Tight gas fracturing was pioneered in North America in the 1970's and 1980's, and also has a relatively long history in Germany. In the rest of the world, however, massive fracturing for production from tight gas formations (i.e. k < 0.1 mD) has been very rare, due mainly to poor economics, rather than lack of opportunities. A massive oil field was recently discovered in Rajasthan (northwest India). The field development would require significant amounts of natural gas for heating and processing of the waxy oil to be produced. The most economical solution to provide sufficient gas in this remote desert location was to produce it from a deeper formation discovered in the same area. The majority of the gas is contained in a volcanic section of basalts and felsics. A fracturing campaign was performed in 2006 on three deep gas wells to evaluate the post-stimulation production increase from a number of different horizons, with base formation permeabilities varying from 0.005 to 0.15 mD.

A comprehensive program of core testing, fluids compatibility testing and pre-fracture diagnostic injections was performed. Fracture stimulation treatments were performed in three different sections of this very thick gas-bearing formation (> 400 m gross height). The formations ranged from the highest permeability (0.15 mD) Fatehgarh sandstones, to a lower permeability Felsic section (0.05 mD) and the lowest permeability volcanic rock (0.005 mD). All three types of rock were stimulated successfully and post-fracture well testing showed initial production rates agreeing with what was expected based on reservoir simulation. This important result supports the proposition that unconventional gas resources in Asian countries can be attractive when stimulation techniques perfected in other areas (i.e. North America) are applied1 .

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