Multistage hydraulic fracturing is the common stimulation technique for shale formations. The treatment design, formation in-situ stress, and reservoir heterogeneity govern the fracture network propagation. Different techniques have been used to evaluate the fracture geometry and the completion efficiency including Chemical Tracers, Microseismic, Fiber Optics, and Production Logs. Most of these methods are post-fracture as well as time and cost intensive processes.
The current study presents the use of fall-off data during and after stage fracturing to characterize producing surface area, permeability, and fracture conductivity. Shut-in data (15-30 minutes) was collected after each stage was completed. The fall-off data was processed first to remove the noise and water hammer effects. Log-Log derivative diagnostic plots were used to define the flow regime and the data were then matched with an analytical model to calculate producing surface area, permeability, and fracture conductivity.
Diagnostic plots showed a unique signature of flow regimes. A long period of a spherical flow regime with negative half-slope was observed as an indication for limited entry flow either vertically or horizontally. A positive half-slope derivative represents a linear flow regime in an infinitely conductive tensile fracture. The quarter-slope derivative was observed in a bilinear flow regime that represents a finite conductivity fracture system. An extended radial flow regime was observed with zero slope derivative which represents a highly shear fractured network around the wellbore. For a long fall-off period, formation recharge may appear with a slope between unit and 1.5 slopes derivative, especially in over-pressured dry gas reservoirs.
Analyzing fall-off data after stages are completed provides a free and real-time investigation method to estimate the fracture geometry and a measure of completion efficiency. Knowing the stage properties allows the reservoir engineer to build a simulation model to forecast the well performance and improve the well spacing.