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Measuring Hydraulic Fracture Dimensions in Well Pairs Using Only Pressure Data

Measuring Hydraulic Fracture Dimensions in Well Pairs Using Only Pressure Data

Reservoir Evaluation & Production Optimization
←  SPE - Calgary Section

Reservoir Evaluation & Production Optimization Series:
Measuring Hydraulic Fracture Dimensions in Well Pairs Using Only Pressure Data

Date: Tuesday April 13th, 2021
Speaker: Kirby Nicholson, P.Eng
President, Pressure Diagnostics
Location: Webinar
A link will be sent to your preferred email the day of the event
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MST
SPE Member: Free Non- Member: $20


Pressure and stage volume are the least expensive, and most readily available, data for diagnostic analysis of hydraulic fracturing operations. Pressures collected in Diagnostic Fracture Injection Tests (DFITs), select toe-stage full-scale fracture treatments, and offset observation wells are used to demonstrate a simple workflow that is used to calculate fracture dimensions. The pressure data combined with Volume to First Response (Vfr) at an observation well is used to create a geometry model where calculation of fracture length, width, height and perforation cluster efficiency is determined. The producing fracture length of the observation well is also estimated.


PTA-derived Far-field Fracture Extension Pressure, FFEP, is demonstrated to be a superior measurement of net pressure when compared to Instantaneous Shut-In Pressure, ISIP. FFEP is determined and utilized in both DFITs and full-scale fracture inter-stage fall-off data. Additionally, the plotted shape and gradient of the observation-well pressure response can identify whether FDI’s are hydraulic or poroelastic (Figure 1) before a fracture stage is completed. This behavior may be used to change stage volume on the fly or to make design alterations before the next stage.

Figure 1:  Fracture Geometry Model with FDI Pressure Response Examples

Case studies are presented showing the full workflow required to generate the fracture geometry model. We discuss how to optimize these hydraulic fractures in hindsight (look-back) and what might have been done in real time during the completion operations given this workflow and field-ready advanced data-handling capability.

Speaker Bio:

Kirby Nicholson, P.Eng. has 30 years of diverse petroleum engineering experience and more than 10 years of shale, tight gas, and oil experience including hydraulic fracturing design, execution and analysis using PTA, RTA and now FDI pressure diagnostic methods. Kirby has led the publication of four SPE papers outlining the use of PTA for DFIT analysis. Kirby, with two senior colleagues, has now formed Pressure Diagnostics Ltd. to offer pressure data analysis services to operators engaged in any sub-surface energy development operations.

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April 13, 2021
From 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM