The objective of this project is to research, develop, and test new techniques for creating extensive conductive hydraulic fractures in unconventional tight gas reservoirs. The project has two main components: 1) development and analysis of a database of information from hundreds of fracturing treatments applied in U.S. basins that can be used to relate production performance to stimulation practices, and 2) development and application of a new type of dynamic fracture conductivity test for laboratory investigations of fracturing practices in tight gas reservoirs.
Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Tight gas reservoirs are found at many depths. The key to economically producing gas from tight gas sand formations is to create long, highly conductive flow paths (hydraulic fractures) to stimulate flow from the reservoir to the wellbore. This project aims to develop better methods for optimizing hydraulic fracture treatments in unconventional tight gas reservoirs by evaluating the productivity achieved in hundreds of completed field treatments and by carrying out laboratory measurements of the conductivity of fractures created with high-rate proppant fracturing techniques.
Laboratory testing will focus on development and application of an entirely new conductivity test—the dynamic fracture conductivity test. In these tests, the laboratory researchers will inject proppant/frac fluid slurries under realistic field conditions, then shut in the conductivity cell to simulate the conditions under which conductivity is actually created. By applying this fresh approach to determining the manner in which proppant is placed and fracture conductivity is created in low-permeability gas wells, the project team hopes to develop novel, systematic treatment design procedures that will inform the next generation of hydraulic fracturing technology for tight sandstone reservoirs.
The project performer has accomplished the following:
The proposed work is aimed at improving hydraulic fracturing practices in tight gas reservoirs that cannot be economically developed without the use of hydraulic fracturing. The results from this project will directly impact understanding of the relative effectiveness of various fracturing practices in tight gas basins throughout the United States. This will lead to better treatment designs, higher-productivity completions, lower completion and treatment costs, and additional reserves.
This project was initiated on April 3, 2006. The project kick-off meeting was held May, 2006. Task 1, preparation of a Research Management Plan, has been completed. For this task, the performer developed a work breakdown structure and supporting material that concisely summarizes the objectives and approach for each task, including detailed schedules and planned expenditures.
This project does not have funding to continue. The final report is due.
$83,574 (20% of total)