Successful hydraulic fracturing is critical for hydrocarbon recovery from tight reservoirs. Fracture geometry is one essential quality indicator of the created fracture. The geometry provides information about the size of the created fracture and containment and verifies the pre-job modeling. Different techniques are applied to determine fracture geometry, and each has its own advantages and limitations. Due to its simplicity, the radioactive tracer log is commonly used to determine fracture placement and fracture height. Its main drawbacks include shallow depth of investigation, time dependency, and the requirement for multiple interventions for multistage fracturing operations. The crosswell microseismic technique probes a larger volume and it is potentially capable of providing fracture height, length, and orientation. Operational complexity and long processing turnaround time are the main challenges of this technique.

Time-lapse shear slowness anisotropy analysis is an effective method to determine hydraulic facture height and orientation. In this technique, the shear slowness anisotropy is recorded before and after the fracture is created. The observed shear anisotropy difference indicates the intervals where the fractures were created, allowing these intervals lengths to be measured. Combining this analysis with gyroscopic data allows determining the fracture orientations. Compared to a tracer log, the differential casedhole sonic anisotropy (DCHSA) has a deeper depth of investigation, and it is time independent. Thus, the repeated log can be acquired at the end of the multistage fracturing operations. Compared to the microseismic technique, this new technique provides more precise fracture height and orientation. The new generation slim dipole sonic technology of 2.125-in. diameter extends the applicability of the DCHSA technique to smaller casing sizes.

The shear differential method was applied to a vertical well that targeted the Athel formation in the south of the Sultanate of Oman. This formation is made of silicilyte and is characterized by very low permeability of about 0.01 md on average. Thus, hydraulic fracturing plays a critical role for the economic oil recovery in this reservoir. Aiming to achieve a better zonal contribution, the stimulation design was changed from a limited number of large fractures to an extensive multistage fracturing design in the subject well. Sixteen hydraulic fracturing stages were planned. The DCHSA was applied to provide accurate and efficient fracture geometry evaluation.

The DCHSA accurately identified fracture intervals and their corresponding heights and orientations. This enabled effectively determining the created fracture quality and helped explain the responses of the production logs that were recorded during the well test.

This study provided a foundation for the placement and completion design of the future wells in the subject reservoir. It particularly revealed adequate fracturing intervals and the optimum number of stages required to achieve optimum reservoir coverage and avoid vertical overlapping.

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