A fracturing campaign in mature fields in Ecuador demonstrated the advantages of hydraulic fracturing to optimize production and maximize the extraction of the remaining reserves. Good design practices were key to the success of the fracturing campaign in MDC and Inchi fields.

Initially, a comprehensive process of characterization was carried out to select the candidates for hydraulic fracturing in the Napo U and T formations to perform an initial fracturing campaign, studying among other characteristics, reservoir permeability, skin, pore pressure, remaining oil saturation, porosity, geomechanical properties, and completion integrity. A small group of wells was selected for hydraulic fracturing using the channel fracturing technique. The second phase consisted of optimizing the fracture design by improving the fracture geometry and conductivity, as well as the application proppant flowback control. Improved fracture geometry and proppant flowback prevention were identified as key elements for the success of the fracturing campaign in these mature fields.

Fracturing channel technique was implemented to generate higher fracture conductivity in a low reservoir pressure environment by creating a highly conductive fracture that reduce the drawdown pressure during production. Because of successful implementation, the channel fracturing technique became the preferred completion method in the field for wells requiring stimulation. Twenty five hydraulic fracturing treatments were performed from 2018 to 2022, all demonstrating outstanding production results. The implementation of hydraulic fracturing increased the volume of recoverable reserves by 20%. Operationally, the application of channel fracturing allowed performing more aggressive pump schedules without the risk of screenout, achieving fracture conductivities in the order of 90,000 md-ft and skin values of –2 and –3.5.

The learning curve and the results obtained in these fields are important sources of information for implementing hydraulic fracturing in mature fields to increase production and reduce risk.

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