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Fracture diagnostic techniques are divided into several groups. Direct far-field methods consists of tiltmeter-fracture-mapping and microseismic-fracture-mapping techniques. These techniques require sophisticated instrumentation embedded in boreholes surrounding the well to be fracture treated. When a hydraulic fracture is created, the expansion of the fracture causes the earth around the fracture to deform. Tiltmeters can be used to measure the deformation and to compute the approximate direction and size of the created fracture.
This field produces from a structure that lies above a deep-seated salt dome (salt has been penetrated at 9,000 ft) and has moderate fault density. A large north/south trending fault divides the field into east and west areas. There is hydraulic communication across the fault. Sands were deposited in aeolian, fluvial, and deltaic environments made up primarily of a meandering, distributary flood plain. Reservoirs are moderate to well sorted; grains are fine to very fine with some interbedded shales. There are 21 mapped producing zones separated by shales within the field but in pressure communication outside the productive limits of the field. The original oil column was 400 ft thick and had an associated gas cap one-third the size of the original oil column. Porosity averages 30%, and permeability varies from 10 to 1500 md.
Abstract On a Deep Gas Field in the Middle East, it is required to drill across a highly fractured and faulted carbonate formation. In most wells drilled across the flank of this field, it is impossible to cure the encountered losses with conventional or engineered solutions. Average time to cure losses is 20 days. With the current drive for cost optimization, it has become necessary to eliminate the NPT associated with curing the losses. A thorough risk assessment was conducted for wells drilled on the flank of this field, it was established that the risk of encountering total losses was very high. Seismic studies were performed and it was observed it would be impossible to eliminate total losses as fractures were propagated in all directions. It was proposed to run a sacrificial open hole bridge plug above the loss zone and sidetrack the well instead of performing extensive remedial operations. The proposed solution would help eliminate the well control and HSE risks associated with drilling blindly ahead with the reservoir formation exposed. Applied the proposed solution on the next well that was drilled on the flank of the field, encountered total losses, spotted eight LCM pills, unable to cure the losses, ran sacrificial open hole bridge plug and sidetracked the well. The entire process was completed in 30 hours. Sidetracked the well in adjacent direction to the initial planned well trajectory based on further seismic data analysis and no losses was encountered. Recovered full mud column to surface thus ensuring the restoration of all well barrier elements. This solution has since been adopted as best practice for wells drilled on the flank of the field where there is high probability of encountering total losses. The average time saving per well due to this optimized solution is 450 hours for wells where total losses are encountered. This engineered solution has made drilling wells on the flank of the field in a timely manner possible and at optimized costs. This has resulted in: –The elimination of Non-Productive Time, –Quick delivery of the well to production, –Reduced HSE risk, –Reduced well control risk as loss zone is quickly isolated before drilling ahead. This paper will explain why running sacrificial open hole bridge plugs and sidetracking the well is a more effective solution compared to extended remedial operations when total losses are encountered while drilling across highly fractured / faulted formation. It will discuss the extensive risk assessment conducted, the mitigation and prevention measures that were put in place in order to ensure successful implementation on trial well.
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.
Abstract In multi-stage plug-and-perf horizontal well completions, there are a multitude of moving parts and variables to consider when evaluating performance drivers. Properly identifying performance drivers allows an operator to focus their efforts to maximize the rate of return of resource development. Typically, well-to-well comparisons are made to help identify performance drivers, but in many cases the differences are not clear. Identifying these drivers may require a better understanding of performance variability along a single lateral. Data analytics can help to identify performance drivers using existing data from development activities. In the case study below, multiple diagnostics are utilized to identify performance drivers. A combination of completion diagnostics including oil and water tracers, stimulation data, reservoir data, 3D seismic, and borehole image logs were collected on a set of wells in the early appraisal phase of a field. Using oil tracers as the best indication of stage level performance along the laterals, data analytics is applied to uncover the relationships between the tracers and the numerous diagnostics. After smoothing was applied to the dataset, trends between oil tracer recovery, several independent variables and features seen in image logs and 3D seismic were identified. All the analyses pointed to decreasing tracer recovery, and likely decreased oil production, near faulted areas along each lateral. A random forest model showed a moderate prediction power, where the model's predicted tracer recovery on blind stages was able to explain 54% of the variance seen in the tracer response (r=0.54). This analysis suggests the identification of certain faulted areas along the wellbore could lead to ways of improving individual well economics by adjusting completion design in these areas.
Rodríguez-Pradilla, Germán (School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.) | Eaton, David (Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Canada.) | Popp, Melanie (geoLOGIC Systems Ltd., Calgary, Canada.)
Abstract The goal of this work is to calibrate a regional predictive model for maximum magnitude of seismic activity associated with hydraulic-fracturing in low-permeability formations in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). Hydraulic fracturing data (i.e. total injected volume, injection rate, and pressure) were compiled from more than 40,000 hydraulic-fractured wells in the WCSB. These wells were drilled into more than 100 different formations over a 20-year period (January 1st, 2000 and January 1st, 2020). The total injected volume per unit area was calculated utilizing an area of 0.2° in longitude by 0.1° in latitude (or approximately 13x11km, somewhat larger than a standard township of 6x6 miles). This volume was then used to correlate with reported seismicity in the same unit areas. Collectively, within the 143 km area considered in this study, a correlation between the total injected volume and the maximum magnitude of seismic events was observed. Results are similar to the maximum-magnitude forecasting model proposed by A. McGarr (JGR, 2014) for seismic events induced by wastewater injection wells in central US. The McGarr method is also based on the total injected fluid per well (or per multiple nearby wells located in the same unit area). However, in some areas in the WCSB, lower injected fluid volumes than the McGarr model predicts were needed to induce seismic events of magnitude 3.0 or higher, although with a similar linear relation. The result of this work is the calculation of a calibration parameter for the McGarr model to better predict the magnitudes of seismic events associated with the injected volumes of hydraulic fracturing. This model can be used to predict induced seismicity in future unconventional hydraulic fracturing treatments and prevent large-magnitude seismic events from occurring. The rich dataset available from the WCSB allowed us to carry out a robust analysis of the influence of critical parameters (such as the total injected fluid) in the maximum magnitude of seismic events associated with the hydraulic-fracturing stimulation of unconventional wells. This analysis could be replicated for any other sedimentary basin with unconventional wells by compiling similar stimulation and earthquake data as in this study.
Hui, Gang (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) | Chen, Shengnan (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) | Gu, Fei (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, Beijing, China)
Abstract The recent seismicity rate increase in Fox Creek is believed to be linked to the hydraulic fracturing operations near the region. However, the spatiotemporal evolution of hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity is not well understood. Here, a coupled approach of geology, geomechanics, and hydrology is proposed to characterize the spatiotemporal evolution of hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity. The seismogenic faults in the vicinity of stimulated wells are derived from the focal mechanisms of mainshock event and lineament features of induced events. In addition, the propagation of hydraulic fractures is simulated by using the PKN model, in combination with inferred fault, to characterize the possible well-fault hydrological communication. The original stress state of inferred fault is determined based on the geomechanics analysis. Based on the poroelasticity theory, the coupled flow-geomechanics simulation is finally conducted to quantitatively understand the fluid diffusion and poroelastic stress perturbation in response to hydraulic fracturing. A case study of a moment-magnitude-3.4 earthquake near Fox Creek is utilized to demonstrate the applicability of the coupled approach. It is shown that hydraulic fractures propagated along NE45° and connected with one North-south trending fault, causing the activation of fault and triggered the large magnitude event during fracturing operations. The barrier property of inferred fault under the strike-slip faulting regime constrains the nucleation position of induced seismicity within the injection layer. The combined changes of pore pressure and poroelastic stress caused the inferred fault to move towards the failure state and triggered the earthquake swarms. The associated spatiotemporal changes of Coulomb Failure Stress along the fault plane is well in line with the spatiotemporal pattern of induced seismicity in the studied case. Risks of seismic hazards could be reduced by decreasing fracturing job size during fracturing stimulations.
Abstract The objective of this study was to perform an integrated analysis to gain insight for optimizing fracturing treatment and gas recovery from Marcellus shale. The analysis involved all the available data from a Marcellus Shale horizontal well which included vertical and lateral well logs, hydraulic fracture treatment design, microseismic, production logging, and production data. A commercial fracturing software was utilized to predict the hydraulic fracture properties based on the available vertical and lateral well logs data, diagnostic fracture injection test (DFIT), fracture stimulation treatment data, and microseismic recordings during the fracturing treatment. The predicted hydraulic fracture properties were then used in a reservoir simulation model developed based on the Marcellus Shale properties to predict the production performance. In this study, the rock mechanical properties were estimated from the well log data. The minimum horizontal stress, instantaneous shut-in pressure (ISIP), process zone stress (PZS), and leak-off mechanism were determined from DFIT analysis. The stress conditions were then adjusted based on the results of microseismic interpretations. Subsequently, the results of the analyses were used in the fracturing software to predict the hydraulic fracture properties. Marcellus Shale properties and the predicted hydraulic fracture properties were used to develop a reservoir simulation model. Porosity, permeability, and the adsorption characteristics were estimated from the core plugs measurements and the well log data. The image logs were utilized to estimate the distribution of natural fractures (fissures). The relation between the formation permeability and the fracture conductivity and the net stress (geomechanical factors) were obtained from the core plugs measurements and published data. The predicted production performance was then compared against production history. The analysis of core data, image logs, and DFIT confirmed the presence of natural fractures in the reservoir. The formation properties and in-situ stress conditions were found to influence the hydraulic fracturing geometry. The hydraulic fracture properties are also impacted by stress shadowing and the net stress changes. The production logging tool results could not be directly related to the hydraulic fracture properties or natural fracture distribution. The inclusion of the stress shadowing, microseismic interpretations, and geomechanical factors provided a close agreement between the predicted production performance and the actual production performance of the well under study.
Andreev, Anton (Total E&P) | Pitts, Michael (OPECS) | Hoover, Andrew (Total E&P) | Elhassan, Eyad Mohamed (Total E&P) | Bexkens, Felix Sebastian (Total E&P) | Datta, Sudipto (Total E&P) | Singh, Amit (Total E&P) | Lund, Espen (Total E&P) | Panos Gomez, Luis (Total E&P)
Abstract Demonstrating a viable development for the Ekofisk reservoir directly above the producing Tor reservoir in the Halfdan Field (Danish North Sea) has historically been challenging. A recent well shows the value of cross-disciplinary collaboration and new technology to maximize recovery and mitigate reservoir and drilling risks. Specifically, 4D seismic was utilized when planning the well, while placement was optimized by using advanced geosteering tools. Well optimization was further enhanced by adopting novel completion and stimulation technologies. Pressure data and 4D seismic show that Tor and Ekofisk are in dynamic communication, but the degree of communication varies locally. The integration of 4D seismic with other disciplines’ input succeeded in optimizing the well placement and narrowed the significant pore pressure uncertainty along the 12,000-ft reservoir section. To maximize well length within the target zone and reduce the risk of being faulted out of the target reservoir deep resistivity was used to steer the well in the optimal layers. This contributed to 99% of the reservoir section being placed in the target zone. Lessons learnt from an earlier appraisal well and modest production experience in this part of the Ekofisk reservoir helped to justify the choice of selective completion zones (Sliding Side Door) in the inner part of the horizontal drain in order to minimize the impact of potential water or premature water breakthrough from high-rate injection wells located in the underlying Tor reservoir. This decision was validated after drilling the inner part of the well, where water-swept zones were encountered in the heel, followed by a long gas pay zone in line with 4D seismic signal in the remainder of the inner well section. To mitigate the risk of an unwanted fracture connection and increase contact with the tight oil-saturated reservoir, a novel stimulation and completion technology was successfully deployed in the outer 6-inch open-hole section of the well. The acid needles completion, deployed across a 3,000-ft reservoir interval and comprising 224 needles deployed by pumping acid, was the first installation of its kind in the Danish North Sea. For the acid needles completion, this installation holds two distinctions: the largest number of acid needles installed in a well, and the combination of the acid needles completion with a different completion system in a single lateral for the first time.