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Title: Well test analysis of infrequent flow behaviour of fractured wells in oil and gas reservoirs
Author: Amin, Aram
ISNI:       0000 0005 0732 4013
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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The purpose of hydraulic fracturing is to increase the contact area of the wellbore in the reservoir to maximise production rates. For modelling purposes, the induced fracture is assumed to be of infinite or finite conductivity. The modelled fracture tends to show either features of infinite conductivity with half slope or finite conductivity with quarter slope at early time. These flow behaviours are clear indications of a stimulated well. However, observations in some post-frac well tests report a single unit slope in early time, which indicates non-fractured well response. The objective of this study is to investigate the unusual flow behaviour associated with the testing of fractured wells following a proppant frac job and address reasons for this behaviour assuming the frac job has targeted the reservoir interval of interest. This infrequent behaviour is referred to briefly in a limited number of publications but with no clear explanation. Study suggests that the controlling factors are fracture length, fracture conductivity, non-Darcy flow in the case of gas wells and the damage caused by the fracture operation including choked fracture effect and less importantly fracture face skin. This study utilizes 3-D numerical black oil and compositional simulation in single and multi-layered reservoirs containing different fluid types. A range of factors are examined that may impact the introduced fracture flow behaviour based on actual fractured well flow features found in the literature. The main fracture and reservoir parameters investigated include: fracture half-length (xf), fracture conductivity (kfwf), fracture damage including fracture choke (Sfc) and fracture face skin (Sff), non-Darcy effect, formation permeability and many others. The study also examines fractured well behaviour in naturally fractured reservoirs and gas-condensate (lean and rich) reservoirs to investigate liquid drop out effect on the induced fracture flow behaviour. It is concluded that the investigated fracture behaviour is likely to be associated with damaged fractures of short lengths and low fracture conductivity values, which often result from poorly executed frac job on the well. Knowledge obtained from the study is applied to the analysis of well tests from actual fractured wells. Understanding the flow behaviour of fractured wells is crucial to operators and service companies in evaluating the effectiveness of stimulation work performed on the well.
Supervisor: Gringarten, Alain Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral