Abstract

The benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) are well recognized in the oil industry, even if in many world regions it is still seen as a remedial operation rather than a reservoir development strategy. The big part of worldwide HF operations, are performed extensively in the US and Canada, primarily for reservoir development purposes of tight gas fields. However during the last few years, the global trend has seen a change and HF is now encouraged for adding new reserves, aiding the development of low permeability marginal reservoirs and prolonging life of brown fields.

In Congo Onshore, HF is now a consolidated reality, with more than 70 frac jobs pumped. Good results have encouraged management to increase fracturing activity: nowadays HF is performed on all the infill wells that are drilled in the low permeability layers of the reservoir.

From the early stages of development only the layers with the higher permeability were produced, while the possibility to develop the low permeability layers was not considered, because of very poor or zero production results due to the application of conventional completion strategy.

Since HF is now performed as a standard practice on new wells, it has been reconsidered for the application on old wells completed in the low permeability layers.

The challenge encountered on these old wells, has been the presence of long perforated interval.

Rigless operations (such as sand plug) and work-over operations (such as cementing of old perforated interval and re-perforations) have been needed for fracturing in order to avoid fracture initiation issues like multiple fractures and early screenout.

This paper will show the lessons learned and the main results achieved during this campaign and it is particularly focused on operational and logistic aspects, offering a full operational overview to all Companies and Operators that intend to apply this technology on their assets, maximizing oil recovery.

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