Environmental Stewardship: Global Applications of a Nonradioactive Method to Identify Proppant Placement and Propped-Fracture Height
- Robert J. Duenckel (CARBO Ceramics) | Terrence T. Palisch (CARBO Ceramics) | Xiaogang Han (CARBO Ceramics) | Pedro Saldungaray (CARBO Ceramics)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- November 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 231 - 242
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.5 Tracers, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant)
- diagnostics, fracture height, non-radioactive, nuclear logging, hydraulic fracturing
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 314 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
Accurate assessment of intervals receiving proppant and the determination of near-wellbore fracture heights are valuable in assessing and optimizing stimulation strategies. Proppant-placement evaluation in hydraulic fractures has traditionally involved the detection of radioactive (R/A) tracers pumped downhole with the proppant. However, as environmental regulations regarding this technique have tightened, and with increased scrutiny by the public and regulatory bodies of the industry in general and hydraulic fracturing in particular, the need for an alternative to R/A tracers has become paramount. A new technology for assessing intervals receiving proppant and determining fracture heights by use of a non-R/A detectable proppant has been introduced recently. The technology has found global acceptance and has proven to be a robust and accurate method of locating proppant in the near-wellbore region. In addition to eliminating the safety and environmental concerns with R/A tracers, this new method also provides a permanent indication of the proppant location near the wellbore. Unlike traditional R/A tracers that must be logged before the radioisotopes completely decay, this new method will allow investigation of the proppant pack many years or decades in the future, which will provide critical information during remedial or redevelopment work that cannot be determined with conventional approaches. A review of the current state of regulatory impediments to the use of R/A tracers in key producing regions around the world is presented, highlighting the need for an alternative diagnostic technology. The technology used in the application of the non-R/A detectable proppant is described, and comparisons with other fracture-diagnostic technologies are presented. Several case histories are shown that illustrate various applications of the technology in regions around the globe. These case histories include applications performed in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. In addition to identifying proppant location and fracture height, this technology can be used in other applications such as the evaluation of gravel-pack quality. If the current trends in regulatory actions related to hydraulic fracturing continue, it is anticipated that the use of R/A tracers will be restricted to fewer and fewer locales. At the same time, reliable fracture diagnostics for optimization of hydraulic fracturing, from both a well-performance and cost-control standpoint, remains extremely important.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||12|
Bartko, K., Salim, A., Saldungaray, P. et al. 2013. Hydraulic Fracture Geometry Evaluation Using Proppant Detection: Experiences in Saudi Arabia. Presented at the SPE Saudi Arabia Section Technical Symposium and Exhibition, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 19-22 May. SPE-168094-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/168094-MS.
Dobkins, T.A. 1981. Improved Methods To Determine Hydraulic Fracture Height. J Pet Technol 33 (4): 719–726. SPE-8403-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/8403-PA.
Duenckel, R.J., Smith, H.D., Warren, W. et al. 2011. Field Application of a New Proppant Detection Technology. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October-2 November. SPE-146744-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/146744-MS.
Gadekea, L.L. and Smith, H.D. Jr. 1986. Trancerscan: A Spectroscopy Technique For Determining The Distribution Of Multiplte Radioactive Tracers In Downhole Operations. Proc., 27th Annual Logging Symposium of the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts, Houston, 9-13 June, Vol. 2, 15-25, Paper ZZ.
IAEA. 2003. Radiation Protection and the Management of Radioactive Waste in the Oil and Gas Industry. Safety Reports Series No. 34, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria (November 2003).
McDaniel, R.R., McCarthy, S.M., and Smith, M. 2010. Methods and compositions for determination of fracture geometry in subterranean formations US Patent No. 7,726,397.
Nikitin, A., Yudin, A.V., Latypov, I. et al. 2009. Hydraulic Fracture Geometry Investigation for Successful Optimization of Fracture Modeling and Overall Development of Jurassic Formation in Western Siberia. Presented at the Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition, Jakarta, Indonesia, 4-6 August. SPE-121888-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/121888-MS.
Palisch, T., Duenckel, R., Bazan, L. et al. 2007. Determining Realistic Fracture Conductivity and Understanding Its Impact on Well Performance—Theory and Field Examples. Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, College Station, Texas, USA, 29–31 January. SPE-106301-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/106301-MS.
Palisch, T.T., Chapman, M.A., and Godwin, J.W. 2012. Hydraulic Fracture Design Optimization in Unconventional Reservoirs - A Case History. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 8-10 October. SPE-160206-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/160206-MS.
Schultz, W.E., Smith, H.D. Jr., Verbout, J.L. et al. 1983. Experimental Basis for a New Borehole Corrected Pulsed Neutron Capture Logging System (TMD*). Presented at the SPWLA 24th Annual Logging Symposium, Calgary, 27-30 June. SPWLA-1983-CC.
Smith, H.D. Jr. and Duenckel, R. 2009. Method of logging a well using a thermal neutron absorbing material US Patent No. 8,100,177.
Smith, H.D. Jr. and Duenckel, R. 2012. Spectral identification of proppant in subterranean fracture zones. US Patent Application No. US 20120080588 A1.
Smith, H.D. Jr., Duenckel, R., and Han, X. 2013. A New Nuclear Logging Method to Locate Proppant Placement in Induced Fractures. Presented at the SPWLA 54th Annual Logging Symposium, New Orleans, 22–26 June. SPWLA QQQ.
Taylor, J.L. III and Brandy, T.R. 1989. Tracer technology finds expanding applications. Petroleum Engineer International 61 (6): 31-36.