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Hydraulic Fracture Mechanics Considerations for Unconventional Reservoirs

11 – 13 September 2013

Rancho Palos Verdes, California | Terranea Resort

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 10 September, 1730–1900

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, 11 September, 0800–0930

Session I: Business Case for Action and Historical Observations

Chairs: Paul Huckabee, Shell; Norm Warpinski, Halliburton

The opening session will discuss the business case for improved understanding of fracture mechanics and geomechanics in the completion optimization process for unconventional reservoir systems. A brief historical overview of observations, experimentation, and diagnostics will set the stage for the following sessions. Poster presentations will also be introduced.

1000–1130

Session II: Rock and Interface Mechanics

Chairs: Norm Warpinski, Halliburton–Pinnacle; Leonid Germanovich, Georgia Institute of Technology

This session will examine laboratory, mineback, and field experiments that provide information on fracture behavior in the presence of interfaces and discontinuities. Important considerations include the effects of rock and fracture properties on the propagation and overall development of the hydraulic fractures in a complex or layered rock system.

1300–1430

Session III: Hydraulic and Natural Fracture Interactions

Chairs: Rob Jeffrey, CSIRO Petroleum; Jon Olsen, University of Texas

Hydraulic fractures interact with natural fractures as they extend. Fissure opening, shear-induced dilation, pressure-dependent leakoff, and high treating pressure associated with branching and offsetting are some of the effects that occur. This session will explore how the mechanics of the interaction leads to these features, and what changes to the fracture design can be made to obtain improved stimulations in naturally fractured reservoirs.

1500–1630

Session IV: Fracture Geomechanics Modeling

Chairs: Dan Moos, Baker Hughes; Hans de Pater, Fenix Consulting Delft

The extent to which present numerical modeling techniques capture the important effects will be addressed. How important are the compromises necessitated by the approaches used and by the limits of present-day computers? How important is it to capture the behavior of the multi-phase fluids flowing through the system? Finally, can the models strike the balance between geological reality and accurate representation of fracture mechanics in spite of the simplifications required for practical use?

Thursday, 12 September, 0800–0930

Session V: Shale Characteristics

Chair: Hans de Pater, Fenix Consulting Delft; Tony Addis, Baker Hughes

This session will address the types of shales and mudstones currently being developed and their mechanical and failure properties. How to quantify the relecant rock properties and their effect on hydraulic fracturing will be discussed along with predicting stress in the shales and bounding layers.

1000–1130

Session VI: Field Scale Diagnostics - Panel Discussion

Chairs: Mark Mack, Oxane Materials; Simon Chipperfield, Santos

The extent to which current numerical modeling techniques capture the important effects will be addressed. How important are the compromises necessitated by the approaches used and by the limits of present-day computers? How important is it to capture the behavior of the multi-phase fluids flowing through the system? Can the models strike the balance between geological reality and accurate representation of fracture mechanics in spite of the simplifications required for practical use?

1300–1430

Session VII: Fracture Mechanics Modelling

Chairs: Mark Mack, Oxane Materials;  Leen Weijers, Liberty Oilfield Services

Fracturing in unconventional reservoirs introduces several issues that must be addressed by simulators. The presentations will address issues that must be modeled when unconventional reservoirs are stimulated. These issues include height containment, stress shadowing, interactions between adjacent fractures versus hydraulic and natural fractures, and the link between fracturing simulators and reservoir models.

1500–1630

Session VIII: Engineering Considerations for Well and Reservoir Interaction

Chairs: Curtis Boney, Talisman Energy; Paul Huckabee, Shell

Rock and fracture mechanics play a dominate role in the success and/or failure of the various completion systems and their evaluations. This session discusses engineering considerations for designing and evaluating: fracture extension or containment and conductivity distributions in vertical well applications; investigation of fracture initiation and near-wellbore complexity; and stimulation distribution optimization in horizontal well completions.

Friday, 13 September, 0800–0930

Session IX: Conductivity Characteristics

Chairs: Curtis Boney, Talisman Energy; Karen Olson, Southwestern Energy

Conductivity in the fractures is the driver for formation productivity in unconventional reservoirs. The economic success or failure of a project may be tied directly to conductivity, or the lack of conductivity. From the broad range of production results, it is obvious that the rocks have wide range ability to create or support a conductive path to the wellbore. This session covers the experimental testing of the formation and its ability to maintain conductivity, effects on conductivity from materials such as fluids and proppant, and the well productivity to identify additional conductivity needs.

1000–1130

Session X: Direction for the Future – Panel Discussion

Chairs: Karen Olson, Southwestern Energy; Simon Chipperfield, Santos

A panel of industry experts will discuss the issues of how hydraulic fracture mechanics plays an important role in the stimulation process. This panel will discuss and expand on ‘hot topics’ from the previous sessions, and will address areas of uncertainty and gaps in our understanding. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in open discussion and explore future needs for advancing knowledge in the application of hydraulic fracture mechanics for stimulation of unconventional resources.