Cemented-Liner- vs. Openhole-Packer- Completed Tight Gas Horizontal Wells
- Dennis Denney (JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 136 - 140
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 238 since 2007
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This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 152185, "A Direct Comparison of Hydraulic-Fracture Geometry and Well Performance Between Cemented-Liner- and Openhole-Packer-Completed Horizontal Wells in a Tight Gas Reservoir," by Murray Reynolds, SPE, Susan Thomson, and Faezeh Peyman, SPE, TAQA North Ltd., and Allan Hung, David Quirk, SPE, and Shaoyuan Chen, Trican Well Service, prepared for the 2012 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 6-8 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
With the introduction of multiple-fractured horizontal-well(MFHW) technologies and with a much better definition of the geology, a large unconventional-resource play has developed in the Glauconitic formation in central Alberta, Canada, which could contain in excess of 5 Tcf of gas in place plus associated natural-gas liquid. Microseismic technology was used in a pilot project that was designed to test the completion effectiveness of a cased-and-cemented liner vs. an openhole-packer system in this tight gas reservoir.
Several operators are developing this liquid-rich tight gas play by use of MFHW technologies. While most of the horizontal wells used openhole-packer systems with ball-and-sleeve fracture-isolation technology, the completion effectiveness of this technique was uncertain in this formation. A large vertical-well population within the area presented an opportunity to use downhole-microseismic techniques for direct measurement of the hydraulic-fracture growth from two offset horizontal wells. Two vertical microseismic-observation wells were located between two proposed horizontal wells, with a mid-point-separation distance of approximately 600 m. Each horizontal well would have approximately 1200-m horizontal exposure in the reservoir and would be completed with eight large hydraulic-fracture treatments (approximate fracture spacing of 170 m along the horizontal well). One horizontal well would be equipped with the open-hole ball-and-sleeve completion system, while the other would be equipped with a fully cemented liner in the horizontal section. The latter well would use ported collars at the points of fracture origination, and these would be shifted open by use of coiled tubing.
Depths in the Westerose area are approximately 1840 m, increasing to 3450 m in the Deanne field. The pore-pressure gradient varies with location and depth, from slightly under-pressured in the northeast (8.5 kPa/m) to significantly overpressured in the southwest (16.1 kPa/m). Total gross zone thickness varies between 15 and 25 m, with porosities ranging from 6 to 15%. The water saturation is believed to be sub-irreducible, ranging from 25 to 30%, and no significant formation water is produced anywhere in the trend. This project has a series of regional coals that cap the Glauconitic sands. The coals vary in thickness from approximately 0.5 to 5 m, are areally extensive, and are good markers for geological mapping and correlations.
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