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Introduction to Well Stimulations

Learning Objectives

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You should be able to


Describe how flow capacity reduction can occur
Describe what is a good stimulation candidate
Name the three primary stimulation methods
Describe the difference between matrix and fracture stimulations
Describe the two types of fracturing technique for low and higher
perm formations

Topics
Well stimulation methods
Candidate selection for stimulations
Wellbore cleanout
Matrix treatments
Fracturing

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Well Stimulation

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Stimulation is a chemical or mechanical method of


increasing a wells flow capacity to (at least partially)
restore it or improve on its natural capacity

Reasons to Stimulate
Connect with natural fracture system
Increase effective drainage area
Produce complex reservoirs (e.g. discontinuous sand bars)
Reduce skin damage
Increase production efficiency or flow capacity
Overcome formation damage
Enhance production from low permeability wells

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Reasons to Stimulate
Post Stimulation Production Increase
600
500

Post-stim ulation
production

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Pre-stim ulation
production

BOPD

400
300

Well Stim ulation


200
100

Well Econom ic Lim it

0
0

20

40

60

T im e (m onths)

80

100

Increase Permeability Enlarge Channels

Low Permeability
Limestone

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Matrix Stimulation

Increase Permeability Remove Damage

Low Permeability
Sandstone

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Matrix Stimulation

Increase Permeability Add Channels

Low Permeability

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Fracturing Stimulation

Stimulation Candidate Selection


Almost always good candidates
Damaged wells
Tight reservoirs (low permeability);

Sometimes good candidates


Naturally fractured reservoirs
High permeability reservoirs

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Still require adequate reserves and perm

Stimulation Candidate Selection

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Generally poor candidates


If limited reserves
Low pressure reservoirs where fracture fluid flowback for cleanup is
difficult (in case of hydraulic fracturing)
Stimulation and reservoir fluids not compatible
If stimulation can penetrate water zones (water production)

Three Primary Methods of Stimulation


Wellbore Cleanout
Chemical and Mechanical
Treatment

Fluids not injected into formation

Matrix Treatment
Matrix Acidizing

Injection below frac pressure

Chemical Treatment
Fracturing
Propped Frac
Acid Frac

Injection above frac pressure

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Perforation Wash

Three Areas of Possible Reduction in Flow


Wellbore:
Wellbore:
Scale Damage
Sand Fill
Plugged Perforations
Paraffin Plugging
Asphalt Deposits
Etc.

Critical Matrix:

Drilling Mud Damage


Cement Damage
Completion Fluids
Production
Native Clays/Fines

A naturally low permeable reservoir

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Wellbore Cleanout
Primary Purpose :
Restore flow capacity by removing restrictive damage to fluid
flow in the wellbore.
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Methods :
Mechanical (jetting, milling, drilling, replace tubing)
Chemical Treatment (solvents)
Acidizing Treatment (dissolve contaminants)

Inorganic Scale Deposited in Tubing

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Organic Scale
Kuito Field, Angola - Napthenate Scale from Separator Sand Drain

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Inorganic Scale

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Tubing Scale Removal

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Tubing Scale Removal

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Matrix Treatments
Wellbore

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Damaged
region

Reservoir

rd

Critical Matrix

Area around the wellbore is called the Critical Matrix


All hydrocarbons must pass through the Critical Area
Critical Area has a very sharp pressure drop should have as little restriction as
possible

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Matrix Treatments
Pressure distribution for
same production rate

Pressure

Before stimulation

Stimulated zone

Distance from wellbore

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After stimulation

Matrix Stimulation - Highlights


Treat Sandstones or Carbonates below fracture pressure
Acid stimulation
Carbonates acid to improve on natural permeability near the
wellbore

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Sandstones restore (some) near wellbore natural permeability

Matrix Acidizing (Sandstones)


Wellbore

Damaged region
rd

Radial penetration of acid to eliminate near-wellbore damage


Works best in
Severely damaged formations (S >>0)
Moderate- to high-permeability formations (k>>1 md)

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Reservoir

Matrix Acidizing-Sandstone: Constituents of Sandstone


Secondary
Cement
(Carbonate
Quartz)

Quartz

*Feldspars

Clays
(Pore filling
i.e., Kaolinite)

*Chert
Remaining Pore Space

*Mica

*Porosity-Filling
Minerals
*Mud Acid Soluble/Sensitive

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Clays
(Pore lining
i.e., illite)

Matrix Acidizing-Sandstone: Dissolution Reactions

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Quartz
SiO2 + 4HF
SiF4 + 2H2O
SiF6SiF4 + 2FAlumino-silicates (example of K-Feldspar)
KAlSi3O8 + 18HF
K+ + 2H+ + AlF2+ + 3SiF62- + 8H2O
Silica hexaflouride further hydrolyzes creating silica gel
SiF62- + 8H2O
Si(OH)4 + 4H3O+ + 6FAs silica concentration increases, some of hexa fluorosilicate is converted to fluorosilicic
acid
SiF62- + 2H3O+
H2SiF6 + 2H2O
This fluorosilicic acid can undergo further acid reactions

Matrix Acidizing-Carbonate
Before

After

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Carbonate formation, creation of high conductivity wormholes

Wormhole Pattern from Radial Flow


Acid

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spent
acid

Acid Selection
Acid
HCl

Strength

Formations

15 - 28 % by weight Carbonate
Silica
Sandstones
Invaded by
drilling mud

Highly corrosive
(above 250F)
HCl is used prior to
treatment to remove
Ca++
Highly Corrosive

Mud Acid

9%HCl+ 1% HF

Acetic

10% by weight

Carbonate

Expensive but less


corrosive than HCl

Carbonate

Less corrosive than


HCl.
More corrosive and
less expensive than
Acetic acid

Formic

9% by weight

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Comments

Hydraulic Fracturing
Process of using hydraulic pressure to create an artificial fracture
in a reservoir
Fluid pumped
into well

Two fracture
wings

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Pro nd
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Hydraulic Fracturing-Objective
Increase well productivity (or injectivity) by creating a high
conductive path (compared to the reservoir permeability) some
distance away from the wellbore
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Hydraulic Fracturing

Fracture Closure Stress

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Create fracture
Maintain Conductivity by
preventing the fracture from
closing

Fracture prevented from closing


by Proppant

Orientation, Growth and Height of a Fracture


In-Situ Stress Is the Most Dominant Property Affecting Fractures
Overburden Pressure 1

Least Principal Stress 3


(i.e. Vertical Fracture)

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Favoured Fracture Direction 2

Fracture Geometry & Orientation


horz1

Horz 2
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Case A

Hydraulic fractures are always perpendicular to the minimum stress except where
the overburden stress is low

Vertical Or Horizontal Fracture

Horizontal fracture with a pancake like


geometry. Usually associated with
shallow wells of less than 3,000 ft. depth

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Vertical fracture plane is perpendicular


to earths surface due to overburden
stress being too great to overcome

Hydraulic Fracturing Highlights


Pump mixture of fluid at high pressure
The fracture grows in

height
width
Highly conductive flow path minimizes near wellbore pressure drop
Provides conduit for flow to wellbore, particularly in low
permeability formations
May connect with natural fracture system

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Length

Hydraulic Fracturing Highlights


Connecting Lenticular Reservoirs

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Hydraulic Fracturing Highlights


Naturally Fissured Systems

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Sub - Parallel Fissures

Orthogonal Fissures

Hydraulic Fracturing - Types


Propped Fracturing Primarily used in Sandstone formations,
has also been used in Carbonates
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Acid Fracturing Used in Carbonate formations

Proped Frac

open fracture
during job

1/2"

Sand used to prop the


frac open

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fracture tends to close


once the pressure has been
released

Propped Hydraulic Fracturing


Sand proppant
Blender

Wellhead
Fluid

Tubing
Fracture
Proppant

Pay

Fracturing
Fluid

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Pumper

Propped Fracturing Process

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Internal pressure
breaking the
formation

Fracture propagation

Introducing proppant
agent into the
fracture and flushing
leaveing a propped
fracture

Increased flow area


resulting from a
fracture

Proppant Frac (sandstone)


Fracture is kept open with proppant

Natural Sand
Man made Ceramics

Controlled size for maximum


permeability

Can be used in carbonates in some


cases (chalk)

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Proper Mesh Size

Hydraulic Fracturing
Low Permeability Sandstones:
Fracture length is most important

Conductivity is more important than length (short, fat fracs)


fracs)

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High Permeability Sandstone Formations:

Hydraulic Fracturing
Low perm formation
Try to create long conduit for matrix to drain into

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Hydraulic Fracturing
High perm formation
Fluid gets through reservoir well enough, aim is to minimise pressure
drop near the wellbore
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Acid Frac

open fracture
during job

1/2"

acid etched frac walls

Acid fracture closes, but irregular etching provides a path for flow

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fracture tends to close


once the pressure has been
released

Acid FRAC

(carbonate)

Fracture prevented from closing


by Edging

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Acid Fracturing (carbonate)


an high conductivity channel
is created by dissolving part of
the fractures face with acid.
Dissolution should not be
uniform in order to leave a
roughness sufficient to
maintain preferential channels
along the fracture.

Acid Fracturing Basics


Acid is injected above fracturing pressure
- A hydraulic fracture is created
Limestone and Dolomite

Length of etched fracture


- Determined by acid type, volume,
strength, leakoff parameters, reaction rate
and spending rate.
Effectiveness determined by
- Fracture length
- Fracture conductivity

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Fracture faces are dissolved and etched


- Conductive channels are created

Acid Fracturing
Carbonate Formations
No propping agents
Pad creates fracture
Acid-spent volume and reaction rate determine treatment
effectiveness
Fracture conductivity ratio and production increase determine
success
Generally in high volume jobs, pump alternate pad/acid stages
Leakoff control is important to maximise fracture length

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Acid differentially etches fracture faces and penetrates formation

Acid Fracturing
Acid v Propped Fracturing in Carbonate formations

Consider propped frac if


High closure stresses
Mushy rock
For long term productivity versus shorter term higher rates
Remember, in an acid frac there is no proppant to hold the frac open.....

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Acid frac gives very high (effectively infinite) conductivity fracture


and is generally used

Fracturing Consideration
Gas

Oil

Water

Fracture extending
into water and
gas zones

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Fracture treatment design


Should avoid unwanted
production areas, e.g.,
gas or water zones

Low perm, long frac length

W i t h S ti m u l a t i o n
No
S t i m u l a ti o n

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F lo w R ate

Low and High Perm Formations

E co n o m i c
Limit

F lo w R ate

ti m e

High perm, short, highly


conductive fracture

W ith S tim u latio n


N o S tim u la tio n
E co n o m ic
L im it
T im e

Low and High Perm Formation-Differences

Low perm, long frac length


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C u m u lat iv e
P ro d u cti o n

U ltim ate R ec o v er y
W ith S t im u l atio n

U lti m ate R eco v er y


N o S tim u latio n

C u m u la tiv e
P ro d u ctio n

tim e
U lti m a te
R eco v ery
N o S tim u la tio n
W it h S tim u la tio n

T im e

High perm, short, highly


conductive fracture

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END