Intelligent Hydraulic Fracturing (FRACGAS III)

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 Benefits to partners

  • Direct contribution to the further development of the Hydraulic Fracture modelling
  • Early access to the new features and enhancements
  • Reduced licence fees for a fixed duration
  • 1 fully processed well log and simulated 3D fracture – well log of the partners choice
  • Proppant assessment of partner specific material

 

Overview of Developments and Enhancements

  • Database of North American Unconventional Plays – this will include other worldwide plays based on data availability
  • Wellbore Hydraulics Incorporated into Simulation
  • Arbitrary Well Trajectories
  • Quick-look Assessments (analytics calibrated through full-physics modelling)
  • DFIT Analysis – Templates set-up
  • Acid Fracture Modelling
  • Near Wellbore Perforation Modelling
  • Simulation Speed Efficiency
  • Laboratory Scale Testing
    • Rockfield will collaborate with Fractech Labs (Woking, U.K.) to provide a laboratory study to investigate the Comparative Pack Stability of Proppants under Simulated Fracture Conditions to capture Proppant flowback in Shale Plays.
    • Rockfield will develop comprehensive fluid and proppant databases including all findings from the lab scale model – for each partner the database will include their specific data set.

 

Background

Rockfield have over the past number of years been involved in the development of the first ever full physics software solution to the modelling of Hydraulic Fracturing.

Entering its third phase of development, Rockfield are now looking for sponsors to further enhance and incorporate new features to the Elfen Geomechanical Software suite. The existing software already enables O&G operators and service companies to model the following: -

  • Mixed mode fracturing,
  • The limited entry technique (LET) for efficient simultaneous hydraulic fracturing treatment of multiple zones using new perforation pressure drop model,
  • Improved fracture tip evolution behaviour.

The final version will be available initially to sponsors in November 2018 that will include updates to the UI to enhance ease of use, and the availability of multi hydraulic stimulation fluids.

 

 

New Features

 

Database of North American Unconventional Plays

Rockfield will collate numerous well logs from major North American unconventional plays.  These will be processed to extract the relevant data inputs for simulations.  A simulation of a 3D hydraulic fracture will be conducted and the results made available to the partners; furthermore template projects for each play will be provided to the partners. 

Additionally, Rockfield will process a well log provided by each partner and run 3D hydraulic fracture simulation.  The project and results will be provide to the partner. 

 

Wellbore Hydraulics Incorporated into Simulation

The pressure along the wellbore will be varied to account to frictional losses, hydrostatic pressures and other such hydraulic aspects.  This pressure variation will account for the local velocity of the fluid along the well.  This may reveal aspects such as longer heel fractures as commonly seen in the field.

 

Arbitrary Well Trajectories

Currently well trajectories are considered straight.  A new method will be implemented whereby the full well trajectory can be imported.  The measured depths of the perforation can then be assigned.

 

Quick-Look Assessments

Analytics calibrated through full-physics modelling

Typical quick look assessments of log data include ‘fracability’ which can provide an indication of the propensity of each location in a unit to fracture.  However, it is proposed that fracability is derived from an insufficient parameter space, and would benefit from the output of a ‘full-physics’ approach such as Elfen simulations.  Therefore, by using full-physics simulations to calibrate log based analytics can close the circle on quick and detailed assessments allowing, for example, quick assessment of landing depth and fracture growth in laminated plays.

 

DFIT Analysis

With templates set up

The DFIT simulations will use the Elfen technology as used for field scale modelling, however this will need to be focused on the near wellbore.  The shut-in representation will be key and hence the flow along DFNs and the induced fracture are important aspects to capture.  Rockfield will develop and set up template models to be used for DFN charaterisation which will aim to provide the operator a fuller understanding of field DFIT observations.

 

Acid Fracture Modelling

The process of acid fracturing will be captured in terms of enlarging the fracture aperture (without mechanical deformation) relative to the exposure time to the acid.  At this stage the influence of acid fracturing will be represented by an increase the aperture (and hence hydraulic conductivity) and large width to accommodate proppant.  The dissolves formation particles will not be represented in this current phase of development.

 

Near Wellbore Perforation Modelling

Elfen has a module which is designed specifically for near-wellbore modelling.  An aspect of this module is perforation modelling and the initialisation of hydraulic fractures.  This feature will be developed to be available commercially within a dedicated user interface.  Furthermore, the output of this modelling will be focused to provide input to the field scale hydraulic fracture models (fracture shape, size and hydraulic conductivity). 

 

 

Enhancements

 

Simulation Speed Efficiency

The simulation elapse time will be reduced by a number of approaches such as: coupling frequency, fracturing frequency, parallel processing, element coarsening and introduction of boundary elements.  Additionally, based on the modelling purpose certain simplifications may be applied to the modelling – such as a first pass simulation of multi-clusters/wells and stages. 

 

 

Laboratory Scale Testing

 

  • Rockfield will collaborate with Fractech Labs (Woking, U.K.) to provide a laboratory study to investigate the Comparative Pack Stability of Proppants under Simulated Fracture Conditions to capture Proppant flowback in Shale Plays.
  • Rockfield will develop comprehensive fluid and proppant databases including all findings from the lab scale model – for each partner the database will include their specific data set.

 The specific purpose of this work is to compare the flowback resistance of various proppant sizes, shapes under field conditions of closure stress and temperature. These uncoated systems will demonstrate flowback control influenced by their particle size, shape, friction angle and other mechanical effects. The conditions pertain to Unconventional Wells and hence it is expected to test small sand samples at low proppant loadings. It is known the 40/70 and 100 mesh sand may be unstable in the fracture even at less than 0.5lb/ft2.

The JIP will include elements to look at shale interactions and how these effect the stability of the shale proppant interface. Each participant will have one specific test run under their reservoir conditions to provide direct input to their field operations. Stability envelopes will be developed for different proppants currently in use and guidelines to controlled clean up to mitigate local drag forces and minimise proppant movement will be run.

It is planned that in year 1 a total of 30 flowback tests will be run with back up supporting tests including some conductivity tests and other hybrid tests.

 

Benefits to partners

  • Direct contribution to the further development of the Hydraulic Fracture modelling
  • Early access to the new features and enhancements
  • Reduced licence fees for a fixed duration
  • 1 fully processed well log and simulated 3D fracture – well log of the partners choice
  • Proppant assessment of partner specific material

 

What to do next?

If you would like to join this exciting JIP,

"Intelligent Hydraulic Fracturing",

then please contact Rockfield CEO John Cain using our Contact page - or by completing the form on the right. 

You will be provided with the full proposal once approval is concluded internally.

We anticipate a 1st January 2019 kick off for this project.

Regular meetings will be held with our American, Latin American, European and Middle East clients.

 

Participation fee: £70,000-£80,000 per annum (based on number of participants)

Term length: 3 years

Discount available on the Elfen tgr licence

Want to know more?

Fill in the form to request some more information about the project.

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