Tech Paper: Refracturing Design for Underperforming Unconventional Horizontal Reservoirs

Refracturing Design for Underperforming Unconventional Horizontal ReservoirsComparison of different Haynesville shale refracturing design treatments, results, and diagnostics

This paper discusses refracturing design considerations to increase the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) on underperforming wells in a refracturing scenario. A method for, and case histories of, using an environmentally acceptable, self-removing particulate diverter that has proven to be successful in the refracturing efforts of horizontal unconventional reservoirs are provided. This method is typically chosen for its low cost, self-assembly, and self-removal. An outline of the design process for refracturing and post-refracturing procedures is included. The ability to add reservoir contact, restore conductivity, remediate blockage, and address depleted reservoir pressure make this technique desirable.

Different strategies can be applied when using this technique and are typically customized to the particular candidate well selected for the refracturing treatment. The treatment designs for the wells discussed in this paper were designed to increase EUR. Candidate wells for refracturing typically fall into one or more categories: understimulation occurred in the original completion, production damaging mechanisms are present, a low investment lease retention strategy was originally required, or a pressure-sink mitigation strategy is necessary for infill completions. Candidates in this paper fall into the understimulated category. A typical procedure consists of casing inspection, wellbore cleanout, possible addition of perforations, and flowback considerations.

In this study, different Haynesville shale refracturing treatments, results, and diagnostics are compared. The evolution of treatment design components, such as carrier fluid, fluid volume, proppant volume, and diverting methodology, is explained. The results and underlying theory of these changes are outlined. Pre/post-treatment production is compared, along with treatment pressure trend analysis and microseismic data.

Although performing secondary stimulation treatments is becoming more common, the industry’s focus on improving production decline curves has led to a surging interest in refracturing horizontal unconventional reservoirs. Decline rates in unconventional reservoirs tend to be more rapid compared to conventional reservoirs because of their ultralow permeability, limited reservoir contact, and original completion strategy. Refracturing of these reservoirs enables the recovery of hydrocarbons trapped by these restrictions.

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Source: SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, 13-15 October 2015, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

Authors: J. T. Krenger (Devon Energy) | J. Fraser (Devon Energy) | A. J. Gibson (Devon Energy) | A. Whitsett (Halliburton) | J. Melcher (Halliburton) | S. Persac (Halliburton)

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