After-Closure Analysis of DFITs Drives Design of Hydraulic-Fracturing Programs

Wilson, Adam (JPT Special Publications Editor)


This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 191437, “ACA Practical Considerations: When Is It Accurate and How Should It Be Used To Improve Reservoir Stimulation,” by O.A. Ishteiwy, SPE, M. Jaboob, and G. Turk, BP; S. Dwi-Kurniadi, SPE, Schlumberger; A. Al-Shueili, SPE, A. Al-Manji, and P. Smith, BP, prepared for the 2018 SPE International Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 16–18 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.

The use of diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFITs) for prefracture investigation has become routine in the oil field, particularly for understanding reservoir properties and subsequently optimizing hydraulic-fracture design. A key component of an effective DFIT is an after-closure analysis (ACA) to assess the transmissibility of the formation and allow for effective design. This paper describes a DFIT-analysis program and the suitability of the results from ACAs for use in hydraulic-fracture design.


The Khazzan field is being developed currently and includes multiple gas-bearing formations. The primary development reservoir is the Barik sandstone, which is characterized by permeabilities on the order of 0.1 to 1 md. An additional reservoir under development is the Amin formation, which lies deeper than the Barik and is perhaps more unconventional in nature, with estimated permeabilities an order of magnitude lower than the Barik formation. Both reservoirs require hydraulic fracturing to produce at economically attractive rates and, as such, carry the same sort of challenges to reservoir understanding inherent to all unconventional plays. This was recognized in advance of the appraisal program, and an approach was taken to address these challenges in a more-holistic fashion, encompassing a full suite of data gathering, including surveillance and well testing.

One of the key tools used was DFIT along with associated ACA of the decline to determine reservoir properties. During the appraisal phase, significant rigor was aimed at ensuring high-quality data would be recorded and that an appropriate amount of time would be allocated to monitoring pressure declines to enable valid interpretations. This resulted in the ability to draw a good correlation between data gathered from the ACA operations and data collected from post-fracturing well-test data.

Methods and Process Stimulation and Testing Sequence. The approach taken to stimulate and test the wells in Khazzan was to use a dedicated well-test unit. The overall sequence was as follows:

  • Rig up well-test package
  • Displace kill fluid and clean out with coiled tubing
  • Perforate the target interval
  • Rig up a tree-saver
  • Perform DFIT and monitor pressure decline
  • Perform main fracturing
  • Establish post-main-fracturing-treatment pressure-decline period for fracture closure
  • Rig down the tree-saver
  • Clean out underdisplaced proppant with coiled tubing
  • Flow the well back for cleanup and testing
  • Perform a drift run with slickline to confirm hold-up depth
  • Rig down equipment and handover well to operations