Technical papers

Lessons Learned from a Hundred Frac Packs in the Campos Basin (SPE 73722)


Aggressive TSOs with high proppant concentration are unquestionably superior in this field.  Fracture conductivity is maximized with high quality ceramic proppants, and field experience demonstrates that proppant diameter larger than indicated by Saucier's Criteria have successfully controlled fines production and improved productivity.


This paper presents the state of the art in frac packing learned from more than a hundred operations performed in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil.

Many reservoirs in the Campos Basin are clean tertiary age sandstones, very unconsolidated, with high to ultrahigh permeability. In this scenario, in order to get low skin completions, high conductivity fractures must be created. These can only be obtained with the use of aggressive tip screen out (TSO) techniques. For these reasons, no questions remain about the superiority of frac pack when compared with conventional gravel pack.

Since February 1996, when the first frac pack job was performed, many challenges have been overcome, especially those related to handling leak off in very high permeability and the correct use of rock mechanics properties for proper frac pack design. These include minifrac analysis for very low efficiency fracturing fluids, the use or not of spurt loss, how fracturing fluid efficiency is affected by prior calibration tests, horizontal stress anisotropy for unconsolidated sands, stress contrast for layered sandstone's, etc.

Others lessons have been learned such as: the need for high quality fluid, high quality proppant, good proppant placement, as well as calibration tests, real time design and BHTP data collection for all jobs (from electronic gauges or from live annulus).

Author(s): BJ Services, L.F. Neumann, C.A. Pedroso, Petrobras; L. Moreira, R.C. Bezerra de Melo

Paper Number: SPE 73722



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