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Abstract Subsurface characterization of fluid volumes is typically constrained and validated by core analytical fluid saturation measurement techniques (example Dean-Stark or Open Retort methodology). As production in resource plays has progressed over time, it has been noted that many of these methods have a large error when compared to production data. A large source of the error seems to be that water saturations in tight rocks have been consistently underestimated in the traditional laboratory measurement techniques. Operators need improved fluid saturation measurements to better constrain their log-based oil-in-place estimates and forward-looking production trends. The overall goal of this study is to test a new laboratory workflow for fluid saturation quantification. Recent advancements have led to an innovative methodology where a closed retort laboratory technique is applied to samples from lithological rock types in the Williston, Uinta and Denever-Julesburg (DJ) basins. This new technique is specifically designed to better quantify and validate water measurements throughout the tight rock analysis process, as well as improved oil recovery and built-in prediction. A comparison of standard crushed rock analysis employing Dean-Stark saturation methods is compared to the closed retort results and observations discussed. Results will also be compared against additional laboratory methods that validate the results such as geochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Finally, open-hole wireline logs will be utilized to quantify the impact on total water saturation and the oil-in place estimates based on the improved accuracy of the closed retort technique.
Johnson, Andrew C. (Schlumberger) | Miles, Jeffrey (Schlumberger) | Mosse, Laurent (Schlumberger) | Laronga, Robert (Schlumberger) | Lujan, Violeta (Schlumberger) | Aryal, Niranjan (Schlumberger) | Nwosu, Dozie (Schlumberger)
Abstract Formation water saturation is a critical target property for any comprehensive well log analysis program. Most techniques for computing saturation depend heavily on an analyst’s ability to accurately model resistivity measurements for the effects of formation water resistivity and rock texture. However, the pre-requisite knowledge of formation water properties, particularly salinity, is often either unknown, varying with depth or lateral extent, or is difficult to derive from traditional methods. A high degree of variability may be present due to fluid migration from production, water injection, or various geological mechanisms. In unconventional reservoirs, the complexity of the rocks and pore structure further complicates traditional interpretation of the available well logs. These factors introduce significant uncertainties in the computed fluid saturations and therefore can substantially affect final reserves estimates. A novel technique in geochemical spectroscopy has recently been introduced to distinguish the chlorine signals of the formation and borehole. The new, quantitative measurement of formation chlorine enables a direct calculation of bulk water volume for a given formation water salinity. When integrated into a multi-physics log analysis workflow, the chlorine-derived water volume can provide critical information on fluid saturations, hydrocarbon-in-place, and producibility indicators. This additional information is especially useful for characterizing challenging and complex unconventional reservoirs. We present the new technique through several full petrophysical evaluation case studies in organic shale formations across the U.S., including the Midland, Delaware, Marcellus, and DJ basins. We solve for formation-specific water salinity and bulk water volume through an optimization that combines chlorine concentration with resistivity and dielectric measurements. These outputs are integrated into comprehensive petrophysical evaluations, leveraging a suite of advanced well log measurements to compute final fluid and rock properties and volumetrics. The evaluations include geochemical mineralogy logs, 2D NMR analyses, dielectric dispersion analyses, basic log measurements, and multi-mineral models. The results underscore the utility of the new spectroscopy chlorine log to reduce petrophysical model uncertainties in an integrated workflow. While this workflow has been demonstrated here in several U.S. organic shale case studies, the fundamental challenges it addresses will make it a valuable solution for a range of unconventional reservoirs globally.
Sochovka, Jon (Liberty Oilfield Services) | George, Kyle (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Melcher, Howard (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Mayerhofer, Mike (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Weijers, Leen (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Poppel, Ben (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Siegel, Joel (Liberty Oilfield Services)
Abstract The shale industry has changed beyond recognition over the last decade and is once again in rapid transition. While we are unsure about the nature of innovations to make US shale ever more competitive, we are certain that the current downturn will drive a further reduction in $/BO – the total cost to lift a barrel of US shale oil to the surface. As a result of an increase in scale and industry efficiency gains, the all-in price charged by service companies to place a pound of proppant downhole has come down from more than $0.50/lb in 2012 to about $0.10/lb today. In this paper, we discuss what components have contributed to this reduction to date and use several case studies to illustrate the potential for further cost reductions. The authors used FracFocus data to study a variety of placement and production chemicals for about 100,000 horizontal wells in US liquid rich basins, including the Williston, Powder River, DJ, Permian basins, as well as SCOOP/STACK and Eagle Ford. All chemicals used were averaged on a per-well basis into a gallon-per-thousand gallons (gpt) metric. In the paper, we first provide an overview of trends by basin since 2010 for these chemical additives. Then, we perform Multi-Variate Analysis (MVA) to determine if groups of these chemicals show an impact on production performance in specific basins or formations. Finally, through integration of lab testing (on fluid systems and proppants), a liquid-rich shale production database and FracFocus tracking of industry trends, the authors developed a list of case histories that show modest to significant reductions in $/BO. In this paper we focus on proppant delivery cost – the cost to place a pound of proppant in a fracture downhole, where it can contribute to a well's production for years to come. The last decade saw a 10-fold increase in horsepower, a 20-fold increase in yearly stages pumped and a 40-fold yearly proppant mass increase. One result of this increase in scale, was a gain in efficiencies, which led to an average 3-fold fracturing cost decrease to place a pound of proppant downhole. We will document this trend in detail in the paper. A significant industry trend over the last decade has been a "viscosity for velocity" trade. The change to smaller mesh regional proppants, in combination with an increase in pump rates on frac jobs in the US, has allowed fluid systems to become more "watery". At the same time, the industry is moving from guar systems to polyacrylamide-based systems that exhibit higher apparent viscosities at low to ultra-low shear rates. These newer High Viscosity Friction Reducer (HVFR) systems show superior proppant carrying capacity over traditional slickwater fluid systems. Regained conductivity testing has shown that these HVFR systems are generally cleaner for fracture conductivity than guar systems. Along with changes to base chemistry, a 2- to 5-fold increase in disposal costs and an overall "green initiative" over the last decade have resulted in a push to maximize recycled water usage on these HVFR jobs. These waters can be in excess of 150,000 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) which present challenges across the board when designing a compatible fluid system that fits the needs in terms of viscosity yield, scale inhibition and microbial mitigation etc. – all while keeping costs low. Specialty chemicals, such as Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) substitutes that have similar efficacy as HCl but significantly lower reactivity with human skin, have helped significantly to improve operational safety around previously-categorized hazardous chemicals, and have helped reduce cost and improve pump time efficiency. Measurement of bacterial activity during and after fracture treatments can help with the best economic selection of the appropriate biocide. These simple measurements can help further reduce what is spent on the necessary chemical package to effectively treat a well. This paper provides a holistic view of fluid selection issues and shows a real-data focused methodology to further support a leaner approach to hydraulic fracturing.
Abstract A seven-step workflow to help subsurface teams establish an initial thesis for optimal completion design (cluster spacing, proppant per cluster) and well spacing in emerging / under-explored resource plays is proposed and executed for the Powder River Basin Niobrara unconventional oil play. The workflow uses Rate Transient Analysis (RTA) to determine the parameter and then walks the reader through how to sequentially decouple the parameter into its constituent parts (frac height (h), number of symmetrical fractures achieved (nf), permeability (k) and fracture half-length (xf)). Once these terms were quantified for each of the case study wells, they were used in a black oil reservoir simulator to compare predicted verses actual cumulative oil performance at 30, 60, 90,120 & 180 days. A long-term production match was achieved using xf as the lone history match parameter. xf verses proppant per effective half-cluster yielded an R value of > 0.90. 28 simulation scenarios were executed to represent a range of cluster spacing, proppant per cluster and well spacing scenarios. Economics (ROR and/or NPV10/Net Acre) were determined for each of these scenarios under three different commodity pricing assumptions ($40/$2.50, $50/$2.50 and $60/$2.50). An initial thesis for optimal cluster spacing, proppant per designed cluster and well spacing were determined to be 12’, 47,500 lbs and 8-14 wells per section (based on whether or not fracture asymmetry is considered) when WTI and Henry Hub are assumed to be $50 & $2.50 flat.
Potapenko, Dmitriy Ivanovich (Member) | Hart, Timothy Brian (Fremont Petroleum Corporation) | Waters, George Alan (Member) | Lewis, Richard E. (Member) | Utter, Robert J. (New Ventures Energy Consulting) | Brown, J. Ernest (Member) | Goudy, Guy Thomas (Formerly Fremont Petroleum Corporation) | Jelsma, Henk H (Radial Drilling Services, Inc.)
Abstract This paper describes the first application of a novel reservoir-stimulation methodology that combines oriented extended perforation tunnels of lengths up to 300 feet with specially designed hydraulic fracturing operations in the Niobrara Formation in the Florence Field in Colorado. The technology was extensively tested in two vertical wells completed with two and five pairs of the extended perforation tunnels respectively. Extended perforation tunnels were jetted using radial drilling technique with the tools deployed using micro coil tubing. The jetting operation on each well was followed by a fracture stimulation treatment. The use of radial drilling technology to create extended perforation tunnels for the vertical wells offered a cost-effective way to significantly increase the reservoir contact area of the wellbore, making it similar to that of horizontal wells in the area. The engineered fracture treatments were performed at low treating pressures, and low proppant and fluid volumes. The stabilized production rates of both project vertical wells included in this technology test exceeded expectations and are comparable to the stabilized production rate of the offset horizontal well that was completed in the same zone with significantly higher volumes of proppant and fluid. The initial evaluation of the completion efficiency of this novel reservoir stimulation technology showed that its deployment delivered an improved stabilized production rate to cost ratio for the second vertical well, compared to the reference horizontal well. Based on the test results from the two wells, we conclude that the proposed reservoir stimulation methodology leads to substantial improvements in well production performance compared to traditional reservoir stimulation methods. Both the applied cost-effective approach for increasing the reservoir contact and the significantly lower resource intensity required for the hydraulic fracturing treatment further improve the economic benefits of this methodology. This novel reservoir stimulation methodology opens the way for reconsidering well completion practices in the Niobrara Formation and holds significant potential for improving the hydrocarbon production economics in the Florence Field.
The Rumaila Field is in southeast Iraq and contains multiple reservoir intervals, including the Upper Cretaceous Mishrif carbonate reservoir, one of the major reservoirs in the world, that has been producing for more than 50 years. One of the key challenges in the Mishrif is to characterize the pore-structure distinction between primary and secondary porosity. The secondary porosity in the form of large pores, if present, dominates the petrophysical properties, especially permeability. Advanced logs, e.g., nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and image logs, can be used to understand the variations in pore structure, both qualitatively and quantitatively. In this paper, we focused primarily on four new wells with very comprehensive logging and coring programs. NMR logs were acquired using different tools and pulse sequences. This resulted in uncertainty in porosity and T2 distributions and, consequently, complications in the NMR interpretation. We observed two key issues: porosity deficit due to lack of polarization and T2 distribution truncation due to the low number of echoes. We used a single pore model to reproduce the NMR response in different pore sizes and fluid types for different pulse sequences. The results showed that the NMR response, especially in water-filled (water-based-mud filtrate) large pores, is sensitive to polarization time, echo spacing, and tool gradient strength. NMR log data confirmed the modeling results. We recommended an optimum pulse sequence and tool characteristics to fully capture the heterogeneous rock and fluid system in this carbonate reservoir. NMR logs, when available, were the primary tools to identify the large pores. We present a consistent workflow for NMR log analysis that was developed to identify and quantify large pores and extended to all wells in the field. We used advanced NMR interpretation techniques, e.g., factor analysis (NMR FA) (Jain et al., 2013), in a series of oil wells drilled with water-based mud. Using factor analysis, we identified a cutoff value of 847 ms for large pore volumes. In this manuscript, we also present an integration of laboratory measurements, e.g., NMR, mercury intrusion capillary pressure (MICP) data, whole-core CT scanning, and thin-section analysis, in our interpretation workflow. We also compared the large pore volume from image logs with NMR logs and other laboratory data and observed very consistent results. All the available information was integrated to build an “NMR-based” petrophysical model for porosity, rock type, permeability, and saturation determination. The NMR-based model was very comparable with the classic flow zone indicator (FZI) rock typing. The results of this study were used to modify the NMR acquisition program in the field and to build a petrophysical model based on only NMR and image log measurements for carbonate reservoirs. In this paper, we will discuss NMR modeling and corresponding log data from various wells to confirm the results. Furthermore, we will present a novel interpretation workflow integrating laboratory measurements and log data, which led to the modification of the NMR acquisition program in the field and the creation of a data-driven petrophysical model based on only NMR and image log measurements for carbonate reservoirs.
Colorado oil production is surging to record levels, outpacing the other major producing US states in year-over-year gains on the backs of the steady-and-predictable Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin and overlapping Niobrara Shale. As overall US oil output continues to surge, attention has been drawn to the Permian Basin and SCOOP and STACK plays. Operators have flocked to West Texas, southeastern New Mexico, and central Oklahoma to stake claims to land they believe will usher them into a new, leaner era for the industry. The expansive Permian alone, which covers more than 75,000 sq miles, has accounted for the bulk of US oil production increases and mergers and acquisitions over the last couple of years. Although they are intertwined and together encompass parts of Colorado border states Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas, the DJ and Niobrara offer a fraction of the acreage and prospective resources of the Permian.
Years in the making, the recent steady rise in drilling in the Powder River Basin of northeast Wyoming is generating excitement reminiscent of the early days of currently more-established US onshore oil plays. The upturn in activity is resulting in double-digit production growth. Wells are bubbling over with oil, and operators are bubbling over with enthusiasm. This has been most evident in recent industry presentations, where decision makers from the basin's exclusive club of operators have gushed over what is becoming a core asset in their portfolios. Given the basin's oil richness, multiple stacked horizons, and well performance and economics, "we think it's comparable and competitive with the big-name basins--whether it's the Permian, SCOOP, or STACK," Joseph DeDominic, president and chief operating officer of Anschutz Exploration, said at a recent SPE Gulf Coast Section meeting on the basin.
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country's fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn't ended. Proposition 112 would have required new oil and gas development in Colorado to be at least 2,500 ft from areas considered "vulnerable," including homes, schools, and waterways. The current minimum setback is 500 ft. With more than 90% of precincts reporting, about 57% of the electorate voted against the measure.
Chen, Ming (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zhang, Shicheng (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zhou, Tong (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Sinopec) | Ma, Xinfang (China University of Petroleum, China) | Zou, Yushi (China University of Petroleum, China)
Summary Creating uniform multiple fractures is a challenging task due to reservoir heterogeneity and stress shadow. Limited‐entry perforation and in‐stage diversion are commonly used to improve multifracture treatments. Many studies have investigated the mechanism of limited‐entry perforation for multifracture treatments, but relatively few have focused on the in‐stage diversion process. The design of in‐stage diversion is usually through trial and error because of the lack of a simulator. In this study, we present a fully coupled planar 2D multifracture model for simulating the in‐stage diversion process. The objective is to evaluate flux redistribution after diversion and optimize the dosage of diverters and diversion timing under different in‐stage in‐situ stress difference. Our model considers ball sealer allocation and solves flux redistribution after diversion through a fully coupled multifracture model. A supertimestepping explicit algorithm is adopted to solve the solid/fluid coupling equations efficiently. Multifracture fronts are captured by using tip asymptotes and an adaptive time‐marching approach. The modeling results are validated against analytical solutions for a plane-strain Khristianovic-Geertsma de Klerk (KGD) model. A series of numerical simulations are conducted to investigate the multifracture growth under different in‐stage diversion operations. Parametric studies reveal that the in‐stage in‐situ stress difference is a critical parameter for diversion designs. When the in‐situ stress difference is larger than 2 MPa, the fracture in the high‐stress zone can hardly be initiated before diversion for a general fracturing design. More ball sealers are required for the formations with higher in‐stage in‐situ stress difference. The diverting time should be earlier for formations with high in‐stage stress differences as well. Adding more perforation holes in the zone with higher in‐situ stress is recommended to achieve even flux distribution. The results of this study can help understand the multifracture growth mechanism during in‐stage diversion and optimize the diversion design timely.