Technical Paper: Barnett Shale Refracture Stimulations Using a Novel Diversion Technique

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 119636
Presentation Date: 2009
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Gas production from the unconventional Barnett Shale reservoir now exceeds 3 Bcf/d, which is more than 5% of total US dry-gas production. Typically Barnett Shale wells exhibit a rapid production decline following the initial hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment, so within 5 years an operator is normally faced with a well producing below its economic threshold. To keep up with current gas demand, operators have moved to an aggressive horizontal drilling and completion program. Additionally, in an effort to increase the productivity of existing wells and book additional reserves at reduced cost, operators have restimulated their older vertical wells with demonstrable success.

This paper describes a new fracture diversion technique particularly adapted for horizontal well refracture stimulation. During the treatment, a fracture diversion system (FDS) is used to create a temporary bridge within the active fracture networks. This results in differential pressure increase and causes treatment redirection to understimulated intervals along the lateral. This technique enables both fracture diversion without mechanical intervention and when enhanced with microseismic monitoring, real-time optimization of the fracturing treatment. 

Refracture stimulation case studies are presented in which this novel diversion technique is successfully applied to horizontal Barnett Shale wells. This paper demonstrates how real-time hydraulic fracture monitoring has enabled operators to make informed decisions that influence fracture geometry, increase lateral coverage, and improve gas recovery.

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