The Company has recently completed the first stage of a large-scale program for production of hard-to-recover (HTR) oil reserves from standard terrigenous reservoirs. This program is being worked on within the framework of the Optimal Completion Technologies and Operation Parameters of Oil Wells in Low-Productivity Reservoirs technology project implemented within the Company's perimeter. A high-rate hybrid multistage hydraulic fracturing was successfully performed on a number of horizontal wells at the Achimov Formation reservoirs thus confirming the ambitious well productivity plans.

The primary goal of the project was to verify the hypothesis that the sweep area can be increased by means of a high-rate hybrid hydraulic fracturing; the next goal is to check the hypothesis that a developed network of fractures, or stimulate reservoir volume (SRV), can be formed at a hydraulic fracturing injection rate exceeding the standard values by 3-4 times. Keeping in mind the tasks of increasing the drainage area and connecting separate zones of highly compartmentalized reservoirs with each other, the basic hydraulic fracturing technology for the design purposes was a high-rate hybrid hydraulic fracturing with an injection rate of up to 12 m3/min and a combined schedule.

At the preparatory data processing and interpretation stage, issues in each discipline involved – petrophysics, geology, geomechanics, and hydrodynamics – were worked out in detail and modeled. The design project of a high-rate hybrid hydraulic fracturing treatment has undergone many optimization iterations in the Planar 3D module, with further testing of the anticipated effects on a hydrodynamic simulator using unstructured three-dimensional PEBI grids. As a result of multi-variant modeling performed by a cross-functional team, a universal hydraulic fracturing design was created which predicted high efficiency of the treatment to create both the SRV and the planar fractures. To make the results of the performed pilot work more reliable, a wide range of studies was performed including production logging tests in horizontal wells with various completion systems. While assessing whether formation of the SRV is possible, downhole micro-seismic monitoring was performed, and downhole pressure was measured at neighboring wells.

In the real conditions of the tested target reservoir, formation of the SRV was not confirmed at the actual injection parameters. The Planar 3D module, coupled with the hydrodynamic simulator, is an efficient tool to optimize design of the hybrid hydraulic fracturing treatment. The giant half-lengths of planar fractures predicted in the hydraulic fracturing modeling software have been proved by micro-seismic monitoring and pressure response at submersible pumps of the neighboring wells. At one of the stages, a high-rate hydraulic fracturing with 125 tons of proppant was performed entirely with a hydraulic fracturing fluid based 100% on a synthetic gelatinizing agent which showed the greatest fracture length. The Company pays great attention to this technology solution too – several tests have been initiated with respect to ‘pure’ hydraulic fracturing fluids, and work is underway to develop guideline and methodology documentation on quality control.

Results of the project have changed the vision of optimal methods for stimulation of the Achimov low-permeability reservoirs. In the absence of the SRV, formation of long planar fractures by means of a system of horizontal wells with low-density spacing can increase economic viability of currently uneconomical fields or separate reservoirs (zones).

The novelty of this work consists in the achieved level of integration of model values from various disciplines with the actual data. The initial and current parameters of stimulated wells demonstrate a broad perspective for optimizing the HTR reserves development system for a standard terrigenous reservoir. Successful reservoir stimulation by high-rate hybrid multistage hydraulic fracturing (MSF) opens the way to even bigger projects that envisage drilling horizontal holes up to 2,000 m long and building wells of the TAML-3 level of complexity.

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