Optimized Shale Resource Development: Proper Placement of Wells and Hydraulic Fracture Stages
Baker Hughes Inc, Houston, TX.
Shale resource development technology is being improved and optimized for the last five years as the industry has seen a sharp rise in the contribution of hydrocarbons from these resources in North America and most recently from Europe and Australia while initial activities are on the rise in Latin America, China and India. Despite such improvements and optimization, if one takes a closer look at the performance of the wells, one will find that not all wells are producing commercially and for that matter even wells that are producing commercially not all hydraulic fracture stages are contributing. This described scenario potentially suggests that when dealing with shale resource (like most other hydrocarbon resources) we are faced with sweet spot identification in a basin / field and at the same time geometric (say every 250 ft. ) selection of hydraulic fracture stages is not appropriate.
In this paper we document that certain well defined criterion can be used to identify the sweet spot location within a field / basin for the optimal well placement. We further document the vital formation / zone characteristic related information that can define the placement for hydraulic fracture stages and thus move away from the arbitrary geometric placement.
The paper illustrates the well placement optimization process through a combination of seismic attribute analysis combined with petrophysical and geochemical analysis via core and geophysical log measurements. The hydraulic fracture stage placement analysis as presented in the paper shoulders on the need to understand existing natural fracture system through geophysical log measurements and the interaction between the created hydraulic bi-wing tensile fracture and the surrounding shear fractures typically in embracing the tensile fracture in an elliptical fashion.
The paper concludes by presenting examples from three basins demonstrating the practical application of the methodology discussed.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90155©2012 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Singapore, 16-19 September 2012