Integrated Approach Improves Modeling of Rejuvenation in Unconventional Plays
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 65 - 67
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4 in the last 30 days
- 16 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 191457, “Coupling Geomechanical Effects and Reservoir Dynamics for Modeling Rejuvenation in Unconventional Plays,” by R. Dutta, SPE, Drilling Info; R. Pinto, Sciences Po University; and J.C. Flores, S.M. Stolyarov, SPE, and J. Yang, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, prepared for the 2018 SPE International Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, Muscat, Oman, 16–18 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
An integrated understanding of geomechanical effects, fracture propagation, and reservoir dynamics is critical in the efficient and cost-effective application of rejuvenation technologies for unconventional plays. While various reservoir models depicting the hydraulic-fracturing process are available in the industry, many tend to be simplified or do not capture the numerous parameters that affect both the initial and restimulation processes. This work takes a further step toward building a more-realistic picture of fracturing in unconventional plays.
A common assumption in reservoir simulation is that the proppant-fluid mixture is present in the hydraulic fracture before flowback and production. The quantity of water assumed to be present in the hydraulic fractures is a conjecture and is calibrated generally with production-logging tools. These assumptions may skew the results of hydrocarbon recovery.
A method of incorporating geomechanical aspects of fracturing into the model involves the concept of pressure-dependent permeability variation in natural fractures that results in formation of pressure-dependent stimulated reservoir volume (SRV). Hysteretic permeability models employed in numerical modeling can offer a description of the SRV and also can be used in addressing longer-term geomechanical effects in a practical manner. While this concept has matured in the context of modeling hydraulic fracturing in reservoir simulation, it is being newly applied in modeling refracturing treatments.
Because the importance of capillary effect in low-permeability formations is recognized, the authors also incorporate capillary pressure in their model. In addition to pressure-dependent permeability variation, results explain how capillarity is significant in understanding fluid migration, the trapping of fluid in the matrix, and, consequently, restimulation.
The main challenge in selecting good candidate wells for this study was in finding wells that targeted the same formation, used varying refracturing technologies, and had sufficient data to build a reservoir-simulation model with input for the reservoir properties.
After studying a large number of wells, the authors focused on two horizontal gas wells producing from the Barnett Shale. One well was identified to be refractured with a selective zone-treatment method, while the other used a method of fluid diversion. The wells are located approximately 3 miles from each other and approximately 1,600 ft from neighboring wells. These wells have differing production signatures, but this is not indicative of a difference in the performance of two technologies. Understanding the difference in performance may be key to planning a successful refracturing operation.
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