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Increasing Oil Production by Hydraulic Fracturing in the Hassi Messaoud Cambrian Formation, Algeria (SPE 36904)


Between 1990 and 1996, over 100 hydraulic fracture stimulations were performed, resulting in an average production increase of 700 bopd per well.   Tip Screen Out fractures were designed to maximize conductivity, with up to 300,000 lbs of 20/40 and 12/20 HSP placed at concentrations up to 15 lb/gal. The results in Hassi Messaoud published by McGowen et al. strongly demonstrate that the creation of wider, higher conductivity fractures was key to maximizing production.


Since 1990, over 100 hydraulic fracturing treatments have been performed in the Hassi Messaoud (HMD) field in the northeastern part of central Algeria, resulting in an average production increase per well of 700 BOPD. The success of the stimulation program in this 11,150 ft deep, Cambrian-age sandstone formation depended on overcoming the combination of the following treating conditions.

  • slotted liner and openhole completions in most wells
  • reservoir thickness of 200 to 500 ft
  • Young's moduli of 8 to 12E6 psi
  • fracturing pressures of 0.8 to 1.2 psi/ft
  • low reservoir pressures of 0.15 to 0.45 psi/ft
  • formation permeabilities of 0.5 to 50 md
  • moderately high temperature of 245 F
  • underlying low-stress saltwater formations

Prefrac injection tests and temperature logs were run on almost every well to allow treatment optimization. Proppant amounts range from 10,000 to 300,000 lb of 20/40 and 12/20 sintered bauxite at concentrations up to 15 lb/gal; tip-screenout designs were used on most treatments to maximize fracture conductivity.

The collection of comprehensive data in uncommon formation characteristics has led to a much better understanding of the controlling factors in predicting treatment performance. Descriptions of fracturing behavior, well preparation, and production results are presented.

Author(s): Sonatrach, James M. McGowen, Halliburton Energy Services; Amar Benani, Abdelhak Ziada

Paper Number: SPE 36904

URL: https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/SPE-36904-MS


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