Integrating Solid Expandables, Swellables, and Hydra Jet Perforating for Optimized Multi-zone Fractured Wellbores
Growing energy demand is leading the industry to re-evaluate resources found in challenging conditions such as unconventional formations. Cost-effective development of these resources depends upon strategic application of advancing production solution technologies. To enhance production and improve recovery processes, more efficient perforating and fracturing methods have evolved along with advancements in wellbore production hardware via use of solid expandable tubulars or combinations of solid expandable and conventional tubulars. Expandable technology applied as a completion/production string provides an optimized or customized wellbore that can facilitate increased fracturing rates, resulting in improved conductivity and enhanced hydrocarbon production. A fully expandable or combination system with standard casing can provide an integral component in either new wells or re-entry wells where low-permeability reservoirs, such as those characteristic of unconventional formations, require isolation and separation for pinpoint hydraulic fracturing. Although successful stimulation is routinely attained from hydraulic fracturing, ancillary downhole tools, such as conventional completion equipment, often compromise results by restricting flow and affecting pressure performance. Solid expandable swellable systems can optimize the fracturing parameters by maintaining larger diameters and providing positive seals for selective multi-zone isolation purposes. These production systems consist of expanded sealing sections in combination with expandable or conventional intermediate tubulars utilizing premium connections thereby providing a superior completion solution for mechanical diversion. Right-sizing the wellbore to the reservoir can provide operators significant cost savings, even more so during these economic times. Utilizing larger diameter expandables in the horizontal wellbore allows operators to first optimize the fracture program to the potential of the reservoir then develop the well program to accommodate the fracturing rates and volumes as well as the surface pumping facilities. This can result in slimmer surface and intermediate sections at much lower cost without compromising the overall stimulation completion program nor planned production and recovery. This paper will discuss the integration of expandable systems with other technologies and cite case histories to illustrate the effectiveness of solid expandable systems in enhanced production and fracturing applications.