ADVANCED FRACTURING TECHNOLOGY FOR TIGHT GAS: AN EAST TEXAS FIELD DEMONSTRATION

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The primary objective of this research was to improve completion and fracturing practices in gas reservoirs in marginal plays in the continental United States. The Bossier Play in East Texas, a very active tight gas play, was chosen as the site to develop and test the new strategies for completion and fracturing. Figure 1 provides a general location map for the Dowdy Ranch Field, where the wells involved in this study are located. The Bossier and other tight gas formations in the continental Unites States are marginal plays in that they become uneconomical at gas prices below $2.00 MCF. It ... continued below

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Sharma, Mukul M. March 2005.

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The primary objective of this research was to improve completion and fracturing practices in gas reservoirs in marginal plays in the continental United States. The Bossier Play in East Texas, a very active tight gas play, was chosen as the site to develop and test the new strategies for completion and fracturing. Figure 1 provides a general location map for the Dowdy Ranch Field, where the wells involved in this study are located. The Bossier and other tight gas formations in the continental Unites States are marginal plays in that they become uneconomical at gas prices below $2.00 MCF. It was, therefore, imperative that completion and fracturing practices be optimized so that these gas wells remain economically attractive. The economic viability of this play is strongly dependent on the cost and effectiveness of the hydraulic fracturing used in its well completions. Water-fracs consisting of proppant pumped with un-gelled fluid is the type of stimulation used in many low permeability reservoirs in East Texas and throughout the United States. The use of low viscosity Newtonian fluids allows the creation of long narrow fractures in the reservoir, without the excessive height growth that is often seen with cross-linked fluids. These low viscosity fluids have poor proppant transport properties. Pressure transient tests run on several wells that have been water-fractured indicate a long effective fracture length with very low fracture conductivity even when large amounts of proppant are placed in the formation. A modification to the water-frac stimulation design was needed to transport proppant farther out into the fracture. This requires suspending the proppant until the fracture closes without generating excessive fracture height. A review of fracture diagnostic data collected from various wells in different areas (for conventional gel and water-fracs) suggests that effective propped lengths for the fracture treatments are sometimes significantly shorter than those predicted by fracture models. There was no accepted optimal method for conducting hydraulic fracturing in the Bossier. Each operator used a different approach. Anadarko, the most active operator in the play, had tested at least four different kinds of fracture treatments. The ability to arrive at an optimal fracturing program was constrained by the lack of adequate fracture models to simulate the fracturing treatment, and an inability to completely understand the results obtained in previous fracturing programs. This research aimed at a combined theoretical, experimental and field-testing program to improve fracturing practices in the Bossier and other tight gas plays.

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41326
  • DOI: 10.2172/861428 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 861428
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc791503

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  • March 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Aug. 23, 2016, 3:50 p.m.

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Sharma, Mukul M. ADVANCED FRACTURING TECHNOLOGY FOR TIGHT GAS: AN EAST TEXAS FIELD DEMONSTRATION, report, March 2005; Austin, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc791503/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.