Abstract

Pore pressure (pi) and flow capacity (kh) are difficult to ascertain in ultra-low permeability formations due to poor inflow prior to stimulation. Furthermore, radial flow does not develop in horizontal wells completed with massive multi-stage hydraulic fractures. As a result, industry is turning to alternate testing methods, conducted prior to the main hydraulic fracture treatments. Of these, minifrac tests are rapidly gaining acceptance as the most practical way to obtain good estimates of pore pressure and flow capacity in unconventional reservoirs. Unfortunately, these test objectives are often unrealized when design and execution of the minifrac test are conducted with other objectives in mind. Even after a mechanically successful test has been concluded, there can be confusion over how to interpret the after-closure data.

This paper outlines recommended operational guidelines for conducting minifrac tests with the purpose of estimating pore pressure and flow capacity. In addition, various aspects of after-closure analysis are investigated and examples are used to show that all after-closure analysis techniques, when applied correctly, are applicable and give consistent estimates of pore pressure and flow capacity. The power of using analytical models to enhance after-closure analysis is demonstrated.

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