Using optical fibers to instrument hydraulically fractured wells is becoming routine in US unconventional plays. Instrumented wells facilitate understanding of proppant distribution among perforation clusters and the inefficiencies of geometric fracturing and well planning techniques. However, converting fiber-optic data into proppant distribution requires management of high volumes of data and correlation of the data to factors such as well conditions, fracturing parameters, and temperatures. A user-friendly workflow for understanding hydraulic fracturing proppant and slurry distribution among different perforation clusters over time is presented. Ideally, slurry flow is equal between perforation clusters and, at least, constant in time, but the reality is very different. The interpretation workflow is based on proprietary algorithms within a general wellbore software platform and aims to greatly expedite the analysis. We propose using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) data (in the form of custom frequency band energy (FBE) logs), distributed temperature measurements (DTS) and surface pumping data to obtain a quantitative analysis of proppant distribution within minutes, with various options for reporting and visualizing results. The software platform selected provides data integration, visualization, and customization of in-built algorithms. The new workflow enables users to upload DAS, DTS, flow rate, pressure, and other measurements and use customized algorithms to quantitatively analyze proppant distribution, enabling decisions in real time to optimize the fracturing operation. The validity of the approach is illustrated by a case study involving a well with 28 stages and four to five clusters per stage. The workflow is automated to provide results in real time, enabling quick corrective actions and significantly improving the efficiency and economics of hydraulic fracturing.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.