Novel Near-Wellbore Fracture Diagnosis for Unconventional Wells Using High-Resolution Distributed Strain Sensing during Production

Jin, Ge (Colorado School of Mines (Corresponding author) | Ugueto, Gustavo (email: | Wojtaszek, Magdalena (Shell Exploration and Production Company) | Guzik, Artur (Shell International) | Jurick, Dana (Neubrex Co., Ltd.) | Kishida, Kinzo (Neubrex Energy Services)


Summary The characteristics of hydraulic fractures in the near-wellbore region contain critical information related to the production performance of unconventional wells. We demonstrate a novel application of a fiber-optic-based distributed strain sensing (DSS) technology to measure and characterize near-wellbore fractures and perforation cluster efficiency during production. Distributed fiber-optic-based strain measurements are made based on the frequency shift of the Rayleigh scatter spectrum, which is linearly dependent on strain and temperature changes of the sensing fiber. Strain changes along the wellbore are continuously measured during the shut-in and reopening operations of a well. After removing temperature effects, extensional strain changes can be observed at locations around the perforation cluster during a shut-in period. We interpret that the observed strain changes are caused by near-wellbore fracture aperture changes caused by pressure increases within the near-wellbore fracture network. The depth locations of the measured strain changes correlate well with distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) acoustic intensity measurements that were measured during the stimulation of the well. The shape and magnitude of the strain changes differ significantly between two completion designs in the same well. Different dependencies between strain and borehole pressure can be observed at most of the perforation clusters between the shut-in and reopening periods. We assess that this new type of distributed fiber-optic measurement method can significantly improve understanding of near-wellbore hydraulic fracture characteristics and the relationships between stimulation and production from unconventional oil and gas wells.

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