Several onshore concessions, currently under exploration by ADNOC, consist of tight laterally variable reservoirs that pose a significant challenge during the evaluation phase of exploration.

Most tight hydrocarbon-bearing formations require fracture stimulation. As such, the evaluation phase of these resources comprises not only the characterisation of reservoir rock properties using petrophysical analysis but, crucially, the construction of 1-D Mechanical Earth Models which underpin the identification of stimulation intervals for both vertical and horizontal well completions. The 1-D MEMs discussed here were provided by different vendors and have been calibrated against interval pressure tests, that included standard "wet" straddle packer microfractures and novel "dry" Sleeve-Fracture tests. The microfracture test data used to calibrate the MEMs were obtained from different depth intervals in onshore Abu Dhabi E&A wells and exhibit non-ideal pressure decline "shut-in" behavior. This required re-analysis using different interpretation methods to identify the lower bound fracture closure pressures and minimum stress magnitudes.

The identification of stimulation intervals from the 1-D MEMs highlighted the uncertainty in the minimum stress magnitude estimations from both the log-based models, and the microfrac interpretations. The uncertainty in the log-based minimum horizontal stresses can exceed 0.15 psi/ft (>17%), even after calibration with the microfracture tests. The uncertainty in the fracture closure pressure obtained from the microfracture test can also be as large as 1,600 psi (0.22 psi/ft and 30%).

The identification of the sources of the uncertainty, their quantification and the re-evaluation of microfracture tests fed directly into updated 1-D MEMs, which led to improved recommendations for optimised injectivity tests and acid fracturing treatments. This, in turn, has translated into a successful fluid sampling and production appraisal programme.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.