In a high-perm/strong-aquifer environment, comparatively low-perm/heavy-oil/solution-gas-drive reservoirs inevitably get sidelined. Flow-Channel Hydraulic Fracturing, however, with infinite conductive channels for fluid flow rather than intra-granular flow, as in conventional fracturing techniques, offers a tangible solution for increased productivity. The channels in the proppant pack are created through a patented technique that combines special pumping protocol, perforation scheme, fracturing fluid design and fiber technology. These conductive channels accelerate fracture cleanup, and achieve longer effective fracture half-lengths, thereby enhancing productivity, injectivity& recovery.
In North Kuwait, 90% of wells drilled are vertical, penetrating a wide range of reservoir types consisting of high and low permeability sandstones and carbonates, with varying crude types from medium heavy to condensate. Flow-Channel Hydraulic Fracturing technology, with its infinite conductive flow-channels and reduced risk of premature screen-outs, was selected as the optimum stimulation technology for the most challenging low-permeability/low API gravity candidates where conventional stimulation techniques are not providing the aimed results. Conventional propped hydro-frac treatments were attempted previously with marginal benefit and operational failures. This was the first application of this technology in Kuwait.
Multi-disciplinary candidate screening and selection for the initial pilot wells, followed by pre-job logistics and operational planning with the service provider, resulted in a flawless execution with text-book results.
Post-job production results showed a stabilized flow rates with more than 85% production gain compared to the flow rates expected from conventional completion techniques. Incremental production paid out stimulation expenses in 35 days.
This very successful introduction for Flow-Channel Fracturing application opened up opportunities in low API reservoirs where even the flow through the proppant pack from conventional fracture stimulations is limited. Injectors associated with IOR & EOR projects, and Carbonate completions traditionally responding to repeated periodic acid fracture stimulation, may require only single channel proppant fracture during their life cycle.