First Successful Proppant Fracturing Treatment in Cretaceous Carbonate formation in Kuwait – Part II Tuba Reservoir
Proppant fracturing treatments in sandstone formations are routinely executed in Kuwait, however when carbonate formations are the target, acid fracturing is the preferred treatment method. It has been observed that acid fracturing delivers a high initial production however maintaining a sustainable production rate is a challenge in the tight cretaceous carbonate formations in Kuwait. A production enhancement technique needed to be identified in order to deliver more sustainable production and maximize recovery from these carbonate formations. The first stage of the project focused on ascertaining the operational feasibility of proppant fracturing in a single layered Mauddud reservoir. This paper will focus on the operational implementation of multi-stage proppant fracturing in the multi-layered Tuba reservoir. (Nagarkoti, M., et al., 2018)
Based on global experience it was proposed that proppant fracturing can deliver more sustainable production rate as compared to acid fracturing. A predominant issue in previous acid fracturing treatments done in the Tuba reservoir has been fracture containment between layers. Proppant fracturing was also identified as a solution to mitigate this challenge.
Proppant fracturing had been previously attempted in Kuwait, however the attempts were evaluated as not being operationally successful. The steps that lead to the recent first successfully executed proppant fracturing treatment in carbonates in Kuwait has been documented in Part I of this paper series.
The cretaceous carbonate formations in North Kuwait are relatively shallow and are known to be tight and highly ductile. Due to the ductility of these formations, proppant placement and reduction of the fracture conductivity due proppant embedment were thought to be significant risks. During the course of the project, detailed core analysis and testing was conducted using formation core samples to ascertain the severity of this risk.
Lessons learnt in the first stage of this project were implemented prior execution to ensure that the planned proppant fracturing treatment would meet or exceed operational expectations.
Successful execution of this hydraulic fracturing treatment was pivotal in order to plan the future production strategies for the Tuba formation. A cautious approach needed to be followed as proppant placement was of paramount importance. Different strategies were incorporated in the fracturing workflow to ensure the success of the treatment and to maximize data collection in order to optimize future treatments and well placement. Multiple mini-fracs, temperature logs and pumping of novel non-radioactive tracer proppant were some of the techniques utilized.
During execution various decisions were taken real-time to ensure success of the treatment. It was observed that all parameters were consistent with the results of the core and laboratory testing conducted during the initial phase of the project which lead to optimizing the proppant placement.
The success of this treatment has been a game changer resulting in more wells being identified as candidates for proppant fracturing in this field.
Once proppant placement was established in the first stage of this project, an attempt was made to optimize fracture designs, fluids and treatment schedules. The lessons from these optimizations will help further design implementations in the next phase of this project including fracturing of horizontal multi-stage wells which will help ascertain the future production enhancement strategy for this field.
Authors: Shahvir Pooniwala (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Malvika Nagarkoti (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Anwar Alam (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Badriya Al-Enezi (Kuwait Oil Company) | Samir Aloun (Kuwait Oil Company) | Mohamad Al-Haddad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Sultan M Al-Harbi (Kuwait Oil Company) | Abdullah A Mubarak (Kuwait Oil Company) | Abdullah A Al-Ibrahim (Kuwait Oil Company)