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Abstract Uniformity of proppant distribution among multiple perforation clusters affects treatment efficiency in multistage fractured wells stimulated using the plug-and-perf technique. Multiple physical phenomena taking place in the well and perforation tunnels can cause uneven proppant distribution among multiple clusters. The problem has been studied in the recent years with experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods, which provide useful insights but are impractical for routine designs. Simplified models that incorporated the proppant transport efficiency (PTE) correlation derived from the CFD results in a hydraulic fracture model have been also presented in literature. In this paper, we present a numerical model that simulates the transient proppant slurry flow in the wellbore, considering proppant transport and settling including bed formation, rate- and concentration-dependent pressure drop, PTE, and dynamic pressure coupling with the hydraulic fractures. The model is efficient and is designed to be an independent wellbore transport model so it can be integrated with any fracture models, including fully 3D and/or complex fracture network models, for practical design optimization. The model predictions are compared and found to agree with previously published studies. Parametric studies demonstrate sensitivity of proppant distribution to grain size, fluid viscosity, and pumping rate for fixed perforation designs. Analysis of the simulation results shows that the dominant cause of uneven proppant distribution is proppant inertia. Possible slurry stratification is less important, except for the cases with relatively low flow rates and near toe clusters. Accordingly, proppant distribution is less sensitive to perforation phasing than to the number of perforations in clusters. Alterations of the number of perforations per cluster within a stage enable achieving more even proppant distribution.
Grove, Brenden (Halliburton Jet Research Center) | McGregor, Jacob (Halliburton Jet Research Center) | DeHart, Rory (Halliburton Jet Research Center) | Dusterhoft, Ron (Halliburton) | Stegent, Neil (Halliburton) | Grader, Avrami (Ingrain, a Halliburton Service)
Abstract Hydraulically fractured completions dominate industry perforating activity, particularly in North American land basins. This has led to the development of fracture-optimized perforating systems in recent years. Aside from overarching safety, reliability, and efficiency priorities, the main technical performance attribute of these systems is consistent hole size in the casing, driven by limited entry fracture design considerations. While the industry continues to seek further improvements in hole size consistency, attention is also being directed to the perforations more holistically, from a perspective of maximizing the effectiveness of subsequent hydraulic fracturing and ultimately production operations. To this end, this paper presents two related activities addressing the development, qualification, and optimization of perf-for-frac systems. The first is a surface testing protocol used to characterize perforating system performance, in particular casing hole size and consistency. The second is a laboratory program, recently conducted to investigate perforating stressed Eagle Ford shale samples at downhole conditions. This program explored the influences of charge size, formation lamination direction, pore fluid, and dynamic underbalance on perforation characteristics. Casing hole size was also assessed. For the first activity (surface testing), we find that using cement-backed casing can be an important feature to ensure more downhole-realistic results. For the second activity (laboratory program), perforation casing hole sizes for the charges tested were in line with expectations based on existing surface test data, exhibiting negligible pressure dependency. Corresponding penetration depths into the stressed shale samples generally ranged from 3.5-in to 5-in, which is much shallower than might be expected based on surface concrete performance. Dynamic underbalance was found to exhibit some slight effect on the tunnel fill characteristics, while pore system fluid was found to have minimal influence on the results. An interesting feature of the perforated samples was the complex fracture network at the perforation tips, which appeared "propped" to some extent with charge liner debris. Some of these fractures were formation beds which had delaminated during the shot, a phenomenon observed for perforations both parallel and perpendicular to the laminations. The implications of these results to the downhole environment continues to be assessed. Of particular interest is the impact these phenomena might have on fracture initiation, formation breakdown, and treatment stages which accompany subsequent hydraulic fracturing pumping operations.
Abstract Assessment of in-situ stresses and hydraulic fracturing stimulation are two critical parameters for successful heat extraction from Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Fracture injection and injection/flow back tests are two conventional techniques for estimating the minimum horizontal stress in subsurface formations. Because of the heat exchange during the test, ultra-low permeability of the host rock, and natural fractures, the conventional methods yield inaccurate results in geothermal reservoirs. In this paper, we present a new methodology based on the signal processing approach for analyzing DFIT in geothermal reservoirs. The applicability of our technique is demonstrated using several test data from the Utah FORGE project. The main advantage of our methodology is that it does not depend on any assumption regarding fracture geometry and rock properties. Also, unlike most similar studies, we consider the effect of heat exchange between fracturing fluid and the hot rock. In our methodology, the recorded pressure and temperature are treated as signals, and a wavelet transform is applied to separate them to high pass (noise) and low pass (approximation) components. Using the noise energy of the two signals, we then identify different events such as fracture closure. Also, an analytical technique is used to correct the pressure by extracting the effect of fluid compressibility and heat exchange between the rock and injected fluid. We show that the G-Function technique underestimates the minimum horizontal stress in tight formations. After applying the corrections for pressure, the underestimation becomes more apparent. However, our approach gives consistent results before and after the pressure correction. Using the developed technique, we analyzed several injection tests from the Utah FORGE project. Both recorded pressure and temperature have been analyzed. Results show that the energy of the pressure signal noise decreases to a minimum level at the fracture closure. The fracture closure is confirmed by applying the same technique on the recorded temperature. The moment of closure using the proposed methodology is compared to the G-function approach, before and after correction of the pressure for temperature. Unlike physics-based techniques, the proposed method does not have any pre-assumption about the fracture's geometry or type of the well. The method solely relies on the pressure and temperature signals that are recorded during the injection and shut-in periods. Combining several analysis techniques to analyze DFIT (including the analysis of monitored temperature for a geothermal reservoir) is unique and maybe the first of its kind.
Xie, Jun (Petrochina Southwest Oil and Gas Field Company) | Tang, Jizhou (Harvard University) | Sun, Sijie (Harvard University) | Li, Yuwei (Northeast Petroleum University) | Song, Yi (Petrochina Southwest Oil and Gas Field Company) | Huang, Haoyong (Petrochina Southwest Oil and Gas Field Company) | Pei, Hao (Harvard University) | Zhang, Fengshou (Tongji University)
Abstract Slurry, as a proppant-laden fluid for hydraulic fracturing, is pumped into initial perforated cracks to generate a conductive pathway for hydrocarbon movement. Recently, numerous studies have been done to investigate mechanisms of proppant transport within vertical fractures. However, the distribution of proppant during stimulation becomes much more complicated if bedding planes (BPs), natural fractures (NFs) or other discontinuities pervasively distributed throughout the formation. Thus, how to capture the transport and placement mechanisms of proppant particles in the opened BPs becomes a significant issue. In this paper, we propose a closed-form continuous proppant transport model based on the conservation of total proppant volume and sedimentation of proppant particles. This model enables to integrate with the fluid flow section of a 3-D hydro-mechanical coupled fracture propagation model and then predict the distribution of proppant velocity and slurry volume fraction within a dynamic fracture network. Stokes’ law is applied to determine the sedimentation velocity. In the fracture propagation model, rock deformation is governed by the analytical solution of penny-shaped crack to determine fracture width. Fluid flow is characterized by finite differentiation scheme and then the fluid velocity is obtained. These two parameters above are inputs for the proppant transport model and both slurry viscosity and density are updated in this step. Afterwards, both fracture width and fluid velocity would be altered in the fracture model. Analysis of the proppant distribution within crossing-shaped fracture is conducted to study mechanisms of proppant transport along opened BPs. From our numerical analysis, we find that the distribution of proppant concentration is independent with the fluid viscosity, but highly dependent on the volume fraction of pumping slurry, under a given pumping pressure. Due to the difference of viscosity and proppant volume fraction at locations of upper and lower BPs, we observe that two symmetric BPs are unevenly opened, with different channel length along BP. Moreover, the width of opened upper BP is much smaller than that of opened lower BP as a result of discrepancy of proppant sedimentation. Last but not the least, a criterion of flow bed mobilization is established for dynamically tracking the sedimentation along the BP. Then the effect of different parameters (such as proppant size, proppant density, fluid viscosity, injection rate) on proppant distribution along opened BPs is also studied. Our model fully considers the proppant transport and settlement, proppant bed formation and interaction between fracture and proppant, which helps to predict the influence of proppant during fracturing treatment. Additionally, our model is also capable of dynamically tracking the settlement of proppant along opened BPs.
Hosseini, Seyed Abolhassan (RGL Reservoir Management Inc., University of Alberta) | Roostaei, Morteza (RGL Reservoir Management Inc.) | Mohammadtabar, Farshad (RGL Reservoir Management Inc.) | Mohammadtabar, Mohammad (RGL Reservoir Management Inc., University of Alberta) | Soroush, Mohammad (RGL Reservoir Management Inc., University of Alberta) | Berner, Kelly (RGL Reservoir Management Inc.) | Mahmoudi, Mahdi (RGL Reservoir Management Inc.) | Miller, Roger (Pacific Perforating Inc.) | Fattahpour, Vahidoddin (RGL Reservoir Management Inc.)
Abstract Development of weakly and unconsolidated sand reservoirs require effective sand control media to prevent sand production. The existing sand control devices in the market are either relying on surface filtration to prevent sand production through size exclusion or bridging or depth filtration which relies on the pore size distribution of a porous filter or pack to prevent the sand from producing along the production fluids. In this study, we introduce a new hybrid sand screen that works based on a combined surface and depth filtration. Radial Sand Control Evaluation (RSCE) testing facility was used to compare the solid production and flow performance of the new hybrid screen with various mesh media in multi-phase gas and liquid flow under various fluid injection scenarios. Solid production and flow performance were compared with investigated cases. The new hybrid screen provides an optimized Open to Flow Area (OFA) in comparison to available surface filtration or depth filtration media, which provides required OFA, while prevents sanding. The robust design, low cost and manufacturing ease make it a suitable screen media for most sand control applications. The sand retention test results under various fluid injection scenarios including multi-phase oil, brine, and gas show that it outperforms the Dutch Twill (DT) weave and Reverse Dutch Twill (RDT) weave of equivalent aperture size, with better flow performance at constant flow rate tests compare to best-performing mesh media, while keeping the produced sand far below the acceptable thresholds. Hybrid design handles both high velocity and high Gas-Oil Ratio (GOR) better than equivalent depth filtration media of equivalent size. This paper presents a detailed characterization, flow performance testing of a new hybrid sand control media that combines the surface filtration and depth filtration properties to achieve better solid retention and flow performance. The hybrid screen media is suitable for high-rate producers with high GOR. Keywords: Hybrid Screen, Surface Filtration, Depth Filtration, Radial Sand Control Evaluation (RSCE) Testing
Fakher, Sherif (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Elgahawy, Youssef (University of Calgary) | Abdelaal, Hesham (University of Lisbon) | Imqam, Abdulmohsin (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
Abstract Carbon dioxide (CO2) injection in low permeability shale reservoirs has recently gained much attention due to the claims that it has a large recovery factor and can also be used in CO2 storage operations. This research investigates the different flow regimes that the CO2 will exhibit during its propagation through the fractures, micropores, and the nanopores in unconventional shale reservoirs to accurately evaluate the mechanism by which CO2 recovers oil from these reservoirs. One of the most widely used tools to distinguish between different flow regimes is the Knudsen Number. Initially, a mathematical analysis of the different flow regimes that can be observed in pore sizes ranging between 0.2 nanometer and more than 2 micrometers was undergone at different pressure and temperature conditions to distinguish between the different flow regimes that the CO2 will exhibit in the different pore sizes. Based on the results, several flow regime maps were conducted for different pore sizes. The pore sizes were grouped together in separate maps based on the flow regimes exhibited at different thermodynamic conditions. Based on the results, it was found that Knudsen diffusion dominated the flow regime in nanopores ranging between 0.2 nanometers, up to 1 nanometer. Pore sizes between 2 and 10 nanometers were dominated by both a transition flow, and slip flow. At 25 nanometer, and up to 100 nanometers, three flow regimes can be observed, including gas slippage flow, transition flow, and viscous flow. When the pore size reached 150 nanometers, Knudsen diffusion and transition flow disappeared, and the slippage and viscous flow regimes were dominant. At pore sizes above one micrometer, the flow was viscous for all thermodynamic conditions. This indicated that in the larger pore sizes the flow will be mainly viscous flow, which is usually modeled using Darcy's law, while in the extremely small pore sizes the dominating flow regime is Knudsen diffusion, which can be modeled using Knudsen's Diffusion law or in cases where surface diffusion is dominant, Fick's law of diffusion can be applied. The mechanism by which the CO2 improves recovery in unconventional shale reservoirs is not fully understood to this date, which is the main reason why this process has proven successful in some shale plays, and failed in others. This research studies the flow behavior of the CO2 in the different features that could be present in the shale reservoir to illustrate the mechanism by which oil recovery can be increased.
Abstract Horizontal well technology is one of the major improvements in reservoir stimulation. Planning and execution are the key elements to drill horizontal wells successfully, especially through depleted formations. As the reservoir has been producing for a long time, pore pressure declines, resulting in weakening hydrocarbon-bearing rocks. Drilling issues such as wellbore stability, loss circulation, differential sticking, formation damage remarkably influenced by the pore pressure decline, increasing the risk of losing part or even all the horizontal interval. This paper presents an extensive review of the potential issues and solutions associated with drilling horizontal wells in depleted reservoirs. After giving an overview of the depleted reservoir characteristics, the paper systematically addresses the major challenges that influence drilling operations in depleted reservoirs and suggests solutions to avoid uncontrolled risks. Then, the paper evaluates several real infill drilling operations through depleted reservoirs, which were drilled in different oilfields. The economic aspect associated with potential risks for drilling a horizontal well in depleted reservoirs is also discussed. The most updated research and development findings for infill drilling are summarized in the article. It is recommended to use wellbore strengthening techniques while drilling a horizontal well through highly depleted formations. This will allow using higher mud weight to control unstable shales while drilling through the production zone. Managed Pressure Drilling should be considered as the last option for highly depleted formations because it will require a greater level of investment which is not going to have a superior rate of return due to the lack of high deliverability of the reservoir. Using rotary steerable systems is favored to reduce risks related to drilling through depleted formations. Precise analysis of different drilling programs allows the drilling team to introduce new technology to reduce cost, improve drilling efficiency and maximize profit. It is the responsibility of the drilling engineer to evaluate different scenarios with all the precautions needed during the planning stage to avoid unexpected issues. The present market conditions and the advancement in technologies for drilling horizontal wells increase the feasibility of producing the depleted reservoirs economically. This paper highlights the challenges in drilling horizontal wells in highly depleted reservoirs and provides means for successfully drilling those wells to reduce risks while drilling
There are different definitions of what is Well Integrity. The most widely accepted definition is given by NORSOK D-010: "Application of technical, operational and organizational solutions to reduce risk of uncontrolled release of formation fluids throughout the life cycle of a well." Other accepted definition is given by ISO TS 16530-2 "Containment and the prevention of the escape of fluids (i.e. Well Integrity is a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, well integrity engineers need to interact constantly with different disciplines to assess the status of well barriers and well barrier envelopes at all times. Wells that are used for steam injection or steam soak production or Geothermal heat are subject to high differences in thermal cycling and also referred to as Thermal wells.
Summary There is a great deal of interest in the oil and gas industry (OGI) in seeking ways to implement machine learning (ML) to provide valuable insights for increased profitability. With buzzwords such as data analytics, ML, artificial intelligence (AI), and so forth, the curiosity of typical drilling practitioners and researchers is piqued. While a few review papers summarize the application of ML in the OGI, such as Noshi and Schubert (2018), they only provide simple summaries of ML applications without detailed and practical steps that benefit OGI practitioners interested in incorporating ML into their workflow. This paper addresses this gap by systematically reviewing a variety of recent publications to identify the problems posed by oil and gas practitioners and researchers in drilling operations. Analyses are also performed to determine which algorithms are most widely used and in which area of oilwell-drilling operations these algorithms are being used. Deep dives are performed into representative case studies that use ML techniques to address the challenges of oilwell drilling. This study summarizes what ML techniques are used to resolve the challenges faced, and what input parameters are needed for these ML algorithms. The optimal size of the data set necessary is included, and in some cases where to obtain the data set for efficient implementation is also included. Thus, we break down the ML workflow into the three phases commonly used in the input/process/output model. Simplifying the ML applications into this model is expected to help define the appropriate tools to be used for different problems. In this work, data on the required input, appropriate ML method, and the desired output are extracted from representative case studies in the literature of the last decade. The results show that artificial neural networks (ANNs), support vector machines (SVMs), and regression are the most used ML algorithms in drilling, accounting for 18, 17, and 13%, respectively, of all the cases analyzed in this paper. Of the representative case studies, 60% implemented these and other ML techniques to predict the rate of penetration (ROP), differential pipe sticking (DPS), drillstring vibration, or other drilling events. Prediction of rheological properties of drilling fluids and estimation of the formation properties was performed in 22% of the publications reviewed. Some other aspects of drilling in which ML was applied were well planning (5%), pressure management (3%), and well placement (3%). From the results, the top ML algorithms used in the drilling industry are versatile algorithms that are easily applicable in almost any situation. The presentation of the ML workflow in different aspects of drilling is expected to help both drilling practitioners and researchers. Several step-by-step guidelines available in the publications reviewed here will guide the implementation of these algorithms in the resolution of drilling challenges.