Applying Science and Best Practices To Increase Production and Optimize Economics in a West Texas Gas Field
- Karen Bybee (JPT Assistant Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 51 - 53
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 52 since 2007
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This article, written by Assistant Technology Editor Karen Bybee, contains highlights of paper SPE 117538, "Applying Science and Best Practices To increase Production and Optimize Economics in a West Texas Gas Field - A Canyon-Sand Case Study," by Kelly Blackwood, SPE, (now with Encana Oil and Gas), and Kaylene Williamson, SPE, Highmount Energy; Terry Palisch, SPE, and Mark Chapman, SPE, Carbo Ceramics; and Mike Vincent, SPE, Insight Consulting, originally prepared for the 2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11-15 Octo ber. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
Hydraulic fracturing is the most popular and successful stimulation treatment in the petroleum industry. Fracturing technology has opened numerous unconventional hydrocarbon frontiers that, were it not for this process, would be uneconomic to develop. However, designing the optimal hydraulic fracture is anything but an exact science. The industry relies on many simplifying assumptions that assist in making expedient decisions but can prevent reaching a truly optimized treatment. The full-length paper outlines the approach taken by one Canyon sand operator to apply sound science and best practices to meet their financial.
A field trial comparing the performance of 20/40 economy-lightweight-ceramic (ELWC) proppant to 20/40 Brady sand was completed in 2006 and 2007 in the Canyon sand, Sutton County, Texas. The trial was initiated after modeling suggested that the current hydraulic fractures were conductivity limited. Twenty-one wells in close proximity to each other were included in the study. Production analyses were performed after all wells had at least 1 year of post-fracture production. Both raw production and production normalized to reservoir quality were analyzed, and both indicate that the wells stimulated with ELWC proppant significantly outperformed the offset wells that used Brady sand. Several economic yardsticks then were evaluated in the full-length paper.
The Canyon sandstone is productive in several fields, including the Sonora, Sawyers, Shurley, and Aldwell fields, with first production occurring in 1952. The Canyon-sandstone trend occurs basinward of the western margin of the Eastern shelf in west Texas. The sandstones were deposited from the Eastern shelf into the Val Verde basin. The reservoir is oil prone adjacent to the Midland basin and gas prone adjacent to the Val Verde basin. The vast majority of the sandstone members are fine- to medium-grained quartz lithic arenites.
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