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Desroches, Jean (Rocks Expert) | Peyret, Emilie (Schlumberger) | Gisolf, Adriaan (Schlumberger) | Wilcox, Ailsa (Schlumberger) | Di Giovanni, Mauro (Schlumberger) | de Jong, Aernout Schram (Schlumberger) | Sepehri, Siavash | Garrard, Rodney (Nagra) | Giger, Silvio (Nagra)
Abstract As part of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories, three candidate sites are currently examined by a focused geological exploration program in Northeastern Switzerland. The program involves 3D seismic surveys and drilling of at least two deep boreholes at each site. Stress testing is being undertaken with a wireline formation testing tool in each borehole (around 20 stress tests per borehole). Improvements in the toolstring were introduced step by step to sharpen the range of the stress estimates and enable 100% coverage of the desired lithological column. This is the first time that a single toolstring with three packers has been run to perform the complete combination of sleeve fracturing, hydraulic fracturing and sleeve reopening tests. A dedicated stress testing protocol was developed to ensure the most robust estimate of the stress in a large variety of formations. A detailed planning process has been developed to maximize the success rate and coverage of stress test stations, integrating all available information as it becomes available. A review of the techniques enabled by the new toolstring for estimating the closure stress from a stress test, especially in low-permeability formations, is presented, and detailed stress testing examples are provided. Preliminary comparison between the stress estimates for the first two boreholes in the campaign are shown.
Nicholson, A. Kirby (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Bachman, Robert C. (Pressure Diagnostics Ltd.) | Scherz, R. Yvonne (Endeavor Energy Resources) | Hawkes, Robert V. (Cordax Evaluation Technologies Inc.)
Abstract Pressure and stage volume are the least expensive and most readily available data for diagnostic analysis of hydraulic fracturing operations. Case history data from the Midland Basin is used to demonstrate how high-quality, time-synchronized pressure measurements at a treatment and an offsetting shut-in producing well can provide the necessary input to calculate fracture geometries at both wells and estimate perforation cluster efficiency at the treatment well. No special wellbore monitoring equipment is required. In summary, the methods outlined in this paper quantifies fracture geometries as compared to the more general observations of Daneshy (2020) and Haustveit et al. (2020). Pressures collected in Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests (DFITs), select toe-stage full-scale fracture treatments, and offset observation wells are used to demonstrate a simple workflow. The pressure data combined with Volume to First Response (Vfr) at the observation well is used to create a geometry model of fracture length, width, and height estimates at the treatment well as illustrated in Figure 1. The producing fracture length of the observation well is also determined. Pressure Transient Analysis (PTA) techniques, a Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) fracture propagation model and offset well Fracture Driven Interaction (FDI) pressures are used to quantify hydraulic fracture dimensions. The PTA-derived Farfield Fracture Extension Pressure, FFEP, concept was introduced in Nicholson et al. (2019) and is summarized in Appendix B of this paper. FFEP replaces Instantaneous Shut-In Pressure, ISIP, for use in net pressure calculations. FFEP is determined and utilized in both DFITs and full-scale fracture inter-stage fall-off data. The use of the Primary Pressure Derivative (PPD) to accurately identify FFEP simplifies and speeds up the analysis, allowing for real time treatment decisions. This new technique is called Rapid-PTA. Additionally, the plotted shape and gradient of the observation-well pressure response can identify whether FDI's are hydraulic or poroelastic before a fracture stage is completed and may be used to change stage volume on the fly. Figure 1: Fracture Geometry Model with FDI Pressure Matching Case studies are presented showing the full workflow required to generate the fracture geometry model. The component inputs for the model are presented including a toe-stage DFIT, inter-stage pressure fall-off, and the FDI pressure build-up. We discuss how to optimize these hydraulic fractures in hindsight (look-back) and what might have been done in real time during the completion operations given this workflow and field-ready advanced data-handling capability. Hydraulic fracturing operations can be optimized in real time using new Rapid-PTA techniques for high quality pressure data collected on treating and observation wells. This process opens the door for more advanced geometry modeling and for rapid design changes to save costs and improve well productivity and ultimate recovery.
Abstract With a recent trend in increased infill well development in the Midland basin and other unconventional plays, it has been shown that depletion has a significant impact on hydraulic fracture propagation. This is largely because production drawdown causes in-situ stress changes, resulting in asymmetric fracture growth toward the depleted regions. In turn, this can have a negative impact on production capacity. For the initial part of this study, an infill child well was drilled and completed adjacent to a parent well that had been producing for two years. Due to drilling difficulties, the child well was steered to a new target zone located 125 feet above the original target. However, relative to the original target, treatment data from the new zone indicated abnormal treatment responses leading to a study to evaluate the source of these variations and subsequent mitigation. The initial study was conducted using a pore pressure estimation derived from drill bit geomechanics data to investigate depletion effects on the infill child well. The pore pressure results were compared to the child well treatment responses and bottom hole pressure measurements in the parent well. Following the initial study, additional hydraulic fracture modeling studies were conducted on a separate pad to investigate depletion around the infill wells, determine optimal well spacing for future wells given the level of depletion, and optimize treatment designs for future wells in similar depletion scenarios. A depletion model workflow was implemented based on integrating hydraulic fracture modeling and reservoir analytics for future infill pad development. The geomechanical properties were calibrated by DFIT results and pressure matching of the parent well treatments for the in-situ virgin conditions. Parent well fracture geometries were used in an RTA for an analytical approach of estimating drainage area of the parent wells. These were then applied to a depletion profile in the hydraulic fracture model for well spacing analysis and treatment design sensitivities. Results of the initial study indicated that stages in the new, higher interval had higher breakdown pressures than the lower interval. Additionally, the child well drilled in the lower interval had normal breakdown pressures in line with the parent well treatments. This suggests that treatment differences in the wells were ultimately due to depletion of the offset parent well. Based on the modeling efforts, optimal infill well spacing was determined based on the on-production time of the parent wells. The optimal treatment designs were also determined under the same conditions to minimize offset frac hits and unnecessary completion costs. This case study presents the use of a multi-disciplinary approach for well spacing and treatment optimization. The integration of a novel method of estimating pore pressure and depletion modeling workflows were used in an inventive way to understand depletion effects on future development.
Abstract Fracture growth in layered formations with depth-dependent properties has been a topic of interest amongst researchers because of its critical influence on well performance. This paper revisits some of the existing height-growth models and discusses the evaluation process of a new and modified model developed after incorporating additional constraints.The net-pressure is the primary driver behind fracture propagation and the pressure distribution in the fracture plays an important role in vertical propagation, as it supplies the necessary energy for fracture advancement in the presence of opposing forces. The workflow adopted for this study included developing a preliminary model that solves a system of non-linear equations iteratively to arrive at fracture height versus net pressure mapping. The theoretical results were then compared to those available in the literature. The solution set was then extended to a 100-layer model after incorporating additional constraints using superposition techniques.The predicted outcomes were finally compared to the fracture height observations made in the field on several treatments. A reasonable agreement between model-predicted and observed height was observed when a comparison between the two was made, for most cases.The majority of these treatments were pumped in vertical wells, at low injection rates of up to 8.0 bbl/min (0.021 m/s) where net pressures were intentionally restricted to 250 psi (1.72 MPa) in order to prevent fracture rotation to the horizontal plane.The leak-off was minimal given the low permeability formations. In some cases, however, the pumping parameters and fluid imparted pressure distribution appeared to dominate. Overall, it was apparent that for a slowly advancing fracture front, which is the case in low injection rate treatments, the fracture height could be predicted with reasonable accuracy. This condition could also be met in high rate treatments pumped down multiple perforation clusters such as in horizontal wells, though fracture-height measurement may not be as straightforward as in vertical wells. The model developed under the current study is suitable for vertical wells where fracture treatments are pumped at low injection rates. The solid-mechanics solution that is presented here is independent of pumping parameters and can be readily implemented to assist in selection of critical design parameters prior to the job, with a wide range of applicability worldwide.
Zeinabady, Danial (University of Calgary) | Zanganeh, Behnam (University of Calgary, Chevron Canada Resources) | Shahamat, Sadeq (Birchcliff Energy Ltd.) | Clarkson, Christopher R. (University of Calgary)
Abstract The DFIT flowback analysis (DFIT-FBA) method, recently developed by the authors, is a new approach for obtaining minimum in-situ stress, reservoir pressure, and well productivity index estimates in a fraction of the time required by conventional DFITs. The goal of this study is to demonstrate the application of DFIT-FBA to hydraulic fracturing design and reservoir characterization by performing tests at multiple points along a horizontal well completed in an unconventional reservoir. Furthermore, new corrections are introduced to the DFIT-FBA method to account for perforation friction, tortuosity, and wellbore unloading during the flowback stage of the test. The time and cost efficiency associated with the DFIT-FBA method provides an opportunity to conduct multiple field tests without delaying the completion program. Several trials of the new method were performed for this study. These trials demonstrate application of the DFIT-FBA for testing multiple points along the lateral of a horizontal well (toe stage and additional clusters). The operational procedure for each DFIT-FBA test consists of two steps: 1) injection to initiate and propagate a mini hydraulic fracture and 2) flowback of the injected fluid on surface using a variable choke setting on the wellhead. Rate transient analysis methods are then applied to the flowback data to identify flow regimes and estimate closure and reservoir pressure. Flowing material balance analysis is used to estimate the well productivity index for studied reservoir intervals. Minimum in-situ stress, pore pressure and well productivity index estimates were successfully obtained for all the field trials and validated by comparison against a conventional DFIT. The new corrections for friction and wellbore unloading improved the accuracy of the closure and reservoir pressures by 4%. Furthermore, the results of flowing material balance analysis show that wellbore unloading might cause significant over-estimation of the well productivity index. Considerable variation in well productivity index was observed from the toe stage to the heel stage (along the lateral) for the studied well. This variation has significant implications for hydraulic fracture design optimization, particularly treatment pressures and volumes.
Abstract Assessment of in-situ stresses and hydraulic fracturing stimulation are two critical parameters for successful heat extraction from Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Fracture injection and injection/flow back tests are two conventional techniques for estimating the minimum horizontal stress in subsurface formations. Because of the heat exchange during the test, ultra-low permeability of the host rock, and natural fractures, the conventional methods yield inaccurate results in geothermal reservoirs. In this paper, we present a new methodology based on the signal processing approach for analyzing DFIT in geothermal reservoirs. The applicability of our technique is demonstrated using several test data from the Utah FORGE project. The main advantage of our methodology is that it does not depend on any assumption regarding fracture geometry and rock properties. Also, unlike most similar studies, we consider the effect of heat exchange between fracturing fluid and the hot rock. In our methodology, the recorded pressure and temperature are treated as signals, and a wavelet transform is applied to separate them to high pass (noise) and low pass (approximation) components. Using the noise energy of the two signals, we then identify different events such as fracture closure. Also, an analytical technique is used to correct the pressure by extracting the effect of fluid compressibility and heat exchange between the rock and injected fluid. We show that the G-Function technique underestimates the minimum horizontal stress in tight formations. After applying the corrections for pressure, the underestimation becomes more apparent. However, our approach gives consistent results before and after the pressure correction. Using the developed technique, we analyzed several injection tests from the Utah FORGE project. Both recorded pressure and temperature have been analyzed. Results show that the energy of the pressure signal noise decreases to a minimum level at the fracture closure. The fracture closure is confirmed by applying the same technique on the recorded temperature. The moment of closure using the proposed methodology is compared to the G-function approach, before and after correction of the pressure for temperature. Unlike physics-based techniques, the proposed method does not have any pre-assumption about the fracture's geometry or type of the well. The method solely relies on the pressure and temperature signals that are recorded during the injection and shut-in periods. Combining several analysis techniques to analyze DFIT (including the analysis of monitored temperature for a geothermal reservoir) is unique and maybe the first of its kind.
Summary The pressure decline data after the end of a hydraulic fracture stage are sometimes monitored for an extended period of time. However, to the best of our knowledge, these data are not analyzed and are often ignored or underappreciated because of a lack of suitable models for the closure of propped fractures. In this study, we present a new approach to model and analyze pressure decline data that are available in unconventional horizontal wells with multistage, transverse hydraulic fracturing. The methods presented in this study allow us to quantify closure stress and average pore pressure inside the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) and to infer the uniformity of proppant distribution without additional data acquisition costs. For the first time, field data of diagnostic fracture injection test (DFIT), flowback, and pressure decline of main fracturing stages from the same well are compared and analyzed. We found that the early-time main fracturing stage pressure decline trend is controlled by fracture tip extension, followed by progressive hydraulic fracture closure on the proppant pack, whereas late-time pressure decline reflects linear flow. When DFIT data are not available, pressure decline analysis of a main hydraulic fracturing stage can be a substitution if it can be monitored for an extended period to allow fracture closure on proppants and asperities.
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.
Abstract Castillo1 suggested the use of the G-Function plot based on the work of Nolte2. It has been a standard practice in the fracturing community to estimate the fracture closing pressure from a tangent to the G*dp/dg plot. In this analysis technique, the assumption is that a fracture has already developed under the high-pressure fracturing fluid. Then when the pumping is relaxed, one can estimate the fracture closing pressure. In many California waterfloods, the issue of maximum allowable injection gradient has been debated. Various solutions have been proposed to calculate a safe injection gradient. One method that has been promoted is the application of the G-function plot. In this paper, we maintain that this application can be misleading using the prescribed cartesian G function plots. We present the results of an extensive research study for analyzing pressure fall-off data using the G-Plot function. We studied a reappraisal of the G function plot using waterflood conditions where no prior fractures had formed, and no fracture closing pressure was meaningful or applicable. We show from analysis of generated data, using both numerical reservoir modeling and analytical derivations for a radial flow system, that fall-off tests analyzed using the cartesian G function can generate false indications of fracture closing where in fact, the entire injection has been based on radial flow homogeneous injection systems. We also studied systems with a pre-existing fracture before injection. We show that if such a reservoir system is subjected to injection and fall-off tests, again, one may compute a false indication of the irrelevant fracture closure pressure. We discuss how the cartesian scale used for the G function plot can be misleading for the analysis of fall-off test data.