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Optimising Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments Utilizing Geomechanics
Paper Abstract 9/13/2005

Hydraulic fracturing of reservoirs is now used in at least 35% of all wells. The technology is expanding from low permeability reservoirs – to enhance reservoir performance - to medium and even high-permeability settings, often in combination with sand control technology. It has been reported that some 25% of Hydraulic Fracture treatments suffer placement problems to such a degree that they may be considered complete or partial failures and rarely does actual production match pre-frac estimates.

Geomechanical modeling has now advanced to a level where it can assist in candidate well selection, frac design and field development strategy. It also addresses operational concerns. Originally, the focus was on explaining the orientation of fractures but it is now understood that the mechanical behavior of rocks influences every aspect of completion, stimulation and production.

Geomechanical models can be built from readily available input data such as geological models, drilling data and electrical logs. The model predicts the required fracture pressure and can be used to compute fracture height, length and containment, i.e. the maximum pressure to avoid fracturing the reservoir seal or an adjacent water zone. This leads to a better fracture design and planning process and ultimately, to a higher success ratio of hydraulic fracture treatments.

Frank Wijnands is a principal geophysicist and Geomechanics specialist for Schlumberger, Egypt. In this position, he coordinates borehole seismic, wellbore stability and sand management studies. Since joining Schlumberger in 1990, Frank has gained broad experience in geophysics and geomechanics while assigned to Geco-Prakla, GeoQuest, DCS, Wireline and D&M in Europe, the Middle East, America and Asia. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Geophysics and has published several papers on borehole seismic and geomechanics.

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