Stephen A. Holditch, John Spivey, John Y. Wang
2020
ACS4
ISBN: 978-1-61399-781-9
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This eBook contains twenty-three SPE articles of case histories on evaluation, stimulation, and development of tight gas reservoirs.  These articles demonstrate how to develop and apply the technologies and practices in geological analysis and fomration evaluations and to include log interpretation, coring and core analysis, special core analysis, formation test, correlation of log and core analyses, in-situ stress, permeability distribution and correlations, and estimating net-pay and gas-in-place.

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Tight Gas Reservoirs
Stephen A. Holditch, John Spivey, John Y. Wang

Stephen A. Holditch '69 was a faculty member of Texas A&M University from 1976-2019.  He most recently held the titles of Professor and Associate Director of the Crisman Institute for Petroleum Research.  He was previously the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Endowed Chair and head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University from 2004-2012. He was also the former head of the Texas A&M Energy Institute from 2011-2013.  

  While at Texas A&M, he taught 97 courses and served on more than 175 graduate committees during his tenure. Holditch received several awards from Texas A&M.  He was elected into the Petroleum Engineering Academy of Distinguished Graduates in 1998, named a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumni in 2014, and named to the Corps of Cadet’s Hall of Honor in 2016.  An endowed chair was also created to honor him in 2012 by many of his former students, the Stephen A. Holditch ’69 Department Head Chair in Petroleum Engineering, which is currently held by Jeff Spath. 

  Holditch held various leadership positions in SPE, including vice president–finance, member of the Board of Directors from 1998-2003, and SPE president in 2002. He received numerous awards in recognition of his technical achievements and leadership. In 1995 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering at the age of 49, and in 1997 he was inducted in to the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.  He was elected as an SPE and AIME Honorary Member in 2006. He received some of SPE’s highest technical awards, including the Lester C. Uren Award, John Franklin Carll Award, and Anthony F. Lucas Medal. He published over 150 technical papers. 

  From 1999-2003, Holditch was a Schlumberger Fellow where he was a Production and Reservoir Engineering advisor to the top managers within Schlumberger. Holditch was President of S. A. Holditch & Associates, Inc. from 1977-99, a full service petroleum engineering consulting firm. His firm provided petroleum engineering technology involving the analysis of low permeability gas reservoirs and the design of hydraulic fracture treatments for various industrial and government clients. Holditch also has been a production engineer at Shell Oil Company in charge of workover design and well completions 

  Holditch received his B.S. in 1969, a M.S. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1975 all in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. 


John Spivey, as owner Phoenix Reservoir Software, LLC, develops reservoir engineering applications for low permeability gas and unconventional gas reservoirs. As owner of Phoenix Reservoir Engineering he consults, specializing in low-permeability gas, production data analysis, and pressure transient test interpretation.    From 1997-2004 he served as senior reservoir engineer for Schlumberger.  Prior to that from 1990-1997 he worked for S.A. Holditch & Associates. He is co-author on Applied Well Test Interpretation. 


John Yilin Wang has served on the faculty in petroleum engineering and as director of 3S Laboratory for The Pennsylvania State University since 2009.  He specializes in reservoir evaluation, well stimulation, and energy investment. Currently he also serves as associate professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering at the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering.  Prior to this he worked as a petroleum engineer with a U.S. independent producer in Shreveport, Louisiana where he worked on reservoir evaluation and stimulation.  

CASE HISTORIES OF TIGHT GAS RESERVOIR DEVELOPMENT

Chapter 1 – The GRI Staged Field Experiment 1
1.1 Summary 1
1.2 Introduction 1
1.3 Goals of the SFEs 2
1.4 Site Selection for SFE 1 3
1.5 Drilling Summary 5
1.6 Completion Summary 5
1.7 Prefracture Formation Evaluation 6
1.8 Summary of Prefracture Formation Evaluation 9
1.9 Fracture-Treatment Design and Execution 10
1.10 Fracture-Fluid Viscosity Measurements 12
1.11 Postfracture-Treatment Evaluation 13
1.12 Conclusions 16
1.13 Nomenclature 16
1.14 Acknowledgments 17
1.15 References 17

Chapter 2 – The Gas Research Institute’s Second Staged Field Experiment: A Study of Hydraulic Fracturing 19
2.1 Introduction 19
2.2 Objectives of SFE No. 2 19
2.3 Geologic Overview 20
2.4 Drilling Summary 22
2.5 Determining the Vertical Stress Profile 23
2.6 Completion Summary 25
2.7 Lower Travis Peak 26
2.8 Upper Travis Peak 30
2.9 Conclusions 33
2.10 Acknowledgments 34
2.11 References 34

Chapter 3 – Hydraulic Fracturing Research in East Texas: Third GRI Staged Field Experiment 35
3.1 Summary 35
3.2 Introduction 35
3.3 Objectives of SFE No. 3 35
3.4 Geologic Overview 36
3.5 Operations Summary 36
3.6 Formation Evaluation 38
3.7 Vertical Stress Profiling 39
3.8 Prefracture Analysis 40
3.9 Fracture Treatment Analysis 42
3.10 Postfracture Analysis 43
3.11 Conclusions 46
3.12 Nomenclature 47
3.13 Acknowledgments 47
3.14 References 47

Chapter 4 – Hydraulic Fracturing Research in the Frontier Formation Through the Gas Research Institute’s Fourth Staged Field Experiment 49
4.1 Introduction 49
4.2 Geologic Overview 50
4.3 Stratigraphic and Depositional Analysis 50
4.4 Analysis of Natural and Induced Fractures 51
4.5 Drilling Operations 51
4.6 Formation Evaluation 52
4.7 Core Analysis 52
4.8 Log Analysis 52
4.9 Vertical Stress Profiling 53
4.10 Prefracture Testing 53
4.11 Minifracture Injection Testing 54
4.12 Conclusions 58
4.13 Acknowledgment 58
4.14 References 58

Chapter 5 – Fracturing and Testing Case Study of Paludal, Tight, Lenticular Gas Sands 59
5.1 Summary 59
5.2 Introduction 59
5.3 Overview 59
5.4 MWX Site 60
5.5 Geologic and Sedimentologic Setting 60
5.6 Core and Log Analyses 60
5.7 Geophysical Surveys 62
5.8 Stress Test Data 63
5.9 Prefracture Well Test Data 63
5.10 Phase 1 Minifractures 63
5.11 Post-minifracture Cleanup and Well Tests 64
5.12 Hydraulic Fracture Design 65
5.13 Phase 2 Hydraulic Fracture Experiment 66
5.14 Post-fracture Cleanup 67
5.15 Post-fracture Well Testing 69
5.16 Final Production Tests After a Long-Term Shut-In 71
5.17 Discussion 71
5.18 Conclusions 72
5.19 Acknowledgments 72
5.20 References 72

Chapter 6 – Microseismic Monitoring of the B-Sand Hydraulic-Fracture Experiment at the DOE/GRI Multisite Project 75
6.1 Summary 75
6.2 Introduction 75
6.3 Background 76
6.4 M-Site 76
6.5 Receiver Orientation 77
6.6 Microseismic Processing 78
6.7 Fracture Diagnostic Results 79
6.8 Model Comparison 81
6.9 Discussion and Conclusions 82
6.10 Nomenclature 82
6.11 Acknowledgments 83
6.12 References 83

Chapter 7 – Successful Stimulation of Deep Wells Using High Proppant Concentrations 85
7.1 Introduction 85
7.2 Types of Stimulation 85
7.3 Problems in Fracturing Deep Formations 86
7.4 Mechanical Aspects 86
7.5 The Gel 86
7.6 The Vicksburg Formation 86
7.7 Comparison With Low-Viscosity Treatments 88
7.8 Effect on Rate and Recovery in the Vicksburg Formation 88
7.9 Results From Other Formations 89
7.10 Economics 89
7.11 Conclusions 90
7.12 Acknowledgment 90
7.13 References 90

Chapter 8 – A Case History of Massive Hydraulic Refracturing in the Tight Muddy “J” Formation 91
8.1 Abstract 91
8.2 Introduction 91
8.3 Discussion 91
8.4 Conclusions 96
8.5 References 97

Chapter 9 – Analyses of an Elmworth Hydraulic Fracture in Alberta 99
9.1 Introduction 99
9.2 Petrophysical Properties 99
9.3 Geologic Description 101
9.4 Sequence of Testing and Stimulation 101
9.5 Results 102
9.6 Mini-Fracture 104
9.7 Main Fracture Treatment 104
9.8 Testing After Main Fracture 105
9.9 Economics 107
9.10 Conclusions 107
9.11 Acknowledgments 108
9.12 References 108

Chapter 10 – Restimulation of Tight Gas Sand Wells in the Rocky Mountain Region 109
10.1 Abstract 109
10.2 Introduction 109
10.3 Candidate Selection Methodology 110
10.4 Field Test 1: Green River Basin 111
10.5 Field Test 2: Piceance Basin 117
10.6 Conclusions 119
10.7 Acknowledgments 119
10.8 Nomenclature 119
10.9 References 119

Chapter 11 – Employing Both Damage Control and Stimulation: A Way to Successful Development for Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs 121
11.1 Abstract 121
11.2 Introduction 121
11.3 Engineering Geological Characteristics of Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs 122
11.4 Damage Mechanisms of Tight Gas Sands 122
11.5 Temporary Shielding Drill-in Fluids and Its Matching Techniques 122
11.6 Application Cases of the Technology 124
11.7 Discussion and Understanding 125
11.8 Conclusions and Suggestions 126
11.9 References 127

Chapter 12 – Will the Blossoming of Unconventional Natural Gas Development in North America Be Repeated in China? 129
12.1 Abstract 129
12.2 Introduction 130
12.3 The Reasons Behind the Boom in Development 130
12.4 Unique Characteristics of Unconventional Gas Resources 131
12.5 Key Technologies 132
12.6 Resource Assessment 132
12.7 Natural Gas Resources and Consumption in China 136
12.8 The Challenges Ahead 137
12.9 Summary and Concluding Remarks 139
12.10 References 139

Chapter 13 – Investigating Hydraulic Fracturing in Tight Gas Sand and Shale Gas Reservoirs in the Cooper Basin 141
13.1 Abstract 141
13.2 Introduction 141
13.3 Cooper Basin Review 144
13.4 Prefracture Stimulation Planning 148
13.5 Fracture Stimulation Results 152
13.6 Discussion 159
13.7 Conclusions 161
13.8 Recommendations 161
13.9 Nomenclature 161
13.10 Acknowledgments 161
13.11 References 161

Chapter 14 – Integrated Field Study for Production Optimization: Jonah Field—Sublette County, Wyoming 165
14.1 Abstract 165
14.2 Introduction 165
14.3 Analysis Methodology 167
14.4 Integrated Study Analysis 168
14.5 Summary 175
14.6 Conclusions 175
14.7 Nomenclature 175
14.8 Acknowledgments 176
14.9 References 176

Chapter 15 – Producing Characteristics and Drainage Volume of Dakota Reservoirs, San Juan Basin, New Mexico 177
15.1 Abstract 177
15.2 Introduction 177
15.3 Dakota Reservoirs: Geology and Study Area 178
15.4 Rate-Time Type-Curve Analysis 178
15.5 Producing Characteristics of Dakota Wells 179
15.6 Example: A Three-Well Group 179
15.7 Drainage Volume, Drainage Area, Initial Gas-In-Place, and Productivity Index of Dakota Wells 182
15.8 Conclusions 182
15.9 Nomenclature 184
15.10 Acknowledgments 184
15.11 References 184
Appendix 15.A 185
15.A.1 Type Curves 185
Appendix 15.B 186
15.B.1 Type-Curve Analysis 186

Chapter 16 – Production Analysis of Commingled Gas Reservoirs—Case Histories 187
16.1 Abstract 187
16.2 Introduction 187
16.3 The Commingled Gas Flow Model 188
16.4 Case Histories 189
16.5 Discussion 198
16.6 Conclusions 198
16.7 Nomenclature 199
16.8 Acknowledgment 200
16.9 References 200

Chapter 17 – A Case History for Massive Hydraulic Fracturing the Cotton Valley Lime Matrix, Fallon and Personville Fields 201
17.1 Summary 201
17.2 Introduction 201
17.3 Reservoir Characteristics 202
17.4 Stimulation History 204
17.5 Reservoir Treatment 204
17.6 Optimization of Fracture Length and Well Spacing 209
17.7 Conclusions 211
17.8 Nomenclature 211
17.9 References 212
Appendix 17.A 212
Mechanics of a Super MHF Job 212
Appendix 17.B 214
Fracture Design 214
Appendix C.17.1 Logistics 214
Appendix D.17.1 Execution 215
Appendix 17.E Summary 218

Chapter 18 – Stimulation Optimization in a Low-Permeability Upper Devonian Sandstone Reservoir: A Case History 219
18.1 Summary 219
18.2 Introduction 219
18.3 Historical Reservoir and Stimulation Treatment Evaluation 220
18.4 Results of Preliminary Stimulation Design Changes 222
18.5 Final Stimulation Optimization Study 224
18.6 Application of Results 226
18.7 Conclusions 227
18.8 Nomenclature 227
18.9 References 227
Appendix 18A 228
18.A.1 Fracture Treatment Optimization 228
18.A.2 Authors 228

Chapter 19 – A Case Study of the Wilcox (Lobo) Trend in Webb and Zapata Counties, TX 229
19.1 Summary 229
19.2 Introduction 229
19.3 Geology 230
19.4 Completion and Testing Practices 231
19.5 Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation 232
19.6 Reservoir Study 233
19.7 Post-Fracture Evaluation 234
19.8 Conclusions 237
19.9 Acknowledgments 237
19.10 References 237

Chapter 20 – Fracture Stimulation of a Horizontal Well in a Deep, Tight Gas Reservoir: A Case History From Offshore The Netherlands 239
20.1 Abstract 239
20.2 Introduction 240
20.3 Completion Design 241
20.4 Fluid System 242
20.5 Fracture Design 243
20.6 Execution 244
20.7 Production Performance 247
20.8 Discussion 247
20.9 Conclusions 248
20.10 Acknowledgments 248
20.11 References 248

Chapter 21 – Integrated Reservoir Geomechanics Techniques in the Burgos Basin México: An Improved Gas Reservoirs Management 249
21.1 Abstract 249
21.2 Introduction 249
21.3 Stress and Physical Property Analysis in the Arcabuz Culebra Field, México 250
21.4 Fracture Mapping and Fracture Engineering 252
21.5 Integrated Reservoir Modelling 254
21.6 Conclusions 256
21.7 Acknowledgments 256
21.8 References 256

Chapter 22 – Case Histories—Combining Crossed Dipole Sonic Anisotropy and Oriented Perforating To Optimize Hydraulic Fracturing in the Burgos Basin—Reynosa, Mexico 259
22.1 Proposal 259
22.2 Stress Orientation and Borehole Breakout 260
22.3 Stress Orientation and Crossed Dipole Anisotropy Analysis 260
22.4 Dynamic and Static Elastic Moduli 260
22.5 Perforating for Low Permeability Hydraulic Stimulation 263
22.6 Observations and Recommendations. 268
22.7 References 269
Appendix 22.A 270
22.A.1 Authors 270

Chapter 23 – Economic Assessment of Applying Advances in Fracturing Technology 271
23.1 Summary 271
23.2 Introduction 271
23.3 Need for New Fracture Technology 272
23.4 Quantifying Technology-Application Benefits 274
23.5 Summary of Benefits 278
23.6 Conclusions 279
23.7 Nomenclature 279
23.8 References 279
Appendix 23.A 280
23.A.1 About the Authors 280
Bibliography 281

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