In this study, unique field data analysis and modeling of operating wells with an extended horizontal wellbore (HW) and multistage hydraulic fracturing (MHF) in the Bazhenov formation were conducted. Moreover, a large amount of long horizontal well data obtained from the Bazhenov formation field was used.
Wells with extended HW drilling and MHF are necessary for commercial oil production in the Bazhenov formation. Problems can occur in such wells when operating in the flowing mode and using an artificial lift at low flow rates. This study aimed to describe the field experiences of low-rate wells with extended HWs and MHF and the uniqueness of well operations and complexities. It was also focused on modeling various operation modes of such wells using specialized software and accordingly selecting the optimal downhole parameters and analyzing the sensitivity of fluid properties and well parameters to the well flow.
The flow rates in wells with extended HW and MHF decrease in the first year by 70–80% when oil is produced from ultralow-permeability formations. Drainage occurs in a nonstationary mode in the entire life of a well, leading to complexities in operation. A comprehensive analysis of field data [downhole and wellhead pressure gauges, electric submersible pump (ESP) operation parameters, and phases’ flow rate measurements] and fluid sample laboratory studies was conducted to identify the difficulties in various operating modes. For an accurate description of the physical processes, various approaches were used for the numerical simulation of multiphase flows in a wellbore, considering the change in the inflow from the reservoir. The complexities that may arise during the operation of wells were demonstrated by analyzing the field data and the numerical simulation results. The formation of a slug flow in low flow rates in a wellbore was caused by a rapid decline in the production rate, a decrease in the water cut, and an increase in the gas/oil ratio (GOR) over time. Based on the results, proppant particles can be carried into the HW and thereby reduce the effective section of the well in case of high drawdowns in the initial period of well operation. Consequently, the pressure drops along the wellbore increased, and the drawdown on the formation decreased. Other difficulties were determined to be associated with the consequences and technologies of hydraulic fracturing (HF). These effects were shown based on the field data and the numerical simulation results of the flow processes in wells. In addition, corrective measures were established to address various complexities, and the applications of these recommendations in the field were conducted.