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Fracturing With Height Control Extends the Life of Mature Reservoirs in the Pannonian Basin

Hydraulic proppant fracturing is an effective tool in mature, low-permeability reservoirs found in the Pannonian Basin. However, for wells already producing with high water cut, even a small fracture extension into a water-bearing zone offsets the gains in hydrocarbon production. Fracture-geometry-control (FGC) techniques limit increases in water cut. The complete paper describes the first implementation of a solution to control fracture height for conventional wells in the Pannonian Basin. An integrated engineering approach was applied, including a new proppant-transport model to predict fracture geometry improvement using the FGC solution.

Decreased Recovery in A and B Fields

Oilfield A began producing in 1984. In addition to an interruption by the war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, production has been in decline, and most wells are at risk of being shut in because of low production rates. During the last 10 years, propped fracturing was integrated into the production strategy for this mature field.

Field A comprises Lower Pontian (Miocene) sandstones. Another sandstone formation exists between 5 and 15 m below the production target reservoir, with high water saturation as confirmed by log analysis and well testing. The proximity of the oil target to the ­water-bearing interval still presents a risk to production considering that hydraulic fracturing is required to extend field life.

An impermeable shale streak that may act as a geomechanical barrier exists below the target formation. With a lower risk of fracture propagation into the water zone, Field A was one of the first candidate fields for propped fracturing and was later considered for advanced fracture-height-control techniques to prevent the increase of water cut after stimulation. Hydraulic fracturing would not be trialed in Field B—the characteristics of which are provided in the complete paper—until the advanced height-control techniques had been proved on the basis of experience with Field A.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 200588, “Fracturing With Height Control Extends the Life of Mature Reservoirs: Case Studies From the Pannonian Basin,” by Ruslan Malon, SPE, Independent, and Jonathan Abbott, SPE, and Ludmila Belyakova, SPE, Schlumberger, et al., prepared for the 2020 SPE Europec featured at the 82nd EAGE Conference and Exhibition, originally scheduled to be held in Amsterdam, 1–3 December. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Fracturing With Height Control Extends the Life of Mature Reservoirs in the Pannonian Basin

01 January 2021

Volume: 73 | Issue: 1

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