First Hydraulic Fracturing from a Supply Vessel in the Caspian Sea Offshore Russia

Stenin, Vladimir (Lukoil) | Delia, Sergej (Lukoil) | Levchenko, Vladimir (Lukoil Engineering) | Vereschagin, Sergei Alexandrovich (Schlumberger) | Butula, Kreso Kurt (Schlumberger) | Enkababian, Philippe (Schlumberger)


Rakushechnoe-8 is one of the exploration wells drilled in the Northern Caspian Sea. The understanding of the geometry and performance of the propped fracture completion in the Apt formation was considered critical for the economical development
of this offshore oilfield. Because of this, and the potential risk of fracture breaking into the water zone below, no resources were spared and robust engineering methods were applied for the first time in Russian offshore operations to determine the
formation productivity without and with a hydraulic fracture completion in place. This case history will detail how a planned joint engineered approach provided critical information for the reservoir and production teams to determine the formations
potentials, ensuring at the same time reliable and safe offshore operations.

After a detailed feasibility and engineering study, a local supply vessel was converted into a stimulation vessel to meet the maritime regulation requirements and projected needs of the Russian Federation. As part of the Project Readiness Assessment,
the 4000-HHP strong frac equipment was mock-assembled on the dock, tested, and all the hazards evaluated before sailing. The joint engineering team prepared a rigorous plan for multi source data collection before, during, and after treatment
operations. The plan included running dipole cased hole acoustic measurements before and after the frac treatment, bottomhole pressure gauges, a complete mini-frac test, multiple post mini-frac temperature logging runs, production logging runs, and well testing and sampling operations before and after the frac. Finally, a novel vertical seismic profile and micro-seismic measurement was employed to further understand the hydraulic fracture behavior in the Apt formation.

The data analyzed before the main fracture treatment enabled safe placement of all 49 tons of 16/20 mesh Intermediate Strength Proppant (ISP) through the drillstem test string obtaining a Cfd = 2.7 deemed optimal for the formation.
Post frac measurements and semi numerical modeling indicated that the mechanical model created before the mini frac required some additional modifications and that the propped fracture remained within the target zone. The acoustic and
microseismic post frac measurements and well-test results correlated with the expected fracture effective half-lengths and conductivity, confirming that the preparation and execution involved with attaining accurate measurements provided significant value.