Introduction to Hydraulic Fracturing Practices in the Oil and Gas Industry

Monday, May 11, 2015 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Keller 3-180
Brice Lecampion (Schlumberger-Doll Research), Alexei Savitski (Shell International Exploration & Production, Inc)
In this lecture the fundamentals of hydraulic fracturing are reviewed including the objective of the hydraulic fracturing stimulation, key physical processes and associated parameters, the treatment design methodology, and how a fracturing job is performed in the oil field. We will first focus on a vertical-well and single-entry fracture treatment, for which important concepts (height containment, typical propagation regime, fluid selection and schedule, near-wellbore issues, proppant coverage etc.) are introduced. Then we will discuss the stimulation of horizontal wells typical in unconventional reservoirs. The uncertainties associated with key physical processes are emphasized.

We introduce a number of measurements and diagnostics (complementary to micro-seismic data) that can help monitoring a treatment or improving future fracturing treatments. The pre-treatment fracture diagnostic test will be discussed in some detail as interpretation of the data from such tests can benefit from a rigorous inversion scheme. We also highlight a number of challenging inverse problems associated with these measurements (pressure decline analysis, step rate tests, distributed temperature sensors etc.).