Technical papers

Comprehensive Evaluation of Fractured Gas Wells Utilizing Production Data (SPE 60285)


The success of the Cotton Valley waterfracs was re-evaluated in the year 2000. After normalizing for drawdown and hydrocarbon column, the waterfracs produced 38.5% less gas in the first year than conventional fracs on direct offsets.    Analyses also suggested a loss in effective fracture half-length in waterfrac during first year, raising concerns for the durability of waterfracs


The ability to determine the effective half-length and conductivity of hydraulic fractures is important for estimating a well's long-term production performance. The determination of these properties, along with the formation effective permeability, can result in more accurate predictions of the ultimate hydrocarbon recovery. In very low permeability reservoirs, fracture half-length is the key to optimum reservoir development. Being able to quantify these properties also allows for improved understanding of the effects of treatment design changes. Post-treatment pressure buildup testing has been the most common method for determining the effective length of hydraulic fractures. One of the major drawbacks of the pressure transient test in very low permeability reservoirs is the extremely long shut-in time required to observe a sufficient amount of the fractured well transient behavior to properly characterize the formation and fracture properties. This long shut-in time is undesirable due to the fact that the well is not able to produce and generate revenue during this time.

This paper reports on the most recent results of an ongoing study of the production performance of hydraulically fractured wells. The focus of the study is a comparison of the performance of conventionally fractured wells and those that have been completed with the treated water and low proppant concentration (“waterfrac”) technique. A new evaluation technique for comparing the effectiveness of the treatments utilizing production data is introduced. The advantages and limitations of the production data analysis technique are discussed, as well as an improved understanding of the results of waterfrac treatments in low permeability gas reservoirs.

The use of a comprehensive suite of analysis techniques for the production performance of fractured wells to obtain estimates of fracture half-length, fracture conductivity and formation effective permeability is detailed. Specialized diagnostics, performance history matching with analytic solutions and specialized type curve analyses have been used for several areas to estimate the fracture and formation properties from the bilinear, formation linear and pseudo-radial flow regimes.

Author(s): K.W. England, B.D. Poe, J.G. Conger, Schlumberger Oilfield Services

Paper Number: SPE 60285



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