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Please join us for the July YP Professional Event Luncheon with a presentation by Dave
Cramer, Senior Engineering Fellow, ConocoPhillips on the following topic:
Title: Executing Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments in Naturally Fractured Unconventional Reservoirs
Abstract: Extremely low inter-particle or inter-crystalline permeability (i.e., 50 nanodarcies or less) is a common if not defining characteristic of many unconventional reservoirs. In the above scenario, natural fracture networks can be essential in providing surface area and pathways for reservoir fluid flow to the created hydraulic fractures extending from the wellbore. Thus the reservoir area and volume drained by a given wellbore, and the ultimate hydrocarbon production, is often a strong function of the quality of interaction of natural fractures and hydraulic fractures. In favorable cases, the interaction process can re-open mostly healed or cemented natural fracture sets, significantly enhancing system permeability adjacent to the primary hydraulic fractures. In unfavorable cases, fracturing fluid flow into multiple natural fractures can result in excessive treatment pressures, near-wellbore proppant bridging and premature treatment termination.
This presentation covers a range of issues, and mitigating and balancing strategies as necessary, in executing hydraulic fracturing treatments in naturally fractured, unconventional reservoirs, as organized in the topical listing below.
Proppant and fracturing fluid:
- proppant distribution as impacted by fluid loss to natural fractures and the resulting impact on fracture conductivity;
- proppant induced pressure increase and its mitigation;
- fracturing fluid selection and viscosity management based on treating pressure response and potential for enhancing natural fracture permeability adjacent to the primary fracture.
- factors determining the potential for creating a large volume of enhanced natural fracture permeability feeding into the primary hydraulic fractures (i.e., stimulated reservoir volume) with large-scale treatments;
- impact of rock strength on hydraulic fracture complexity and stability;
- impact of horizontal stress bias and overall contrast of the three principal stresses;
- limits on injection rate magnitude and changes in high-clay and coaly intervals.
- cemented versus uncemented completions.
Diagnostics and modeling:
- use of fracture injection falloff tests to evaluate natural fracture flow capacity, characteristic treating pressure responses and associated mechanisms;
- usefulness of planar hydraulic fracturing models.