Using Geochemical Production Allocation to Calibrate Hydraulic Fracture and Reservoir Simulation Models: A Permian Basin Case Study

August 5, 2022


This paper demonstrates how geochemical production allocations can be used to calibrate reservoir simulation models and improve the optimization of well spacing and hydraulic fracture design in unconventional assets. Geochemical analyses provide quantitative assessments of flow by layer over time. This allows numerical models to be fine-tuned to realistically capture the productive fracture height for wells landed in different stratigraphic layers. Model calibration that relies on production and pressure history alone often fails to uniquely resolve important differences in productivity and fracture geometry. Diagnostics such as distributed acoustic sensing, microseismic, and sealed wellbore pressure monitoring capture total hydraulic fracture extent but do not characterize the producing behavior. Thus, it is very valuable to utilize diagnostics that directly assess the producing length and height of fractures. Vertical flow allocation is particularly important in formations with multiple productive benches, such as in the Midland Basin.

This work reveals the connection between completions, geomechanical inputs (such as minimum horizontal stress and toughness), and the geochemical production allocations as demonstrated by the vertical distribution of proppant. This work also identifies the roles that well spacing and drawdown play in time-lapse geochemical production allocations.

Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, USA, June 2022. Paper Number: URTEC-3724091-MS
Magdalene Albrecht; Shannon Borchardt; Mark McClure

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