The tight gas reservoirs of Haima Supergroup provide the majority of gas production in the Sultanate of Oman. The paper discusses a possibility of using the anomalies from natural radioactivity to evaluate the fracture height for complex tight gas in mature fields of Oman.
The standard industry practice is adding radioactive isotopes to the proppant. Spectral Gamma Ray log is used to determine near wellbore traced proppant placement. Spectral Noise log in combination with Production logs helps to identify the active fractures contributing to production. These methods complement each other, but they are obviously associated with costs. Hence, majority of wells are fracced without tracers or any other fracture height diagnostics. However, in several brown fields, an alternative approach to identify fracture height has been developed which provides fit-for-purpose results. It is based on the analysis of naturally occurring radioactive minerals (NORM) precipitation. The anomalies were observed in the many gas reservoirs even in cases when tracers were not used. At certain conditions, these anomalies can be used to characterize fracture propagation and optimize future wells hydraulic Fracture design.
A high number of PLTs and well test information were analyzed. Since tight formations normally don't produce without fracturing, radioactive anomalies flag the contributing intervals and hence fracture propagation. The main element of analysis procedure is related to that fact that if no tracers applied, the discrepancy between normalized Open Hole Gamma Ray and Gamma Ray taken during PLT after 6-12 months of production can be used instead to establish fracture height. This method cannot be applied for immediate interpretation of fracture propagation because time is required to precipitate NORM and using the anomalies concept. The advantage of this method is that it can be used in some fields to estimate the frac effectiveness of wells without artificial tracers.
It is normally assumed that the Natural radioactivity anomalies appear mainly due to co-production of the formation water. However, in the fields of interest the anomalies appear in wells producing only gas and condensate. This observation provides an opportunity for active fracture height determination at minimum cost.