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Using natural-gas (NG) -foam fracturing fluids reduces the enormous water requirements for stimulation by as much as 60 to 80% and poses benefits for productivity in water-sensitive formations. The study outlined in the complete paper aims to characterize hydraulic-fracture geometry and quantify the expected production when using an NG-foam fracturing fluid. Using validated models, the authors provide a comparative analysis to determine the advantages of using NG foams relative to conventionally used slickwater, linear gel, and crosslinked fluid. Although foamed fluids were first used in the 1960s, the use of nitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) foams has not been widely practiced because of cost, complexity, and unproven production benefits. The use of NG-foam fracturing fluid is not widespread either, but this study attempts to identify specific regions and reservoirs where the use of these fluids may lead to economic and long-term production benefits.
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.
To say that the shale sector is on the cusp of a new era, one where fast-flowing streams of real-time well data and on-the-fly fracture designs are the norm, is not something one does lightly. It represents a step change that engineers have been told is just around the corner for several years. They've been promised software that will churn out truly optimized recipes of proppant concentration, rate, total volume, etc. to match each fracture stage's piece of the rock. In a neat world, this nets better production from good stages while injecting less capital into bad stages--the ultimate win-win for a sector that spends 60–70% of well costs on the completion. We can pluck example after example from industry literature to prove the incremental existence of such tailor-made well pads.
A fracture treatment, common where high fracture flow conductivity is needed. Very high pressures and very high proppant loadings are applied near the end of a fracture treatment where the tip of the fracture has stopped growing due to bridging of proppant at the fracture dip because of dehydration (frac fluid leakoff).
Abstract In this case study, we apply a novel fracture imaging and interpretation workflow to take a systematic look at hydraulic fractures captured during thorugh fracture coring at the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) in Midland Basin. Digital fracture maps rendered using high resolution 3D laser scans are analyzed for fracture morphology and roughness. Analysis of hydraulic fracture faces show that the roughness varies systematically in clusters with average cluster separation of approximately 20' along the core. While isolated smooth hydraulic fractures are observed in the dataset, very rough fractures are found to be accompanied by proximal smoother fractures. Roughness distribution also helps understand the effect of stresses on fracture distribution. Locally, fracture roughness seems to vary with fracture orientations indicating possible inter-fracture stress effects. At the scale of stage lengths however, we see evidence of inter-stage stress effects. We also observe fracture morphology being strongly driven by rock properties and changes in lithology. Identified proppant distribution along the cored interval is also correlated with roughness variations and we observe strong positive correlation between proppant concentrations and fracture roughness at the local scale. Finally, based on the observed distribution of hydraulic fracture properties, we propose a conceptual spatio-temporal model of fracture propagation which can help explain the hydraulic fracture roughness distribution and ties in other observations as well.
ABSTRACT The industry is facing significant challenges due to the recent downturn in oil prices, particularly for the development of tight reservoirs. It is more critical than ever to 1) identify the sweet spots with less uncertainty and 2) optimize the completion-design parameters. The overall objective of this study is to quantify and compare the effects of reservoir quality and completion intensity on well productivity. We developed a supervised fuzzy clustering (SFC) algorithm to rank reservoir quality and completion intensity, and analyze their relative impacts on wells' productivity. We collected reservoir properties and completion-design parameters of 1,784 horizontal oil and gas wells completed in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Then, we used SFC to classify 1) reservoir quality represented by porosity, hydrocarbon saturation, net pay thickness and initial reservoir pressure; and 2) completion-design intensity represented by proppant concentration, number of stages and injected water volume per stage. Finally, we investigated the relative impacts of reservoir quality and completion intensity on wells' productivity in terms of first year cumulative barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). The results show that in low-quality reservoirs, wells' productivity follows reservoir quality. However, in high-quality reservoirs, the role of completion-design becomes significant, and the productivity can be deterred by inefficient completion design. The results suggest that in low-quality reservoirs, the productivity can be enhanced with less intense completion design, while in high-quality reservoirs, a more intense completion significantly enhances the productivity. Keywords Reservoir quality; completion intensity; supervised fuzzy clustering, approximate reasoning,tight reservoirs development
Abstract In previous frac designs, proppant tracer logs revealed poor proppant distribution between clusters. In this study, various technologies were utilized to improve cluster efficiency, primarily focusing on selecting perforations in like-rock, adjusting perforation designs and the use of diverters. Effectiveness of the changes were analyzed using proppant tracer. This study consisted of a group of four wells completed sequentially. Sections of each well were divided into completion design groups characterized by different perforating methodologies. Perforation placement was primarily driven by RockMSE (Mechanical Specific Energy), a calculation derived from drilling data that relates to a rock's compressive strength. Additionally, the RockMSE values were compared alongside three different datasets: gamma ray collected while drilling, a calculation of stresses from accelerometer data placed at the bit, and Pulsed Neutron Cross Dipole Sonic log data. The results of this study showed strong indications that fluid flow is greatly affected by rock strength as mapped with the RockMSE, with fluid preferentially entering areas with low RockMSE. It was found that placing clusters in similar rock types yielded an improved fluid distribution. Additional improved fluid distribution was observed by adjusting hole diameter, number of perforations and pump rate.
Abstract Uniformity of proppant distribution among multiple perforation clusters affects treatment efficiency in multistage fractured wells stimulated using the plug-and-perf technique. Multiple physical phenomena taking place in the well and perforation tunnels can cause uneven proppant distribution among multiple clusters. The problem has been studied in the recent years with experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods, which provide useful insights but are impractical for routine designs. Simplified models that incorporated the proppant transport efficiency (PTE) correlation derived from the CFD results in a hydraulic fracture model have been also presented in literature. In this paper, we present a numerical model that simulates the transient proppant slurry flow in the wellbore, considering proppant transport and settling including bed formation, rate- and concentration-dependent pressure drop, PTE, and dynamic pressure coupling with the hydraulic fractures. The model is efficient and is designed to be an independent wellbore transport model so it can be integrated with any fracture models, including fully 3D and/or complex fracture network models, for practical design optimization. The model predictions are compared and found to agree with previously published studies. Parametric studies demonstrate sensitivity of proppant distribution to grain size, fluid viscosity, and pumping rate for fixed perforation designs. Analysis of the simulation results shows that the dominant cause of uneven proppant distribution is proppant inertia. Possible slurry stratification is less important, except for the cases with relatively low flow rates and near toe clusters. Accordingly, proppant distribution is less sensitive to perforation phasing than to the number of perforations in clusters. Alterations of the number of perforations per cluster within a stage enable achieving more even proppant distribution.