Screenouts and polymer damage limit fracturing effectiveness
PPL operates 29 wells in the rich Adhi Field in Pakistan. The preferred
completion method is hydraulic fracturing because of the low permeability of
the targeted Khewra and Tobra formations. Remote well locations create a
logistics challenge for large fracturing operations because of road conditions,
heavy vehicle availability, and delivery costs.
A third-party consulting company selected several early candidates for
stimulation and designed operations using hydraulic fracturing. However,
frequent screenouts reduced the stimulation efficiency, leading to costly
nonproductive time for these rig-supported operations followed by suboptimal
treatments with low proppant volumes.
To improve operational performance without detrimental reduction in
proppant pack conductivity, the consulting company redesigned treatments to
increase pad volumes and fluid system polymer loadings, trying to obtain better
proppant transport. This approach mitigated the screenout problem, but poor
fluid recovery during flowback resulted in only marginal production gains.
Fracture pathways improve flow and efficiency
Schlumberger recommended stimulation designs using the HiWAY technique.
The technique fundamentally changes the way proppant fractures generate
conductivity, creating open pathways inside the fracture instead of a solid
proppant pack. Hydrocarbons can then flow easily through the stable channels
rather than through the proppant. The technique optimizes connectivity between
the reservoir and the wellbore, resulting in infinite fracture
In addition, the technique significantly reduces water and proppant
consumption, simplifying logistics and reducing operational footprint.