After-Closure Analysis To Identify Naturally Fractured Reservoirs
- Simon T. Chipperfield (Shell Intl. E&P Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 50 - 60
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 3 Production and Well Operations, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2 Well Completion, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.5.1 Simulator Development, 3.3.2 Borehole Imaging and Wellbore Seismic, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 2.5.1 Fracture design and containment, 1.8 Formation Damage, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology
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After-closure analysis (ACA) in homogeneous-matrix reservoirs provides a method for extracting critical reservoir information from pre-frac injection tests. This paper extends the theory and practice of ACA to identify the presence of productive natural fractures.
Natural fractures are important to identify before conducting a stimulation treatment because their presence may require designs that differ from conventional matrix treatments. Literature shows that naturally fractured reservoirs are very susceptible to formation damage and require stimulation treatments to account for this issue. The historical problem, however, has been to confidently characterize the reservoirs pre-frac in terms of both the reservoir quality and the deliverability mechanism (fractures vs. matrix) before committing to these design specifications.
This paper presents the results of a simulator used to analyze the mini-frac after-closure period to identify the presence of natural fractures. The simulation results are distilled into a field implementation methodology for determining the extent of natural fracturing and the formation reservoir quality. This methodology is also applied to a field case study to verify the practicality of the technique. Unlike previous mini-frac-analysis methods, this approach identifies natural fractures that are material to production and allows the engineer to distinguish them from "fissures?? that are open only during injection and are not a production mechanism.
Motivation for Identifying Natural Fractures. Identifying the presence of natural fractures is important for a broad range of reasons. On a field scale, realizing the presence of natural fractures can impact reserves estimation, initial well rates, production declines, and planned well locations. With respect to well completions, fractured reservoirs may necessitate a special stimulation approach. Because fractured reservoirs tend to produce from a relatively small reservoir volume (i.e., the fractures), these formations can be highly susceptible to damage (Cippolla et al. 1988). The literature shows that the use of foamed treatments (Cippolla et al. 1988), 100 mesh, and low gel loadings can be used to stimulate these reservoirs effectively. The literature also shows the disastrous results that can arise when damage-prevention steps are not taken (Cippolla et al. 1988). As a result, there is a definite need to identify natural fractures before a stimulation treatment so that the appropriate design decisions can be made.
In the past, conventional well testing, such as pressure-buildup tests, has been used for determining the reservoir description. However, these techniques often prove costly both in terms of additional equipment requirements and delays in well on-line dates. In addition, conventional well testing may not be successful in low-permeability reservoirs because these wells may not flow at measurable rates before stimulation. These cost and reservoir limitations have forced the engineer to seek other low-cost methods for determining reservoir properties. One such option for acquiring these data is the use of a mini-frac injection test conducted before a stimulation treatment. The mini-frac analysis techniques available to provide estimates of the formation capacity (kh) and indications of the presence of natural fractures include preclosure and post-closure methods.
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