Operator faced low fracture conductivity and proppant flowback
The Volga-Urals basin is one of the oldest and largest oil-producing
regions in western Russia. Today, after decades of prolific productivity, most
of the region’s Devonian reservoirs are depleted, requiring hydraulic
fracturing treatments for economic production.
While fracturing is a standard completion method for wells producing
from Devonian formations throughout Russia, the operator quickly discovered
that wells in the Orenburg region responded differently. The depleted reservoir
pressure and multiphase flow led to poor fracturing fluid efficiency and
proppant flowback issues. To combat premature screenout, the operator used
large pad volumes and special fluid-loss additives. However, those techniques
drastically limited production.
Channel fracturing and unconventional proppant increased stimulation
To overcome poor fracture conductivity, the operator decided to try
stimulating 20 wells with the HiWAY flow-channel fracturing technique.
Schlumberger used pulsed pumping techniques and engineered fibers to create
stable, open flow channels within the fracture.
After initial success with the HiWAY technique, Schlumberger recommended
using RodPROP high-aspect- ratio proppant in the final stage to maximize
near-wellbore conductivity and enhance proppant flowback control in the 20
wells. Made up of high-strength cylindrical particles, the unconventional shape
of RodPROP proppant forms a consolidated proppant pack with improved
permeability and stability compared with conventional proppant.
Technology combination increased average productivity by 99% in mature
A production study was performed for the first 20 wells treated with
HiWAY technique and 32 wells using conventional fracturing techniques revealed
that, on average, wells treated with HiWAY technique and RodPROP proppant had
99% higher productivity than the closest offset wells, verifying effective
performance in treating these depleted Devonian formations. In addition, the
treatments eliminated screenouts and proppant flowback issues, allowing the
operator to design advanced fracturing treatments with larger proppant mass,
higher proppant concentration, and larger propped width.