|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
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 The Walloons coal measures located in Surat Basin (eastern Australia) is a well-known coal seam gas play that has been under production for several years. The well completion in this play is primarily driven by coal permeability which varies from 1 Darcy or more in regions with significant natural fractures to less than 1md in areas with underdeveloped cleat networks. For an economic development of the latter, fracturing treatment designs that effectively stimulate numerous and often thin coals seams, and enhance inter-seam connectivity, are a clear choice. Fracture stimulation of Surat basin coals however has its own challenges given their unique geologic and geomechanical features that include (a) low net to gross ratio of ~0.1 in nearly 300 m (984.3 ft) of gross interval, (b) on average 60 seams per well ranging from 0.4 m to 3 m in thickness, (c) non-gas bearing and reactive interburden, and (d) stress regimes that vary as a function of depth. To address these challenges, low rate, low viscosity, and high proppant concentration coiled tubing (CT) conveyed pinpoint stimulation methods were introduced basin-wide after successful technology pilots in 2015 (Pandey and Flottmann 2015). This novel stimulation technique led to noticeable improvements in the well performance, but also highlighted the areas that could be improved – especially stage spacing and standoff, perforation strategy, and number of stages, all aimed at maximizing coal coverage during well stimulation. This paper summarizes the findings from a 6-well multi-stage stimulation pilot aimed at studying fracture geometries to improve standoff efficiency and maximizing coal connectivity amongst various coal seams of Walloons coal package. In the design matrix that targeted shallow (300 to 600 m) gas-bearing coal seams, the stimulation treatments varied in volume, injection rate, proppant concentration, fluid type, perforation spacing, and standoff between adjacent stages. Treatment designs were simulated using a field-data calibrated, log-based stress model. After necessary adjustments in the field, the treatments were pumped down the CT at injection rates ranging from 12 to 16 bbl/min (0.032 to 0.042 m/s). Post-stimulation modeling and history-matching using numerical simulators showed the dependence of fracture growth not only on pumping parameters, but also on depth. Shallower stages showed a strong propensity of limited growth which was corroborated by additional field measurements and previous work in the field (Kirk-Burnnand et al. 2015). These and other such observations led to revision of early guidelines on standoff and was considered a major step that now enabled a cost-effective inclusion of additional coal seams in the stimulation program. The learnings from the pilot study were implemented on development wells and can potentially also serve as a template for similar pinpoint completions worldwide.
Abstract Fracture growth in layered formations with depth-dependent properties has been a topic of interest amongst researchers because of its critical influence on well performance. This paper revisits some of the existing height-growth models and discusses the evaluation process of a new and modified model developed after incorporating additional constraints.The net-pressure is the primary driver behind fracture propagation and the pressure distribution in the fracture plays an important role in vertical propagation, as it supplies the necessary energy for fracture advancement in the presence of opposing forces. The workflow adopted for this study included developing a preliminary model that solves a system of non-linear equations iteratively to arrive at fracture height versus net pressure mapping. The theoretical results were then compared to those available in the literature. The solution set was then extended to a 100-layer model after incorporating additional constraints using superposition techniques.The predicted outcomes were finally compared to the fracture height observations made in the field on several treatments. A reasonable agreement between model-predicted and observed height was observed when a comparison between the two was made, for most cases.The majority of these treatments were pumped in vertical wells, at low injection rates of up to 8.0 bbl/min (0.021 m/s) where net pressures were intentionally restricted to 250 psi (1.72 MPa) in order to prevent fracture rotation to the horizontal plane.The leak-off was minimal given the low permeability formations. In some cases, however, the pumping parameters and fluid imparted pressure distribution appeared to dominate. Overall, it was apparent that for a slowly advancing fracture front, which is the case in low injection rate treatments, the fracture height could be predicted with reasonable accuracy. This condition could also be met in high rate treatments pumped down multiple perforation clusters such as in horizontal wells, though fracture-height measurement may not be as straightforward as in vertical wells. The model developed under the current study is suitable for vertical wells where fracture treatments are pumped at low injection rates. The solid-mechanics solution that is presented here is independent of pumping parameters and can be readily implemented to assist in selection of critical design parameters prior to the job, with a wide range of applicability worldwide.
Dealing with and exploiting fracturing of rock has been part of mining engineering for hundreds of years, but the analysis of fracture of rock or other materials has only developed into an engineering discipline since the mid 1940s . In petroleum engineering, fracture mechanics theories have been used for more than 50 years. Rock fracture mechanics is about understanding what will happen to the rocks in the subsurface when subjected to fracture stress. Much of what is used in hydraulic fracturing theory and design was developed by other engineering disciplines many years ago. However, rock formatons cannot often be treated as isotropic and homogeneous.
Summary Stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) is a prime factor controlling well performance in unconventional shale plays. In general, SRV describes the extent of connected conductive fracture networks within the formation. Being a pre-existing weak interface, natural fractures (NFs) are the preferred failure paths. Therefore, the interaction of hydraulic fractures (HFs) and NFs is fundamental to fracture growth in a formation. Field observations of induced fracture systems have suggested complex failure zones occurring in the vicinity of HFs, which makes characterizing the SRV a significant challenge. Thus, this work uses a broad range of subsurface conditions to investigate the near-tip processes and to rank their influences on HF-NF interaction. In this study, a 2D analytical workflow is presented that delineates the potential slip zone (PSZ) induced by a HF. The explicit description of failure modes in the near-tip region explains possible mechanisms of fracture complexity observed in the field. The parametric analysis shows varying influences of HF-NF relative angle, stress state, net pressure, frictional coefficient, and HF length to the NF slip. This work analytically proves that an NF at a 30 ± 5° relative angle to an HF has the highest potential to be reactivated, which dominantly depends on the frictional coefficient of the interface. The spatial extension of the PSZ normal to the HF converges as the fracture propagates away and exhibits asymmetry depending on the relative angle. Then a machine-learning (ML) model [random forest (RF) regression] is built to replicate the physics-based model and statistically investigate parametric influences on NF slips. The ML model finds statistical significance of the predicting features in the order of relative angle between HF and NF, fracture gradient, frictional coefficient of the NF, overpressure index, stress differential, formation depth, and net pressure. The ML result is compared with sensitivity analysis and provides a new perspective on HF-NF interaction using statistical measures. The importance of formation depth on HF-NF interaction is stressed in both the physics-based and data-driven models, thus providing insight for field development of stacked resource plays. The proposed concept of PSZ can be used to measure and compare the intensity of HF-NF interactions at various geological settings.
Guo, Tiankui (China University of Petroleum (Huadong)) | Tang, Songjun (China University of Petroleum (Huadong)) | Liu, Shun (Xi'an Shiyou University) | Liu, Xiaoqiang (China University of Petroleum) | Xu, Jianchun (China University of Petroleum) | Qi, Ning (China University of Petroleum) | Rui, Zhenhua (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and China University of Petroleum (Beijing))
Summary Hydraulic fracturing is an indispensable technology in developing tight oil and gas resources. However, the development of tight oil and gas is not consistently satisfactory. Further understanding of hydraulic fracturing of tight sandstone is required, which increases the production of tight oil and gas reservoirs, particularly in China. Currently, there are a few true triaxial hydraulic fracturing physical simulations of large tight sandstone outcrops. To weaken the boundary effect, this study performed simulations using large tight sandstone outcrops (500 × 500 × 500 mm and 500 × 500 × 800 mm) in the Shahezi Formation (Fm.), Jilin Province, China. The effect of natural fracture (NF) development degree, in-situ stress conditions, fracturing treatment parameters, and temporary plugging on fracture propagation were investigated. Furthermore, fracture propagation was investigated based on post-fracturing fine reconstruction, high-energy computed tomography (CT) scan, acoustic emission monitoring (AEM), and analysis of a fracturing pressure curve. Finally, suggestions on fracturing treatment were proposed. The results show that the NF is a key factor in determining the hydraulic fracture (HF) morphology in the tight sandstone reservoir. Further, the number, approaching angle, and cementation strength of the preexisting NF affect the HF propagation path; these are the key factors for forming complex fractures. In the tight sandstone reservoir with well-developed NFs, the fracture morphology is dominated by the NF under horizontal differential stress ≤ 9 MPa. A single fracture is more likely to occur under horizontal differential stress ≥ 12 MPa, which is less affected by the NF. In the fracturing at variable injection rates, a low rate facilitates fluid penetration into the NF, while a high rate facilitates deep HF propagation. A low-viscosity fracturing fluid at a high rate facilitates further propagation of the temporary plugging agent (TPA), thus achieving deep temporary plugging and fracture diversion. A high-viscosity fluid does not facilitate accumulation and plugging of particulate TPA. Higher horizontal differential stress leads to a smaller diversion radius of new HF, which is closer to the original HF, leading to poorer stimulation effect. The results provide a reference for the fracturing design of the tight sandstone.
Tan, Yunhui (Chevron CTC) | Wang, Shugang (Chevron CTC) | Rijken, Margaretha C. M. (Chevron CTC) | Hughes, Kelly (Chevron CTC) | Ning, Ivan Lim Chen (Chevron CTC) | Zhang, Zhishuai (Chevron CTC) | Fang, Zijun (Chevron CTC)
Summary Recently more distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) data have been collected during hydraulic fracturing in shale. Low-frequency DAS signals show patterns that are intuitively consistent with the understanding of the strain field around hydraulic fractures. This study uses a fracture simulator combined with a finite element solver to further understand the various patterns of the strain field caused by hydraulic fracturing. The results can serve as a “type-curve” template for the further interpretation of cross-well strain field plots. Incorporating detailed pump schedule and fracturing fluid/proppant properties, we use a hydraulic fracture simulator to generate fracture geometries, which are then passed to a finite element solver as boundary conditions for elastic-static calculation of the strain field. Because the finite element calculated strain is a tensor, it needs to be projected along the monitoring well trajectory to be comparable with the DAS strain, which is uniaxial. Moreover, the calculated strain field is transformed into a time domain using constant fracture propagation velocity. Strain rate is further derived from the simulated strain field using differentiation along the fracture propagation direction. Scenarios including a single planar hydraulic fracture, a single fracture with a discrete fracture network (DFN), and multiple planar hydraulic fractures in both vertical and horizontal directions were studied. The scenarios can be differentiated in the strain patterns on the basis of the finite element simulation results. In general, there is a tensile heart-shaped zone in front of the propagating fracture tip shown along the horizontal strain direction on both strain and strain rate plots. On the sides, there are compressional zones parallel to the fracture. The strain field projects beyond the depth where the hydraulic fracture is present. Patterns from strain rate can be used to distinguish whether the fracture is intersecting the fiber. Along the vertical direction, the transition zone depicts the upper boundary of the fracture. A complex fracture network with DFN shows a much more complex pattern compared with a single planar fracture. Multiple planar fractures show polarity reversals in horizontal fiber because of interactions between fractures. Data from the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site 2 (HFTS2) experiment were used to validate the simulated results. The application of the study is to provide a template to better interpret hydraulic fracture characteristics using low-frequency DAS strain-monitoring data. To our understanding, there are no comprehensive templates for engineers to understand the strain signals from cross-well fiber monitoring. The results of this study will guide engineers toward better optimization of well spacing and fracturing design to minimize well interference and improve efficiency.
Summary Knowledge of fracture‐entry pressures or formation‐face pressures (FFPs) during acid‐fracturing treatments in real‐time mode can help in evaluating the effectiveness of the treatment and improve the decision‐making process during execution. In this paper, methods and tools used to generate FFPs in real‐time mode with the help of bottomhole‐pressure (BHP) data are discussed in detail. The horizontal wells selected for the study were drilled and completed in the North Sea with permanent BHP gauges that enabled constant monitoring of downhole pressures. The tool in discussion uses the combination of treatment data such as surface pressure, fluid density, injection rates, fluid type, wellbore details, and wellbore deviation, along with bottomhole‐gauge pressures, to calculate fracture‐inlet pressures just outside the casing at active perforation(s) depth. The tool performs the calculations in “live” mode during treatment execution and simultaneously generates a dynamic array of data that assists in “on‐the‐fly” evaluation and the decision‐making process. Several acid‐fracture treatments were analyzed using the tool and led to important conclusions related to fracture‐propagation modes, acid‐exposure times, and the effectiveness of given acid types. The results had a direct influence on the modification of treatment designs and pump schedules to optimize treatment outcomes.
Engineers commonly expect symmetric fracture wings in multiple-transverse-fracture horizontal wells. Microseismic surveys have shown that asymmetric hydraulic fractures grow away from the recent fractured wells and grow toward previously produced wells. This might be caused by the elevated stress around the recently fractured well and the reduced stress near the depleted wells. This paper presents the asymmetric fracture growth observed by the microseismic events, develops a simple model to simulate the fracture propagation, and discusses its effect on the well productivity.
Motivated by the microseismic observations, we developed a simple 2D fracture model to simulate asymmetric fracture wings that can capture the behavior of fracture hits between two adjacent horizontal fractured wells. Fluid leakoff during fracture propagation is considered in the model. The effect of asymmetric fractures on production is evaluated with numerical simulations.
The newly developed fracture model shows that the fracture can grow asymmetrically if the horizontal well is near where the stress field is different between its two sides. Numerical simulation is used to quantify the productivity reduction caused by asymmetric hydraulic fractures. Our results provide a reason for why asymmetric fractures occur and demonstrate that they do penalize well performance. Our model suggests the importance of fracturing under a balanced-stress distribution that benefits long-term production. Use of this model also suggested that an optimized hydraulic-fracturing-treatment design will improve the overall performance of multiple parallel wells, which minimizes or avoids asymmetric fracture wings.
The fracture-propagation model and productivity model provide simple but profound guidelines for well-pad management, including well spacing, stage planning and spacing, and completion and production order.
Targac, Gary (ConocoPhillips) | Gallo, Courtney (ConocoPhillips) | Smith, David (ConocoPhillips) | Huang, Chung-Kan (ConocoPhillips) | Autry, Sydney (ConocoPhillips) | Peirce, John (ConocoPhillips) | Baohong, Li (Daqing Xinwantong Science and Technology Development Co)
Waterflood conformance is a significant problem in the West Sak field of Alaska. Re-assembling Pre-Formed Particle Gels (RPPG) have been used to treat Void Space Conduits (VSC) and repair the "short-circuited" waterflood. These VSC’s are typically formed by sand producing wormholes. Several dozen VSC solutions have been implemented since 2006, including molten wax, cement blends, and pre-formed particle gels. To date, all the solutions have been faced with various limitations due to the low reservoir temperature and poor sand consolidation.
A good percentage of the pre-formed particle gel (PPG) solutions have been successful in sealing off VSCs, but often show limited longevity that can range from as little as several weeks to several years. An effort was undertaken to develop a product that would provide enhanced stability in the VSC and extend solution life beyond the current range. A cost-effective conformance solution was developed with increased mechanical strength through a re-crosslinking process known as RPPG. The goal of the RPPG solution is to provide a longer-term repair to a VSC and restore the primary water flood characteristics.
This paper will present the results of the seventeen RPPG solutions that have been pumped between 2017 and 2019 in the West Sak field on the North Slope of Alaska. RPPG treatments have shown a 23% improvement over traditional PPG treatments at the economic payout during the field trial. There have been some significant learnings through this time period. The focus of this paper will be to review the VSC problem understanding and the reason for the RPPG product development, detail the evolution of RPPG job design over time and provide results and operational knowledge from the field trial efforts.
The latest advancements in conformance engineering will be of interest to Reservoir and Production Engineers who are focused on supporting and optimizing conventional waterflooded assets, particularly when faced with conformance issues in an unconsolidated reservoir. In addition, the field results will be useful to those seeking to implement RPPG solutions in their area of operation.