With the advancement in machine learning (ML) applications, some recent research has been conducted to optimize fracturing treatments. There are a variety of models available using various objective functions for optimization and different mathematical techniques. There is a need to extend the ML techniques to optimize the choice of algorithm.

For fracturing treatment design, the literature for comparative algorithm performance is sparse. The research predominantly shows that compared to the most commonly used regressors and classifiers, some sort of boosting technique consistently outperforms on model testing and prediction accuracy. A database was constructed for a heterogeneous reservoir. Four widely used boosting algorithms were used on the database to predict the design only from the output of a short injection/falloff test.

Feature importance analysis was done on eight output parameters from the falloff analysis, and six were finalized for the model construction. The outputs selected for prediction were fracturing fluid efficiency, proppant mass, maximum proppant concentration, and injection rate. Extreme gradient boost (XGBoost), categorical boost (CatBoost), adaptive boost (AdaBoost), and light gradient boosting machine (LGBM) were the algorithms finalized for the comparative study. The sensitivity was done for a different number of classes (four, five, and six) to establish a balance between accuracy and prediction granularity. The results showed that the best algorithm choice was between XGBoost and CatBoost for the predicted parameters under certain model construction conditions. The accuracy for all outputs for the holdout sets varied between 80 and 92%, showing robust significance for a wider utilization of these models.

Data science has contributed to various oil and gas industry domains and has tremendous applications in the stimulation domain. The research and review conducted in this paper add a valuable resource for the user to build digital databases and use the appropriate algorithm without much trial and error. Implementing this model reduced the complexity of the proppant fracturing treatment redesign process, enhanced operational efficiency, and reduced fracture damage by eliminating minifrac steps with crosslinked gel.

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