An accurate Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) is of vital importance in tight gas reservoirs where hydraulic fracturing is the only way to produce hydrocarbons economically. The Barik tight gas reservoir is the main target in Khazzan and Ghazeer Fields at the Sultanate of Oman (Rylance et al., 2011). This reservoir consists of multiple low-permeability sandstone layers interbedded with marine shales. A good understanding of the fracture propagation in such a reservoir has a major effect on completion and fracturing design. The MEM derived from sonic logs and calibrated with core data needs to be further validated by independent measurements of the fracturing geometry.
Multiple surveillance techniques have been implemented in the Barik reservoir to validate the MEM and to match observations from hydraulic fracturing operations. These techniques include closure interpretation using a wireline deployed formation testing assembly, the use of mini-frac injection tests with deployed bottomhole pressure gauges, execution of post injection time-lapse temperature logging, the injection of radioactive tracers, associated production logging, subsequent pressure transient analysis and other techniques.
A cross-disciplinary team worked with multiple sources of data to calibrate the MEM with the purpose of delivering a high-confidence prediction of the created fracture geometry, which honors all available surveillance data. In turn, this validation approach provided a solid basis for optimization of the completion and fracturing design, in order to optimally exploit this challenging reservoir and maximize the economic returns being delivered. For example, combination of stress testing with radioactive tracers provided confidence in stress barriers in this multilayered reservoir. Pressure transient analysis allowed to calibrate mechanical model to match fracturing half-length that is contributing to production.
This paper provides extensive surveillance examples and workflows for data analysis. Surveillance of this degree in the same well is uncommon because of the associated time and cost. However, it provides unique value for understanding the target reservoir. This paper demonstrates the Value Of Information (VOI) that can be associated with such surveillance and provides a concrete and practical example that can be used for the justification of future surveillance programs associated with the hydraulic fracturing operations.