Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) - Project Overview and Summary of Results
- Jordan Ciezobka (Gas Technology Institute) | James Courtier (Laredo Petroleum, Inc.) | Joe Wicker (Laredo Petroleum, Inc.)
- Document ID
- Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
- SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, 23-25 July, Houston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference
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- 331 since 2007
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The Hydraulic Fracture Test Site (HFTS) is a field-based hydraulic fracturing research experiment performed in the West Texas Permian (Midland) Basin. The HFTS includes $25 million of hydraulic fracturing research that is centralized around eleven horizontal wells fractured with over 400 stages in the Upper and Middle Wolfcamp formations as well as two recompleted legacy wells.
As part of the HFTS experiment, and in addition to the comprehensive field data that was collected, approximately 600 feet of excellent quality, whole core was obtained by drilling a high-angle core well through the induced hydraulic fractures at the test site. Based upon observations of the acquired core, the understanding of hydraulic fracture propagation and effectiveness of proppant placement is challenging current thinking. Well interference testing and in-situ reservoir pressure measurements using bottom hole gauges in producing wells and discrete multilevel pressure gauges in an offset monitor well aid in understating fracture connectivity and conductivity over time.
The HFTS is a field-based hydraulic fracturing research program located in the eastern part of the Midland Basin, between the Central Basin Platform and the Eastern Shelf (Figure 1, left panel). Through fostering collaboration between hydraulic fracturing experts from industry, academia and government, this research program has been established to acquire data sets to address industry-wide fundamental questions around hydraulic fracture behavior within an unconventional resource development setting. A comprehensive overview of this project is discussed in Courtier et al, 2017. Principal objectives include researching methods to reduce and minimize potential environmental impacts, demonstrate safe reliable operations, and to improve hydraulic fracturing efficiency of horizontal shale wells.
The test wells are located in Reagan County, Texas, covered by a high quality 3-D seismic survey and is surrounded by many producing horizontal and vertical wells. Several adjacent wells contain open and cased-hole petrophysical, production and image logs, as well as whole cores and sidewall cores. Additionally, microseismic and tilt-meter surveys were collected during stimulation of selected wells. A total of 11 horizontal wells were drilled in the Upper and Middle Wolfcamp formations as part of this study, with five wells in the Middle Wolfcamp and six in the Upper Wolfcamp (Figure 1, right panel). The new wells are all horizontal with extended lateral sections (~ 10,000 feet), drilled from north to south, and approximately normal to the predicted maximum horizontal stress orientation. In total, over 400 hydraulic fracture stages were pumped in the test wells, of which the majority were traced and/or monitored with advanced diagnostics.
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