures were employed for enhanced history matching where results varied significantly from unmeasured fracture sensitivities. The result is the implementation of Huff-n-Puff models that capture inter-well interference seen in the field and their affordable impact sensitivities focused on variable injection rates/locations and multi-point water injection to mimic pressure barriers. The simulation results strengthened the understanding of modeling complex fracture geometries with robust history matching and support the need to incorporate containment strategies. Moreover, the simulation outcomes show that well interference is present and reduces effectiveness of the fracture hits when connecting natural fractures. As a result of the inter-well long fractures, the bottom hole pressure behavior of the parent wells tends to equalize, and the pressure does not recover fast enough. Furthermore, the EDFM application is strongly supported by complex fracture propagation interpretation and ductility to be represented in the reservoir. Through this study, multiple containment scenarios were proposed to contain the pressure in the area of interest.
The model has become a valuable template to inform the impacts on well location and spacing, completion design, initial huff-n-puff decisions, subsequent containment strategies (e.g. to improve cycle timing and efficiency), and to expand to other areas of the field. The simulation results and understandings afforded have been applied to the field satisfactorily to support pressure containment benefits that lead to increased pressure build, reduced gas communication, reduced offset shut-in volumes, and ultimately, improvements in net utilization and capital efficiency.
Unconventional oil and gas reservoirs are being explored significantly around the globe nowadays. The economical production of hydrocarbons from these unconventional oil and gas reservoirs like CBM requires very advanced and cost effective technologies. Hydraulic fracturing is such a technology which is being used in the oil and gas industry for many decades to create highly conductive channels in the formations having very low permeability values. Multistage hydraulic fracturing has been proved to be a great achievement in oil and gas industry to enhance the production from unconventional reservoirs. An effective hydraulic fracturing planning & execution is a key to achieve the expected results in terms of production from unconventional reservoirs such as tight gas, shale gas, coal bed methane or other very low permeability reservoirs.
Unconventional reservoirs such as Shale & CBM require large scale hydraulic fracturing operations, where multiple frac fleets, wire-line units, coiled tubing units; work-over rigs & ancillary services are mobilized. A scheduling software based project management approach was followed at CBM Raniganj for planning & modeling of operations. This paper aims to study how the operational resource deployed in Raniganj field for hydraulic fracturing was optimized in terms of time, cost & load for fracturing operations.
The approach of modeling & planning the hydraulic fracturing operations is based on project management & scheduling software. Assumptions were finalized based on experience. The loopholes, possible schedule slippages and other deterrents which could cause a lag in the hydro fracturing campaign aimed to pump over 1,600 frac jobs in CBM Raniganj field, over a period of 30 rig months, were identified clearly. The scope, time, budget & quality standards were clearly defined and a schedule was prepared with the help of the scheduling software to run the fleets in a clockwork manner. Activities like perforation, Acidizing, data fracturing, main fracturing, flowback, sand plug and finally sand cleanout were defined as series & simultaneous operation.
The expansion of unconventional resources development has placed emphasis on better understanding of hydraulic fracturing stimulation effectiveness and the area of pay affected by the fracture treatment to optimize well spacing and improve completion and stimulation effectiveness. Existing fracture diagnostic methods such as microseismic monitoring and tiltmeters do not provide information about fracture connectivity to the wellbore. In this paper, we present a chemical tracer flowback based fracture diagnostic and analysis methods to estimate the fractional contribution of each created fracture stage, which is open and connected to the wellbore to help improve field development strategies and provide valuable information on optimal well paths for future drilling and development. The findings out from the stage production contribution profiles using the chemical tracer technology allows engineers to improve stimulation efficiency in multistage hydraulic fracturing horizontal wells applications for completion optimization and production enhancement. Two case histories are presented in which the chemical tracer technology was applied to two horizontal wells. The results of the chemical tracer analysis were correlated to production data, reservoir parameter and other diagnostic tests. The resultant findings from the analysis help evaluate completion and stimulation effectiveness and determine the extent of inter-well connectivity of the fracture network and then used to optimize future completions in the region.
Barmer Hill Turbidites (BHT) are low permeability reservoirs in the Vijaya & Vandana field with an approximate in place reserve of a billion barrels. The field was discovered in 2004 with the discovery wells V-1 and V-2 respectively. Post drilling and completion these wells were tested without any stimulation technique, resulting in ~ 25 – 50 BOPD flow owing to tight nature of these formations. Subsequently the zones were hydraulically fractured and tested resulting in ~ 10 – 12 folds increase in the production rate of the oil. Also, the testing of multiple stacked reservoirs in these two wells further confirmed BHT-10 to be the most prolific zone in terms of commercial flow rates achievable. Apart from being tight formations, the low net to gross on reservoirs (<20%) further added to the challenges of devising a strategy to make these reservoirs flow at sustained commercial oil rates. Hence, when the field was taken for the next stage of a hydrocarbon field lifecycle i.e. the appraisal campaign, two very clear objectives were identified for achieving a successful appraisal campaign viz. hydraulically frac and test two of the existing wells in the field while aiming to connect the maximum available KH and ensure effective data acquisition through injection tests and temperature logs with an aim to calibrate the existing stress logs and eventually build a robust frac model.
The dynamic geo-mechanical parameters i.e. Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s Ration were calculated from the open hole sonic logs and were converted to static data using the lab measured value from the core tests. Stress logs generated from these static data points were used for the initial frac designing in the wells. During the execution phase of the frac campaign, at every opportunity available, injection tests were carried out and fall off data were acquired to estimate the closure pressures actually observed in these zones. Post acquiring the measured stress data, the earlier calculated stress logs were calibrated using these measured closure points (frac gradients) by incorporating the stress components due to strain factors (ɛmin & ɛmax) in both max and min direction of the principle stresses.
Post every data injection, temperature logs were also acquired. This gave a better control on frac height (hydraulic height) based on the cool downs observed on the temperature logs. This proved to be a very important data set in comparing the height predicted by the calibrated stress logs versus the height estimated from the temperature log cool downs. This step helped in gaining confidence on the model predictability. This also helped in real time frac design optimization and placement of perforation intervals for the main frac designs. Further, the entire model calibration exercise also helped in arriving at a porosity based leak off equation.
The paper endeavors to discuss in detail the entire workflow used during this appraisal campaign to arrive at a calibrated and a robust frac model whilst showcasing the journey taken from 50 BOPD to 500 BOPD in these tight oil sands to achieve ~ 10 fold production increase. Authors, further, emphasize on the importance of carrying out such data acquisitions during the appraisal phase of a field to gain better control on the models. This paper will also elaborate on the strategy deployed for these data acquisition to optimize the fracs in real time and to integrate different data sets for calibrating the geo-mechanical and frac simulation models.