Decrease Costs: Offset Frac Monitoring

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Let’s get right down to it:  As a Petroleum Engineer working in 2016, one of your daily priorities is to determine that every procedure carried out is money well-spent. Bad economics are a reality in the industry and such an emphasis on cutting cost has impacted many business units –some teams are at a complete standstill, while the most fortunate have completely shifted their goals to accomplishing more with less. But in the wake of collapsing budgets, one thing is holding fast: Well data is essential.

There is a long list of reasons engineers collect well data…and an even longer list of tools used to do it, but there is one operation that can actually lead to saving you money (in addition to the valuable data): Offset frac monitoring with surface pressure gauges. The ways offset frac monitoring can save you money are numerous, but I have highlighted a few below.

Well Spacing Optimization

Optimizing well spacing, particularly in ultra-low permeability formations, is one of, if not, the most important factors to consider regarding peak field production. The idea behind maximizing yields from a reservoir involves careful planning of well location and the orientation of each subsequent frac, to ensure the wells in a network are working together, not competing, to achieve optimal drainage. Sounds elementary, but it’s a delicate procedure – space wells too close together and you could be left with one or more wells competing for the same yield, space wells too far apart and you risk leaving money in the ground.

Monitoring the pressures of offset wells during frac procedures is one economic way to ensure your wells are properly spaced. For the marginal cost of a few surface pressure gauges, offset frac monitoring can help in a big way – insuring maximum production for new wells and forecasting any effect on existing wells, or locating geological anomalies such as naturally-occurring fault locations.

Frac Design Optimization

Generally speaking, the basic idea of hydraulic fracturing isn’t too complex…it is the design and application of that basic idea that can get convoluted. After an ideal candidate is selected, and formation data is measured or estimated, hours of work must be put in to determine specific details such as pad volumes, injection rates, fluid properties, proppant types, proppant volumes, and pump pressures/equipment. Without careful consideration and monitoring, these aspects could easily turn a profitable well into a glorified money pit.

Luckily, offset frac monitoring can help determine some of the data for you, ensuring your frac procedures run as lean and economic as possible. Specifics such as pad volumes – which can dictate the overall volume of which to pump, diversion strategies – which can direct or redirect frac propagation to a certain orientation, proppant volumes, and required horsepower to pump can all be carefully monitored via offset wells at the surface to make sure you’re not overspending on superfluous treatment.

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Decrease Costs and Downtime with Real-Time DFIT Data

Have you ever found yourself sitting in your office wondering how the DFIT you pumped last week was going on your well a thousand miles away? How do you check it? How do you know where you’re at in your test? In the year 2015, we still rely on simple surface and downhole pressure memory gauges to record the pressure for these tests. Typically, this requires a pumper or supervisor to drive hours out to location, just to plug in a computer and get a quick download of the gauge data that then has to be sent back to the engineer and analyzed. The total turnaround from leaving the house to getting the data to performing an analysis can take days if not weeks, not to mention the time and effort spent performing such a simple task. All the while you’re being charged for the gauge to sit out on your well.

It’s simply unacceptable to live in a connected world with smart phones in our pockets and not have access to your well data. With Reservoir Data System’s FasTrack communication system, the disconnect between the field and office has been eliminated. The FasTrack is the only system that streams the gauge data back to a server that you can access via any internet enabled device (cell phone, tablet, computer), and can even be downloaded while the gauge is still on the well, allowing you to perform your analysis and ensure you have collected enough data before you pull the gauge off the well (this also allows you to end the test early should the well go on vacuum or an outside party interrupt the test). The FasTrack even allows you to set text alerts that will notify you if the well drops below or goes above a desired pressure. Even with an accidental shut-in during the test, you will be notified and be able to remedy the situation immediately.

Example DFIT plot

Having worked as an engineer on the services side of the industry for both frac and gauge service companies, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard customers complain that they’ve spent far more money than necessary on a DFIT gone wrong.

For example:

An engineer scheduled a DFIT for 20 days. After receiving the data, he realized that his test was interrupted 5 days prior to ending, and was stuck paying for the wasted rental days.

If the engineer were monitoring his test data in real-time, he could have saved a tremendous amount of money by ending the procedure the day the test was interrupted. The savings on this alone could have allowed for additional well tests.

Although daily gauge rental prices are comparatively low to other expenditures, the cost of a single unit over the course of a 10 or 20 day DFIT or build up can have serious impact— especially if test data is interrupted or the well goes on vacuum.

In the above example, cutting just 5 days of equipment rental could have resulted in a 25% cost reduction. That’s not to mention the wasted time and money spent retrieving and waiting on the gauge data.

Ultimately, the FasTrack is the only system that allows you to access your well tests in real-time, resulting in better quality data, less downtime, and more money in your pocket.

Until next time,

John Kalfayan

Sr. Account Manager, M.E.

jkalfayan@reservoirdata.com

Reservoir Data Systems

Better. Smarter. Faster.

RDS is all about providing our customers with an efficient and low cost means of gathering well data. Our advanced technologies deliver critical information relating to reservoir characterization, completion optimization, flow assurance, and wellbore and pipeline integrity, maximizing profits while minimizing downtime or damage to your wells.

Pressure data is what we do, day in and day out. Our digital pressure gauges, acoustic survey system, and turbine-based flowmeter assure accurate and quality data, and our proprietary Fastrack provides you with instant access to your data no matter where you are. We can design exactly the right solution for you with creative new tools and innovative applications of existing ones, solving problems our competitors simply cannott address.