Estimating Fracture Network Area and SRV Permeability by Analyzing Offset Well Pressure Measurements During Fracturing

Seth, Puneet (The University of Texas at Austin) | Manchanda, Ripudaman (The University of Texas at Austin) | Elliott, Brendan (Devon Energy) | Zheng, Shuang (The University of Texas at Austin) | Sharma, Mukul (The University of Texas at Austin)

OnePetro 

Abstract

During stimulation of unconventional reservoirs, offset well pressure measurements are often used to estimate hydraulic fracture geometry. These measurements can also be used to make a quantitative estimate of the created fracture network area and the permeability of the stimulated rock volume (SRV) around the hydraulic fractures. Offset well pressure measurements recorded in the field clearly show a change in the pressure response of the monitor well when the injection rate in a nearby fracture treated well is changed. The shut-in period between two frac stages in the treatment well corresponds to a distinct pressure fall-off in the monitor well. We present a workflow where we analyze and match this pressure fall-off in an offset monitor well in response to fluid leak-off from a hydraulic fracture in the treatment well to estimate SRV permeability and the created fracture network area. The workflow and model are applied to field data from the Permian Basin.

A fully-coupled, 3-D, poroelastic reservoir-fracture simulator has been used to simulate pressure fall-off in the offset monitor well. Field data and simulation results are presented to show that during shut-in between two frac stages in the treatment well, a decrease in the injection rate causes the monitored offset well pressure to fall-off. We find that this fall-off in pressure is influenced by leak-off from the treatment well fracture. During the shut-in period, fluid leak-off from the treatment well fracture into the SRV region decreases the width of the fracture which consequently affects the stress-shadow and the poroelastic pressure fall-off in the offset monitor well. The pressure fall-off in the monitor well is, therefore, shown to be caused by 1) the fluid leak-off from the monitor well fracture and 2) stress-shadow relaxation around the monitor well fracture as fluid leaks-off from the nearby treatment well fracture into the formation.

We present a new method to estimate the permeability of the stimulated region around the created fractures. We show that, along with the permeability of the SRV region, the stress-shadow of the treatment well fracture on the monitor well fracture also has a significant impact on the pressure fall-off in the monitor well. We use a conceptual model to estimate the created fracture network area which can be used as a metric to identify the effectiveness of a frac job and provide insights into the generated fracture complexity during the frac job. In addition, the estimated SRV permeability and fracture network area are critical inputs in production forecast simulations that can guide an operator to make better economic decisions in a relatively inexpensive manner.