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Abstract Characterization of hydraulic fracture system in multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHW) is one of the key steps in well spacing optimization of tight and shale reservoirs. Different methods have been proposed in the industry including core-through, micro-seismic, off-set pressure data monitoring during hydraulic fracturing, pressure depletion mapping, rate-transient analysis, pressure-transient analysis, and pressure interference test. Pressure interference test for a production and monitoring well pair includes flowing the production well at a stable rate while keeping the monitoring well shut-in and recording its pressure. In this study, the coupled flow of gas in hydraulic fractures and matrix systems during pressure interference test is modeled using an analytical method. The model is based on Laplace transform combined with pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time. The model is validated against numerical simulation to make sure the inter-well communication test is reasonably represented. Two key parameters were introduced and calculated with time using the analytical model including pressure drawdown ratio and pressure decline ratio. The model is applied to two field cases from Montney formation. In this case, two wells in the gas condensate region of Montney were selected for a pressure interference test. The monitoring well was equipped with downhole gauges. As the producing well was opened for production, the bottom-hole pressure of the monitoring well started declining at much lower rate than the production well. The pressure decline rate in the monitoring well eventually approached that of the producing well after days of production. This whole process was modeled using the analytical model of this study by adjusting the conductivity of the communicating fractures between the well pairs. This study provides a practical analytical tool for quantitative analysis of the interference test in MFHWs. This model can be integrated with other tools for improved characterization of hydraulic fracture systems in tight and shale reservoirs.
Zhang, Zhenzihao (University of Calgary) | Clarkson, Christopher (University of Calgary) | Williams-Kovacs, Jesse D. (University of Calgary and Sproule Associates) | Yuan, Bin (University of Calgary) | Ghanizadeh, Amin (University of Calgary)
Summary The application of rate‐transient‐analysis (RTA) concepts to flowback data gathered from multifractured horizontal wells (MFHWs) completed in tight/shale reservoirs has recently been proposed as an independent method for quantitatively evaluating hydraulic‐fracture volume/conductivity. However, the initial fluid pressures and saturation in the fracture network and adjacent reservoir matrix are generally unknown at the start of flowback, creating significant uncertainty in the quantitative analysis of flowback data. In this study, we present a semianalytical flow model, coupled with a hydraulic‐fracture (fracture) model and constrained with laboratory‐based geomechanical data, for evaluating the initial conditions of flowback. In previous work, a semianalytical model based on the dynamic‐drainage‐area (DDA) concept was used to simulate water‐based fluid leakoff from an MFHW into a tight oil reservoir (Montney Formation, western Canada), with minimal mobile water, during and after fracturing operations. The model assumed that each fracturing stage can be represented by a primary hydraulic fracture (PHF) containing the majority of the proppant, and an adjacent nonstimulated reservoir (NSR) or enhanced fracture region (EFR), which is an area of elevated permeability in the reservoir caused by the stimulation treatment. Each region was represented by a single‐porosity system. The DDA propagation speed within the PHF during the stimulation treatment was constrained through using a simple analytical fracture model. Although this approach was considered novel, several improvements and additional laboratory constraints were considered necessary to yield more accurate predictions of initial flowback conditions. In the current work, the modeling approach described previously was improved by representing the EFR with a dual‐porosity system; fully coupling the fracture model (used for PHF creation and propagation) with the DDA model for fluid‐leakoff simulation into the EFR and adding a proppant‐transport model; and modeling the shut‐in period. Finally, to ensure that model geomechanics were properly constrained, a comprehensive suite of previously gathered laboratory data was used. Laboratory‐derived propped (PHF) and unpropped (EFR) fracture‐permeability/conductivity data as a function of pore pressure, as well as fracture‐compressibility data, were used as constraints for the model. It should be noted that our model assumes that fracture closure has no effect on the pressure/saturation of the PHF/EFR/matrix. The improved model was reapplied to the tight oil field case and yielded more realistic estimates of initial flowback conditions, enabling more confident history matching of flowback data. The results of this study will be important to those petroleum engineers interested in quantitative analysis of flowback data to accurately obtain fracture properties by ensuring proper model creation.
Zhang, Z. (University of Calgary) | Yuan, B. (University of Calgary) | Ghanizadeh, A. (University of Calgary) | Clarkson, C. R. (University of Calgary) | Williams-Kovacs, J. D. (University of Calgary)
Abstract The application of rate-transient analysis (RTA) concepts to flowback data gathered from multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs) completed in tight/shale reservoirs has recently been proposed as an independent method for quantitatively evaluating hydraulic fracture properties. However, the initial fluid pressures and saturations in the fracture network, and adjacent reservoir matrix, are generally unknown at the start of flowback, creating significant uncertainty in the quantitative analysis of flowback data. A possible approach to recreate these initial conditions is to simulate fluid leakoff during hydraulic fracture propagation (during the stimulation treatment) and subsequent shut-in period prior to flowback. In this study, we present a semi-analytical flow model, coupled with a hydraulic fracture (‘frac’) model and constrained with laboratory-based geomechanical data, for evaluating the initial conditions of flowback. In previous work, a semi-analytical model based on the dynamic drainage area (DDA) concept was used to simulate water-based fluid leakoff from a MFHW into a tight oil reservoir with minimal mobile water (Montney Formation) in Western Canada during and after fracturing operations. The model assumes that each fracturing stage can be represented by a primary hydraulic fracture (PHF, containing the majority of the proppant), and adjacent non-stimulated reservoir (NSR) or enhanced fracture region (EFR, area of elevated permeability in reservoir caused by the stimulation treatment). Each region was represented by a single-porosity system. The DDA propagation speed within the PHF during the stimulation treatment was constrained through the use of a simple analytical frac model. While this approach was considered novel, several improvements, and additional laboratory constraints, were considered necessary to yield more accurate predictions of flowback initial conditions. In the current work, the modeling approach described above was improved byrepresenting the EFR with a dualporosity system and fully coupling the frac model (used for PHF creation and propagation) with the DDA model for fluid leakoff simulation into the EFR. Improvement 1) was considered necessary to more realistically represent the spatial distribution of fluids in the EFR and associated saturations and pressures. Improvement 2) was considered necessary to more realistically control PHF propagation speed. Finally, to ensure that model geomechanics were properly constrained, a comprehensive suite of previously-gathered laboratory data was utilized. Laboratory-derived propped (PHF) and unpropped (EFR) fracture permeability/conductivity data as a function of pore pressure, as well as fracture compressibility data, were used as constraints to the model. The improved model was re-applied to the tight oil field case and yielded more realistic estimates of flowback initial conditions, enabling more confident history-matching of flowback data. The results of this study will be of importance to those petroleum engineers interested in quantitative analysis of flowback data to accurately obtain fracture properties by ensuring that models are properly initiated.
Mohammed, Omar Q. (North Oil Company) | Kassim, Rashid (Missouri University of Science & Technology) | Britt, Larry K. (NSI Fracturing LLC) | Dunn-Norman, Shari (Missouri University of Science & Technology)
Abstract The Montney Formation which extends from Alberta to British Columbia is one of the largest unconventional gas resources in North America. Production from the Montney Formation comes primarily from the Upper Montney and Lower Montney Formations which vary both from reservoir quality and geomechanical perspectives. Historically, completion and stimulation optimization fell into two distinct categoriesfield observation supported by reservoir and fracture simulation or statistical analysis. Few, if any, statistical studies on optimizing unconventional completions and fracture stimulation combined information from the statistical analysis with that of the simulation. This paper does just that for the Montney Formation by comparing and contrasting the Upper and the Lower Montney completions and fracture stimulation statistical results with a reservoir and fracture simulation study to better understand key drivers for successful stimulation of multiple fractured horizontal wells. Previous work (Mohammed et al., 2016) documented the statistical analysis of 296 cased-hole horizontal gas wells' completions in the Upper and the Lower Montney Formation. The study showed the effect of cased-hole completion and stimulation parameters on gas production performance in both the Upper and the Lower Montney Formations. In this paper, previous statistical results were extended by adding hydraulic fracture modeling using 3D finite element simulator (Stimplan3D). The results from the statistical analysis and hydraulic fracture modeling were compared on a set of parameters such as the effect of the number of clusters per stage (1-to-5), changes in proppant mass (50% decrease or increase) and treatment volumes. This study investigated fracture performance to find the best fracturing practices for the Upper and the Lower Montney.
Abstract The dominant flow regime observed in many hydraulically-fractured tight/shale gas wells is linear flow. This flow regime may continue for several years, and will ultimately become boundary-dominated flow, at much later times. Nobakht et al. (2010) introduced a simplified method of production forecasting for tight/shale gas wells which exhibit extended periods of linear flow. The method is simple as it relies principally on a plot of inverse gas rate versus square root time, and it is rigorous in that it is based on the theory of linear flow and combines the linear flow transient period with hyperbolic decline during boundary-dominated flow. In the present work, this simplified method is reviewed and applied to almost 90 wells producing from the Montney formation in N.E. British Columbia, Canada. The vast majority of these wells exhibit linear flow for extended periods of time. The advantages of the simplified forecasting method are: (1) It is not biased towards any flow regimes, as no superposition time functions are used; (2) Reliable forecasts can be obtained without invoking pseudo-time and its associated complexities; and (3) The only parameter that needs to be specified externally is the drainage area. The method can be used for forecasting horizontal wells with multiple hydraulic fractures. By assigning different drainage areas to each fracture, a relationship can be developed between expected ultimate recovery (EUR) and original gas in place (OGIP) assigned to each fracture. This translates into recovery factor versus number of fracture stages. The resulting forecasts can be used directly to examine the economics of multi-stage fracturing.