Abstract

Fiber Optic monitoring in unconventional reservoirs has proven to be an invaluable diagnostic tool for assessing both near-wellbore stimulation effectiveness and to help describe the far-field frac geometries created by hydraulic fracture stimulation. Unfortunately, gaining any detailed qualitative and quantitative understanding of the near-wellbore frac geometry or cluster/stage productivity during production via Fiber Optic (FO) has proven to be more difficult, particularly in wells producing liquids. A new FO diagnostic method, Distributed Strain Sensing based on Rayleigh Frequency Shift (DSS-RFS), first demonstrated for oil and gas applications in the Hydraulic Test Site 2 (HFTS2) provides new insights about the characteristics of near-wellbore-region (NWR) during production. DSS-RFS is different from other FO strain measurements because it relies on accurate measurement of frequency shifts of Rayleigh backscattered spectrum obtained by scanning the fiber with a coherent optical time-domain reflectometer with a range of laser frequencies using a tunable-wavelength laser system. Changes in strain are measured with an extremely high spatial resolution of 20 cm and with high signal-to-noise ratios over long distances. In HFTS2, strain changes for the entire wellbore have been measured twice during scheduled shut-in and reopening operations (February 2020 and September 2020). After removing temperature effects, consistent strain changes have been observed at the location of most perforation clusters. These are caused by near-wellbore fracture aperture changes due to pressure increases during shut-in within the near-wellbore fracture network. The strain-change patterns from the DSS-RFS during shut-in correlate very well with the location of clusters and allow for the definition of extending intervals with positive strain signals at each cluster and slightly compressing intervals with negative strain signals between the clusters and in the non-stimulated intervals. The locations of the measured positive strain peaks also show good correspondence to DAS acoustic intensity measurements acquired during the stimulation. The geometry and magnitude of the strain changes differ significantly between the two tested completion designs in the same well. During shut-in and reopening each cluster exhibit its own strain-change / pressure path. In addition, the September 2020 dataset also revealed the existence of small but measurable strain changes as consequence of pressure decline during production. These strain changes also correlate well with the presence of producing clusters, but the strain-rate signals are opposite to that obtained during shut-in and reopening operations. Although we are still in the early stages of exploring the potential of this novel FO technique, we believe that the highly detailed information contained in the measurement of strain changes using DSS-RFS during production can significantly improve our understanding of near-wellbore hydraulic fracture characteristics and the relationships between stimulation and production from unconventional oil and gas wells.

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