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High-impact drilling activity around the world last year added a low number of barrels to future supplies. The results from a group of 74 wells that Westwood Global Energy Group had said could deliver large discoveries found only about a third of the oil and gas discovered by the wells on the data and consulting firm's 2020 list. With the recent jump in oil and gas prices on tight supplies, exploration success has an impact that goes beyond those in the upstream business. The number of high-impact wells drilled is in line with totals in recent years, but the locations chosen show a shift away from high-risk frontier locations to mature areas where the odds of finding a well that can be quickly put into production are higher. "Frontier exploration drilling fell to the lowest level ever recorded by Westwood (since 2008) with only 15 frontier wells completing and only one making a potentially modest-sized commercial discovery," the study said.
Abstract For as long as we have been performing hydraulic fracturing, we have been trying to ensure that we stay out of undesirable horizons, potentially containing water and/or gas. The holy grail of hydraulic fracturing, an absolute control of created fracture height, has eluded the industry for more than 70 years. Of course, there have been many that have claimed solutions, but all the marketed approaches have at best merely created a delay to the inevitable growth and at worst been a snake-oil approach with little actual merit. Fundamentally, the applied techniques have attempted to delay or influence the underlying equations of net-pressure and stress variation; but having to ultimately honour them and by doing so then condemned themselves to limited success or outright failure. Fast forward to 2020, and a reassessment of the relative importance of height-growth constraint and what may have changed to help us achieve this. The development of unconventionals are focused on creating as much surface area as possible in micro/nano-Darcy environments, across almost any phase, but with typically poor line of sight to profit. However, the more valuable business of conventional oil and gas is working in thinner and thinner reservoirs with an often-deteriorating permeability, but with a significantly higher potential economic return. What unconventional has successfully delivered however, is a rapid deployment and acceleration in a range of completion technologies that were unavailable just a few years ago. We will demonstrate that these technologies potentially offer the capability of finally being able to control fracture height-growth. Consideration of a range of previously applied height-growth approaches will demonstrate how they attempted to fool or fudge height growth creation mechanisms. With this clarity, we can consider what advances in completion technology may offer in terms of delivering height growth control. We suggest that with the technology and approaches that are currently available today, that height-growth control is finally within reach. We will go on to describe a multi-well Pilot program, in deployment and execution in 2020/021 in Western Siberia; where billions of barrels remain to be recovered in thin oil-rim, low permeability sandstone reservoirs below gas or above water. A comprehensive assessment of the myriad of height-growth approaches that have been utilized over the last 70 years was performed, but in each case demonstrated the fallibility and limitations of each of these. However, rather than the interpretation that such control is not achievable, instead we will show a mathematically sound approach, along with field data and evidence that this is possible. The presentation will demonstrate that completion advances over the last 10 - 15 years make this approach a reality in the present day; and that broader field implementation is finally within reach.
Norris, Mark (Oilfield Production Enhancement Consultancy Services Ltd.) | Langford, Marc (Spirit Energy UK) | Giraud, Charlotte (Schlumberger Europe) | Stanley, Reginald (Schlumberger Europe) | Ball, Steve (Oilfield Production Enhancement Consultancy Services Ltd.)
Abstract Hydraulic fracturing has been well established in the Southern North Sea (SNS) since the mid-1980s; however, it has typically been conducted as the final phase of development in new gas fields. One of these fields is Chiswick located in the Greater Markham area 90 miles offshore UK in 130 ft of water. Following an unsuccessful well repair of the multi-fractured horizontal well C4, it was decided to cost-effectively and expediently exploit the remaining pressure-depleted reserves near the toe via a single large fracture initiated from a deviated sidetrack wellbore designated C6. A deviated wellbore was chosen versus the original near-horizontal well to reduce well risk and costs and ultimately deliver an economic well. Several key challenges were identified, and mitigating measures were put in place. Modular formation dynamics tester data from the sidetrack open hole indicated the reservoir pressure gradient had depleted to 0.23 to 0.25 psi/ft, raising concerns about the ability of the well to unload the fluid volumes associated with a large fracture treatment. Wellbore deviation and azimuth with the associated potential for near-wellbore tortuosity would drive a typically short perforation interval (i.e., 3 ft). However, a compromise to mitigate convergent pressure loss in depletion was required, and the perforation interval was therefore set at 14 ft with provision made for robust step-down tests (SDT) and multi-mesh sand slugs. To further offset any near-well convergence pressure drop during cleanup, an aggressive tip screenout (TSO) proppant schedule, including a high concentration tail-in (12 PPA) with an aggressive breaker schedule, was executed to fully develop propped hydraulic width. Following formation breakdown and SDT to 40 bbl/min, the well went on near-instantaneous vacuum. Clearly, an extremely conductive feature had been created or contacted. However, upon use of a robust crosslinked gel formulation and 100-mesh sand, the bottomhole and positive surface pressure data allowed a suitable fracture design to be refined and placed with a large width, as evidenced by the extreme 2,309-psi net pressure development over that of the pad stage while placing 500,500 lbm of 16/30 resin-coated (RC) intermediate strength proppant (ISP) to 12 PPA. Although a lengthy nitrogen lift by coiled tubing (CT) was planned, the well cleanup response in fact allowed unaided hydrocarbon gas flow to surface within a short period. The well was then further beaned-up under well test conditions to a flow rate of approximately 26 MMscf/D under critical flowing conditions with a higher bottomhole flowing pressure than that of the original C4 well. Given the last producing rate of the original multiple fractured horizontal wellbore was 27 MMscf/D at a drawdown of 1,050 psi through two separate hydraulic fractures, then the outcome of this well was judged to be highly successful and at the limit of predrill expectations. This case history explains and details the rationale, methods, and techniques employed in well C6 to address the challenge of successful hydraulic fracture stimulation in a depleted formation. Challenges were addressed by combining a number of techniques, coupled with field experience, resulting in a highly productive well despite the relatively low reservoir pressure coupled with a limited time frame to plan and execute. These techniques are transferrable to other offshore gas fields in the region where reservoir depletion makes economic recovery difficult or indeed prohibitive.
Abstract Efficient multistage hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells in tight-gas formations with multilayered and laminated reservoirs is a very challenging subject matter; due to formation structure, required well trajectory, and the ability to establish a conductive and permanent connection between all the layers. BP Oman had initiated the technical journey to deliver an effective horizontal well multistage frac design through learnings obtained during three key pilot horizontal wells. Since these initial wells, additional candidates have been drilled and stimulated, resulting in further advancement of the learning curve. Many aspects will be covered in this paper, that will describe how to facilitate the most effective hydraulic fracture placement and production performance, under these laminated conditions. These approaches will include the completion and perforation selection, fracture initiation zone selection, fracture height consideration, frac fluid type and design. The paper will go on to describe a range of different surveillance options, including clean-up and performance surveillance as well as number of other factors. The experiences that have been gained provide valuable insight and learning about how to approach a multistage fracturing horizontal well program in this kind of depositional environment. Additionally, how these lessons can potentially be subsequently adapted and applied to access resources in the more challenging and higher risk areas of the field. For example, this paper will present direct comparison of over and under-displaced stages; differences in execution and production for cased hole and open hole completions; and many other variables that always under discussion for hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells. This paper describes in detail the results of many multistage fracturing trials by BP Oman in horizontal wells drilled in challenging multilayered and laminated tight-gas reservoirs. These findings may help to cut short learning curve in similar reservoirs in the Middle East Region and elsewhere.
Shaoul, Josef R. (Fenix Consulting Delft) | Park, Jason (Fenix Consulting Delft) | Boucher, Andrew (Fenix Consulting Delft) | Tkachuk, Inna (Fenix Consulting Delft) | Veeken, Cornelis (Petroleum Development Oman) | Salmi, Suleiman (Petroleum Development Oman) | Bahri, Khalfan (Petroleum Development Oman) | Rashdi, Mohammed (Petroleum Development Oman) | Nazaruk, Dariusz (Petroleum Development Oman)
Abstract The Saih Rawl gas condensate field has been producing for 20 years from multiple fractured vertical wells covering a very thick gross interval with varying reservoir permeability. After many years of production, the remaining reserves are mainly in the lowest permeability upper units. A pilot program using horizontal multi-frac wells was started in 2015, and five wells were drilled, stimulated and tested over a four-year period. The number of stages per horizontal well ranged from 6 to 14, but in all cases production was much less than expected based on the number of stages and the production from offset vertical wells producing from the same reservoir units with a single fracture. The scope of this paper is to describe the work that was performed to understand the reason for the lower than expected performance of the horizontal wells, how to improve the performance, and the implementation of those ideas in two additional horizontal wells completed in 2020. The study workflow was to perform an integrated analysis of fracturing, production and well test data, in order to history match all available data with a consistent reservoir description (permeability and fracture properties). Fracturing data included diagnostic injections (breakdown, step-rate test and minifrac) and main fracture treatments, where net pressure matching was performed. After closure analysis (ACA) was not possible in most cases due to low reservoir pressure and absence of downhole gauges. Post-fracture well test and production matching was performed using 3D reservoir simulation models including local grid refinement to capture fracture dimensions and conductivity. Based on simulation results, the effective propped fracture half-length seen in the post-frac production was extremely small, on the order of tens of meters, in some of the wells. In other wells, the effective fracture half-length was consistent with the created propped half-length, but the fracture conductivity was extremely small (finite conductivity fracture). The problems with the propped fractures appear to be related to a combination of poor proppant pack cleanup, low proppant concentration and small proppant diameter, compounded by low reservoir pressure which has a negative impact on proppant regained permeability after fracturing with crosslinked gel. Key conclusions from this study are that 1) using the same fracture design in a horizontal well with transverse fractures will not give the same result as in a vertical well in the same reservoir, 2) the effect of depletion on proppant pack cleanup in high temperature tight gas reservoirs appears to be very strong, requiring an adjustment in fracture design and proppant selection to achieve reasonable fracture conductivity, and 3) achieving sufficient effective propped length and height is key to economic production.
Thomson, Shaun (Total E&P Denmark) | Kiyabayev, Baglan (Total E&P Denmark) | Ritchie, Barry (Total E&P Denmark) | Monberg, Jakob (Total E&P Denmark) | De Heer, Maurits (Total E&P Denmark) | Skov List, Soren (Total E&P Denmark)
Abstract The Valdemar field, located in the Danish sector of the North Sea, targets a Lower Cretaceous, "dirty chalk" reservoir characterized by low permeabilities of <0.5mD, high porosities of >20% and contains up to 25% insoluble fines. To produce economically the reservoir must be stimulated. Typically, this is by means of hydraulic fracturing. A traditional propped fracture consists of 500,000 to 1,000,000 lbs of 20/40 sand, placed using a crosslinked seawater-based borate fluid. The existing wells in the field are completed using the PSI (perforate, isolate, stimulate) system. This system was developed in the late 1980s as a way of improving completion times allowing each interval to be perforated, stimulated and isolated in a single trip and has been used extensively in the Danish North Sea in a variety of fields. The system consists of multiset packers with sliding sleeves and typically takes 2-3 days between the start of one fracture to the next. Future developments in this area now require a new, novel and more efficient approach owing to new target reservoir being of a thinner and poorer quality. In order for these new developments to be economical an approach was required to allow for longer wells to be drilled and completed allowing better reservoir connectivity whilst at the same time reducing the completion time, and therefore rig time and overall cost. A project team was put together to develop a system that could be used in an offshore environment that would satisfy the above criteria, allowing wells to be drilled out to 21,000ft and beyond in excess of coiled tubing reach. The technology developed consists of cemented frac sleeves, operated with jointed pipe, allowing multiple zones to be stimulated in one trip, as well as utilizing a modified BHA that allows for the treatments to take place through the tubing, bringing numerous benefits. The following paper details the reasons for developing the new technology, the development process itself, the challenges that had to be overcome and a case history on the execution of the first job of its kind in the North Sea, in which over 7MM lbs of sand was pumped successfully, as well as the post treatment operations which included a proof of concept in utilizing a tractor to manipulate the sleeves. Finally, the production performance will be discussed supported by the use of tracer subs at each of the zones.
Abstract Coiled tubing units (CTU) have been used to drill-out frac plugs in shorter horizontal shale wells for the last decade, but coil has mechanical limitations. The new innovative technology of Hydraulic Completion Snubbing Units (HCU) is gaining popularity across North and South America to drill-out frac plugs in long lateral, high-pressure, and multi-well pads. The HCU is designed for drill-outs and interventions where coil may not be the best option. This paper will summarize the recent evolution of the HCU system. Case histories will be provided from the Appalachian and Permian shale plays. The latest HCU consists of a stand-alone unit that mounts on the wellhead after completion. The primary components include the jack assembly, a gin pole, traveling/stationary slips, a redundant series of primary/secondary blowout preventers, a rotary table, power tongs, and an equalize/bleed off loop. Tubing up to 5 ½" is used to carry a downhole motor, dual back pressure values, and the drill bit. Slickwater is used for the drilling fluid to carry out parts from the frac plugs while the tubing is rotated via the jack rotary table. Torque and drag modeling are performed to guide downhole expectations that allow most wells to be drilled in one trip and with one bit without short trips back to the heel or bottom- hole vibration assembly tools. Finally, a remote telemetry data acquisition system has been added that summarizes the drilling data and key performance indicators. In 2016, a North American operator drilled and completed the first super lateral in the Appalachian Basin, setting the completed lateral record at over 18,500 ft. Since then, many operators have been routinely drilling laterals between 12,000 ft and 16,000 ft. HCU technology has been used in the longest laterals in onshore North America, including the lower 48 U.S records for completed lateral length (LL) at 20,800 ft and the total measured depth (MD) record at 30,677 ft. The average lateral contains between 60 to 90 plugs and can be drilled out in 3.5 to 4.5 days. The record number of plugs drilled out by an HCU is 144 and took 5.2 days. High-pressure wells are also routinely encountered where pressures range from 3000 to 8000 psi during operations. Operators are achieving faster drilling times per plug, less chemical usage, faster moves between wells, and running tubing immediately after the drill-out, thus eliminating the need for a service rig. Operator's desire to reach total depth with the least risk and as cost-efficiently as possible resulted in the HCU gaining market acceptance. This paper will showcase the novel evolution of the HCU system that has enabled it to be a safe and effective option for interventions outside of just frac plug drill-outs such as fishing for stuck/parted coil or wireline and installing production tubing/artificial lift systems.
Reliable information about the inflow composition and distribution in a multilateral well is of great importance and an existing challenge in the oil and gas industry. In this paper, we present an innovative method for dynamic monitoring of inflow profile based on quantum marker technology in a multi-lateral well located in West Siberia. Marker systems were placed in the well during the well reconstruction by horizontal side tracking with the parent borehole remaining in production. This way of reconstruction allows development of the reservoir drainage area with a lateral hole and bringing the oil reserves from the parent borehole into production, which results in an increased flow rate and improved oil recovery rate. Placement of marker systems into parent borehole and side-track for fluid distribution monitoring allows to evaluate the flow rate from every borehole and estimate the effectiveness of performed well reconstruction. Marker systems are placed into the parent borehole as a downhole sub installed into the well completion string. For the side-track polymer-coated marked proppant was injected during hydraulic fracturing to place markers. The developed method was reliably used for an accurate and fast determination of the inflow distribution in a multi-lateral well which allows more efficient field development and also enabled us to provide effective solutions for following challenges: 1. Providing tools for timely water cut diagnostics in multilateral wells and information for water shut-off method selection; 2. Selecting the optimal well operating mode for effective field development and premature flooding prevention in one or both boreholes; 3. Evaluating whether well construction was performed efficiently, and an increased production rate was achieved; 4. Leading to a considerable economic savings in capital expenditure.
Abstract The stimulation design of hydraulically fractured wells has always pitted the engineer's capability to maximize the fracture extent (or fracture half-length within the formation) versus the conductivity of the fracture pack generated by the deposited proppant material. In essence, the area of productive reservoir rock contacted by the hydraulic fracture treatment needs to be appropriately engineered to remain connected to the wellbore over the life of the well to maximize reservoir recovery. The completion design of multi-stage hydraulically fractured horizontal wells has been driven by their application to unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. This has primarily occurred in North America where most of the wells drilled and completed were operated by small, private, or upstream-only independent public companies. Metrics used to evaluate performance and completion design changes were short-term in nature and typically focused on parameters such as peak-month production, 90- or 180-day cumulative production; or at longest, the first year or two of cumulative production. Capital efficiency, and capital return or well payout were drivers of value creation in an environment where the well inventory was viewed as extensive if not unlimited and the quick recycling of invested capital created the illusion of value creation. Short-term performance metrics give credence to fracture designs that value most the early-time production that is dominated by rate acceleration. The work presented in this paper shows a comparison of fracture designs in deep unconventional formations looking to minimize cost by pumping all sand proppants versus a focus on ultimate recovery from the reservoir with designs that are more applicable to the stress regime. The work shows the importance of maintaining the wellbore connectivity to the reservoir by designing fracture treatments using proppant conductivity decline data measured over an extended-time period of months or years to maximize ultimate recovery from the reservoir. This approach will be critical to those E&P companies who view their well inventory or resource base as finite and consequently place a priority on maximizing recovery from the reservoir.
Klimov, Mikhail (Gazprom Neft Zapolyarye LLC) | Ramazanov, Rinat (Gazprom Neft Zapolyarye LLC) | Husein, Nadir (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Upadhye, Vishwajit (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Drobot, Albina (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Novikov, Igor (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Bydzan, Andrei (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Gazizov, Ruslan (GEOSPLIT LLC) | Buyanov, Anton (GEOSPLIT LLC)
Abstract The proportion of hard-to-recover reserves is currently increasing and reached more than 65% of total conventional hydrocarbon reserves. This results in an increasing number of horizontal wells put into operation. When evaluating the resource recovery efficiency in horizontal wells, and, consequently, the effectiveness of the development of gas condensate field, the key task is to evaluate the well productivity. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to obtain the reservoir fluid production profile for each interval. Conventional well logging methods with proven efficiency in vertical wells, in case of horizontal wells, will require costly asset-heavy applications such as coiled tubing, downhole tractors conveying well logging tools, and Y-tool bypass systems if pump is used. In addition, the logging data interpretation in the case of horizontal wells is less reliable due to the multiphase flow and variations of the fluid flow rate. The fluorescent-based nanomaterial production profiling surveillance technology can be used as a viable solution to this problem, which enables cheaper and more effective means of the development of hard-to-recover reserves. This technology assumes that tracers are placed downhole in various forms, such as marker tapes for lower completions, markers in the polymer coating of the proppant used for multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, and markers placed as fluid in fracturing fluid during hydraulic fracturing or acid stimulation during bottom-hole treatment. The fundamental difference between nanomaterial tracers production profiling and traditional logging methods is that the former offers the possibility to monitor the production at frac ports in the well for a long period of time with far less equipment and manpower, reduced costs, and improved HSE.