Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site-2 (HFTS-2) is a field-based research experiment performed in the Wolfcamp Formation of the Permian (Delaware) Basin. This paper focuses on integration, advanced geological characterization, and 3D subsurface modeling of the comprehensive HFTS-2 dataset. The study showcases a multidisciplinary reservoir characterization approach that incorporates geology, petrophysics, geochemistry, geomechanics, microseismic, and subsurface engineering analysis.
Subsurface characterization of organic-rich mudstone formations requires understanding complex hydraulic fracture network growth in relation to inherent lithology, geomechanical properties, and interaction with pre-existing natural fractures. This paper presents a characterization workflow incorporating pre- and post-stimulation subsurface data, unique to the HFTS-2 dataset. The study integrated: (1) rock properties from logs, cores, and thin sections; (2) natural and hydraulic fracture descriptions from cores and image logs; (3) local and regional stresses; (4) geomechanics; (5) microseismic; (6) fiber optic (FO) and bottomhole pressure gauge (BHPG) response; and (7) produced fluids analysis.
During a stimulation treatment, creation of the stimulated rock volume (SRV) is influenced by several subsurface factors. Key contributing factors include structural context, stress conditions, lithology, facies architecture, pre-existing natural fractures, and geomechanical properties. The HFTS-2 subsurface data integration indicates that the SRV is comprised of a complex juxtaposition of hydraulic fracture swarms, as evidenced by image logs analysis, core description, and microseismic monitoring. The HFTS-2 microseismic event density was used to generate 3D heat maps that serve as a representative SRV footprint, corroborated by secondary datasets. These maps were further integrated with petrophysical and geomechanical characteristics, as well as responses from FO and BHPG, to estimate the lateral and vertical dimensions of the effective fractures. The geological characterization for the HFTS-2 dataset combined with 3D modeling for petrophysical and geomechanical properties provides a strong foundation for subsurface simulation and optimization studies.
The workflow improved our understanding of HFTS-2 hydraulic fracture propagation and characteristics in relation to offset pressure depletion and interaction with pre-existing natural fractures. Analysis showed that fracture geometry varies by stage and by well, and a complex fracture network is generated with varying fracture density. The multidisciplinary workflow presented herein for integration and characterization serves as a foundation to evaluate completion efficiency and estimate areal and vertical stimulation and depletion extent for the project. The workflow and learnings can also be transferred to other unconventional plays.