The Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site 2 (HFTS-2) is a joint industry project in the Delaware basin to advance hydraulic fracturing understanding and improve productivity in shale reservoirs. The project integrates multi-disciplinary approaches to evaluate different completion designs, well spacing, inter-well communication, and stimulated rock volume, among other factors. This paper focused on two major areas related to hydraulic fracture performance. First, an analysis of different completion designs on cluster efficiency based on near well Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). Second, an evaluation of well and completion designs on inter-well fracture driven interactions (FDIs) based on downhole pressure monitoring.
Fluid/sand distribution and cluster efficiency analyses were based on near wellbore DAS data collected from two adjacent horizontal wells completed in two different landing zones in the Wolfcamp formation. These wells had different completion designs aiming to evaluate the effect of normal vs. extended stage lengths, perforation hole tapering and limited entry. Standard deviation from ideal fluid/sand distribution and waterfall plots were used to evaluate cluster efficiency for each design and stage.
Inter-well FDIs analysis was conducted among the horizontal wells and a vertical monitor well. One horizontal well served as the monitor well while the other horizontal well was being treated. The vertical well was instrumented with downhole pressure and temperature gauges to aid monitoring fracture height growth. The pressure response during and after fracturing was characterized based on maximum pressure increase value and slope. Pressure response vs. FDIs trigger factors such distance, cluster efficiency and stage fluid volume were also analyzed.
Based on the different completion and perforation designs tested, DAS analysis suggests that limited entry design worked best. Extreme limited entry showed the potential of high perforation erosion and reduced cluster efficiency. The limited entry and tapered perforation design demonstrated potential to improve the cluster efficiency for extended stage lengths.
Pressure monitoring across formation units proved to be critical to understand fracture interactions and fracture vertical growth. Pressure communication across different formation units during hydraulic fracturing operation indicate fractures grew upwards during Wolfcamp wells fracturing. However, this pressure communication dissipated over time. High intensity FDIs were recorded when the frac stages were closer to the pressure gauge location in the monitor wells. Some of these stages that produced high intensity FDIs also had high fluid volume per cluster and low cluster efficiency.
The multi-disciplinary and high-quality data collected from HFTS-2 helped to further understand why completion approaches such as limited entry and tapered perforation design are successful in improving cluster efficiency. The DAS data combined with downhole high-resolution pressure measurements also helped to quantify the effect of lower cluster efficiency data on the incidence and intensity of FDIs.