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ABSTRACT The industry is facing significant challenges due to the recent downturn in oil prices, particularly for the development of tight reservoirs. It is more critical than ever to 1) identify the sweet spots with less uncertainty and 2) optimize the completion-design parameters. The overall objective of this study is to quantify and compare the effects of reservoir quality and completion intensity on well productivity. We developed a supervised fuzzy clustering (SFC) algorithm to rank reservoir quality and completion intensity, and analyze their relative impacts on wells' productivity. We collected reservoir properties and completion-design parameters of 1,784 horizontal oil and gas wells completed in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Then, we used SFC to classify 1) reservoir quality represented by porosity, hydrocarbon saturation, net pay thickness and initial reservoir pressure; and 2) completion-design intensity represented by proppant concentration, number of stages and injected water volume per stage. Finally, we investigated the relative impacts of reservoir quality and completion intensity on wells' productivity in terms of first year cumulative barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). The results show that in low-quality reservoirs, wells' productivity follows reservoir quality. However, in high-quality reservoirs, the role of completion-design becomes significant, and the productivity can be deterred by inefficient completion design. The results suggest that in low-quality reservoirs, the productivity can be enhanced with less intense completion design, while in high-quality reservoirs, a more intense completion significantly enhances the productivity. Keywords Reservoir quality; completion intensity; supervised fuzzy clustering, approximate reasoning,tight reservoirs development
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.
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 Perforation-imaging studies have indicated highly variable results on effectively treating all perforation clusters within a given fracturing stage in horizontal well plug-and-perf applications, even when limited entry designs were used. A field test was executed to trial differing perforating designs and levels of perforation friction for identifying a preferred technique for evenly distributing treatment volume along the lateral. The test was implemented in a horizontal well in the Eagle Ford formation of south Texas. After treatment and plug drill-out operations were completed, a downhole camera was run to visualize perforation entry holes along the entire lateral section. Shaped perforating charges described as equal entry hole charges were used in all stages. The resulting images were analyzed to determine entry hole dimensions and erosion characteristics to determine if alternate perforating strategies provided improved results, as compared to the standard design of multi-phase perforating with 1200 psi of perforation friction. Test results indicate that orienting perforations in a straight line (zero-phase) along the high side of the wellbore significantly improved treatment distribution among perforation clusters. Oriented perforating achieved this benefit without needing to increase initial perforation friction beyond the area standard of 1200 psi. Another result from this project was development of a statistical process for evaluating perforation entry hole erosion data. Entry hole erosion datasets are complex and difficult to analyze. The statistical process presented in this paper demonstrates a clear way to compare the effectiveness of different perforation designs. This paper also covers the operational difficulties encountered during the project which added complexity to analyzing the results. Lastly, this paper offers suggestions for future modifications for oriented perforation designs to further improve limited entry effectiveness.
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.
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 Fracture treatments and stage designs for new wells have evolved considerably over the past decade contributingto significant production growth. For example, in the acreage discussed hererecently used higher intensity fracturing methods provided an ~80% increase in recovery rates compared with legacy wells. Older wells completed originally with less efficient techniques can also benefit from these more up-to-date designs and treatments using re-fracturing methods. These offer the prospect of economically boosting production in appropriately selected wells. While adding in-fill wells has often been favored by Operators as a lowerrisk option the number of wells being re-fractured has grown every year for the last decade. In this case study two adjacent Eagle Ford wells, comprising a newly completed and a re-fractured well, allow both methods to be considered and compared. Completion design and fracture treatment effectiveness are evaluated using the uniformity of proppant distribution at cluster and stage level as the primary measure. Perforation erosion measurements from downhole video footage is used as the main diagnostic. Novel data acquisition methods combined with successful well preparation provided comprehensive and high-quality datasets. The subsequent proppant distribution analysis for the two wells provides the highest confidence results presented to date. Clear, repeatable trends in distribution are observed and these are compared across multiple stage designs for both the newly completed and re-fractured well. Variations in design parameters and how these effects distribution and ultimately recovery are discussed. These include changes to perforation count per cluster, cluster spacing, cluster count per stage, stage length, perforation charge size and treatment rates and volumes. As a final consideration production records for the evaluated wells are also discussed. Historical industry data shows that the number of wells being re-fractured increases relative to the number of newly drilled wells being completed during periods of low oil and gas prices. With the industry again facing harsh economic realities an increasing number of decisions will be made on whether new or refractured wells, or a combination of both, provide the best solution to replace otherwise inevitable production decline. This paper attempts to provide a detailed understanding of how proppant distribution, as a significant factor in production for hydraulically fractured wells, can be evaluated and considered in these decisions.
Abstract A unique well-tracing design for three horizontally drilled wells is presented utilizing proppant tracers and water- and hydrocarbon-soluble tracers to evaluate multiple completion strategies. Results are combined to present an interpretation of them in the reservoir as a whole, where applicable, as well as on an individual well basis. The new approach consists of tracing the horizontal well(s) leaving unchanged segments along the wellbore to obtain relevant control group results not available otherwise. The application of the tracers throughout each wellbore was designed to mitigate or counterbalance variables out of the controllable completion engineering parameters such as heterogeneity along the wellbores, existing reservoir depletion, intra- and inter-well hydraulically driven interactions (frac hits) as well as to minimize any unloading and production biases. Completion strategies are provided, and all the evaluation methodologies are described in detail to permit readers to replicate the approach. One field case study with five horizontal wells is presented. Three infill wells were drilled between two primary wells of varying ages. All wells are shale oil wells with approximately 7,700 ft lateral sections. The recovery of each tracer is compared between the surfactant treated and untreated segments on each well and totalized to see how the petroleum reservoir system is performing. A complete project economic analysis was performed to determine the viability of a chemical additive (a production enhancement surfactant). Meticulous analysis and interpretation of the proppant image logs were performed to discern the cluster stimulation efficiency during the hydraulic fracturing treatments. Furthermore, comparisons of the cluster stimulation efficiency between the two mesh sizes of proppant pumped are also provided for each of the three new unconventional well completions. The most significant new findings are the surfactant effects on the wells’ production performance, and the impact the engineered perforations with tapered shots along the stages had on the stimulation efficiency. Both the right chemistry for the formation and higher cluster stimulation efficiencies are important because they can lead to increased well oil production. The novelty of this tracing design methodology rests in the ability to generate results with a statistically relevant sample size, therefore, increasing the confidence in the conclusions and course of action in future well completions.
Abstract The analyses of parent-child well performance is a complex problem depending on the interplay between timing, completion design, formation properties, direct frac-hits and well spacing. Assessing the impact of well spacing on parent or child well performance is therefore challenging. A naïve approach that is purely observational does not control for completion design or formation properties and can compromise well spacing decisions and economics and perhaps, lead to non-intuitive results. By using concepts from causal inference in randomized clinical trials, we quantify the impact of well spacing decisions on parent and child well performance. The fundamental concept behind causal inference is that causality facilitates prediction; but being able to predict does not imply causality because of association between the variables. In this study, we work with a large dataset of over 3000 wells in a large oil-bearing province in Texas. The dataset includes several covariates such as completion design (proppant/fluid volumes, frac-stages, lateral length, cluster spacing, clusters/stage and others) and formation properties (mechanical and petrophysical properties) as well as downhole location. We evaluate the impact of well spacing on 6-month and 1-year cumulative oil in four groups associated with different ranges of parent-child spacing. By assessing the statistical balance between the covariates for both parent and child well groups (controlling for completion and formation properties), we estimate the causal impact of well spacing on parent and child well performance. We compare our analyses with the routine naïve approach that gives non-intuitive results. In each of the four groups associated with different ranges of parent-child well spacing, the causal workflow quantifies the production loss associated with the parent and child well. This degradation in performance is seen to decrease with increasing well spacing and we provide an optimal well spacing value for this specific multi-bench unconventional play that has been validated in the field. The naïve analyses based on simply assessing association or correlation, on the contrary, shows increasing child well degradation for increasing well spacing, which is simply not supported by the data. The routinely applied correlative analyses between the outcome (cumulative oil) and predictors (well spacing) fails simply because it does not control for variations in completion design over the years, nor does it account for variations in the formation properties. To our knowledge, there is no other paper in petroleum engineering literature that speaks of causal inference. This is a fundamental precept in medicine to assess drug efficacy by controlling for age, sex, habits and other covariates. The same workflow can easily be generalized to assess well spacing decisions and parent-child well performance across multi-generational completion designs and spatially variant formation properties.
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.