Field Experiences and Guidelines for Using Non-Viscous Fluids in Frac-Pack Operations
- L. Capra (Agip) | G. Ripa (Agip) | G. Ferrara (Baker Hughes Inteq) | R. Travis (Baker Hughes Inteq)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 1998
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 30 - 35
- 1998. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.5.8 History Matching, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3.2.8 Well Performance Modeling and Tubular Optimization, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 2.4.6 Frac and Pack, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.3.1 Production Logging
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In the Adriatic offshore area, conventional cased-hole gravel-pack completions have generally produced low flow efficiencies (10 to 50%) from the multilayered reservoirs of low-to-medium gas permeability (1 to 50 md). This has been attributed to the poor communication between the wellbore and the producing layers, caused by limited exposure of the interval and poor filling of the perforation tunnels with gravel. This is confirmed by openhole gravel-pack (OHGP) completions where much higher flow efficiencies are observed.
The frac-pack technique, which combines gravel-pack and fracturing technologies, can improve communication between the layers in perforated completions by creating a vertical fracture with high conductivity and the injectivity necessary to fill the perforation tunnels. In addition, any existing near wellbore damage will be bypassed.
This paper reviews the field experience gained from over 80 fracpack operations that have been performed during the last 2 years in the thin, interbedded layers of poorly consolidated sand and shale commonly found in the Adriatic area. Owing to their relatively low permeability, these formations can be fractured with nonviscosified fluids at pump rates less than 1 bbl/min. Consequently, completion brine was selected as the treating fluid. To reduce operational time and costs, the frac-pack treatments were carried out with the gravel-pack assembly in place and injection rates of up to 7 bbl/min were used with gravel concentrations staged from 1 to 4 lbm/gal. Fluid losses were encountered after the frac-pack treatments and were controlled by spotting a small pill of drill-in fluid (containing calcium carbonate) that was sized to bridge inside the screens. This paper presents the production performance of the frac-pack completions and establishes guidelines for future applications of frac-pack operations in similar reservoirs.
The gas reservoirs in the Adriatic are frequently made up of interbedded layers of poorly consolidated sand and shale. Large amounts of silt and carbonates are present, and permeabilities range from 1 to 50 md. Multizone completions (Fig. 1) are necessary for efficient reservoir management because of the presence of numerous producing zones with varying permeabilities and pore pressures. Gravel packing has been used extensively to control sand production in new wells and during workover operations; OHGP completions have yielded extremely good results with an average flow efficiency (FE) of around 90%. Dual-zone OHGP completions have been realized, but they are generally considered impractical because of wellbore deviation, close proximity of adjacent water-bearing layers, and the operational risks and costs where milling of casing is required.
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