Multiple attempts to commercially produce from a horizontal well in a challenging sandstone formation completed with the plug-and-perf method were rendered unsuccessful. An innovative stimulation strategy was proposed for the next candidate in an attempt to improve post-fracturing productivity. Three different types of proppant fracturing treatments were performed as a first-time application, including hybrid slickwater treatment, low-guar crosslinked treatment, and CO2 foam fracturing.
A hybrid design combining high-rate slickwater at the beginning and low-guar-loading crosslinked gel at the end of the treatment was pumped in two stages. This allowed minimizing the crosslinked fluid pumped while enhancing fracture half-length. Second, conventional low-guar fracturing was implemented in four stages. Crosslinked gel loading was reduced by 25% compared to gel that was utilized in offset wells. Finally, a CO2 foam fracturing design with a novel biopolymer linear fracturing fluid was implemented in the last stage. This reduced water consumption and improved the chance of increased gas production by yielding a higher-conductivity fracture network.
Friction pressure for CO2 foam was calibrated using bottomhole gauge data that was obtained with downhole gauges run prior to the calibration testing. The new calibrated friction numbers were then used for the bottomhole treating pressure calculation during the treatment. CO2 foam fracturing was found to be a significant success for this well based on multiple evaluation criteria. First, the use of foam helped conserve 1,000 bbl of freshwater compared to conventional stages. Second, the foam treatment allowed two times faster cleanup compared to other stages, based on cleanup time normalized over fluid volumes. Finally, production logging results showed that the foamed treatment achieved better production compared to other treatments in the well, considering productivity index (PI) normalized by the proppant mass, porosity, and zone mobility. The CO2 stage normalized PI was significantly higher than the other stages in the well. After the well was cleaned up, a production log was conducted, and it was analyzed to corroborate the higher production: 70% of the production contribution was seen from the CO2 treatment interval.
In most of the literature, estimates of the friction correlations for foams are based on empirical data. This paper gives the calculations of friction pressure based on field data. The combination of measured bottomhole data and post-cleanup production logging demonstrates the potential productivity improvements that can be achieved through novel design approaches. This type of data is rare in the industry and can help to improve the design of foamed fracturing treatments.