Far-Field Proppant Imaging Offsetting Depletion: A STACK Case History

Haustveit, Kyle (Devon Energy) | Almasoodi, Mouin (Devon Energy) | Al-Tailji, Wadhah (CARBO Ceramics Inc.) | Mukherjee, Souvik (CARBO Ceramics Inc.) | Palisch, Terry (CARBO Ceramics Inc.) | Barber, Rusty (Formerly Devon Energy)



What is the number one problem with hydraulic fracturing and the frustrations that haunt every completions engineer? Our inability to see what is going on downhole during and after a hydraulic fracture stimulation job. This deficiency leads to numerous questions when attempting to optimize well performance and drainage, such as fracture extension, height growth, proppant/fluid volume usage, parent well depletion effects, cluster efficiency, etc. Over the years, several technologies have been used in an attempt to answer these questions including fiber optic, micro-seismic, chemical and proppant tracers, pressure matching and modeling. However, to date, none have been able to answer the most basic (and some would argue most important) question of all: where is the proppant located in the far-field?

A novel method that is gaining traction to answer this question is the use of electromagnetic (EM) technology to detect electrically conductive proppant. In this technology, a surface EM array is deployed and the EM field is measured both before and after the electrically-conductive proppant has been placed. Advanced modeling is then used to invert the before- and after-frac response to locate the proppant.

This paper will briefly review the technology as well as the motivation for deploying the process in one operator's STACK development. The paper will then thoroughly review a case history, where this EM proppant detection method was used in two offset infill wells in the STACK (Sooner Trend Anadarko Canadian and Kingfisher counties) play of Oklahoma. The two new wells were selected to be near the parent wellbore, where depletion effects were expected to impact both wells. The primary purpose of the project was to understand the impact the parent well had on an infill stimulation design.

Proppant maps will be presented which address the impact of the parent well depletion on the bi-wing fracture growth. Other complementary technologies will be presented including surface pressure monitoring of offset wells. This technology was also deployed previously in an area vertical science well and where applicable, these results will be included.

This paper will be useful for engineers, geoscientists and other technicians who wrestle with how to effective place their infill wells and design their fracture stimulations, with the goal of optimally depleting their acreage.