Hydraulic fracture deliverability is largely defined by the fracture area exhibiting sufficient conductivity contrast within the productive reservoir interval. Increasing effective fracture area has typically been addressed by employing larger treatments and proppant volumes, resulting in increased stimulation treatment costs, which unless accompanied by similar increase in the value of the incremental well productivity, has negative implications on ROFI.

The introduction of ultra-lightweight proppants having superior proppant transportability relative to conventional proppants and sufficient strength to withstand the harsh environments has spurred renewed interest in the application of proppant partial monolayers (PMLs). A properly placed partial monolayer exhibits conductivity equivalent to packed fractures having greater than ten proppant layers. The enhanced transportability of the ULW proppants allows for distribution over a much greater portion of the created fracture area. Thus, ULW proppant partial monolayers equate to a high conductivity fracture with much reduced volumes of proppant distributed across a larger area than can be achieved with conventional proppants. Case histories of PML fracturing treatments have consistently illustrated stimulated production increases well beyond expectations, effectively validating the productivity benefits of the process. This paper compares effective fracture area, fracture conductivity, and resultant production simulations for ULW proppants partial monolayer fracturing treatment designs with those of conventional proppant packed fractures. Normalized stimulation costs of the respective treatment designs are subsequently compared with the stimulated fracture deliverability to assess the respective Return-On-Fracture-Investment.

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