Fracture Height Growth Modeling in Layered Formations – Comparison of Modeled and Observed Data
Vibhas J. Pandey (ConocoPhillips Company)
Accurate prediction of fracture height growth from hydraulic fracturing treatments, especially in highly layered or laminated formations, is crucial not only from well performance perspective but also from planning and treatment design viewpoint. Understanding of critical parameters that govern the fracture height growth in heterogenous formations is essential to developing suitable well completion strategies that are specific to the reservoir.
This presentation reviews the typical fracture heights observed during the treatments, and then describes the construciton of a semi-analytical fracture height prediction model and its application to several real-world cases covering a variety of reservoirs ranging from traditional low permeability sandstones to coalbed methane and shale reservoirs worldwide. The treatment types include conventional fracturing treatments, foamed fractures and slickwater fracturing treatments.
The model-predicted fracture heights agree reasonably with those determined from field measurements such as tracer and microseismic survey in vertical and horizontal well completions. With the introduction of fluid flow induced pressure distributions in the fracture, along with the velocity-based fracture toughness calculations, the traditional uncertainties in input data are mostly eliminated, and accurate predictions can be made. The analysis also reveals typical fracture growth patterns that are dependent on injection rate and corroborated with interesting observations in the field.
Key Takeaway: The critical parameter of fracture height can be predicted with reasonable accuracy even in highly layered formations and the designed fracture heights can be achieved in the field with implementation of formation-specific hydraulic fracturing treatment designs.
Vibhas Pandey has over 30 years of experience in oil and gas industry and currently works as an Engineering Fellow with ConocoPhillips in their Global Completions Engineering group in Houston. He is a well-stimulation expert primarily foccused on hydrualic/acid fracturing modeling, treatment design, field support and optimization, and has authored several technical papers including 2 chapters in recently published SPE Monograph. Mr. Pandey holds Bachelor’s and Masters’ degree in Mechanical Engineering (India), Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering (Univerity of Oklahoma), and is currently pursuing PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Unversity of North Dakota where he also serves as Adjunct Faculty.