Permeability Estimation from Fracture Calibration Test Analysis in Shale and Tight Gas
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Permeability estimation in tight and shale reservoirs is challenging because little or no flow will occur without hydraulic fracture stimulation. In the pressure falloff following a fracture calibration test (FCT), radial flow after the fracture closure can be used to estimate the reservoir permeability. However, for very low permeability, the time to reach radial flow can exceed any practical duration. This study shows how to use the reservoir pressure to estimate the maximum reservoir permeability when radial flow is missing in the after-closure response. The approach is straightforward and can also be used for buildup tests. It applies whenever the well completion geometry permits radial flow before the pressure response encounters a real well drainage limits. Recent developments have blurred the boundary between fracture calibration test analysis and classic pressure transient analysis. Adapting the log-log diagnostic plot representation to the FCT analysis has made it possible to perform before and after closure analysis on the same diagnostic plot. This paper also proposes a method for diagnosing abnormal leakoff behavior using the log-log diagnostic plot as an alternative method for the traditional G-function plot. The results show the relationship between reservoir permeability and pressure can be used effectively for both estimation of the permeability upper bound when there is no apparent radial flow and for confirming the permeability estimated from apparent late time radial flow. Numerous field examples illustrate this simple and powerful insight.
Xue, Han 1988- (2012). Permeability Estimation from Fracture Calibration Test Analysis in Shale and Tight Gas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from