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Swiss oil trader Vitol said on 30 April that its oil and gas subsidiary, Vencer Energy, was buying Hunt Oil Company's assets in the Permian Basin for an undisclosed sum. Media outlets including Bloomberg and Reuters cited sources that pegged the asking price at around $1 billion. Houston-based Vencer was established last year as the trading giant's first foray into the upstream sector. The assets include leases on 44,000 acres in the Midland Basin side of the Permian, with an output about 40,000 BOE/D. "This is an important day for Vencer as it establishes itself as a significant shale producer in the US Lower 48. We expect US oil to be an important part of global energy balances for years to come, and we believe this is an opportune time for investment into an entry platform in the Americas," said Ben Marshall, the head of Vitol's Americas business unit.
Abstract Characterization of hydraulic fracture system in multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHW) is one of the key steps in well spacing optimization of tight and shale reservoirs. Different methods have been proposed in the industry including core-through, micro-seismic, off-set pressure data monitoring during hydraulic fracturing, pressure depletion mapping, rate-transient analysis, pressure-transient analysis, and pressure interference test. Pressure interference test for a production and monitoring well pair includes flowing the production well at a stable rate while keeping the monitoring well shut-in and recording its pressure. In this study, the coupled flow of gas in hydraulic fractures and matrix systems during pressure interference test is modeled using an analytical method. The model is based on Laplace transform combined with pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time. The model is validated against numerical simulation to make sure the inter-well communication test is reasonably represented. Two key parameters were introduced and calculated with time using the analytical model including pressure drawdown ratio and pressure decline ratio. The model is applied to two field cases from Montney formation. In this case, two wells in the gas condensate region of Montney were selected for a pressure interference test. The monitoring well was equipped with downhole gauges. As the producing well was opened for production, the bottom-hole pressure of the monitoring well started declining at much lower rate than the production well. The pressure decline rate in the monitoring well eventually approached that of the producing well after days of production. This whole process was modeled using the analytical model of this study by adjusting the conductivity of the communicating fractures between the well pairs. This study provides a practical analytical tool for quantitative analysis of the interference test in MFHWs. This model can be integrated with other tools for improved characterization of hydraulic fracture systems in tight and shale reservoirs.
Brinkley, Kourtney (Devon Energy) | Ingle, Trevor (Devon Energy) | Haffener, Jackson (Devon Energy) | Chapman, Philip (Devon Energy) | Baker, Scott (Devon Energy) | Hart, Eric (Devon Energy) | Haustveit, Kyle (Devon Energy) | Roberts, Jon (Devon Energy)
Abstract This case study details the use of Sealed Wellbore Pressure Monitoring (SWPM) to improve the characterization of fracture geometry and propagation during stimulation of inter-connected stacked pay in the South Texas Eagle Ford Shale. The SWPM workflow utilizes surface pressure gauges to detect hydraulically induced fracture arrivals athorizontal monitor locations adjacent to the stimulated wellbore (Haustveit et al. 2020). A stacked and staggered development in Dewitt County provided the opportunity to jointly evaluateprimary completion and recompletion efforts spanning three reservoir target intervals. Fivemonitor wells at varying distances across the unit were employed for SWPM during the stimulation of four wells. An operational overview, analysis of techniques, correlation with seismic attributes, image log interpretations, and fracture model calibration are provided. Outputs from this workflow allow for a refined analysis ofthe overall completion strategy. The high-density, five well monitor array recorded a total of 160 fracture arrivals at varying vertical and lateral distances, with far-field fracture arrivalsprovidingsignificant insight into propagation rates and geometry. Apronounced trend occurred in both arrival frequency and volumes pumped as monitor locations increased in distance from the treatment well. Specific to target zone isolation, it was identified that traversing vertically in section through a high stress interval yielded a 30% reduction inarrival frequency. An indirect relationship between horizontal distance and arrival frequency was also observed when monitoring from the same interval. A decrease in fracture arrivals from 70% down to 8% was realized as offset distance increased from 120 to 1,700 ft. The results from this study have proven to be instrumental in guiding interdisciplinary discussion. Assessing fracture geometry and propagation during stimulation, particularly in the co-development of a stacked pay reservoir, is paramount to the determination of proper completion volume, perforation design, and well spacing. Leveraging the observations of SWPM ultimately provides greater confidence in field development strategy and economic optimization.
Guo, Yifei (The University of Texas at Austin) | Ashok, Pradeepkumar (The University of Texas at Austin) | van Oort, Eric (The University of Texas at Austin) | Patterson, Ross (Hess Corporation) | Zheng, Dandan (Hess Corporation) | Isbell, Matthew (Hess Corporation) | Riopelle, Austin (Marathon Oil Corporation)
Abstract Well interference, which is commonly referred to as frac hits, has become a significant factor affecting production in fractured horizontal shale wells with the increase in infill drilling in recent years. Today, there is still no clear understanding on how frac hits affect production. This paper aims to develop a process to automatically identify the different types of frac hits and to determine the effect of stage-to-well distance and frac hit intensity on long-term parent well production. First, child well completions data and parent well pressure data are processed by a frac hit detection algorithm to automatically identify different frac hit intensities and duration within each stage. This algorithm classifies frac hits based on the magnitude of the differential pressure spikes. The frac stage to parent well distance is also calculated. Then, we compare the daily production trend before and after the frac hits to determine the severity of its influence on production. Finally, any evident correlations between the stage-to-well distance, frac hit intensity and production change are identified and investigated. This work utilizes 3 datasets covering 22 horizontal wells in the Bakken Formation and 37 horizontal wells in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation. These sets included well trajectories, child well completions data, parent well pressure data and parent well production data. The frac hit detection algorithm developed can accurately detect frac hits in the available dataset with minimal false alerts. The data analysis results show that frac hit severity (production response) and intensity (pressure response) are not only affected by the distance between parent and child wells, but also affected by the directionality of the wells. Parent wells tend to experience more frac hits from the child frac stages with smaller direction angles and shorter stage-to-parent distances. Formation stress change with time is another factor that affects frac hit intensity. Depleted wells are more susceptible to frac hits even if they are further from the child wells. Also, we observe frac hits in parent wells due to a stimulation of a child well in a different shale formation. This paper presents a novel automated frac hit detection algorithm to quickly identify different types of frac hits. This paper also presents a novel way of carrying out production analysis to determine whether frac hits in a well have positive or negative influence long-term production. Additionally, the paper introduces the concept of the stage-to-well distance as a more accurate metric for analyzing the influence of frac hits on production.
Dontsov, Egor (ResFrac Corporation) | Suarez-Rivera, Roberto (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Panse, Rohit (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Quinn, Christopher (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | LaReau, Heather (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Suter, Kirke (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Hines, Chris (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Montgomery, Ryan (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Koontz, Kyle (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.)
Abstract As the number of wells drilled in regions with existing producing wells increases, understanding the detrimental impact of these by the depleted zone around parent wells becomes more urgent and important. This understanding should include being able to predict the extent and heterogeneity of the depleted region near the pre-existing wells, the resulting altered stress field, and the effect of this on newly created fractures from adjacent child wells. In this paper we present a workflow that addresses the above concern in the Eagle Ford shale play, using numerical simulations of fracturing and reservoir flow, to define the effect of the depletion zone on child wells and match their field production data. We utilize an ultra-fast hydraulic fracture and depletion model to conduct several hundred numerical simulations, with varying values of permeability and surface area, seeking for cases that match the field production data. Multiple solutions exist that match the field data equally well, and we used additional field production data of parent-child well-interaction, to select the most plausible model. Results show that the depletion zone is strongly non-uniform and that large reservoir regions remain undepleted. We observe two important effects of the depleted zone on fractures from child wells drilled adjacent to the parents. Some fractures propagate towards low pressure zones and do not contribute to production. Others are repelled by the higher stress region that develops around the depletion zone, propagate into undepleted rock, and have production rates commensurate to that from other child wells drilled away from depleted region. The observations are validated by the field data. Results are being used to optimize well placement and well spacing for subsequent field operations, with the objective to increase the effectiveness of the child wells.
Shale producer Oasis Petroleum said Monday that it is acquiring Williston Basin assets from Diamondback Energy in a cash deal valued at $745 million. Oasis will take on about 17,700 B/D in existing oil production on 95,000 net acres of leases at a cost of nearly $28,000 per BOED, the company said in its announcement. The acquisition's production will add to the operator's first-quarter base of about 36,800 B/D of oil, bringing pro forma production to an estimated 54,500 B/D. "This exciting acquisition is a great example of how Oasis is addressing the needs of tomorrow, by taking action in our new industry paradigm, today," Danny Brown, Oasis' CEO, said in a statement. "This acquisition materially enhances scale in our core Bakken asset at an attractive valuation, with the purchase price almost entirely based on PDP and very little value attributed to the development of the top-tier inventory or potential synergies," he continued.
Xu, Guoqing (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering (Corresponding author) | Han, Yujiao (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)) | Jiang, Yun (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Shi, Yang (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina (Corresponding author) | Wang, Mingxian (email: email@example.com)) | Zeng, XingHang (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina (Corresponding author)
Summary Spontaneous imbibition (SI) is regarded as an effective method to improve the oil recovery in a tight sandstone reservoir, which leads to a significant change in fracturing design and flowback treatment. However, a longtime shut-in period would aggravate the retention of fracturing fluid, which is in contradiction with high production in the field. It is imperative to understand how SI works during shut-in time, so as to maximize the effect of imbibition in oil recovery enhancement. In this study, a series of experiments were conducted to simulate the status of residual oil saturation so that the inner mechanism of imbibition on oil recovery can be investigated. Low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (LF-NMR) was used to provide direct observation of phase changes in different pore sizes. The experimental results show a positive effect of imbibition on residual oil reduction. This phenomenon further elucidates the observations made during the well shut-in, soaking period, and low flowback efficiency. This study aims to understand the mechanism of SI behavior and help to improve the accuracy of production prediction.
Summary Various unified gas flow (UGF) and apparent permeability models have been proposed to characterize the complex gas transport mechanisms in shale formations. However, such models are typically expressed as combinations of multiple gas flow mechanisms so that they cannot predict gas velocity profile. In this study, we develop a novel approach to predict the gas velocity profile in the entire Knudsen number (Kn) regime for circular and noncircular (i.e., square, rectangular, triangular and elliptical) nanochannels and investigate the effects of cross-sectional geometry on gas transport in nanochannels. To this end, a new UGF model is proposed to describe the gas flow behaviors in the entire Kn regime, considering the effects of gas slippage, bulk diffusion, Knudsen diffusion, surface diffusion, and cross-sectional geometry of flow channel. In addition, the boundary condition of the semianalytical second-order slip model applicable to various cross-sectional geometries is modified by adjusting the slip coefficients through the comparison between the proposed UGF model and the Navier-Stokes (N-S) equation with second-order slip boundary condition. As a result, the velocity profile of free gas in the entire Kn regime for the nanochannel with a specific cross section can be determined by solving the second-order slip model with adjusted slip coefficients via the finite element method. The results indicate that the geometry of the cross section has a significant influence on the mass flow rate and gas velocity profile in nanochannels. The predicted mass flow rates for the nanochannels with identical hydraulic diameter decrease with the cross-sectional geometry in the sequence as ellipse > equilateral triangle > rectangle > square > circle. However, the ranking of velocity profiles for such nanochannels, which is governed by the cross-sectional geometry, also varies with Kn. These findings indicate that the developed approach can predict the synergetic gas transport (i.e., gas slippage, bulk diffusion, Knudsen diffusion, and surface diffusion) and gas velocity profile in nanochannels with different cross-sectional geometries for a wide range of Kn, which gives insight into the characterization of gas flow behaviors in nanoporous shale.
Summary Shale, which has pores as small as 10 nm, is economically viable for hydrocarbon recovery when it is fractured. Although the fracture toughness dictates the required energy for the improvement, the existing techniques are not suitable for characterization at scales smaller than 1 cm. Developing practical methods for characterization is crucial because fractures can contribute to an accessible pore volume at different scales. This study proposes a conceptual model to characterize the anisotropic fracture toughness of shale using nanoindentations on a sub-1-cm scale. The conceptual model reveals the complexities of characterizing shales and explains why induced fractures differ from those observed in more-homogeneous media, such as fused silica. Samples from the Wolfcamp Formation were tested using Berkovich and cube-corner tips, and the interpreted fracture toughness values are promising. The conceptual model is the first application of the effective-medium theory for fracture toughness characterization using nanoindentation. In addition, it can quantify fracture toughness variations when using small samples, such as drill cuttings. Introduction Shale is a sedimentary rock containing clay minerals and silt-sized particles (Blatt and Tracy 1996) with a pore size of smaller than 100 nm in its matrix, which results in ultralow permeability. Shale gas was first extracted in 1821 (Hill et al. 2004) and has recently become economically viable because of hydraulic fracturing. This has made the US a significant fossil fuel producer. Since the Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation performed the first hydraulic fracturing using water-based muds in 1947 (King 2012), many stimulations have shown favorable results and an increased recovery rate.