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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.
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 In this case study, we apply a novel fracture imaging and interpretation workflow to take a systematic look at hydraulic fractures captured during thorugh fracture coring at the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) in Midland Basin. Digital fracture maps rendered using high resolution 3D laser scans are analyzed for fracture morphology and roughness. Analysis of hydraulic fracture faces show that the roughness varies systematically in clusters with average cluster separation of approximately 20' along the core. While isolated smooth hydraulic fractures are observed in the dataset, very rough fractures are found to be accompanied by proximal smoother fractures. Roughness distribution also helps understand the effect of stresses on fracture distribution. Locally, fracture roughness seems to vary with fracture orientations indicating possible inter-fracture stress effects. At the scale of stage lengths however, we see evidence of inter-stage stress effects. We also observe fracture morphology being strongly driven by rock properties and changes in lithology. Identified proppant distribution along the cored interval is also correlated with roughness variations and we observe strong positive correlation between proppant concentrations and fracture roughness at the local scale. Finally, based on the observed distribution of hydraulic fracture properties, we propose a conceptual spatio-temporal model of fracture propagation which can help explain the hydraulic fracture roughness distribution and ties in other observations as well.
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
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.
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.
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.
Abstract With a recent trend in increased infill well development in the Midland basin and other unconventional plays, it has been shown that depletion has a significant impact on hydraulic fracture propagation. This is largely because production drawdown causes in-situ stress changes, resulting in asymmetric fracture growth toward the depleted regions. In turn, this can have a negative impact on production capacity. For the initial part of this study, an infill child well was drilled and completed adjacent to a parent well that had been producing for two years. Due to drilling difficulties, the child well was steered to a new target zone located 125 feet above the original target. However, relative to the original target, treatment data from the new zone indicated abnormal treatment responses leading to a study to evaluate the source of these variations and subsequent mitigation. The initial study was conducted using a pore pressure estimation derived from drill bit geomechanics data to investigate depletion effects on the infill child well. The pore pressure results were compared to the child well treatment responses and bottom hole pressure measurements in the parent well. Following the initial study, additional hydraulic fracture modeling studies were conducted on a separate pad to investigate depletion around the infill wells, determine optimal well spacing for future wells given the level of depletion, and optimize treatment designs for future wells in similar depletion scenarios. A depletion model workflow was implemented based on integrating hydraulic fracture modeling and reservoir analytics for future infill pad development. The geomechanical properties were calibrated by DFIT results and pressure matching of the parent well treatments for the in-situ virgin conditions. Parent well fracture geometries were used in an RTA for an analytical approach of estimating drainage area of the parent wells. These were then applied to a depletion profile in the hydraulic fracture model for well spacing analysis and treatment design sensitivities. Results of the initial study indicated that stages in the new, higher interval had higher breakdown pressures than the lower interval. Additionally, the child well drilled in the lower interval had normal breakdown pressures in line with the parent well treatments. This suggests that treatment differences in the wells were ultimately due to depletion of the offset parent well. Based on the modeling efforts, optimal infill well spacing was determined based on the on-production time of the parent wells. The optimal treatment designs were also determined under the same conditions to minimize offset frac hits and unnecessary completion costs. This case study presents the use of a multi-disciplinary approach for well spacing and treatment optimization. The integration of a novel method of estimating pore pressure and depletion modeling workflows were used in an inventive way to understand depletion effects on future development.
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.