Pillar Fracturing a Sandstone Reservoir Shows Benefit Over Conventional Fracturing

Topics: Hydraulic fracturing
Fig. 1—Comparison of conventional fracturing, left, and pillar fracturing. Xf=fracture half-length.

The Kaji Semoga Field in South Sumatra consists of three main reservoirs—Telisa sandstone (TLS), Baturaja limestone, and Talangakar sandstone. The successful development of TLS with hydraulic fracturing led to further efforts to maximize oil recovery. After a study with suitable samples and cases, pillar fracturing was considered. This method is similar to conventional fracturing techniques where fluid and proppant are used to create conductive paths in the reservoir layer; however, pillar fracturing relies on open flow channels.

Pillar Fracturing

A major step change in the development of the Kaji Semoga Field was to use the hydraulic-fracturing technique referred to as pillar fracturing. The pillar-fracturing technique creates stable voids within the proppant pack that serve as infinite-conductivity channels for fluid flow rather than the intragranular flow of conventional fracturing techniques (Fig. 1 above). Hydrocarbon will flow preferentially through the channels rather than through the proppant pack. In addition, pillar fracturing allows for better fracture cleanup, longer fracture effective half-lengths, and lower pressure drops along the fracture. Consequently, production after pillar fracturing is greater than that following conventional fracturing. Another advantage of the pillar-fracturing technique is a low screenout rate compared with conventional fracturing. The prevention of screenout is related to the different bridging characteristics of conventional- and pillar-fracturing slurries.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 186199, “Unlocking Depleted and Low-Modulus Telisa Sandstone Reservoir With Pillar-Fracturing Technique: Well-Performance-Improvement Comparison With Conventional Fracturing,” by M. Azhari, SPE, N.F. Prakoso, and D. Ningrum, Medco E&P Indonesia, and L. Soetikno and A. Makmun, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2017 SPE/IATMI Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia, 17–19 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Pillar Fracturing a Sandstone Reservoir Shows Benefit Over Conventional Fracturing

01 March 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 3