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Dontsov, Egor (ResFrac Corporation) | Suarez-Rivera, Roberto (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Panse, Rohit (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | Quinn, Christopher (W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories) | LaReau, Heather (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Suter, Kirke (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Hines, Chris (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Montgomery, Ryan (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.) | Koontz, Kyle (BP America Production Company, BPx Energy Inc.)
Abstract As the number of wells drilled in regions with existing producing wells increases, understanding the detrimental impact of these by the depleted zone around parent wells becomes more urgent and important. This understanding should include being able to predict the extent and heterogeneity of the depleted region near the pre-existing wells, the resulting altered stress field, and the effect of this on newly created fractures from adjacent child wells. In this paper we present a workflow that addresses the above concern in the Eagle Ford shale play, using numerical simulations of fracturing and reservoir flow, to define the effect of the depletion zone on child wells and match their field production data. We utilize an ultra-fast hydraulic fracture and depletion model to conduct several hundred numerical simulations, with varying values of permeability and surface area, seeking for cases that match the field production data. Multiple solutions exist that match the field data equally well, and we used additional field production data of parent-child well-interaction, to select the most plausible model. Results show that the depletion zone is strongly non-uniform and that large reservoir regions remain undepleted. We observe two important effects of the depleted zone on fractures from child wells drilled adjacent to the parents. Some fractures propagate towards low pressure zones and do not contribute to production. Others are repelled by the higher stress region that develops around the depletion zone, propagate into undepleted rock, and have production rates commensurate to that from other child wells drilled away from depleted region. The observations are validated by the field data. Results are being used to optimize well placement and well spacing for subsequent field operations, with the objective to increase the effectiveness of the child wells.
Summary The primary objective of this study is to develop fast analytical and/or semianalytical (A/SA) solutions for the problem of liquid flow/production and pressure interference in multifractured systems between parallel horizontal wells in ultralow-permeability reservoirs. We propose a new A/SA method that reduces the 3D flow equation into either a simple algebraic equation or an ordinary differential equation (ODE) in a multitransformed space, the inversion of which yields solutions at any point in space and time. In the proposed transformational decomposition method (TDM), a general, fully linearized form of the 3D partial-differential equation (PDE) describing low-compressibility liquid flow through porous and fractured media is subjected first to Laplace transforms (LTs) to eliminate time, and then to successive finite cosine transforms (FCTs) that eliminate either all three dimensions, yielding a simple algebraic equation, or two dimensions, yielding an ODE in space only. Inversion of the solutions of the multitransformed space equations provides solutions that are analytical in space and semianalytical in time. The TDM completely eliminates the need for time and space discretization, thus dramatically reducing the input-data requirements and long execution times of numerical simulations. The Fortran 95 code for the TDM solutions requires limited inputs and is easy to use. Because of the linearity requirements of the Laplace transformation of the underlying PDE, the TDM is only rigorously applicable at greater than the bubblepoint pressure. Using 3D stencils (the minimum repeatable elements in the horizontal well and hydraulically fractured system) as the basis of our study, solutions over extended production times were obtained for a range of isotropic and anisotropic matrix and fracture properties, constant and time-variable production regimes (rates or bottomhole pressures), combinations of stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) and non-SRV subdomains, variable hydraulic-fracture (HF) dimensions, and inner and boundary (toe and heel) stencils. The results were compared with analytical solutions (available for simple problems and domain geometries), as well as with numerical solutions from a widely used, fully implicit 3D simulator that involves very fine discretization of a 3D domain comprising more than 356,000 elements. The TDM solutions were shown to be in excellent agreement with the reference analytical and/or numerical solutions, while requiring a fraction of the memory and execution times of the latter because of the elimination of the need for time and space discretization. The TDM is an entirely new approach for the analysis of low-compressibility liquid flow and pressure interference in hydraulically fractured ultralow-permeability reservoirs. The TDM solutions have the potential to provide a reliable and fast tool to identify the dominant mechanisms and factors controlling the system behavior and can act as the basis for a rapid initial parameter identification in a history-matching process for possible further refinement using full numerical modeling at less than the bubblepoint pressure.
Erofeev, A. S. (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology/Digital Petroleum (Corresponding author) | Orlov, D. M. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)) | Perets, D. S. (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology/Digital Petroleum) | Koroteev, D. A. (Gazprom Neft, Science and Technology Center)
Summary We studied the applicability of a gradient-boostingmachine-learning (ML) algorithm for forecasting of oil and total liquid production after hydraulic fracturing (HF). A thorough raw data study with data preprocessing algorithms was provided. The data set included 10 oil fields with more than 2,000 HF events. Each event has been characterized by well coordinates, geology, transport and storage properties, depths, and oil/liquid rates before fracturing for target and neighboring wells. Each ML model has been trained to predict monthly production rates right after fracturing and when the flows are stabilized. The gradient-boosting method justified its choice with R being approximately 0.7 to 0.8 on the test set for oil/total liquid production after HF. The developed ML prediction model does not require preliminary numerical simulations of a future HF design. The applied algorithm could be used as a new approach for HF candidate selection based on the real-time state of the field.
Pseudo-steady state (or pseudo steady-state), is also referred to as "stabilized," or as "steady state in a bounded drainage area." This type of reservoir flow occurs much more frequently than steady-state flow or unsteady-state flow with an expanding drainage radius. Pseudo-steady state (PSS) flow occurs during the late time region when the outer boundaries of the reservoir are all no flow boundaries. This includes not only the case when the reservoir boundaries are sealing faults, but also when nearby producing wells cause no flow boundaries to arise. During the PSS flow regime, the reservoir behaves as a tank.
Summary Reduction of fracture/well spacing and increases in hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment size are popular strategies for improving hydrocarbon recovery from multifractured horizontal wells (MFHWs). However, these strategies can also increase the chance of fracture interference, which can not only negatively impact the overall production but also introduce complexities for production data analysis. A semianalytical model is therefore developed to analyze production data from two communicating MFHWs and applied to a field case. The new semianalytical model uses the dynamic drainage area (DDA) concept and assumes three porosity regions. The three-region model is comprised of a primary hydraulic fracture (PHF), an enhanced fractured region (EFR) adjacent to the PHF, and a nonstimulated region (NSR). Assuming a well pair primarily communicates through PHFs, the equations for two communicating wells are coupled and solved simultaneously to model the fluid transfer between the wells. This method is used within a history-matching framework to estimate the communication between the wells by matching the production data. The semianalytical model is first verified against a more rigorous, fully numerical simulation model for a range of fracture/reservoir properties. These comparisons demonstrate that there is excellent agreement between the fully numerical simulation model results and the new semianalytical model. The semianalytical model is then employed to history-match production data from six MFHWs (drilled from two adjacent well pads) exhibiting different degrees of communication. For the purpose of history matching the data, only strong communication between pairs of wells (intrapair communication) is considered in the three-region model, and the results show good agreement with the field data. A flexible, yet simple, semianalytical model is developed for the first time that can accurately model the communication between multiple well pairs. This approach can be used by reservoir engineers to analyze the production data from communicating MFHWs.
Yang, Ruiyue (China University of Petroleum) | Hong, Chunyang (China University of Petroleum) | Huang, Zhongwei (China University of Petroleum) | Wen, Haitao (China University of Petroleum) | Li, Xiaojiang (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Huang, Pengpeng (China University of Petroleum) | Liu, Wei (China University of Petroleum) | Chen, Jianxiang (China University of Petroleum)
Summary Multistage hydraulic fracturing is widely used in developing tight reservoirs. However, the economic and environmental burden of freshwater souring, transportation, treatment, and disposal in hydraulic fracturing operations has been a topic of great importance to the energy industry and public alike. Waterless fracturing is one possible method of solving these water‐related issues. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is considered a promising alternate fracturing fluid that can create fractures by coupled hydraulic/thermal loadings and, more importantly, pose no threats to the environment. However, there are few laboratory experiments that use LN2 directly as a fracturing fluid. In this work, we examine the performance of LN2 fracturing based on a newly developed cryogenic‐fracturing system under true‐triaxial loadings. The breakdown pressure and fracture morphologies are compared with water fracturing. Moreover, fracture‐initiation behavior under cryogenic in‐situ conditions revealed by cryo‐scanning electron microscopy (cryo‐SEM) is presented, and the role of thermal stress is quantified by a coupled thermoporoelastic‐damage numerical simulation. Finally, the potential application considerations of LN2 fracturing in the field site are discussed. The results demonstrate that LN2 fracturing can lower fracture initiation and propagation pressure and generate higher conductive fractures with numerous thermally induced cracks in the vicinity of the wellbore. Thermal gradient could generate enormously high‐tensile hoop stress and bring about extensive rock damage. Fracture‐propagation direction is inclined to be influenced by the thermal stress. Furthermore, phase transition during the fracturing process and low fluid viscosity of LN2 can also facilitate the fracture propagation and network generation. The key findings obtained in this work are expected to provide a viable alternative for the sustainable development of tight‐reservoir resources in an efficient and environmentally acceptable way.
Summary The analysis of gas production from fractured ultralow-permeability (ULP) reservoirs is most often accomplished using numerical simulation, which requires large 3D grids, many inputs, and typically long execution times. We propose a new hybrid analytical/numerical method that reduces the 3D equation of gas flow into either a simple ordinary-differential equation (ODE) in time or a 1D partial-differential equation (PDE) in space and time without compromising the strong nonlinearity of the gas-flow relation, thus vastly decreasing the size of the simulation problem and the execution time. We first expand the concept of pseudopressure of Al-Hussainy et al. (1966) to account for the pressure dependence of permeability and Klinkenberg effects, and we also expand the corresponding gas-flow equation to account for Langmuir sorption. In the proposed hybrid partial transformational decomposition method (TDM) (PTDM), successive finite cosine transforms (FCTs) are applied to the expanded, pseudopressure-based 3D diffusivity equation of gas flow, leading to the elimination of the corresponding physical dimensions. For production under a constant- or time-variable rate (q) regime, three levels of FCTs yield a first-order ODE in time. For production under a constant- or time-variable pressure (pwf) regime, two levels of FCTs lead to a 1D second-order PDE in space and time. The fully implicit numerical solutions for the FCT-based equations in the multitransformed spaces are inverted, providing solutions that are analytical in 2D or 3D and account for the nonlinearity of gas flow. The PTDM solution was coded in a FORTRAN95 program that used the Laplace-transform (LT) analytical solution for the q-problem and a finite-difference method for the pwf problem in their respective multitransformed spaces. Using a 3D stencil (the minimum repeatable element in the horizontal well and hydraulically fractured system), solutions over an extended production time and a substantial pressure drop were obtained for a range of isotropic and anisotropic matrix and fracture properties, constant and time-variableQ and pwf production schemes, combinations of stimulated-reservoir-volume (SRV) and non-SRV subdomains, sorbing and nonsorbing gases of different compositions and at different temperatures, Klinkenberg effects, and the dependence of matrix permeability on porosity. The limits of applicability of PTDM were also explored. The results were compared with the numerical solutions from a widely used, fully implicit 3D simulator that involved a finely discretized (high-definition) 3D domain involving 220,000 elements and show that the PTDM solutions can provide accurate results for long times for large well drawdowns even under challenging conditions. Of the two versions of PTDM, the PTD-1D was by far the better option and its solutions were shown to be in very good agreement with the full numerical solutions, while requiring a fraction of the memory and orders-of-magnitude lower execution times because these solutions require discretization of only the time domain and a single axis (instead of three). The PTD-0D method was slower than PTD-1D (but still much faster than the numerical solution), and although its solutions were accurate for t < 6 months, these solutions deteriorated beyond that point. The PTDM is an entirely new approach to the analysis of gas flow in hydraulically fractured ULP reservoirs. The PTDM solutions preserve the strong nonlinearity of the gas-flow equation and are analytical in 2D or 3D. This being a semianalytical approach, it needs very limited input data and requires computer storage and computational times that are orders-of-magnitude smaller than those in conventional (numerical) simulators because its discretization is limited to time and (possibly) a single spatial dimension.
Summary We propose a novel method for estimating average fracture compressibility during flowback process and apply it to flowback data from 10 multifractured horizontal wells completed in Woodford (WF) and Meramec (MM) formations. We conduct complementary diagnostic flow-regime analyses and calculate by combining a flowing-material-balance (FMB) equation with pressure-normalized-rate (PNR)-decline analysis. Flowback data of these wells show up to 2 weeks of single-phase water production followed by hydrocarbon breakthrough. Plots of water-rate-normalized pressure and its derivative show pronounced unit slopes, suggesting boundary-dominated flow (BDF) of water in fractures during single-phase flow. Water PNR decline curves follow a harmonic trend during single-phase- and multiphase-flow periods. Ultimate water production from the forecasted harmonic trend gives an estimate of initial fracture volume. The estimates for these wells are verified by comparing them with the ones from the Aguilera (1999) type curves for natural fractures and experimental data. The results show that our estimates (4 to 22×10psi) are close to the lower limit of the values estimated by previous studies, which can be explained by the presence of proppants in hydraulic fractures.
This paper presents methods for production forecasting that give reasonable post-treatment predictions that have been found to be useful for economic planning. The proposed methodology provides an economically viable plan for optimizing lateral length, fracture spacing, and treatment design. The methodology focuses on the post-simulation effective reservoir volume. Results show that increasing apparent fracture length rarely affects long-term recovery. Likewise, adding more fractures within the same reservoir volume may increase early-time production rate and decline rate without contacting more reservoir volume or adding to long-term recovery.