System improves ability to detect location of proppants in reservoir
Hart Energy E&P, July 2017
About 100 billion pounds mass of proppant is used annually in global unconventional reservoirs, with the location of the proppant critical to understanding reservoir drainage, well spacing and stage spacing. However, proppant detection has traditionally been limited to near-wellbore measurements. CARBO has developed a method to detect proppant in the far field, known as QUANTUM quantified propped reservoir volume imaging.
The QUANTUM method, now in the field trial phase, uses electromagnetic principles. A transmitter source and an array of electric and magnetic field sensors are located at the surface, and a current signal with a unique wave form and frequency is transmitted to the bottom of the wellbore via a standard electric line unit.
An electrically conductive proppant is pumped into the stages of interest. The electric and magnetic fields are measured before and after the detectable proppant stages, and a novel analysis method is then employed to process and invert these differenced data to create an image of the propped reservoir volume.
QUANTUM is designed to identify the exact location of proppant in fractures. The program also assists in understanding well drainage and spacing, stage and perforation cluster spacing, vertical fracture coverage, and the impact of fracture design changes.