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Abstract Diagnostic fracture injection tests (DFIT) are used as an indirect method to determine closure pressure and formation effective permeability in unconventional reservoirs as a first step in formation evaluation. The information obtained from DFIT is particularly useful because it is obtained before any production for a given well is available. In DFIT, a small fracture is created by injecting few barrels of completion fluid until formation breaks down and a fracture is initiated and propagates a short distance into the reservoir. Then, injection is stopped, and the pressure decline (or falloff) is monitored. From this pressure decline, the effective permeability of the formation is estimated by Nolte's G-function, log-log plot, or square root of time analysis. In this research, the viability of the common DFIT analysis techniques was investigated for unconventional reservoirs with and without micro-fractures by using a numerical hydraulic fracturing simulator, CFRAC. The results of numerical simulations were investigated to assess the impact of permeability, residual fracture aperture, and complex fracture networks on conventional DFIT interpretations. For the example considered in this work, the commonly used G-function analysis yielded estimates of permeability over an order of magnitude higher than the simulated matrix permeability. Error in the G-function estimates of permeability were higher for higher matrix permeability and in the existence of a fracture network. On the other hand, straight-line analysis of Ap versus G-time yielded much closer (in the same order of magnitude) estimates of permeability.
Abstract Infill completions have been explored by many operators in the last few years as a strategy to increase ultimate recovery from unconventional shale oil reservoirs. The stimulation of infill wells often causes pressure increases, known as fracture-driven interactions (FDIs), in nearby wells. Studies have generally focused on the propagation of fractures from infill wells and pressure changes in treatment wells rather than observation wells. Meanwhile, studies regarding the pressure response in the observation (parent) wells are mainly limited to field observations and conjecture. In this study, we provide a partialcorrective to this gap in the research.We model the pressure fluctuations in parent wells induced by fracking infill wells and provide insight into how field operators can use the pressure data from nearby wells to identify different forms of FDI, including fracture hit (frac-hit) and fracture shadowing. First,we model the trajectory of a fracture propagating from an infill well using the extended finite element methods (XFEM). This method allows us to incorporatethe possible intersection of fractures independent of the mesh gridding. Subsequently, we calculate the pressure response from the frac-hit and stress shadowing using a coupled geomechanics and multi-phase fluid flow model. Through numerical examples, we assess different scenarios that might arise because of the interactions between new fractures and old depleted fractures based on the corresponding pressure behavior in the parent wells. Typically, a large increase in bottomhole pressure over a short period is interpreted as a potential indication of a fracture hit. However, we show that a slower increase in bottomhole pressure may also imply a fracture hit, especially if gas repressurization was performed before the infill well was fracked. Ultimately, we find that well storage may buffer the sudden increase in pressure due to the frac-hit. We conclude by summarizing the different FDIs through their pressure footprints.
Abstract We extend the numerically-assisted RTA workflow proposed by Bowie and Ewert (2020) to (a) all fluid systems and (b) finite conductivity fractures. The simple, fully-penetrating planar fracture model proposed is a useful numerical symmetry element model that provides the basis for the work presented in this paper. Results are given for simulated and field data. The linear flow parameter (LFP) is modified to include porosity (LFPꞌ=LFP√φ). The original (surface) oil in place (OOIP) is generalized to represent both reservoir oil and reservoir gas condensate systems, using a consistent initial total formation volume factor definition (Bti) representing the ratio of a reservoir HCPV containing surface oil in a reservoir oil phase, a reservoir gas phase, or both phases. With known (a) well geometry, (b) fluid initialization (PVT and water saturation), (c) relative permeability relations, and (d) bottomhole pressure (BHP) time variation (above and below saturation pressure), three fundamental relationships exist in terms of LFPꞌ and OOIP. Numerical reservoir simulation is used to define these relationships, providing the foundation for numerical RTA, namely that wells: (1) with the same value of LFPꞌ, the gas, oil and water surface rates will be identical during infinite-acting (IA) behavior; (2) with the same ratio LFPꞌ/OOIP, producing GOR and water cut behavior will be identical for all times, IA and boundary dominated (BD); and (3) with the same values of LFPꞌ and OOIP, rate performance of gas, oil, and water be identical for all times, IA and BD. These observations lead to an efficient, semi-automated process to perform rigorous RTA, assisted by a symmetry element numerical model. The numerical RTA workflow proposed by Bowie and Ewert solves the inherent problems associated with complex superposition and multiphase flow effects involving time and spatial changes in pressure, compositions and PVT properties, saturations, and complex phase mobilities. The numerical RTA workflow decouples multiphase flow data (PVT, initial saturations and relative permeabilities) from well geometry and petrophysical properties (L, xf, h, nf, φ, k), providing a rigorous yet efficient and semi-automated approach to define production performance for many wells. Contributions include a technical framework to perform numerical RTA for unconventional wells, irrespective of fluid type. A suite of key diagnostic plots associated with the workflow is provided, with synthetic and field examples used to illustrate the application of numerical simulation to perform rigorous RTA. Semi-analytical models, time, and spatial superposition (convolution), pseudopressure and pseudotime transforms are not required.
Abstract Recent papers on pre-frac tests have proposed fracture closure pressure interpretation methodologies that lead to an earlier, higher stress estimation than the ones estimated from well-established practices. These early time estimations based on the fracture compliance method lead the practitioner to utilize unrealistic permeability, stress, and fracture pressure models. This, in turn, has a severe impact on the modeled fracture geometries which hinders the hydraulic fracture optimization process. A multi-basin analysis of pre-frac tests from the North Sea, Europe, Russia, North Africa and South America is presented to support traditional closure estimation techniques. The validity of traditional minimum stress interpretation techniques will be reinforced through multiple case histories by comparing permeability estimates from the time required for the fracture to achieve closure during diagnostic injections, after-closure analysis, core, pressure build up and rate transient analysis. Results will be supported further by fiber optics and production logging tool (PLT) driven flow allocation, fracture geometry assessment through micro seismic and sonic anisotropy, and diagnostic injections numerical inversions.
In addition to knowing the values of in-situ stress, it is also extremely important to know the values of formation permeability in every rock layer. It is impossible to optimize the location of the perforations, the length of the hydraulic fracture, the conductivity of the hydraulic fracture, and the well spacing, if one does not know the values of formation permeability in every rock layer. In addition, one must know the formation permeability to forecast gas reserves and to analyze post-fracture pressure buildup tests. To determine the values of formation permeability, one can use data from logs, cores, production tests, and prefracture pressure buildup tests or injection falloff tests. The most data that are available vs. depth comes from openhole logs.
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.
Pei, Yanli (University of Texas at Austin (Corresponding author) | Yu, Wei (email: email@example.com)) | Sepehrnoori, Kamy (University of Texas at Austin and Sim Tech LLC) | Gong, Yiwen (University of Texas at Austin) | Xie, Hongbing (Sim Tech LLC and Ohio State University) | Wu, Kan (Sim Tech LLC)
Summary The extensive depletion of the development target triggers the demand for infill drilling in the upside target of multilayer unconventional reservoirs. However, such an infill scheme in the field practice still heavily relies on empirical knowledge or pressure responses, and the geomechanics consequences have not been fully understood. An embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) is deployed in our fluid-flow simulation to characterize complex fractures, and the stress-dependent matrix permeability and fracture conductivity are included through the compaction/dilation option. After calibrating reservoir and fracture properties by history matching of an actual well in the development target (i.e., third Bone Spring), we run the finite element method (FEM)-based geomechanics simulation to model the 3D stress state evolution. Then a displacement discontinuity method (DDM) hydraulic fracture model is applied to simulate the multicluster fracture propagation under an updated heterogeneous stress field in the upside target (i.e., second Bone Spring). Numerical results indicate that stress field redistribution associated with parent-well production indeed vertically propagates to the upside target. The extent of stress reorientation at the infill location mainly depends on the parent-child horizontal offset, whereas the stress depletion is under the combined impact of horizontal offset, vertical offset, and infill time. A smaller parent-child horizontal offset aggravates the overlap of the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV), resulting in more substantial interwell interference and less desirable oil and gas production. The same trend is observed by varying the parent-child vertical offset. Moreover, the efficacy of an infill operation at an earlier time is less affected by parent-well depletion because of the less-disturbed stress state. The candidate infill-well locations at various infill timings are suggested based on the parent-well and child-well production cosimulation. The conclusions provide practical guidelines for the subsequent development in the Permian Basin.
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.
There are many factors that the engineer must consider when analyzing the behavior of a well after it has been fracture treated. The engineer should analyze the productivity index of the well both before and after the fracture treatment. Other factors of importance are ultimate oil and gas recovery and calculations to determine the propped fracture length, the fracture conductivity, and the drainage area of the well. Post-fracture treatment analyses of the fracture treatment data, the production data, and the pressure data can be very complicated and time consuming. However, without adequate post-fracture evaluation, it will be impossible to continue the fracture treatment optimization process on subsequent wells. Many of the early treatments in the 1950s were designed to increase the productivity index of damaged wells.
Abstract Optimizing completion efficiency has been one of the most challenging aspects of unconventional reservoir development. Two of the key factors to consider in completion design are stage length and cluster spacing, which affect both well performance and economics. Shorter stage length and tighter cluster spacing could create fractures with smaller widths and consequently lower proppant concentrations as a result of inter-cluster stress shadowing. On the other hand, longer stage length and wider cluster spacing, despite their economic benefits, can impair well performance by leaving unstimulated rock between two created fractures. Operating companies have taken different approaches, from trial and error to advanced diagnostics, to find the right balancing point for stage and cluster configuration. Ultimately, production analysis dictates the success. The main goal of this paper is to show the characteristics of cluster and stage length variations using production data in the absence of completion diagnostics. To this end, numerical modeling using typical values of reservoir and fracture characteristics in the Permian Basin was done. Multiple pairs of wells in the Permian Basin with similar reservoir properties and completion design but with different cluster and stage spacing were analyzed to validate the observed signatures. The conceptual numerical model results show that the wells at wider cluster spacing (and longer stage length) exhibit longer linear flow duration, which does not necessarily result in a larger stimulated area. Also, tighter cluster spacing and shorter stage length, which result in higher early time rates, only indicate acceleration, but this does not translate into improving long-term, economically justified performance. Higher matrix permeability (as a proxy for the existence of natural fractures) helps with larger stimulated regions under similar linear flow duration in wider cluster spacing (and longer stage length). However, this study shows significantly higher permeability might be needed for efficient stimulation of rocks between fractures in the case of wide cluster spacing. Production analysis of different well pairs in the Permian Basin using this workflow shows that cluster and stage length configuration can only be efficiently and effectively optimized by taking subsurface parameters such as stress, reservoir heterogeneity, and in-situ fluid into account.