Pre-fracture injection tests have been commonly used, across the industry, in order to estimate the required hydraulic fracture design parameters and associated reservoir pressure. However, evidence would suggest that industry approaches to both the injection execution and the post-injection analyses are not as equally consistent. The result could potentially be an erroneous and inaccurate interpretation, which could lead to over estimation of these reservoir characteristics and subsequent inefficient fracture design and placement.

This paper demonstrates how a unified approach to the analysis of pre-frac injection tests can lead to the valid application of this technique in obtaining reliable estimates of both the reservoir pressure and the matrix permeability in a tight unconventional shale play (Utica play fairway). Analyses of the pressure fall off data, from pre-frac injection tests that were performed in a number of wells, will be discussed here. These analyses included the use of a conventional log-log diagnostic plot, as well as Pressure Decline Analysis using the SQRT (square root time), G function and G dP/dG plots. Finally, the results were also interpreted utilizing the ACA (after closure analysis) approach by employing type curves and flow regime time functions.

The results of the formation permeability, the initial reservoir pressure, the closure time and the closure pressure from three of these field tests will be presented in this paper. Two of these tests achieved pseudo-radial flow, whilst one test failed to reach either pseudo-linear or pseudo-radial flow, resulting in a demonstrable overestimation of the reservoir parameters. The paper will present the injection test execution and analysis, as well as confirming the importance of achieving pseudo radial flow in order to obtain reliable and consistent test results.

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