Investigating the Effect of Improved Fracture Conductivity on Production Performance of Hydraulically Fractured Wells: Field-Case Studies and Numerical Simulations
- Jianlei Sun (Texas A&M University) | David Schechter (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 442 - 449
- 2015.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Hydraulic Fractures, Fracture Conductivity, Unstructured Grid, Horizontal Well, Field Case Studies
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 675 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Unconventional reservoirs require extensive hydraulic-fracturing treatments to produce fluids economically and efficiently. The main purpose of such treatments is to create complex fracture networks with high-conductivity paths deeper into the nonstimulated reservoir regions. Proppants play an important role in maintaining good-quality fracture conductivities, which then greatly affect long-term production performance. In addition, research on proppants has shown a reduction in conductivities under downhole stresses and multiphase-flow behaviours. Therefore, it is important to study the effect different proppants and conductivities have on production performance through actual field cases.
To evaluate the production performance of wells completed with different proppants, the authors proposed an integrated work flow for characterization and simulation of unconventional reservoirs. This work flow is unique because of the stochastic fracture-network-generation algorithms and improved unstructured-grid-generation techniques. Both analysis of field-production data and numerical simulations were performed on eight wells in the CAPA field of North Dakota. For the field-data analysis, three public-data resources were reviewed to prepare a summary of reservoir properties, fracture properties, proppant properties, and production history. For the numerical simulations, all the wells were modelled and simulated with the proposed work flow. Finally, sensitivity analyses were carried out to investigate the effects of fracture conductivities and natural fractures.
After completing the field-case studies and reservoir simulations, it was concluded that with the same fracture design, higher fracture conductivity improves production performance. Pumping a smaller volume of upgraded proppants with higher conductivity not only improves long-term production performance, but also justifies the additional costs and reduces the overall operation time of the entire hydraulic-fracturing job. The stimulated reservoir volume was greatly increased, as was the production performance, where natural fractures exist.
In this paper, field-data analysis was applied in the Bakken to demonstrate the integrated unconventional work flow. The proposed unstructured-gridding algorithms can be incorporated into any preprocessor to handle complex networks. Reservoir, fracture, and proppant characterization and reservoir simulation of the field cases can help engineers prepare and interpret simulation input and output.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||8|
Cipolla, C. and Wallace, J. 2014. Stimulated Reservoir Volume: A Misapplied Concept? Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 4–6 February. SPE-168596-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/168596-MS.
Fuentes-Cruz, G., Gildin, E., and Valkó, P. P. 2014. On the Analysis of Production Data: Practical Approaches for Hydraulically Fractured Wells in Unconventional Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 4–6 February. SPE-168608-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/168608-MS.
Gale, J. F. W., Laubach, S. E., Olson, J. E. et al. 2014. Natural Fractures in Shale: A Review and New Observations. AAPG Bulletin 98 (11): 2165–2216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1306/08121413151.
Gong, X., Gonzalez, R., McVay, D. A. et al. 2014. Bayesian Probabilistic Decline-Curve Analysis Reliably Quantifies Uncertainty in Shale-Well-Production Forecasts. SPE J. 19 (6): 1047–1057. SPE-147588-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/147588-PA.
Hu, K., Sun, J., Wong, J. et al. 2014. Proppants Selection Based on Field Case Studies of Well Production Performance in the Bakken Shale Play. Presented at the SPE Western North American and Rocky Mountain Joint Meeting, Denver, 17–18 April. SPE-169566-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/169566-MS.
KAPPA. 2015. Unconventional Resources brochure, October 2013. http://www.kappaeng.com/documents/flip/ur-brochure/ (accessed April 23 2015).
Karimi-Fard, M., Durlofsky, L. J., and Aziz, K. 2003. An Efficient Discrete Fracture Model Applicable for General Purpose Reservoir Simulators. Presented at the SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, 3–5 February. SPE-79699-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/79699-MS.
Kim, T. H. and Schechter, D. 2009. Estimation of Fracture Porosity of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs With No Matrix Porosity Using Fractal Discrete Fracture Networks. SPE Res Eval & Eng 12 (2): 232–242. SPE-110720-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/110720-PA.
Mirzaei, M. and Cipolla, C. L. 2012. A Workflow for Modeling and Simulation of Hydraulic Fractures in Unconventional Gas Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Middle East Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 23–25 January. SPE-153022-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/153022-MS.
Mohaghegh, S. D., Grujic, O., Zargari, S. et al. 2011. Modeling, History Matching, Forecasting and Analysis of Shale Reservoirs Performance Using Artificial Intelligence. Presented at the SPE Digital Energy Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 19–21 April. SPE-143875-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/143875-MS.
Moinfar, A., Narr, W., Hui, M. -H. et al. 2011. Comparison of Discrete-Fracture and Dual-Permeability Models for Multiphase Flow in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 21–23 February. SPE-142295-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/142295-MS.
Olorode, O. M., Freeman, C. M., Moridis, G. J. et al. 2012. High-Resolution Numerical Modeling of Complex and Irregular Fracture Patterns in Shale Gas and Tight Gas Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Latin America and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, 16–18 April. SPE-152482-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/152482-MS.
Patzek, T., Male, F., and Marder, M. 2014. A Simple Model of Gas Production from Hydrofractured Horizontal Wells in Shales. AAPG Bulletin 98 (12): 2507–2529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1306/03241412125.
Pitman, J. K., Price, L. C., and LeFever, J. A. 2001. Diagenesis and Fracture Development in the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin: Implications for Reservoir Quality in the Middle Member. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Professional Paper 1653, USGS, Denver, (November 2001).
Sun, J. and Schechter, D. 2014. Optimization-Based Unstructured Meshing Algorithms for Simulation of Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs with Variable Distribution of Fracture Aperture, Spacing, Length and Strike. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 27–29 October. SPE-170703-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/170703-MS.
Tran, T., Sinurat, P., and Wattenbarger, R. A. 2011. Production Characteristics of the Bakken Shale Oil. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October–2 November. SPE-145684-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/145684-MS.
Vincent, M. C. 2002. Proving It - A Review of 80 Published Field Studies Demonstrating the Importance of Increased Fracture Conductivity. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 29 September–2 October. SPE-77675-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/77675-MS.
Vincent, M. C., Pearson, C. M., and Kullman, J. 1999. Non-Darcy and Multiphase Flow in Propped Fractures: Case Studies Illustrate the Dramatic Effect on Well Productivity. Presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 26–27 May. SPE-54630-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/54630-MS.
Wu, R., Kresse, O., Weng, X. et al. 2012. Modeling of Interaction of Hydraulic Fractures in Complex Fracture Networks. Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 6–8 February. SPE-152052-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/152052-MS.
Wu, K. and Olson, J. E. 2015. Simultaneous Multifracture Treatments: Fully Coupled Fluid Flow and Fracture Mechanics for Horizontal Wells. SPE J. 20 (2): 337–346. SPE-167626-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/167626-PA.
Xie, J., Yang, C., Gupta, N. et al. 2015. Integration of Shale-Gas-Production Data and Microseismic for Fracture and Reservoir Properties With the Fast Marching Method. SPE J. 20 (2): 347–359. SPE-161357-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/161357-PA.
Yan, B., Killough, J. E., Wang, Y. et al. 2013. Novel Approaches for the Simulation of Unconventional Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, 12–14 August. SPE-168786-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.1190/URTEC2013-131.