Abstract

The KS reservoir is a naturally fractured, deep, tight gas sandstone reservoir under high tectonic stress. Because the reservoir matrix is very tight, the natural fracture system is the main pathway for gas production. Meanwhile, stimulation is still required for most production wells to provide production rates that sufficiently compensate for the high cost of drilling and completing wells to access this deep reservoir. Large depletion (and related stress change) was expected during the course of the production of the field. The dynamic response of the reservoir and related risks, such as reduction of fracture conductivity, fault reactivation, casing failure etc., would compromise the long-term productivity of the reservoir.

To quantify the dynamic response of the reservoir and related risks, a 4D reservoir geomechanics simulation was conducted for KS reservoir by following an integrated workflow. The work started from systematical laboratory fracture conductivity tests performed with fractured cores to measure conductivity versus confining stress for both natural fractures and hydraulic fractures (with proppant placed in the fractures of the core samples). Natural fracture modeling was conducted to generate a discrete fracture network to delineate spacious distribution of the natural fracture system. In addition, hydraulic fracture modeling was conducted to delineate the geometry of hydraulic fracture system for the stimulated wells. Then, a 3D geomechanical model was constructed through integrating geological, petrophysical and geomechanical data, and both the discrete fracture network (DFN) and hydraulic fracture system were incorporated into the 3D geomechanical model. A 4D reservoir geomechanics simulation was conducted through coupling with a reservoir simulator to predict variation of stress and strain of rock matrix as well as natural fractures and hydraulic fractures during the field production. At each study well location, a near- wellbore model was extracted from the full-field model and casing and cement were installed to evaluate well integrity during production.

The 4D reservoir geomechanics simulation revealed that there would be large reduction of conductivity for both natural fractures and hydraulic fractures, and some fractures with certain dip/dip azimuth will be reactivated during the course of the field production. The induced stress change will also compromise wellintegrity for those poorly cemented wellbores. The field development plan must consider all these risks to ensure sustainable long-term production.

The paper presents a 4D coupled geomechanics simulation study applied to an HP/HT naturally fractured reservoir, which has rarely been published previously. The study adapted several new techniques to quantify the mechanical response of both natural fractures and hydraulic fractures, such as to use laboratory tests to measure stress sensitivity of natural fractures, integrating DFN and hydraulic fracture system into 4D geomechanics simulation, and evaluating well integrity on both the reservoir scale and the near-wellbore scale.

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