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Abstract Distributed Fiber Optics (DFO) technology has been the new face for unconventional well diagnostics. This technology focuses on measuring Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Distrusted Temperature Sensing (DTS) to give an in-depth understanding of well productivity pre and post stimulation. Many different completion design strategies, both on surface and downhole, are used to obtain the best fracture network outcome; however, with complex geological features, different fracture designs, and fracture driven interactions (FDIs) effecting nearby wells, it is difficult to grasp a full understanding on completion design performance for each well. Validating completion designs and improving on the learnings found in each data set should be the foundation in developing each field. Capturing a data set with strong evidence of what works and what doesn't, can help the operator make better engineering decisions to make more efficient wells as well as help gauge the spacing between each well. The focus of this paper will be on a few case studies in the Bakken which vividly show how infill wells greatly interfered with production output. A DFO deployed with a 0.6" OD, 23,000-foot-long carbon fiber rod to acquire DAS and DTS for post frac flow, completion, and interference evaluation. This paper will dive into the DFO measurements taken post frac to further explain what effects are seen on completion designs caused by interferences with infill wells; the learnings taken from the DFO post frac were applied to further escalate the understanding and awareness of how infill wells will preform on future pad sites. A showcase of three separate data sets from the Bakken will identify how effective DFO technology can be in evaluating and making informed decisions on future frac completions. In this paper we will also show and discuss how DFO can measure real time FDI events and what measures can be taken to lessen the impact on negative interference caused by infill wells.
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 In the present cost-constrained environment, it is critical that operators effectively complete their wells while minimizing capital expenditure. Optimization efforts focus on increasing recovery factor by managing landing zone, increasing the number of effective fractures, increasing the size of the fractures, and increasing the length of the lateral, while reducing the total number of stages and job size, without sacrificing efficient proppant and fluid delivery. The same pressure to reduce expenditure also impacts decision making on diagnostic evaluation, reducing operators to ‘free’ or low-cost feedback, like surface production rates and decline curves. Operators are responding to these challenges by utilizing a combination of lower cost, post-completion diagnostics like deployed fiber optics, downhole camera evaluation of perforations and radioactive tracers. These less expensive options allow for a broader scope and number of diagnostic inquiries, whereas a permanent fiber may prove to be cost-prohibitive, reducing diagnostic focus to one well, in one part of a play. Combining differing diagnostic technologies enhances the overall description of the well and reservoir behaviors and improves confidence in their interpretation of stimulation and production efficiency; furthermore, where a single diagnostic measurement may be unlikely to justify dramatic change in a completion strategy, a combination of data points from different domains can and does support design change that leads to rapid, real world performance improvements. Care is needed in the conclusions drawn when utilizing complimentary diagnostics due to the differences in depth of investigation and the non-unique interpretation of some data types. This paper discusses three post-completion diagnostic technologies, perforation evaluation by downhole camera, radioactive tracers, and distributed acoustic and temperature sensing (DAS+DTS) data and their respective physical measurements, strengths and weaknesses and how they can be combined to better understand well and reservoir behavior. It concludes with a review of completion optimization efforts from the Rockies area, where these post-completion diagnostic technologies were applied in the evaluation of eXtreme Limited Entry (XLE) trials. A statistical analysis of the RA tracer, downhole camera measurement of perforation area and deployed fiber optic acquisition of DAS+DTS reveals no correlation between diagnostic answers, indicating no one diagnostic measurement can accurately predict the other, such that it could substitute for that diagnostic and provide the same answer. Asking the right question can often enhance the value of diagnostic descriptions of the system in question. Those answers often lead to the next question and clear the path forward in advancing completion optimization. Complimentary diagnostics facilitate a more complete understanding of stimulation and production performance when compared, increasing confidence when they agree. When one or more appear to disagree, the different respective physical measurements and depths of investigation often reveal a more complete and complex understanding of stimulation and production efficiency. As an aggregate they provide clarity on the effect of efforts to create conductive pathways into the reservoir, allowing operators increased control over the resulting production.
Abstract In this paper, the authors examine the impacts of natural fractures on the distribution of slurry in a well with a permanent fiber installation and drill bit geomechanics data. Additionally, they propose a framework for further investigation of natural fractures on slurry distribution. As part of the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL), the operator monitored the drilling of a horizontal Marcellus Formation well with drill bit geomechanics, and subsequent stimulation phase with a DAS/DTS permanent fiber installation. Prior to the completion, the authors used an analytical model to examine the theoretical distribution of slurry between perforation clusters from a geomechanics framework. A perforation placement scheme was then developed to minimize the stress difference between clusters and to segment stages by the intensity of natural fractures while conforming to standard operating procedures for the operator's other completions. The operator initially began completing the well with the geomechanics-informed perforation placement plan while monitoring the treatment distribution with DAS/DTS in real time. The operator observed several anomalous stages with treating pressures high enough to cause operational concerns. The operator, fiber provider, and drill bit geomechanics provider reviewed the anomalous stages’ treatment data, DAS/DTS data, and geomechanics data and developed a working hypothesis. They believed that perforation clusters placed in naturally fractured rock were preferentially taking the treatment slurry. This phenomenon appeared to cause other clusters within the stage to sand-off or become dormant prematurely, resulting in elevated friction pressure. This working hypothesis was used to predict upcoming stages within the well that would be difficult to treat. Another perforation placement plan was developed for the second half of the well to avoid perforating natural fractures as an attempt to mitigate operational issues due to natural fracture dominated distribution. Over the past several years, the industry's growing understanding of geomechanical and well construction variability has created new limited-entry design considerations to optimize completion economics and reduce the variability in cluster slurry volumes. Completion engineers working in naturally fractured fields, such as the Marcellus, should consider the impact the natural fractures have on slurry distribution when optimizing their limited-entry designs and stage plan.
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 The Delaware Basin encompasses 6.4 million acres throughout Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. With large players such as ExxonMobil, Shell or Oxy typically grabbing headlines, it's easy to forget the multitude of smaller public and private E&P operators who exist in and around the acreage positions of the aforementioned companies. Regardless of the size of the acreage holding, a consistent theme is that a typical horizontal well drilled and completed (D&C) will yield water cuts of 60-90% at any given period in its productive lifespan. Saltwater production, handling and disposal (SWD) is a drag on lease operating expenses (LOE). SWD costs via trucking, pipeline, or on-lease SWD wells can range between $0.50-$3.00/bbl. As existing infrastructure is exhausted, water handling costs have been projected to rise to over $5.00/bbl. Additionally, restricted access to SWD could cause production curtailments and thus impacting operators beyond direct LOE. Well completion operations are impacted by freshwater procurement costs starting around $0.75/bbl. Regardless of final frac design, water consumption during fracturing operations typically exceeds 500,000 bbls or $375,000 per well. Significant value exists for recycling produced water via an on-lease pit and utilizing it for future frac operations. The produced water turns into an asset if the operator can efficiently manage to substitute higher and higher percentages of freshwater with produced water. Many smaller operators (defined as less than 50,000 acres) may view produced water recycling as an operation best left to large E&P's with their massive capital budgets and contiguous acreage. Fortunately, even a 5 well, section development plan can yield returns from an on-lease produced water recycling program.
For too long, the upstream industry has been held back by silos that disrupt workflows, limit access to valuable data, and create inefficiency. With its open, standards-based data ecosystem, the Open Group OSDU Forum has the potential to address these limitations and significantly increase the interoperability of E&P data. The recent launch of the OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release is timely given the industry's focus on digital transformation, and the associated data and automation challenges. Research by industry analysts IDC has highlighted the importance of data management for digital transformation and has found that data centralization, consistency, integration, quality and governance are top investment priorities for operators (read the full white paper here). We are very familiar with these challenges and have helped organizations of all types and sizes (from majors and NOCs to independents) address them using EDM for Energy, our source- and destination-agnostic workflow automation and data management platform.
Key Takeaways - At-a-glance labeling is a user-friendly visual aid system that uses color-coded shapes and symbols, as well as portable secondary containers to reduce or eliminate chemical mismatches and cross contamination. - The at-a-glance system helps operators navigate around what was nicknamed “the oil maze.” - The benefits of implementing an at-a-glance system include reduction of injuries and illnesses related to mismatches and cross contamination; increased continuity in plant operations due to machine and worker availability; compliance with OSHA regulations; reduced costs associated with workers’ compensation and machine maintenance and repair; increased equipment effectiveness and daily product throughput in a plant; ability to train machine operations on multiple machines; and reduced duration on temporary worker training. The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, was the second most cited standard in general industry for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, with 4,170 violations in 2019 alone. Section 1910.1200(f)(6), relative to workplace labeling, was among the top five sections cited, with a total number of 352 cases (Druley, 2019). Each case cited will likely carry either a recommended or a mandatory penalty. Beyond the financial losses, these violations imply countless potential for human suffering (e.g., injuries, illnesses, emotional distress) and organizational loss. Chemical exposure may cause or contribute to many serious health effects (e.g., heart ailments, central nervous system, kidney and lung damage, sterility, cancer, burns, rashes). Some chemicals may also pose safety hazards and have the potential to cause fires, explosions and other serious incidents. Considering these potential negative impacts, every workplace, no matter the size, should prioritize the development of a system designed to, at least, promote the systematic labeling of containers, regardless of where the company uses, stores, labels or disposes of chemicals. The author’s former employer developed such a system and reaped benefits well beyond avoiding OSHA fines and promoting worker safety and health.
Anti-fossil fuel advocates have argued that oil and gas operations inherently destroy our planet and should be replaced completely. According to author Alex Epstein in his 2014 book titled The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, "[t]here is only one way to defeat the moral case against fossil fuels--refute [the] central idea that fossil fuels destroy the planet. Because if we don't refute that idea, we accept it, and if we accept that fossil fuels are destroying the planet, the only logical conclusion is to cease new development and slow down existing development as much as possible." The orphaned well situation presents an opportunity for our industry to prove we are not destroying the planet. Recent headlines blame abandoned wells for greenhouse gas emissions and unresolved sink holes.