Hydraulic-Fracture-Model Sensitivity Analyses of a Massively Stacked, Lenticular, Tight Gas Reservoir
- Christopher A. Green (Perenco Holdings Ltd) | Robert D. Barree (Barree & Associates) | Jennifer L. Miskimins (Colorado School of Mines)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 66 - 73
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 3.3.1 Production Logging, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.2.3 Rock properties
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This paper assesses critically the importance of various inputs that are used for a common method to develop a simulator model of hydraulic fractures (HFs) in geologically complex, fluvial, tight gas reservoirs. A planar 3D fracture simulator is used with a fully coupled fluid-/solids-transport simulator. The geomechanical rock properties from logs (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and Biot's constant) and diagnostic minifracture injection tests of individual sandstone reservoirs were investigated to assess their importance in developing a valid stress model.
This paper describes the investigations by use of a model matched previously with both net surface pressure and microseismic/tiltmeter data. From these results, it is possible to obtain a better understanding of how fractures grow and interact with complex fluvial reservoirs, allowing operators to optimize field-well performance and completion methods better in these geologic settings. Additionally, the minimum critical data recommendations necessary to develop such a model have been identified and will aid operators in developing their data-acquisition programs. Although developed in the Rocky Mountain region, the presented technique can be extended to other similar geologically complex reservoirs worldwide.
Currently, engineers have to undertake an ever-more complete HF evaluation to evaluate fully the well potential and the effectiveness of the treatment design for creating the desired fracture. Geologically complex reservoirs require in-depth knowledge of both fluid mechanics and the reservoir-rock mechanics. It is only recently that the HF engineer has acquired the tools available to model reservoirs effectively by use of fully 3D models, coupled with improvements in reservoir analytical techniques.
The overall objective of this study is to undertake sensitivity analyses of a model matched previously with a method that practitioners consider to be accurate for developing a 3D HF simulation of a geologically complex reservoir. Previous work has been carried out in the Piceance basin (Ely et al. 1995) and other geologically similar tight gas reservoirs (Craig et al. 2000), but the techniques used in this study are those applied currently to generate input data for an accurate model of HFs in complex, fluvial, tight gas reservoirs. The simulator outputs were matched initially with direct diagnostic results from fracture mapping to help constrain the model and aid in the simulator-output matching process (Green et al. 2007). In that model, six different intervals containing several production zones each were hydraulically fractured and analyzed. This work is part of ongoing research to help operators and researchers identify the minimum data necessary to model and optimize effectively the HF treatments in geologically complex reservoirs.
The US Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory sponsored a number of projects during the 1980s, and a significant amount of the research work was undertaken at the Multi-Well Experiment site near Rifle, Colorado (Settari and Cleary 1986). This multidisciplinary research carried out in the Piceance basin has gone a long way in helping the stimulation-technology development in tight gas reservoirs. However, further development of stimulation technology requires models that can be used to analyze, target, and optimize HF treatments and to predict well production. This study assesses the inputs required to model a well in these complex geological systems and makes a recommendation for the minimum data necessary to develop a fully 3D model of a hydraulically fractured well.
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