|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
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 Market-induced production shut-downs and restarts offer us an opportunity to gather step-rate and shut-in data for pressure transient analysis (PTA) and rate transient analysis (RTA). In this study, we present a unified transient analysis (UTA) to combine PTA and RTA in a single framework. In this new approach continuous production data, step-rate data, shut-in data and re-start data can be visualized and analyzed in a single superposition plot, which can be used to estimate both and infer formation pore pressure in a holistic manner by utilizing all available data. Most importantly, we show that traditional log-log and square root of time plots can lead to false interpretation of the termination of linear-flow or power-law behavior. Field cases are presented to demonstrate the superiority of the newly introduced superposition plot, along with discussion on the calibration of long-term bottom-hole pressure with short-term measurements.
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.
Abstract The application of high viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) in unconventional plays has steadily increased over the past years, not only as alternatives to conventional friction reducers (FRs) but also as a direct replacement for the use of guar-based fluids. HVFRs demonstrate more efficient proppant transport, due to their unique rheological properties, concurrently with a high friction reduction effect allowing higher pumping rates. However, all these benefits come with few critical limitations related to frac water quality, compatibility with other additives, and static proppant suspension, which makes them very similar to conventional crosslinked gels regarding their Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) requirements at a well location during the field implementation. This paper illustrates the comprehensive laboratory efforts undertaken to evaluate different HVFR and crosslinked gel products, their successful field application supported by a robust and effective field QAQC process, and the critical importance of maintaining effective field-laboratory-field interaction/cycle to optimize the fluid design and maximize the results. Experimental studies on different products were conducted to measure the effect of frac water quality, HVFR loading, breaker loading, and compatibility with other additives used in the fluid recipe such as surfactants, scale inhibitors, and biocides. The ability of HVFR to suspend and transport proppant is not only a function of polymer loading but also highly influenced by fluid velocity as static and semi-dynamic proppant suspension tests demonstrate. Additionally, a full dynamic proppant transport test was also conducted using a multi-branched slot apparatus to simulate the flow inside a complex fracture network. Field execution followed a strict QAQC protocol including water analysis, field laboratory tests, water filtration, mixing procedure, product storage, and transport allowing direct onsite replication of the results that had been previously obtained in the laboratory. Constant communication between the field and the laboratory allowed a successful execution of several treatments in a challenging shale play in the Sichuan Region, China. These treatments achieved record proppant placements and, just as importantly, they demonstrated repeatability and consistency over time; which had not previously been attained. Laboratory testing proved critical in confirming that product segregation was occurring, even if there was no visual observation of this phenomenon, which had resulted in initial difficulties in fluid quality and reliability. The presence of constant QAQC engineering support on location was instrumental in rapidly identifying the potential root cause(s) and efficiently and correctly applying the necessary corrective actions. This paper will highlight the importance of laboratory testing, in order to design and optimize the fluid system. The paper will also demonstrate how critical the onsite QAQC is through actual examples of fluid optimization and field implementation. These two activities, although requiring a substantial resource commitment and effort, are both required to achieve successful execution.
Huckabee, Paul (Shell Exploration & Production Co.) | Ledet, Chris (Shell Exploration & Production Co.) | Ugueto, Gustavo (Shell Exploration & Production Co.) | Tolle, John (Shell Exploration & Production Co.) | Mondal, Somnath (Shell Exploration & Production Co.)
Abstract This paper presents design considerations and field trial applications for determining practical dimensions and limits for interdependencies associated with stage length, perforation clusters and limited entry pressures. Recent applications by multiple authors and companies have begun to reverse the decade-long trend of reducing stage length and perforation spacing, in favor of extending stage lengths, to capture free cash flow value for unconventional resource development. Aggressive limited entry has been an enabler for successful extended stage length applications. Multiple authors have advocated "eXtreme Limited Entry" (XLE) applications. We present diagnostics data and applications that challenges the need for XLE and better constrains the necessary amount of limited entry pressures for effective stimulation distribution for resource development across multiple North American Basins. Data is presented from integrated application of field trials, stimulation distribution diagnostics, and well performance analysis. Field trials and well performance analysis are from the Permian Delaware Basin Wolfcamp. The field trials include both: greater perforation cluster intensities for base design stage lengths; and extended stage lengths of 50% greater than the base designs. Diagnostics are from multiple North American Basins and include discrete treatment pressure diagnostics and optic fiber distributed sensing. Data is presented to quantify the magnitude and variability for components necessary for maintaining active fracture extension for multiple perforation clusters. Components include: fracture breakdown pressures; in-situ stress, net fracture extension pressure, and near wellbore complexity pressure drop. Data and examples are presented from multiple wells, and resource development areas, to show the variability in measured treatment pressures for different length scale dimensions. This variability is used to determine the amount of limited entry pressure required to maintain fracture extension, dependent on the stage length dimension. Although Aggressive Limited Entry (ALE) is generally required to enable effective stimulation distribution and extended stage lengths in multiple cluster stages, examples are presented that demonstrate XLE is generally not required. We also discuss some of the considerations and observations that limit perforation cluster spacing intensities. Well performance data from the field trials is presented to validate the applications. This work demonstrates the value of integrated application of field trials, stimulation distribution diagnostics, and well performance analysis to capture free cash flow value from improved completions and stimulation designs. The discussion will include an assessment of future opportunities for further extension of stage length dimensions.
Abstract The subject of this paper is the application of a unique machine learning approach to the evaluation of Wolfcamp B completions. A database consisting of Reservoir, Completion, Frac and Production information from 301 Multi-Fractured Horizontal Wolfcamp B Completions was assembled. These completions were from a 10-County area located in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin. Within this database there is a wide variation in completion design from many operators; lateral lengths ranging from a low of about 4,000 ft to a high of almost 15,000 ft, proppant intensities from 500 to 4,000 lb/ft and frac stage spacing from 59 to 769 ft. Two independent self-organizing data mappings (SOM) were performed; the first on completion and frac stage parameters, the second on reservoir and geology. Characteristics for wells assigned to each SOM bin were determined. These two mappings were then combined into a reservoir type vs completion type matrix. This type of approach is intended to remove systemactic errors in measuement, bias and inconsistencies in the database so that more realistic assessments about well performance can be made. Production for completion and reservoir type combinations were determined. As a final step, a feed forward neural network (ANN) model was developed from the mapped data. This model was used to estimate Wolfcamp B production and economics for completion and frac designs. In the performance of this project, it became apparent that the incorporation of reservoir data was essential to understanding the impact of completion and frac design on multi-fractured horizontal Wolfcamp B well production and economic performance. As we would expect, wells with the most permeability, higher pore pressure, effective porosity and lower water saturation have the greatest potential for hydrocarbon production. The most effective completion types have an optimum combination of proppant intensity, fluid intensity, treatment rate, frac stage spacing and perforation clustering. This paper will be of interest to anyone optimizing hydraulically fractured Wolfcamp B completion design or evaluating Permian Basin prospects. Also, of interest is the impact of reservoir and completion characteristics such as permeability, porosity, water saturation, pressure, offset well production, proppant intensity, fluid intensity, frac stage spacing and lateral length on well production and economics. The methodology used to evaluate the impact of reservoir and completion parameters for this Wolfcamp project is unique and novel. In addition, compared to other methodologies, it is low cost and fast. And though the focus of this paper is on the Wolfcamp B Formation in the Midland Basin, this approach and workflow can be applied to any formation in any Basin, provided sufficient data is available.
Ferrar, Joseph (DuPont Microbial Control) | Maun, Philip (DuPont Microbial Control) | Wunch, Kenneth (DuPont Microbial Control) | Moore, Joseph (DuPont Microbial Control) | Rajan, Jana (DuPont Microbial Control) | Raymond, Jon (DuPont Microbial Control) | Solomon, Ethan (DuPont Microbial Control) | Paschoalino, Matheus (DuPont Microbial Control)
Abstract We report the design, operation and biogenic souring data from a first-of-its kind suite of High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) Bioreactors for hydraulically fractured shale reservoirs. These bioreactors vet the ability of microbial control technologies, such as biocides, to prevent the onset of microbial contamination and reservoir souring at larger experimental volumes and higher pressures and temperatures than have been previously possible outside of field trials. The bioreactors were charged with proppant, crushed Permian shale, and sterile simulated fracturing fluids (SSFF). Subsets of bioreactors were charged with SSFF dosed with either no biocide, tributyl tetradecyl phosphonium chloride (TTPC, a cationic surface-active biocide), or 4,4-dimethyloxazolidine (DMO, a preservative biocide). The bioreactors were shut in under 1,000-2,500 psi and elevated temperatures for up to fifteen weeks; hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and microbial counts were measured approximately once per week, and additional microbes were introduced after weeks three and five. Across two separate studies, the bioreactors containing no biocide soured within the first week of shut-in and H2S concentrations increased rapidly beyond the maximum detectable level (343 ppm) within the first three to six weeks of shut-in. In the first study, the bioreactors treated with TTPC soured within two weeks of shut-in (prior to the first addition of fresh microbes), and H2S concentrations increased rapidly to nearly 200 ppm H2S within the first six weeks of shut-in and beyond the maximum detectable level after fifteen weeks of shut-in. The bioreactors containing DMO did not sour during either study until at least the first addition of fresh microbes, and higher levels of the preservative biocide continued to prevent the biogenic formation of H2S even during and after the addition of fresh microbes. Microbial counts correlate with the H2S readings across all bioreactor treatments. The differentiation in antimicrobial activity afforded by the different types of biocide treatments validates the use of these simulated laboratory reservoirs as a biocide selection tool. This first-of-its-kind suite of HPHT Bioreactors for hydraulic fracturing provides the most advanced biocide selection tool developed for the hydraulic fracturing industry to date. The bioreactors will guide completions and stimulation engineers in biocide program optimization under reservoir-relevant conditions prior to beginning lengthy and expensive field trials.
Abstract The use of freshwater, near freshwater, or treated water in hydraulic fracturing represents an ever-increasing cost in the Permian Basin. Environmental concerns add to the pressure to develop methods to use significantly higher volumes of produced water in hydraulic fracture fluids. To solve the challenge of viscosifying untreated, high total dissolved solids water a move was made away from organic-based viscosifiers to silica-based technology. Fumed silica is highly effective as a viscosifier for high-density brines that has demonstrated excellent low-end rheology, exceptional suspending ability, and a nominal filter cake. However, the high cost of fumed silica and operational challenges have precluded commercial adoption. This paper describes thatsimilar rheology is achievable at a fraction of the cost using a silica gel. The focus of the paper is on the field trials in West Texas where untreated produced water was viscosified with silica gel and run as alternatives to a standard 20 lb/Mgal crosslinked guar fluid made with fresh water. Low cost and operational efficiencies were obtained bypreparingthe silica gel on-location using standard and readily available hydraulic fracturing equipment. Procedures for making the silica gel-based frac fluid were similar to those of making a crosslinked guar fluid. Field trials have demonstrated that silica-gel carries high loadings of 20/40 mesh sand even at low pump rates. Production data from the trials has varied from exceeding expectations to being similar to existing production results.On a chemical cost basis, silica gel is comparable to a borate-cross-linked guar frac fluid. The economics tip very much in favor of silica gel when factoring in the savings using untreated produced water.
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.
Shahri, Mojtaba (Apache Corp.) | Tucker, Andrew (Apache Corp.) | Rice, Craig (Apache Corp.) | Lathrop, Zach (Apache Corp.) | Ratcliff, Dave (ResFrac) | McClure, Mark (ResFrac) | Fowler, Garrett (ResFrac)
Abstract In the last decade, we have observed major advancements in different modeling techniques for hydraulic fracturing propagation. Direct monitoring techniques such as fibre-optics can be used to calibrate these models and significantly enhance our understanding of subsurface processes. In this study, we present field monitoring observations indicating consistently oriented, planar fractures in an offset-well at different landing zones in the Permian basin. Frac hit counts, location, and timing statistics can be compiled from the data using offset wells at different distances and depths. The statistics can be used to calibrate a detailed three-dimensional fully coupled hydraulic fracturing and reservoir simulator. In addition to these high-level observations, detailed fibre signatures such as strain response during frac arrival to the monitoring well, post shut-in frac propagation and frac speed degradation with length can be modeled using the simulator for further calibration purposes. Application to frac modeling calibration is presented through different case studies. The simulator was used to directly generate the ‘waterfall plot’ output from the fibre-optic under a variety of scenarios. The history match to the large, detailed synthetic fibre dataset provided exceptional model calibration, enabling a detailed description of the fracture geometry, and a high-confidence estimation of key model parameters. The detailed synthetic fibre data generated by the simulator were remarkably consistent with the actual data. This indicates a good consistency with classical analytical fracture mechanics predictions and further confirm the interpretation of planar fracture propagation. This study shows how careful integration of offset-well fibre-optic measurements can provide detailed characterization of fracture geometry, growth rate, and physics. The result is a detailed picture of hydraulic fracture propagation in the Midland Basin. The comparison of the waterfall plot simulations and data indicate that hydraulic fractures can, in fact, be very well modeled as nearly-linear cracks (the ‘planar fracture modeling’ approach).