Stimulation Flowback Management: Keeping a Good Completion Good
All oil and gas well stimulation processes, but particularly hydraulic fracturing, require a post-stimulation flow period to prepare the well for long-term production. Many consider this period to be the most critical time in the life of the well. Intensive management of flowback and evaluation of available performance information during flowback can yield significant improvements in the well’s long-term performance. Further, that information provides the basis for modification of future stimulation and well management strategies. Excessive flowback rates can cause proppant flowback or fracture collapse. Insufficient flowback rates can incur liabilities as well. Postponement of flowback commencement after treatment and shut-ins during flowback can impact future well performance. The time from cessation of flowback to commencement of sustained production can also affect long-term well quality.
This presentation will demonstrate that by collecting the appropriate data in the proper time frame, assessment of the impact of various flowback strategies and their real-time modification are feasible. It is often possible to assess such factors as proppant pack conductivity, fracture length, and the impact of the onset of multi-phase flow. These data can also contain very useful information regarding the characteristics of the reservoir, such as transmissibility and isotropy, as well as facilitating an evaluation of the impact of liquid loading. Several case histories will be presented.
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