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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.
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.
Ju, Yang (China University of Mining and Technology (Corresponding author) | Wu, Guangjie (emails: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)) | Wang, Yongliang (China University of Mining and Technology) | Liu, Peng (China University of Mining and Technology) | Yang, Yongming (China University of Mining and Technology)
Summary In this paper, we introduce the entropy weight method (EWM) to establish a comprehensive evaluation model able to quantify the brittleness of reservoir rocks. Based on the evaluation model and using the adaptive finite element-discrete element (FE-DE) method, a 3D model is established to simulate and compare the propagation behavior of hydraulic fractures in different brittle and ductile reservoirs. A failure criterion combining the Mohr-Coulomb strength criterion and the Rankine tensile criterion is used to characterize the softening and yielding behavior of the fracture tip and the shear plastic failure behavior away from the crack tip during the propagation of a fracture. To understand the effects of rock brittleness and ductility on hydraulic fracture propagation more intuitively, two groups of ideal cases with a single failure mode are designed, and the fracture propagation characteristics are compared and analyzed. By combining natural rock core scenarios with single failure mode cases, a comprehensive evaluation index BIf for reservoir brittleness and ductility is constructed. The simulation experiment results indicate that fractures in brittle reservoirs tended to form a complex network. With enhanced ductility, the yielding and softening of reservoirs hamper fracture propagation, leading to the formation of a simple network, smaller fracture area (FA), larger fracture volume, and the need for higher initiation pressure. The comprehensive index BIf can be used to define brittleness or ductility as the dominant factor of fracturing behavior. That is, 0 < BIf ≤ 0.46 indicates that the reservoir has enhanced ductility and ductile fracturing prevails; 0.72 < BIf < 1 indicates that the reservoir has enhanced brittleness and brittle fracturing prevails; and 0.46 < BIf ≤ 0.72 means a transition from brittle to ductile fracturing. Based on fitting analysis results, the relationship between the calculated FAr and BIf is constructed to quantify the influence of reservoir brittleness and ductility on fracturing. The study provides new perspectives for designing, predicting, and optimizing the fracturing stimulation of tight reservoirs with various brittleness and ductility.
Pei, Yanli (University of Texas at Austin (Corresponding author) | Yu, Wei (email: email@example.com)) | Sepehrnoori, Kamy (University of Texas at Austin and Sim Tech LLC) | Gong, Yiwen (University of Texas at Austin) | Xie, Hongbing (Sim Tech LLC and Ohio State University) | Wu, Kan (Sim Tech LLC)
Summary The extensive depletion of the development target triggers the demand for infill drilling in the upside target of multilayer unconventional reservoirs. However, such an infill scheme in the field practice still heavily relies on empirical knowledge or pressure responses, and the geomechanics consequences have not been fully understood. Backed by the data set from the Permian Basin, in this work we present a novel integrated reservoir-geomechanics-fracture model to simulate the spatiotemporal stress evolution and locate the optimal development strategy in the upside target of the Bone Spring Formation. An embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) is deployed in our fluid-flow simulation to characterize complex fractures, and the stress-dependent matrix permeability and fracture conductivity are included through the compaction/dilation option. After calibrating reservoir and fracture properties by history matching of an actual well in the development target (i.e., third Bone Spring), we run the finite element method (FEM)-based geomechanics simulation to model the 3D stress state evolution. Then a displacement discontinuity method (DDM) hydraulic fracture model is applied to simulate the multicluster fracture propagation under an updated heterogeneous stress field in the upside target (i.e., second Bone Spring). Numerical results indicate that stress field redistribution associated with parent-well production indeed vertically propagates to the upside target. The extent of stress reorientation at the infill location mainly depends on the parent-child horizontal offset, whereas the stress depletion is under the combined impact of horizontal offset, vertical offset, and infill time. A smaller parent-child horizontal offset aggravates the overlap of the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV), resulting in more substantial interwell interference and less desirable oil and gas production. The same trend is observed by varying the parent-child vertical offset. Moreover, the efficacy of an infill operation at an earlier time is less affected by parent-well depletion because of the less-disturbed stress state. The candidate infill-well locations at various infill timings are suggested based on the parent-well and child-well production cosimulation. Being able to incorporate both pressure and stress responses, the reservoir-geomechanics-fracture model delivers a more comprehensive understanding and a more integral solution of infill-well design in multilayer unconventional reservoirs. The conclusions provide practical guidelines for the subsequent development in the Permian Basin.
Chen, Chi (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University) | Wang, Shouxin (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University) | Lu, Cong (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University) | Wang, Kun (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University) | Lai, Jie (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University) | Liu, Yuxuan (State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University)
Abstract Hydraulic fracturing technology provides a guarantee for effective production increase and economic exploitation of shale gas wells reservoirs. Propped fractures formed in the formation after fracturing are the key channels for shale gas production. Accurate evaluation of local propped fracture conductivity is of great significance to the effective development of shale gas. Due to the complex lithology and well-developed bedding of shale, the fracture surface morphology after fracturing is rougher than that of sandstone. This roughness will affect the placement of the proppant in the fracture and thus affect the conductivity. At present, fracture conductivity tests in laboratories are generally based on the standard/modified API/ISO method, ignoring the influence of fracture surface roughness. The inability to obtain the rock samples with the same rough morphology to carry out conductivity testing has always been a predicament in the experimental study on propped fracture conductivity. Herein, we propose a new method to reproduce the original fracture surface, and conductivity test samples with uniform surface morphology, consistent mechanical properties were produced. Then, we have carried out experimental research on shale-propped fracture conductivity. The results show that the fracture surfaces produced by the new method are basically the same as the original fracture surfaces, which fully meet the requirements of the conductivity test. The propped fracture conductivity is affected by proppant properties and fracture surface, especially at low proppant concentration. And increasing proppant concentration will help increase the predictability of conductivity. Due to the influence of the roughness of the fracture surface, there may be an optimal proppant concentration under a certain closure pressure.
Summary Stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) is a prime factor controlling well performance in unconventional shale plays. In general, SRV describes the extent of connected conductive fracture networks within the formation. Being a pre-existing weak interface, natural fractures (NFs) are the preferred failure paths. Therefore, the interaction of hydraulic fractures (HFs) and NFs is fundamental to fracture growth in a formation. Field observations of induced fracture systems have suggested complex failure zones occurring in the vicinity of HFs, which makes characterizing the SRV a significant challenge. Thus, this work uses a broad range of subsurface conditions to investigate the near-tip processes and to rank their influences on HF-NF interaction. In this study, a 2D analytical workflow is presented that delineates the potential slip zone (PSZ) induced by a HF. The explicit description of failure modes in the near-tip region explains possible mechanisms of fracture complexity observed in the field. The parametric analysis shows varying influences of HF-NF relative angle, stress state, net pressure, frictional coefficient, and HF length to the NF slip. This work analytically proves that an NF at a 30 ± 5° relative angle to an HF has the highest potential to be reactivated, which dominantly depends on the frictional coefficient of the interface. The spatial extension of the PSZ normal to the HF converges as the fracture propagates away and exhibits asymmetry depending on the relative angle. Then a machine-learning (ML) model [random forest (RF) regression] is built to replicate the physics-based model and statistically investigate parametric influences on NF slips. The ML model finds statistical significance of the predicting features in the order of relative angle between HF and NF, fracture gradient, frictional coefficient of the NF, overpressure index, stress differential, formation depth, and net pressure. The ML result is compared with sensitivity analysis and provides a new perspective on HF-NF interaction using statistical measures. The importance of formation depth on HF-NF interaction is stressed in both the physics-based and data-driven models, thus providing insight for field development of stacked resource plays. The proposed concept of PSZ can be used to measure and compare the intensity of HF-NF interactions at various geological settings.
Summary “Fracture hit” was initially coined to refer to the phenomenon of an infill-well fracture interacting with an adjacent well during the hydraulic-fracturing process. However, over time, its use has been extended to any type of well interference or interaction in unconventional reservoirs. In this study, an exhaustive literature survey was performed on fracture hits to identify key factors affecting the fracture hits and suggest different strategies to manage fracture hits. The impact of fracture hits is dictated by a complex interplay of petrophysical properties (high-permeability streaks, mineralogy, matrix permeability, natural fractures), geomechanical properties (near-field and far-field stresses, tensile strength, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio), completion parameters (stage length, cluster spacing, pumping rate, fluid and proppant amount), and development decisions (well spacing, well scheduling, fracture sequencing). It is difficult to predict the impact of fracture hits, and they affect both parent and child wells. The impact on the child wells is predominantly negative, whereas the effect on parent wells can be either positive or negative. The “child wells” in this context refer to the wells drilled with pre-existing active/inactive well(s) around. The “parent well” refers to any well drilled without any pre-existing well around. Overall, fracture hits tend to negatively affect both the production and economics of lease development. The optimal approach rests in identifying the reservoir properties and accordingly making field-development decisions that minimize the negative impact of fracture hits. The different strategies proposed to minimize the negative impact of fracture hits are simultaneous lease development, thus avoiding parent/child wells (i.e., rolling-, tank-, and cube-development methods); repressuring or refracturing parent wells; using far-field diverters and high-permeability plugging agents in the child-well fracturing fluid; and optimizing stage and cluster spacing through modeling studies and field tests. Finally, the study concludes with a recommended approach to manage fracture hits. There is no silver bullet, and the problem of fracture hits in each shale play is unique, but by using the available data and published knowledge to understand how fractures propagate downhole, measures can be taken to minimize or even completely avoid fracture hits.
Summary Multiple hydraulic fractures are often generated simultaneously from a wellbore to increase efficiency of reservoir stimulation. Numerical modeling of such a system of fractures is computationally costly, especially if the goal is to simulate numerous stages, each containing multiple fractures, on different wells, which is the current trend in the petroleum industry. To address the challenge, this study defines a method and a workflow to represent the simultaneous propagation of multiple fractures with a reduced number of equivalent fractures that accurately describes the overall fracture geometry, the created surface area, the propped surface area, the fluid leakoff, and the resulting induced stresses, as resulting from the original configuration. A hybrid approach is used, in which a combination of physical modeling and data science is involved. We first develop a database of numerical solutions using a fully coupled hydraulic fracturing simulator. The equivalent fracture representation is quantified for each set of problem parameters presented in the database. Then, the results of the database solutions are used to tackle more general cases with field pumping schedules and rock properties. Several numerical examples are presented to validate and illustrate the developed concept.
Zhu, Haiyan (Chengdu University of Technology) | Tang, Xuanhe (Chengdu University of Technology) | Song, Yujia (Southwest Petroleum University) | Li, Kuidong (SINOPEC Jianghan Oilfield Company) | Xiao, Jialin (SINOPEC Jianghan Oilfield Company) | Dusseault, Maurice B. (University of Waterloo) | McLennan, John D. (University of Utah)
Summary A microseismic (MS) events barrier (MSEB) phenomenon was detected during infill well fracturing of the Fuling shale gas reservoir. This phenomenon was evidenced by MS monitoring results, indicating that when the infill well hydraulic fracture (HF) propagated close to the parent well stimulated region, only a main straight fracture was propagating. Also, the number of seismic events diminished abruptly, suggesting some barrier or an attenuation process for the MS. To clarify the mechanisms involved in the MSEB effect, the infill well fracture propagation is investigated. An integrated workflow is proposed to analyze complex HF propagation of an infill well after the offset parent wells have experienced fracturing and production. The workflow integrates a geological model with natural fractures, a parent well fracturing geomechanical model, a coupled flow‐geomechanics production model, and an infill well fracturing geomechanical model. First, a natural fracture network is embedded in the realistic geological model. Second, a geomechanical fracturing model is developed to simulate HF of parent wells. Third, a coupled flow‐geomechanics model is used to analyze stress field evolution during parent well production. Fourth, complex HF propagation for the infill well is simulated. The case model is validated with parent well production data and infill well fracturing MS monitoring results. It can be concluded from the simulation results that (1) during parent well production, the pre‐existing complex fracture network is a major contributor to pore‐pressure decrease; (2) stress evolution is affected by the geomechanical heterogeneity; (3) near the parent well producing fractured region, the fracture complexity of the infill well stimulation decreases sharply and that matches well with the MS monitoring results; and (4) there are two primary mechanisms that are responsible for the MSEB phenomenon—natural fracture (NF) activation during parent well fracturing and stress evolution in parent well production. The Fuling shale gas reservoir infill well fracturing case study reveals the mechanism of the MSEB effect by demonstrating the impact of parent well production on infill well fracturing. To serve the fracture‐hits evaluation and to maximize the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV), the MSEB effect should be taken into consideration in infill well fracturing design.