It’s that time of year again for our ResFrac team to embark upon the Imperial Challenge in Breckenridge, CO! As with last year, Egor, Dirk (ResFrac investor), and Garrett tackled the challenge this year. The Imperial Challenge is an annual triathlon where racers bike or run from the town of Breckenridge 6 miles and 850 feet up to the base of the Breckenridge ski resort, then skin (ski uphill) 3000 ft to the peak of the resort at 12,998 ft, then… ski off the other side.
This is the most exciting time in my lifetime for geothermal. There are many, many innovative things happening. To name a few – promising new approaches to Enhanced Geothermal Systems, geothermal projects in sedimentary and lower enthalpy formations, new approaches for geothermal exploration, lithium extraction from produced brines, geothermal energy storage, integrations with CO2 storage and capture, and new technologies for producing energy from hot water that is coproduced with oil and gas. However, this post is about a concept about which I remain skeptical – deep closed-loop heat exchangers (McClure, 2021). These designs are sometimes called ‘Advanced Geothermal Systems,’ AGS (Malek et al., 2022).
Simulfrac’s are growing in popularity (see 2021 JPT article for when the trend was just gaining momentum). The idea is that one pumping crew can treat two wells simultaneously versus one well at a time. As such, a frac crew may zipper four wells at a time versus two. At ResFrac we are seeing an increase in simulfrac interest across our consulting and license customers. Simulfrac’ing wells within the ResFrac software is simple to set up without any complicated modifications – so this makes ResFrac an ideal platform to investigate the effects of simulfracs.
This blog post summarizes a new procedure for interpreting interference tests in shale. The full procedure and a detailed writeup are provided by Almasoodi et al. (2023). Interference tests are one of the most effective diagnostics for assessing communication between neighboring wells. This information is critical for optimizing completion design and well spacing.
Optimization of perforation orientation for achieving uniform proppant distribution between clusters
Previously, a mathematical model for the problem of slurry flow in a perforated wellbore was described and the underlying physical mechanisms were discussed. The purpose of this blog post, on the other hand, is to couple the model with an optimization algorithm to investigate optimal perforation orientations that lead to the desired uniform proppant distribution between perforations. A brief description of the model is added at the beginning to cater for readers who are not familiar with the previous blog post.
The 2023 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference was last week, and as usual, it had an outstanding lineup of papers and speakers. This blog post has a brief lineup of some of the papers that I found most interesting. As in past years, this rundown focuses on papers that I found interesting, based on my own personal interests. Usually, I am most interested in papers that improve our understanding ‘what’s going on’ in the subsurface. Also, I coauthored a paper at the conference, so naturally, I can’t help but include it on this list!
This blog post summarizes the model for calculating proppant distribution between perforation clusters. A very detailed description of the model and literature review are available in . The purpose here is to outline the model and its main features, to demonstrate the comparison with some of the available data (more comparisons in ), as well as to discuss limiting cases and sensitivities to various parameters. This blog post is solely focused on presenting the mathematical model. In future work, the results will be applied to practical optimization decisions.