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Kumar, Shailesh (Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy) | Rajput, Vikrant Singh (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Mahto, Vikas (Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) (Corresponding author)
Summary The development of concentrated and highly stable oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion is considered to be a cost-effective alternative for the transportation of produced heavy crude oils. However, the demulsification of a transported O/W emulsion is necessary once it reaches the destination. This article experimentally investigates the performance of four low-cost chemicals of varying water solubility as potential demulsifiers, independently and in combinations, for demulsifying two Indian heavy crude O/W emulsions prepared for pipeline transportation. The chemical demulsifiers used, in order of their higher water solubility, are: polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG) > polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (Tween-80) > linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid (LABSA) > n-octylamine (OA). For this study, stable O/W emulsions (in the 60:40 ratio) of two Indian heavy crude oils were prepared using high-frequency ultrasonic waves in the presence of Triton X-100 as a surfactant. Both crude oils were characterized at first based on their physicochemical properties, infrared (IR) spectrum, and rheological properties. Prepared O/W emulsions were characterized based on rheological properties and droplet size. A bottle test method with heating (using a water bath) and enhanced gravity (by centrifuge) has been used to study the demulsification efficiency of used chemicals. Complete demulsification of both emulsions was achieved as desired. The synergetic effect of the interaction between two suitable demulsifiers provided remarkably better performance than that of independent returns, leading to minimization of the amount of demulsifier and the energy requirement for complete demulsification of both emulsions.
Big data analytics is a big deal right now in the oil and gas industry. This emerging trend is on track to become an industry best practice for good reason: It improves exploration and production efficiency. With the help of sensors, massive amounts of data already are being extracted from exploration, drilling, and production operations, as well as being leveraged to shed light on sophisticated engineering problems. So, why shouldn't a similar approach be applied when it comes to worker health and safety; especially when it's the norm across a wide variety of other industries? While the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers came out with a safety performance report that showed fatalities and injuries for the industry were down in 2019, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that the oil and gas industry's fatality rate is 7 times higher than all other industries in the US.
Nicholson, A. Kirby (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Bachman, Robert C. (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Scherz, R. Yvonne (Endeavor Energy Resources) | Hawkes, Robert V. (Cordax Evaluation Technologies Inc.)
Abstract Pressure and stage volume are the least expensive and most readily available data for diagnostic analysis of hydraulic fracturing operations. Case history data from the Midland Basin is used to demonstrate how high-quality, time-synchronized pressure measurements at a treatment and an offsetting shut-in producing well can provide the necessary input to calculate fracture geometries at both wells and estimate perforation cluster efficiency at the treatment well. No special wellbore monitoring equipment is required. In summary, the methods outlined in this paper quantifies fracture geometries as compared to the more general observations of Daneshy (2020) and Haustveit et al. (2020). Pressures collected in Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests (DFITs), select toe-stage full-scale fracture treatments, and offset observation wells are used to demonstrate a simple workflow. The pressure data combined with Volume to First Response (Vfr) at the observation well is used to create a geometry model of fracture length, width, and height estimates at the treatment well as illustrated in Figure 1. The producing fracture length of the observation well is also determined. Pressure Transient Analysis (PTA) techniques, a Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) fracture propagation model and offset well Fracture Driven Interaction (FDI) pressures are used to quantify hydraulic fracture dimensions. The PTA-derived Farfield Fracture Extension Pressure, FFEP, concept was introduced in Nicholson et al. (2019) and is summarized in Appendix B of this paper. FFEP replaces Instantaneous Shut-In Pressure, ISIP, for use in net pressure calculations. FFEP is determined and utilized in both DFITs and full-scale fracture inter-stage fall-off data. The use of the Primary Pressure Derivative (PPD) to accurately identify FFEP simplifies and speeds up the analysis, allowing for real time treatment decisions. This new technique is called Rapid-PTA. Additionally, the plotted shape and gradient of the observation-well pressure response can identify whether FDI's are hydraulic or poroelastic before a fracture stage is completed and may be used to change stage volume on the fly. Figure 1: Fracture Geometry Model with FDI Pressure Matching Case studies are presented showing the full workflow required to generate the fracture geometry model. The component inputs for the model are presented including a toe-stage DFIT, inter-stage pressure fall-off, and the FDI pressure build-up. We discuss how to optimize these hydraulic fractures in hindsight (look-back) and what might have been done in real time during the completion operations given this workflow and field-ready advanced data-handling capability. Hydraulic fracturing operations can be optimized in real time using new Rapid-PTA techniques for high quality pressure data collected on treating and observation wells. This process opens the door for more advanced geometry modeling and for rapid design changes to save costs and improve well productivity and ultimate recovery.
Abstract In previous frac designs, proppant tracer logs revealed poor proppant distribution between clusters. In this study, various technologies were utilized to improve cluster efficiency, primarily focusing on selecting perforations in like-rock, adjusting perforation designs and the use of diverters. Effectiveness of the changes were analyzed using proppant tracer. This study consisted of a group of four wells completed sequentially. Sections of each well were divided into completion design groups characterized by different perforating methodologies. Perforation placement was primarily driven by RockMSE (Mechanical Specific Energy), a calculation derived from drilling data that relates to a rock's compressive strength. Additionally, the RockMSE values were compared alongside three different datasets: gamma ray collected while drilling, a calculation of stresses from accelerometer data placed at the bit, and Pulsed Neutron Cross Dipole Sonic log data. The results of this study showed strong indications that fluid flow is greatly affected by rock strength as mapped with the RockMSE, with fluid preferentially entering areas with low RockMSE. It was found that placing clusters in similar rock types yielded an improved fluid distribution. Additional improved fluid distribution was observed by adjusting hole diameter, number of perforations and pump rate.
Wu, Yinghui (Silixa LLC) | Hull, Robert (Silixa LLC) | Tucker, Andrew (Apache Corp.) | Rice, Craig (Apache Corp.) | Richter, Peter (Silixa LLC) | Wygal, Ben (Silixa LLC) | Farhadiroushan, Mahmoud (Silixa Ltd.) | Trujillo, Kirk (Silixa LLC) | Woerpel, Craig (Silixa LLC)
Abstract Distributed fiber-optic sensing (DFOS) has been utilized in unconventional reservoirs for hydraulic fracture efficiency diagnostics for many years. Downhole fiber cables can be permanently installed external to the casing to monitor and measure the uniformity and efficiency of individual clusters and stages during the completion in the near-field wellbore environment. Ideally, a second fiber or multiple fibers can be deployed in offset well(s) to monitor and characterize fracture geometries recorded by fracture-driven interactions or frac-hits in the far-field. Fracture opening and closing, stress shadow creation and relaxation, along with stage isolation can be clearly identified. Most importantly, fracture propagation from the near to far-field can be better understood and correlated. With our current technology, we can deploy cost effective retrievable fibers to record these far-field data. Our objective here is to highlight key data that can be gathered with multiple fibers in a carefully planned well-spacing study and to evaluate and understand the correspondence between far-field and near-field Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) data. In this paper, we present a case study of three adjacent horizontal wells equipped with fiber in the Permian basin. We can correlate the near-field fluid allocation across a stage down to the cluster level to far-field fracture driven interactions (FDIs) with their frac-hit strain intensity. With multiple fibers we can evaluate fracture geometry, the propagation of the hydraulic fractures, changes in the deformation related to completion designs, fracture complexity characterization and then integrate the results with other data to better understand the geomechanical processes between wells. Novel frac-hit corridor (FHC) is introduced to evaluate stage isolation, azimuth, and frac-hit intensity (FHI), which is measured in far-field. Frac design can be evaluated with the correlation from near-field allocation to far-field FHC and FHI. By analyzing multiple treatment and monitor wells, the correspondence can be further calibrated and examined. We observe the far-field FHC and FHI are directly related to the activities of near-field clusters and stages. A leaking plug may directly result in FHC overlapping, gaps and variations in FHI, which also can be correlated to cluster uniformity. A near-far field correspondence can be established to evaluate FHC and FHI behaviors. By utilizing various completion designs and related measurements (e.g. Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), gauges, microseismic etc.), optimization can be performed to change the frac design based on far-field and near-field DFOS data based on the Decision Tree Method (DTM). In summary, hydraulic fracture propagation can be better characterized, measured, and understood by deploying multiple fibers across a lease. The correspondence between the far-field measured FHC and FHI can be utilized for completion evaluation and diagnostics. As the observed strain is directly measured, completion engineering and geoscience teams can confidently optimize their understanding of the fracture designs in real-time.
Frantz, J. H. (Deep Well Services, Matador Resources Company, Completion Team) | Tourigny, M. L. (Deep Well Services, Matador Resources Company, Completion Team) | Griffith, J. M. (Deep Well Services, Matador Resources Company, Completion Team)
Abstract In conjunction with the industry and basin-wide paradigm shift to drilling and completing extended laterals, Matador Resources Company (the operator) made significant plans in 2018 that would focus activity toward wells with laterals greater than one-mile. One operational hurdle to overcome in this shift change was the effective execution of removing frac plugs and sand at increased depths during a post-stimulation frac plug millout. Utilization of coiled-tubing units (CTUs) had been proven to be a successful millout method in one-mile laterals, but not without risk. Rig-assisted snubbing units coupled with workover rigs (WORs) provided for less risk with higher pulling strength capabilities and the ability to rotate tubing, but would often require operational time of up to twice that of typical coiled-tubing unit millouts. The stand-alone, rigless Hydraulic Completion Unit (HCU) was ultimately tested as a solution and proved to alleviate risks in extended lateral millouts while providing operational time and cost comparable to coiled-tubing units. The operator has since performed post-stimulation frac plug millouts on ~45 horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin using HCUs. The majority of these wells carried lateral lengths of over 1.5 miles. Results and benefits observed by the operator include but are not limited to the list below: 1.) Ability to safely and consistently reach total depth (TD) on extended laterals through increased snubbing/pickup force and the HCU's pipe rotating ability 2.) Ability to pump at higher circulation rates in high-pressured wells (>3,500 psi wellhead pressure) to assist in effective wellbore cleaning 3.) Smaller footprint which allows for the utilization of two units simultaneously on multi-well pads 4.) Time and cost comparable to a standard coiled-tubing millout, particularly on multi-well pads.
Abstract A unique well-tracing design for three horizontally drilled wells is presented utilizing proppant tracers and water- and hydrocarbon-soluble tracers to evaluate multiple completion strategies. Results are combined to present an interpretation of them in the reservoir as a whole, where applicable, as well as on an individual well basis. The new approach consists of tracing the horizontal well(s) leaving unchanged segments along the wellbore to obtain relevant control group results not available otherwise. The application of the tracers throughout each wellbore was designed to mitigate or counterbalance variables out of the controllable completion engineering parameters such as heterogeneity along the wellbores, existing reservoir depletion, intra- and inter-well hydraulically driven interactions (frac hits) as well as to minimize any unloading and production biases. Completion strategies are provided, and all the evaluation methodologies are described in detail to permit readers to replicate the approach. One field case study with five horizontal wells is presented. Three infill wells were drilled between two primary wells of varying ages. All wells are shale oil wells with approximately 7,700 ft lateral sections. The recovery of each tracer is compared between the surfactant treated and untreated segments on each well and totalized to see how the petroleum reservoir system is performing. A complete project economic analysis was performed to determine the viability of a chemical additive (a production enhancement surfactant). Meticulous analysis and interpretation of the proppant image logs were performed to discern the cluster stimulation efficiency during the hydraulic fracturing treatments. Furthermore, comparisons of the cluster stimulation efficiency between the two mesh sizes of proppant pumped are also provided for each of the three new unconventional well completions. The most significant new findings are the surfactant effects on the wells’ production performance, and the impact the engineered perforations with tapered shots along the stages had on the stimulation efficiency. Both the right chemistry for the formation and higher cluster stimulation efficiencies are important because they can lead to increased well oil production. The novelty of this tracing design methodology rests in the ability to generate results with a statistically relevant sample size, therefore, increasing the confidence in the conclusions and course of action in future well completions.
Sochovka, Jon (Liberty Oilfield Services) | George, Kyle (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Melcher, Howard (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Mayerhofer, Mike (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Weijers, Leen (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Poppel, Ben (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Siegel, Joel (Liberty Oilfield Services)
Abstract The shale industry has changed beyond recognition over the last decade and is once again in rapid transition. While we are unsure about the nature of innovations to make US shale ever more competitive, we are certain that the current downturn will drive a further reduction in $/BO – the total cost to lift a barrel of US shale oil to the surface. As a result of an increase in scale and industry efficiency gains, the all-in price charged by service companies to place a pound of proppant downhole has come down from more than $0.50/lb in 2012 to about $0.10/lb today. In this paper, we discuss what components have contributed to this reduction to date and use several case studies to illustrate the potential for further cost reductions. The authors used FracFocus data to study a variety of placement and production chemicals for about 100,000 horizontal wells in US liquid rich basins, including the Williston, Powder River, DJ, Permian basins, as well as SCOOP/STACK and Eagle Ford. All chemicals used were averaged on a per-well basis into a gallon-per-thousand gallons (gpt) metric. In the paper, we first provide an overview of trends by basin since 2010 for these chemical additives. Then, we perform Multi-Variate Analysis (MVA) to determine if groups of these chemicals show an impact on production performance in specific basins or formations. Finally, through integration of lab testing (on fluid systems and proppants), a liquid-rich shale production database and FracFocus tracking of industry trends, the authors developed a list of case histories that show modest to significant reductions in $/BO. In this paper we focus on proppant delivery cost – the cost to place a pound of proppant in a fracture downhole, where it can contribute to a well's production for years to come. The last decade saw a 10-fold increase in horsepower, a 20-fold increase in yearly stages pumped and a 40-fold yearly proppant mass increase. One result of this increase in scale, was a gain in efficiencies, which led to an average 3-fold fracturing cost decrease to place a pound of proppant downhole. We will document this trend in detail in the paper. A significant industry trend over the last decade has been a "viscosity for velocity" trade. The change to smaller mesh regional proppants, in combination with an increase in pump rates on frac jobs in the US, has allowed fluid systems to become more "watery". At the same time, the industry is moving from guar systems to polyacrylamide-based systems that exhibit higher apparent viscosities at low to ultra-low shear rates. These newer High Viscosity Friction Reducer (HVFR) systems show superior proppant carrying capacity over traditional slickwater fluid systems. Regained conductivity testing has shown that these HVFR systems are generally cleaner for fracture conductivity than guar systems. Along with changes to base chemistry, a 2- to 5-fold increase in disposal costs and an overall "green initiative" over the last decade have resulted in a push to maximize recycled water usage on these HVFR jobs. These waters can be in excess of 150,000 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) which present challenges across the board when designing a compatible fluid system that fits the needs in terms of viscosity yield, scale inhibition and microbial mitigation etc. – all while keeping costs low. Specialty chemicals, such as Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) substitutes that have similar efficacy as HCl but significantly lower reactivity with human skin, have helped significantly to improve operational safety around previously-categorized hazardous chemicals, and have helped reduce cost and improve pump time efficiency. Measurement of bacterial activity during and after fracture treatments can help with the best economic selection of the appropriate biocide. These simple measurements can help further reduce what is spent on the necessary chemical package to effectively treat a well. This paper provides a holistic view of fluid selection issues and shows a real-data focused methodology to further support a leaner approach to hydraulic fracturing.
Abstract With recent advances in downhole imaging technology, it has become evident that surface perforation testing does not directly translate to downhole conditions. A total of 279 pre- and 595 post- fracture treatment perforations were imaged in this analysis. Pre-treatment perforation hole size was highly variable, even with oriented equal-entry charges. Because of high pre-fracture treatment variability, it is not recommended to use an average diameter of unstimulated perforations to evaluate cluster efficiency of perforations post-fracture treatment. Ideally, perforations should be individually imaged before and after treatment for direct comparison. However, since pre-treatment imaging is costly, an alternate methodology is presented. The findings in this paper will challenge current understanding of actual pre-treatment hole sizes, their variability, and their implications on cluster efficiency. Cluster efficiency cutoff limits have historically been subjective and promoted a false confidence in the ability of Completions Engineers to extend stage lengths and adjust perforation designs. A more stringent and calculated method of determining cluster efficiency is presented. Utilizing both wireline pumpdown for pre-treatment measurements, and coil tubing for post-treatment measurements, downhole imaging technology was deployed to measure perforations from four separate perforation charge manufacturers for pre- and post- treatment erosional analysis. Additionally, while understanding the strike/slip stress state of the Anadarko basin, perforations were oriented at 90° and 270° (degrees from top of wellbore), parallel to the maximum rock stress, promoting a shorter and less tortuous path to the fracture initiation point. Perforating at 90° and 270° reduced tortuosity and surface treating pressure, promoted a less variable pre-treatment perforation hole size due to its symmetry, and resulted in a significant increase in cluster efficiency verses pervious designs. This project effectively optimized a perforation design utilizing pre- and post- fracture treatment perforation imaging and a thorough understanding of pre-treatment perforation hole size to evaluate the effectiveness of stress-targeted, oriented perforating and its effect on cluster efficiency, tortuosity, and pre-treatment hole size variability. The optimized design resulted in 84%-97% cluster efficiency and reduced surface treating pressure by 770 psi. This workflow can be applied by Completions Engineers to any unconventional basin where plug and perf design is utilized.
Abstract Reducing well costs in unconventional development while maintaining or improving production continues to be important to the success of operators. Generally, the primary drivers for oil and gas production are treatment fluid volume, proppant mass, and the number of stages or intervals along the well. Increasing these variables typically results in increased costs, causing additional time and complexity to complete these larger designs. Simultaneously completing two wells using the same volumes, rates, and number of stages as for any previous single well, allows for more lateral length or volume completed per day. This paper presents the necessary developments and outcomes of a completion technique utilizing a single hydraulic fracturing spread to simultaneously stimulate two or more horizontal wells. The goal of this technique is to increase operational efficiency, lower completion cost, and reduce the time from permitting a well to production of that well—without negatively impacting the primary drivers of well performance. To date this technique has been successfully performed in both the Bakken and Permian basins in more than 200 wells, proving its success can translate to other unconventional fields and operations. Ultimately, over 200 wells were successfully completed simultaneously, resulting in a 45% increase in completion speed and significant decrease in completion costs, while still maintaining equivalent well performance. This type of simultaneous completion scenario continues to be implemented and improved upon to improve asset returns.