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Technical Paper

New Age Fracture Mapping Diagnostic Tools-A STACK Case Study

SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, 24–26 January, The Woodlands, Texas, USA


SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, 24–26 January, The Woodlands, Texas, USA Abstract The application of learnings from an underground laboratory has led to significant completion changes in a world-class North American unconventional asset. Understanding the stimulated fracture geometry in unconventional reservoirs allows for optimal development of the asset. In this paper, we will review a case study comparing both new and commonly accepted technologies to quantify stimulated fracture geometry. The technologies applied to improve the understanding of fracture geometry in this case study include fiber optic monitoring (Distributed Acoustic Sensing and Distributed Temperature Sensing), borehole microseismic, electromagnetic imaging, offset well pressure monitoring with IMAGE Frac technology, water hammer analysis, and fracture modeling. The validation tools used include a production interference test, Rate Transient Analysis (RTA), Oil Soluble Tracers (OST), and Fracture Fluid Identifiers (FFI). Fiber optic monitoring was used to assess cluster efficiency, fluid and sand distribution per cluster and diverter effectiveness. Hydraulic half-lengths, heights, and fracture azimuth were estimated using a borehole microseismic system consisting of three vertical arrays and two horizontal arrays. Electromagnetic imaging provided insight on hydraulic half-length for 12 stages. Offset pressure monitoring provided hydraulic and propped half-lengths, heights, and fracture azimuth. The fracture model was calibrated using a diagnostic fracture injection test and vertical logs from the section of interest. Results from the technologies suggest an increase in well density is required to maximize the project net present value. The offset well pressure data coupled with fiber optic monitoring led to optimization of diverter applications. A variety of completion variables were tested, including fluid design, proppant size, perforation designs and diverter types, results have been integrated into an improved completion design.

Technical paper

URTEC-2432330-MS – Breakthrough in Hydraulic Fracture & Proppant Mapping: Achieving Increased Precision with Lower Cost

Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, August 1-3, 2016

San Antonio, Texas


Hydraulic fracturing has been instrumental in commercializing ultra-tight unconventional resources. Although hydraulic fracturing has been used for nearly half a century in more than a million wells, understanding and mapping hydraulic fracture growth remains a challenge for shales and ultra-tight reservoirs. A number of approaches have been taken to better understand and characterize hydraulic fractures in the subsurface, but a technology which can accurately map hydraulic fractures with minimal operational interference and negligible cost remains elusive. Microseismic based mapping is arguably the most ubiquitously deployed method, but this approach is costly and provides limited insight into characterizing hydraulic fractures. Alternative technologies for mapping hydraulic fractures are currently being explored, but many of these technologies provide only qualitative information or require expensive data acquisition tools. This paper discusses a novel hydraulic fracture and proppant mapping technology (IMAGE Frac), which is technically robust, easy to use, and low cost. The technology is founded upon basic poromechanic theory, utilizing measurements from surface pressure gauges during the stimulation process to determine the geometry, orientation, and spatial location of hydraulic fractures with higher precision than other traditional techniques, while providing insight into the proppant distribution. The data acquisition approach requires only minor deviations from traditional practices and can be implemented without impacting completions efficiency. This technology has been utilized successfully in over 30 wells in multiple plays including the Bakken and Eagle Ford and is targeted for deployment in several other plays in mid-2016. An overview of the technology is provided along with an in-depth discussion of the validation studies from both the field and simulations. Two case studies are provided, which show the potential of the technology to provide new insight and improve drilling and completions operations. The case studies illustrate specific examples of how this technology enables better selection of landing zones, proppant size, pumped volumes, well spacing, and overall completions strategy. A companion paper (Kampfer and Dawson, 2016) discusses the fundamentals of the technology and provides in-depth, simulation-based studies, which demonstrate the robustness of the technique.

Technical paper

ARMA-2016-843 – a Novel Approach to Mapping Hydraulic Fractures Using Poromechanic Principles

US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium

June 26-29, 2016

Houston, Texas