Decline curve analysis is widely used in industry to perform production forecasting and to estimate reserves volumes. A useful technique in verifying the validity of a decline model is to estimate the Arps decline parameters, the loss ratio and the b-factor, with respect to time. This is used to check the model fit and to determine the flow regimes under which the reservoir produces. Existing methods to estimate the b-factor are heavily impacted by noise in production data. In this work, we introduce a new method to estimate the Arps decline parameters.
We treat the loss ratio and the b-factor over time as parameters to be estimated in a Bayesian framework. We include prior information on the parameters in the model. This serves to regularize the solution and prevent noise in the data from being amplified. We then fit the parameters to the model using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods to obtain probability distributions of the parameters. These distributions characterize the uncertainty in the parameters being estimated. We then compare our method with existing methods using simulated and field data.
We show that our method produces smooth loss ratio and b-factor estimates over time. Estimates using the three-point derivative method are not matched with data, and results in biased estimates of the Arps parameters. This can lead to misleading fits in decline curve analysis and unreliable estimates of reserves. We show that our technique helps in identification of end of linear flow and start of boundary dominated flow. We use our method on simulated data, with and without noise. Finally, we demonstrate the validity of our method on field cases.
Fitting a decline curve using the loss ratio and b-factor plots is a powerful technique that can highlight important features in the data and the possible points of failure of a model. Calculating these plots using the Bourdet three-point derivative induces bias and magnifies noise. Our analysis ensures that this estimation is robust and repeatable by adding prior information on the parameters to the model and by calibrating the estimates to the data.
Complex Toe-to-Heel Flooding (CTTHF) is a short distance flooding technique developed by the authors for sandstone formations. CTTHF applied on horizontal wells and requires at least one barrier and injector hydraulic fracture, also it requires at least one method to control early water production. This paper discusses the design aspects of the CTTHF including the design of barrier fracture, injector fracture, and the produced water control methods. Technical and economical evaluation to rank different design setups is performed and presented.
Advanced commercial reservoir simulator with hydraulic fracturing module was used to simulate different CTTHF setups and reservoir conditions to set the reservoir selection criteria and proper design methodology. In this study, Toe-to-Heel Waterflooding was considered the base case. Sensitivity studies for barrier fracture and injector design has been achieved and presented. Moreover, a sensitivity studies for hydraulic fractures spacing, number of barrier fractures, batch injection scheduling and changing packer location have been performed.
When CTTHF is applied in high permeable sandstone formation, early water production is expected, except produced water control method is used. This study states the feasibility conditions for each proposed produced water control technique. Also, a methodology for candidate reservoir selection, design of barrier and injector fractures is developed and presented. There are multiple fluid systems can be used to create the barrier to seal a pre-determined zone. CTTHF is better reservoir management approach.
The novelty of the CTTHF is giving multiple options for produced water control that maximizes the produced oil and minimizes the water production. CTTHF's produced water control can make some reservoirs economic to produce.
Albert, Larry (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Booher, Jason (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Wilson, Anthony (Allied-Horizontal Wireline Services) | Hamilton, Fraser (Impact Selector International) | Hradecky, Jason (Impact Selector International) | Dunning, Dustin (Wireco WorldGroup) | Pratosov, Vadim (Wireco WorldGroup)
An E&P operator was developing a reservoir and planned a horizontal well in an area where zones above the target cause drilling problems when trying to build angle and land the horizontal lateral. The operator suffered drilling difficulties on offset wells; therefore, it was decided to change the drilling plan for this prospect. The new plan required drilling through the target reservoir, into the formations below and then drill back up dip to the target. After reaching the base at a measured depth of 14,000 ft. the well plan required drilling up at maximum of 114° until reentering the target reservoir. Because of faulting in the area and required well direction, the target reservoir was dipping up at ∼10° laterally in the direction of the horizontal drilling target. To maintain position in the reservoir, the well had to drilled at ∼100° deviation to a measured depth of 21,100 ft.
This wellbore trajectory made normal wireline plug and perforating completion operations extremely difficult. The wellbore trajectory meant high frictions on the wireline when coming off bottom. Also, due to the toe-up trajectory there was risk the wireline tools would slide down the inclined casing during and after plug setting and perforating. If the tool position could not be maintained there was risk the wireline cable could be entangled and a stuck tool could result. If the tools overrun the wireline cable the result could be wireline cable next to the perforating guns when detonated and wireline cable severed. The E&P operator needed to know if this challenge could be met.
Alternatives to pump down plug and perforating could be very expensive (estimated $millions): Abandon acreage, Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target, Reposition surface location and drill down dip, Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
Continue drilling attempts building angle above the target,
Reposition surface location and drill down dip,
Reduce angle and shorten lateral in target, or
Coiled tubing conveyed plug and perforating completion.
To meet the challenge several new methods and technologies developed for extended laterals were utilized. These products and methods included: advanced risk deployment modeling, jacketed wireline cable, addressable separation tool and downhole tension tool.
Field development strategies in unconventional shale reservoirs have increased in intensity over the last few decades. Completion design and well spacing have been key focus variables in the incremental design process. With this wide range of design and development strategies, assets across different basins might end up with wells from a variety of design generations. This could make type curve creation even more complicated as it does not account for impact of hydrocarbon drainage in an area by the older (parent) well on the newer (child) wells. The present paper tackles this issue by addressing type curve development by including date dependent spacing variables to account for the dynamism of field development strategies over the years.
The present paper analyzes the impact of well spacing on type curve development in an asset. Type curve generation is a critical component in evaluation and subsequent planning so de-risking this step is very valuable. A lot of the analysis done in recent years is by considering well spacing as a static variable. The present analysis looks at spacing as a dynamic variable instead to account for time-series based variations. The spacing in the estimation process is also a 3-D spacing algorithm which identifies multiple points along the lateral section of the wellbore for a true evaluation of pressure transient propagation.
The present analysis showed the impact of date dependent well spacing on type curve development. The underestimation of well spacing in well-developed acreages was brought to attention as spacing mean deviations of upto 0.7 Standard Deviation were found between current well speacing and date-dependent well spacing scenarios analyzed. These deviations led to the type curves having upto a 40% EUR differential between estimation processes, with PV10 differentials higher than 100% in some cases. While the degree of impact of time series well spacing varied across the assets evaluated, quantifying the risk in type curve development and subsequent EUR estimation were key conclusions from the analysis.
The present paper presents a novel approach in tackling type curve development for parent and child wells observed across different basins. The paper provides guidelines on creating highly accurate type curves and highlights errors that may arise due to high well density and inter-well interaction by conducting the analysis in the high well density Middle Bakken formation.
Improved completion design and field development strategies have provided commodity price resilience by sustained efficiency gains across most major US Shale plays. This rapid evolution in completion practices, however, has created behind pipe opportunities. Refracturing offers a viable solution to maximize on these opportunities, however, its effectiveness is dependent on a variety of factors. The present paper explores the implementation of refracturing as a re-development strategy in legacy shale plays and evaluates it as a truly multivariable problem.
The paper takes into consideration petrophysical parameters, initial completion design, chemical composition, formation quality, time from original completion, refrac completion design and production performance to quantify impact on refrac KPIs such as IP ratio, EUR ratio, decline trend impact, amongst others. The paper does this by using an ACE (alternating conditional expectation) non-linear regression model that incorporates the KPI’s as response variables and utilizes the transforms of a wide range of input variables to identify cause and effect relationships. By running this analysis across multiple legacy shale plays, including the Haynesville, and Barnett, the paper provides best-practices to maximize refracturing success.
While refrac can offer a viable solution in obtaining incremental production, depending on the basin, a refrac can be a tenth of the expense of a new well and can beneficially impact the production from the existing well. In most cases, the analysis found EUR predictions improved by 30% - 200%. While correlations varied across basins and completion design, an inverse correlation was found between refrac KPIs and initial frac intensity.
Although, refracturing in horizontal shale wells is a well-established practice, a significant amount of analysis on their performance is focused on one or two key variables. The present paper adds to the existing body of literature by using data analytics and machine learning to evaluate this strategy from a truly multivariable standpoint. The paper also provides best practices to evaluate and predict refrac performance to de-risk refrac as a field re-development strategy.
In the past ten years, hydraulic fracturing technology and strategies have made major improvements in the operational efficiency and economic performance of shale well completions. Much of this advancement was derived in the past three years as a response to the global downturn in oil and gas commodity pricing. Mature shale plays across the United States have a surplus inventory of horizontal wells employing highly inefficient completions styles. Amid the low oil pricing environment, operators in the Bakken and Eagle Ford were capable of revitalizing these prior generation wells with great success through re-fracturing programs. In many cases, production of these re-fractured wells rivaled the production of newly drilled and completed shale wells both in terms of initial production post re-fracture as well as extended interval cumulative production. These re-fracturing programs allowed producers to achieve tremendous gains in production while minimizing drilling activity. Although re-fracturing began as a highly economical method to improve production during a time of depressed oil pricing, it is still being used today to improve the production of additional wells recognized as top-tier candidates.
By developing a specific set of criteria to select wells for re-fracturing, these programs can be successfully employed in the Appalachian Basin to improve the economics of gas wells, mitigating the effects of highly discounted natural gas pricing. After the explanation of well candidacy, an economic sensitivity analysis was implemented to illustrate the impacts a strong re-fracturing program could make for operators in the Northeast through a comparison of public data showing production and total reserves for both in and out-of-basin re-fracturing programs. Additionally, while this paper focuses on re-fracturing as it relates to shale formations it also includes information as to how re-fracturing relates to conventional formations.
After looking at the incremental economics of re-fracturing programs implemented in shale plays across the United States and in-basin data, the impacts of gas well re-completion can be fully quantified and understood through the application of probabilistic modeling. Additionally, this modeling further delineates re-completion candidacy by identifying which wells pose higher risks in economic metrics.
Very little information has been published regarding the impacts a re-fracturing program could have in the Appalachian Basin. As the field matures, the topic of re-completions will become increasingly important, and this analysis will allow operators to have a greater understanding of the impacts of refracturing shale gas wells in the Northeast.
Low injected fracturing fluid recovery has been an issue during flowback period that is highly impacted by the fracture closure behavior. Although existing flowback models consider fracture closure volumetrically, they do not represent the true situation of non-uniform fracture closure. In this paper, we proposed a coupled geomechanics and fluid flow model for early-time flowback in shale oil reservoirs. The fluid flow model is coupled with an elastic fracture closure model through finite element methods. In this study, three stages are modeled: fracture propagation, well shut-in and flowback. Cohesive Zone Method (CZM) has been used for modeling fracture propagation. The presented model distinguished the propped part from the unpropped part of the fracture. At the beginning of flowback, the proppants may not be completely compacted in early shut-in time. Thus, permeability evolution during closure is tracked using a smooth permeability transition function. The numerical results have shown that fracture closure during the flowback period is often not uniform. While the uniform fracture closure leads to maximum fracturing fluid recovery, an aggressive pressure drawdown strategy may damage fracture connectivity to the wellbore. An integrated flowback model enables modelling nonuniform fracture closure in a complex fracture network. This study highlights that by choke/pressure drawdown management, operators can influence fluid recovery and even maintain high fracture conductivity. Furthermore, the methodology presented in the paper can also be used for inverse analysis on early flowback data.
Production data and analytical models derived from coupling the linear flow in the reservoir and the linear flow in hydraulic fractures were used in this study to optimize fracture spacing for maximizing productivity of shale oil and gas wells through refracturing. This study concludes that productivity of multi-fractured horizontal wells is inversely proportional to the fracture spacing. The shortest possible fracture spacing should be used to maximize well productivity through refracturing. This supports the practice of massive volume fracturing where as many as perforation clusters with the shortest possible spacing are used for pumping massive proppant into the created hydraulic fractures. Production data analysis indicates that the multi-fractured horizontal oil and gas wells could have higher productivity if they were fractured with less perforation cluster spacing. Mathematical model analysis implies that reducing the cluster spacing from 70 f t t o 15 f t t h r o u g h r e f r a c t u r i n g c a n d o u b l e d w e l l p r o d u c t i v i t y, w i t h t h e M i n i m u m Re q u i r e d C l u s t e r S p a c i n g (MRCS) determined by well completion constraints (packers, perforation clusters, and casing couplings). Result can be checked for fracture trend interference on the basis of analyses of pressure transient data or production data.
Research and development drives success in shale plays throughout the world, enabling operators to deploy new drilling, completions, and production technologies to reach more reservoir area and extend the life of production wells. This work demonstrates the development, validation, and deployment of an extreme torque casing connection addressing technical challenges of tubulars in unconventionals.
Throughout the well lifetime, Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) experience various loads during the installation, stimulation, and production phases. Some of the challenges experienced during the stimulation and production phases relate to internal and external pressure resistance, sealability, corrosion and cracking, erosion, and wear. Furthermore, with the increase in lateral length and the more demanding well geometries, the OCTG capabilities related to high cycle fatigue, connection runability, and torque limits become more important to safely and efficiently reach the total depth of the well and ensure integrity throughout well life. Another scenario in which the torque limit of an OCTG connection is important is rotating while cementing, a practice undertaken to mitigate sustained casing pressure, improve well integrity, and completion efficiency.
We present the key elements in the development of a casing connection that overcomes these challenges and the decision process leading to a prototype. To prove the design concept, a fit-for-purpose testing protocol was adopted to validate its performance, replicating the installation, stimulation, and production phases under the expected loads. Once validated, a pilot involving casing installation, rotation while cementing and stimulation was completed in two wells, and its outcomes will be discussed in this work.
This novel casing extreme torque connection, designed to overcome the application challenges, enables the installation of casing in longer laterals, together with the improvement of well integrity through rotation while cementing.
The performance of the product, tested through a special procedure while ensuring reliability, was confirmed by the case study from the Niobrara shale. A new connection considering the challenges of wells in unconventional plays must account for several aspects from design to installation. We show the process, from the design stage and validation, leading to successful field deployment.
Though seemingly straightforward, the concept of "net-to-gross" (NTG) is often a source of confusion. Its proper use is still being debated in some portions of the oil and gas industry. NTG is a method to account for non-reservoir quality rock when calculating oil volumes within a reservoir. This is normally accomplished by applying cutoffs to calculated quantities, such as porosity, which then get excluded from the volumetric calculation. To the extent there have been recent discussions of this, the focus has been primarily on how to determine appropriate cutoffs. There has been very little mention of the implications of using NTG in flow equations within a reservoir simulator. The paper discusses the derivation and implied assumptions for the simulator NTG formulation and possible errors and proposes modifications to account for inconsistencies.
Resolving the NTG flow equations can be viewed as an upscaling problem, subject to implied assumptions about reservoir continuity. Many fine-scale reservoir simulations were run to test this and to calibrate the NTG equations. The underlying attributes were sampled from a bimodal distribution, which represent pay and non-pay. The results show the effects of NTG ratio, values of fine-scale attributes and spatial correlation on steady state, single phase effective permeability and immiscible flow displacements. They demonstrate errors in effective horizontal and vertical permeability when using NTG within a simulator. These errors cause potentially significant differences in production responses between underlying detailed fine-scale models and coarser models. The results demonstrate a possible need for corrections to the simulator net-to-gross formulations due to underlying implied assumptions and inconsistencies. Some possible modifications are also presented. Both standard and machine learning techniques were used to analyze the results.