Abrasive Jet Perforating and Fiber-Enhanced Proppant Plug Isolation Improve Efficiencies in Multistage Horizontal Completions
The process of abrasive jet perforating deployed on coiled tubing (CT),
fracturing down the CT and casing annulus, and isolation with proppant plugs
has proven beneficial in reducing completion costs and improving operational
efficiencies in multistage stimulation applications. Unlike conventional plug
and perforation techniques, this process can be done in a single trip, allowing
the well to be put on production immediately after the treatment because no
bridge plugs have to be drilled.
However, in horizontal well applications, achieving isolation with
proppant plugs can be very challenging due to gravity effects, proppant plug
integrity concerns, and ease of fracturing the formation. Adding degradable
fibers to proppant plugs has proven successful in achieving good isolation
between stages in horizontal wellbores. The fibers not only help create
bridging at the perforations, but they also keep the proppant from settling to
the bottom of the pipe; thereby maintaining the integrity of the proppant plug.
This approach has been successfully used in several abrasive jetting fracturing
treatments in horizontal wells in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Well
completion times have been reduced from over a week to only two to three days
while allowing for more intervals to be selectively stimulated. Initial
production results from the wells completed with the new technique have
considerable improvement compared to previous stimulation methods.