Abstract

One of the keys to successful and environmentally responsible well stimulation programs in coal seam gas development is to establish consistent procedures for the safeguarding, planning and executing activities across multiple wells. The aim of this paper is to show how a novel application of petrophysical program scripting can be used to make the stimulation process more efficient, consistent and compliant across assets with varying requirements.

A macro embedded in petrophysical evaluation software applies a series of rules to rank coals by thickness, allocate a series of perforations and stimulation type based upon coal rank and spacing and then produces actionable treatment schedules which are seamlessly implemented in well stimulation operations at well sites. To do this, the macro grades all coals within the well by thickness based upon a cut-off on the density log, with the thickest coal being graded highest. The macro then identifies the top ranked coal and places perforations based on user defined logic, geological information from offset wells, permeability attributes of the target coal layer(s), depth and vertical separation between adjoining coal targets. Based on the stimulation type assigned, a stimulation schedule is generated that includes estimates of fluid volumes, proppant volumes, injection rates, proppant ramp type and stipulates flush conditions (over-flush or under-flush).

Coals thicker than a maximum perforation size are perforated in an upper, middle and lower configuration. Most coals are thinner than the maximum allowable perforation interval and so the macro looks up and down the borehole to include thinner coals within a potential perforation window. The system then generates the stimulation schedule as described above. The macro continues to allocate perforations and stimulation schedules for each validated coal interval and sequentially tries to maximise the total target coal interval along the wellbore. Certain environmental constraints are included in the macro logic to maintain local and regional commitments. For example, coal zones in proximity of permeable non-coal layers i.e. interburden are automatically excluded from stimulation.

Multiple advantages of this system have been realised including, a) effective QA/QC as outputs can be directly plotted against the well logs giving the user a quick and easy visual check b) actionable instructions that site based teams can execute including exact perforation depths and stimulation schedules c) provide realistic materials and costs estimates that ensure efficient planning and logistics, d) monitor and document any variations between allocated schedule versus actual execution, e) provide estimate of expected net coal connectivity at a well, development package and asset level which feeds into production and recovery forecasts, f) plan future optimisation studies or pilots and g) most importantly offers a consistent, efficient and compliant framework that can be applied across multiple assets, engineering teams and service providers.

This paper focuses on capabilities and advantages of using a macro to automate stimulation design allocation for CSG multi-well (>100 wells) assets. Details of individual stimulation designs for Walloons Coal measures are mentioned in other publications (Kirk-Burnnand et al., 2015 and Flottmann et al. 2018) and hence not covered here.

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