Knowledge of fracture entry pressures or the formation face pressures during Acid Fracturing treatments can help in evaluating the effectiveness of the stimulation treatment in dynamic mode and can also enable and improve real-time decisions during the execution of treatment. In this paper, details of the methods and tools employed to generate formation face pressures in real-time mode with the help of live bottomhole pressure data, is discussed in detail.
The majority of the horizontal wells considered for this study were drilled and completed in the North Sea with permanent bottomhole pressure gauges that enabled constant monitoring of well pressures. The tool in discussion uses the combination of treatment data such as surface pressure, fluid density, injection rates, type of fluid, wellbore description, gauge depth, and wellbore deviation, along with bottomhole pressures to generate formation face pressures just outside the casing at active perforation depth. The tool carries out the calculations as the treatment is being pumped thus providing a dynamic array of several important parameters and can also evaluate the treatment after it has been executed.
Acid fracturing treatments combine the basic principles of hydraulic fracturing and acid reaction kinetics to stimulate acid soluble formations. It is customary to start the treatment with a high viscosity pad to generate a fracture geometry and follow it up with acid to react with the walls of the fracture and etch it differentially. The non-uniform etching action of the acid creates an uneven surface on fracture walls that provides the requisite fracture conductivity which is key to enhancing the well performance. The effectiveness of a treatment schedule can be ascertained by determining and analyzing the pressure behavior during the injection process. Several acid fracture treatments were analyzed using the tool and led to important conclusions related to fracture propagation modes, acid exposure times and effectiveness of given acid types. The results had a direct influence on modification of treatment designs and pump schedules to optimize treatment outcomes.
The knowledge of formation face pressures is critical to the success of hydraulic fracturing treatments, especially in multi-stage and multiple perforation cluster type horizontal well completions. The tool developed in the study helps generate information that predicts pressures at fracture entry in real-time mode.