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Suarez-Rivera, Roberto (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Panse, Rohit (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Sovizi, Javad (Baker Hughes) | Dontsov, Egor (ResFrac Corporation) | LaReau, Heather (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Suter, Kirke (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Blose, Matthew (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Hailu, Thomas (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Koontz, Kyle (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.)
Abstract Predicting fracture behavior is important for well placement design and for optimizing multi-well development production. This requires the use of fracturing models that are calibrated to represent field measurements. However, because hydraulic fracture models include complex physics and uncertainties and have many variables defining these, the problem of calibrating modeling results with field responses is ill-posed. There are more model variables than can be changed than field observations to constrain these. It is always possible to find a calibrated model that reproduces the field data. However, the model is not unique and multiple matching solutions exist. The objective and scope of this work is to define a workflow for constraining these solutions and obtaining a more representative model for forecasting and optimization. We used field data from a multi-pad project in the Delaware play, with actual pump schedules, frac sequence, and time delays as used in the field, for all stages and all wells. We constructed a hydraulic fracturing model using high-confidence rock properties data and calibrated the model to field stimulation treatment data varying the two model variables with highest uncertainty: tectonic strain and average leak-off coefficient, while keeping all other model variables fixed. By reducing the number of adjusting model variables for calibration, we significantly lower the potential for over-fitting. Using an ultra-fast hydraulic fracturing simulator, we solved a global optimization problem to minimize the mismatch between the ISIPs and treatment pressures measured in the field and simulated by the model, for all the stages and all wells. This workflow helps us match the dominant ISIP trends in the field data and delivers higher confidence predictions in the regional stress. However, the uncertainty in the fracture geometry is still large. We also compared these results with traditional workflows that rely on selecting representative stages for calibration to field data. Results show that our workflow defines a better global optimum that best represents the behavior of all stages on all wells, and allows us to provide higher-confidence predictions of fracturing results for subsequent pads. We then used this higher confidence model to conduct sensitivity analysis for improving the well placement in subsequent pads and compared the results of the model predictions with the actual pad results.
Abstract Early hydraulic fracturing completions in the Vaca Muerta Formation in central Argentina have incorporated the use of conventional fluid systems, such as linear and crosslinked guar-based polymers. Within the past few years, however, the benefits of viscosifying friction reducers (VFR) have been demonstrated in the industry, predominantly within the United States. The objective of this project was to trial the VFR fluid technology in fracturing operations in this area for potential use for full field development. After studying the potential advantages of the VFR technology including cost savings, simplified operations and enhanced well production, a project was initiated to determine if those same benefits could be obtained. To accomplish this, studies were performed to ensure economic and technical justification through a stepwise process of laboratory testing, logistical and operational considerations, a single well field trial, and a five well development phase evaluation project. The pilot project was performed on a horizontal, 27 stage lateral in the Aguada Pichana Oeste field in the Neuquen Basin of Argentina. The five well development phase evaluation project was performed in the Lindero Atravesado field. Positive laboratory test results led to a field trial using this technology, during which several benefits of the VFR fluid system began to emerge. Operational efficiency was an early success, including a reduction in the quantity of chemicals on location, more simplified pumping schedules, and low pumping pressures. Secondly, significant cost savings were realized compared to previous fluid system packages. Finally, positive production results were observed, leading to the decision to incorporate this technology into full field development operations. This paper will review the results of the stepwise evaluation process along with a focus on the economic benefits and well production from the development phase evaluation project. This paper describes the transition by Pan American Energy (PAE) from conventional fracturing fluids to viscosifying friction reducer (VFR) technology in the Vaca Muerta Formation. The paper highlights the performance of a relatively new treatment fluid which delivered positive results in a strategic international asset. The project has led to full field development using this technology. The same efficiencies provided by this system can potentially be realized through applications in other basins.
Abstract Well spacing and stimulation design are amongst the highest impact design variables which can dictate the economics of an unconventional development. The objective of this paper is to showcase a numerical simulation workflow, with emphasis on the hydraulic fracture simulation methodology, which optimizes well spacing and completion design simultaneously. The workflow is deployed using Cloud Computing functionality, a step-change over past simulation methods. Workflow showcased in this paper covers the whole cycle of 1) petrophysical and geomechanical modeling, 2) hydraulic fracture simulations and 3) reservoir simulation modeling, followed by 4) design optimization using advanced non-linear methods. The focus of this paper is to discuss the hydraulic fracture simulation methods which are an integral part of this workflow. The workflow is deployed on a dataset from a multi-well pad completed in late 2018 targeting two landing zones in the Vaca Muerta shale play. On calibrated petrophysical and geomechanical model, hydraulic fracture simulations are conducted to map the stimulated rock around the wellbores. Finely gridded base model is utilized to capture the property variation between layers to estimate fracture height. The 3d discrete fracture network (DFN) built for the acreage is utilized to pick the natural fracture characteristics of the layers intersected by the wellbores. The methodology highlights advances over the past modeling approaches by including the variation of discrete fracture network between layers. The hydraulic fracture model in conjunction with reservoir flow simulation is used for history matching the production data. On the history matched model, a design of experiments (DOE) simulation study is conducted to quantify the impact of a wide range of well spacing and stimulation design variables. These simulations are facilitated by the recent deployments of cloud computing. Cloud computing allows parallel running of hundreds of hydraulic fracturing and reservoir simulations, thereby allowing testing of many combinations of stimulation deigns and well spacing and reducing the effective run time from 3 months on a local machine to 1 week on the cloud. Output from the parallel simulations are fitted with a proxy model to finally select the well spacing and stimulation design variables that offer the minimum unit development cost i.e. capital cost-$ per EUR-bbl. The workflow illustrates that stimulation design and well spacing are interlinked to each other and need to be optimized simultaneously to maximize the economics of an unconventional asset. Using the workflow, the team identified development designs which increase EUR of a development area by 50-100% and reduce the unit development cost ($/bbl-EUR) by 10-30%.
Guyana's President Irfaan Ali announced that the first phase of the Liza offshore crude project had achieved its intended full-production capacity of around 130,000 B/D. Ali told virtual attendees at the Guyana Basin Summit that he expected an additional 10 exploration and appraisal wells to be drilled off Guyana this year. He said the second phase of the Liza project, operated by ExxonMobil, would begin in 2022. The consortium led by Exxon, which includes partners Hess and CNOOC Ltd., has made 18 discoveries containing more than 8 billion bbl of recoverable oil and gas in Guyana's Stabroek block.
Equinor, together with license partners Repsol Sinopec Brasil and Petrobras, have approved an FPSO-based development concept for BM-C-33, a gas/condensate field located in the Campos Basin pre-salt in Brazil. Subsea wells will be tied back to the FPSO located at the field. Gas and oil/condensate will be processed at the floater to sales specifications and exported. Crude will be offloaded by shuttle tankers and shipped to the international market after ship-to-ship transfer. A newbuild hull has been selected to accommodate the field's planned 30-year lifetime.
ExxonMobil will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block of around 9 billion BOE via a discovery with its Uaru-2 well. The probe encountered 120 ft of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, including newly identified intervals below the original Uaru-1 discovery. The well was drilled in 5,659 ft of water and is located approximately 6.8 miles south of the Uaru-1 well. That well, drilled in January 2020, encountered 94 ft of oil-bearing sandstone. "The Uaru-2 discovery will add to the discovered recoverable resource estimate of approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent," said John Hess, chief executive of Hess Corporation, a partner in Stabroek.
Abstract Data Science is the current gold rush. While many industries have benefitted from applications of data science, including machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the applications in upstream oil and gas are still somewhat limited. Some examples of applications of AI include seismic interpretations, facility optimization, and data driven modeling – forecasting. While still naïve, we will explore cases where data science can be used in the day to day field optimization and development. The Midway Sunset (MWSS) field in San Joaquin Valley, California has over 100 years of history. The field was discovered in 1901 and had limited development through the 1960s. Since the start of thermal stimulation in 1964, the field has seen phased thermal flooding and cyclic stimulation. Recently there has been an increase in heat mining vertical and horizontal wells to tap the remaining hot oil. As with any brownfield, the sweet spots are long gone. Effort is now to optimize the field development and tap by-passed oil, thereby increasing recovery. The current operational focus includes field wide holistic review of remaining resource potential. Resources in the MWSS reservoirs are produced by cyclic steam method. Cyclic thermal stimulation has been effective as an overall depletion process and for stimulating the near wellbore region to increase production. It is imperative to properly identify target wells and sands for cyclic stimulation. Cyclic steaming in depleted zones or cold reservoirs is often uneconomical. The benefit comes when we can identify and stimulate only the warm oil. Identification of warm oil and short listing the wells for cyclic stimulation is a labor-intensive process. The volume of data can get so large that it may not be feasible for a professional to effectively do the analysis. In this paper, we present a case study of data analytics for high grading wells for cyclic stimulation. This method utilizes the machine power to integrate reservoir, and production data to identify and rank wells for cyclic stimulation and potentially increase success rate by minimizing suboptimal cyclic candidates.
Abstract Controlling excessive water production in mature oil fields has always been one major objective of the oil and gas industry. This objective calls for planning of more effective water-control treatments with optimized designs to obtain more attractive outcomes. Unfortunately, planning such treatments still represents a dilemma for conformance experts due to the lack of systematic design tools in the industry. This paper proposes and makes available a new design approach for bulk gel treatments by grouping designs of 62 worldwide field projects (1985-2018) according to gel volume-concentration ratio (VCR). After compiling them from SPE papers, the average gel volumes and polymer concentrations in the field projects were used to evaluate the gel VCR. Distributions of field projects were examined according to the gel VCR and the formation type using stacked histograms. A comprehensive investigation was performed to indicate the grouping criterion and design types of gel treatments. Based on mean-per-group strategy, the average VCR was estimated for each channeling and formation type to build a three-parameter design approach. Two approximations for the average polymer concentration and two correlations for minimum and maximum designs and were identified and included in the approach. The study shows that the gel VCR is a superior design criterion for in-situ bulk gel treatments. Field applications tend to aggregate in three project groups of clear separating VCR cut-offs (<1, 1-3, >3 bbl/ppm). The channeling type is the dividing or distributing criterion of the gel projects among the three project groups. We identified that VCRs<1 bbl/ppm are used to treat conformance problems that exhibit pipe-like channeling usually presented in unconsolidated and fractured formations with very long injection time (design type I). For fracture-channeling problems frequently presented in naturally or hydraulically-fractured formations, VCRs of 1-3 bbl/ppm are used (design type II). Large gel treatments with VCR>3 bbl/ppm are performed to address matrix-channeling often shown in matrix-rock formations and fracture networks (design type III). Results show that the VCR approach reasonably predicts the gel volume and the polymer concentration in training (R of 0.93 and 0.67) and validation (AAPE <22%) samples. Besides its novelty, the new approach is systematic, practical, and accurate, and will facilitate the optimization of the gel treatments to improve their performances and success rate.
Abstract Surface expressions occur when hot oil, water and vapor associated with steam injection in heavy oil reservoirs flows uncontrollably to surface, creating safety and environmental hazards. A new method for early-time identification of these events and monitoring of remediation efforts is proposed. Transient high gamma ray (THG) is a high-resolution, high-amplitude measurement that samples a large volume of rock when vapor containing radon condenses at a cooled well and gamma ray increases by a factor of 10 to 200. The effect is transient because gamma ray returns to normal when this transport process is reversed, as wellbore temperature equilibrates. Absence of this high-amplitude, high-resolution signal through shallow air sands above a heavy oil reservoir is confirmation that vapor breakthrough has not occurred. For wells located in an area where surface expressions have occurred, the method identified contaminated sands and detected flow-behind-casing in an uncemented well. Gamma ray transects in an area of surface expressions identified hot spots, caused by plumes of vapor that condense just below the surface. In at-risk areas, observation wells can provide assurance that injected steam is contained. When surface expressions occur, the method can be used to optimize and confirm the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.
Hess Corporation announced today it is selling about 78,700 acres of its Bakken Shale position to Enerplus Corporation for $321 million. Oil production from the areas that are part of the deal averaged around 4,500 B/D over the first quarter of the year, Hess said in a statement. Calling the Bakken Shale a "core asset" for the company, CEO John Hess said the majority of the assets being sold off were not going to be drilled on until 2026 which "brings material value forward and further strengthens our cash and liquidity position." Enerplus considers much of the acreage to be Tier 1 and estimates it adds 2 or 3 years to its Bakken development runway, giving it an estimated 10 years' worth of drilling locations in the region. At current oil prices, Enerplus said the Tier 1 acreage and other areas amount to 120 undrilled locations.