Influence of Regional Tectonics and Pore-Pressure Depletion on Tight-Gas Recovery in the Sanga Sanga PSC

Rylance, M. (BP Exploration)

OnePetro 

Abstract

The Sanga-Sanga PSC fields are located onshore Mahakam delta, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Since the 1970s, they have produced over 80% of originally estimated gas in place with the remaining gas locked up in low permeability sands. A prize of at least 0.75 Tcf would be achievable, if these sub milli-Darcy resources could be developed. However, previous attempts at hydraulic fracturing, over three decades, have been spectacularly ineffective and rarely enjoyed any improvement or uplift at all.

During late 2006, a detailed review of the regional stress-state and prior unsuccessful frac operations was performed. This review unearthed significant evidence of a reverse stress-ordering in the deep low permeability sands, resulting in horizontal fractures being created. While this provided some logic behind the widespread failure rate, it did not in itself offer a direct solution. However, there was also sufficient evidence from previous frac history, to indicate that the solution may lie with a pore-pressure reduction. A pilot program, with meticulous candidate selection was planned to investigate this.

Further investigation determined the presence of a strong poro-elastic relationship and it was assessed that when combined with longevity of production (30 years), that the stress-state would be substantially affected. During 2008, a suite of well candidates were carefully selected with a range of reduced pore- pressures, aligned with the poro-elastic understanding, hydraulic frac treatments were performed and the wells flowed and produced for two years to confirm productivity. The subsequent production behaviour, confirmed a very positive response and the treated wells netted substantial gas/condensate sales. Production behaviour confirmed the poro-elastic relationships and a set of absolute guidelines on candidate selection and fracture execution were created. Subsequent operations that have adhered to these strict guidelines have been extremely successful. The ability of the new approach to reverse a 30- year trend of hydraulic fracturing failure will now lead to the development of the remaining resource within the fields. An extensive treatment campaign will now be possible to perform with between 50 - 100 candidates well opportunities likely to be available in the field.

A careful assessment of the regional stress-state indicated a reverse ordering of the principal stresses as being the root cause of the poor hydraulic fracturing behaviour. However, careful consideration of the rock mechanics and a coherent pilot programme demonstrated the ability, under effective depletion conditions, to place economic and successful hydraulic fracturing treatments.