The Triassic–Jurassic petroleum system reserves in Krishna Godavari Basin are found at 3500 to 4500 m depth with bottomhole static temperature (BHST) ranging from 270 to 340°F. Hydraulic fracturing is required to produce economically from these wells because the in-situ permeability of these sands is in the range of ~ 0.01 md. Hence, after perforations, minimal production is observed or the flash production from these wells dies out in a short time span.
Between 2010 and 2017, several appraisal wells were drilled and completed using hydraulic fracturing in the onshore Krishna Godavari Basin. However, the success rate of effective fracture placement and sustained production enhancement due to hydraulic fracturing was limited. This was attributed to insufficient understanding of rock mechanical properties and lack of a refined fluid fracturing system despite using a superior fluid system like carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar (CMHPG) with organometallic zirconate-based crosslinkers.
In 2018, nine wells were successfully hydraulically fractured, and sustained production from these wells was established using a simple borate-based crosslinked fluid system. A key change for the field was rather than designing and pumping fracturing fluid based on only BHST, one of the critical components that led to better proppant placement is the stable fracturing fluid that was fine tuned for the well based on factors like change of source water, tubular shear exposure time for designed fracturing treatment pumping rate, and hydrocarbon properties. This combination of rock mechanical properties and fracturing fluids used is captured as the efficiency of the fluid system, and this governed the usage of fluid loss additives, again a novel introduction for the field. Finally, the key to producing these sands was adequate cleanup and minimal guar residue to maximize the proppant pack conductivity. The paper also discusses the strategy to design fluids with minimal guar loading to reduce polymer retention and to achieve maximum fracture fluid recovery. This robust management of fracturing fluids along with understanding of rock mechanical properties can be seen in the post-fracturing production results.