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|Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site-Enhance Oil Recovery (HFTS-EOR)
The Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) in Reagan County, Texas is a field-based laboratory for oil and gas research funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and various industry partners. In HFTS Phase II, the research partnership will attempt to increase oil production from a depleted horizontal well in the Permian basin by: 1) injecting natural gas at high pressure and rate into the depleted oil well for a two-month period, 2) shutting in the well for one month (soak period), and 3) producing the well for a two-month period. Termed “huff n’ puff”, this process will be repeated for three cycles. Although the actual mechanism(s) for incremental oil recovery is/are currently unknown, it is proposed that at high pressure, the injected gas becomes miscible with oil remaining in the formation to lower its viscosity and improve its flow rate. Operators in the Eagle Ford Basin and the Permian Basin have been conducting their own natural gas huff n’ puff tests with only limited reporting of results. This will be the first natural gas huff n’ puff test to make results publicly available. In November 2018, DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) would like to deploy an array of 13 broadband seismometers around the injection well to monitor seismicity as the formation is subjected to repeated periods of dilation and contraction during the huff n’ puff. The injection pressure will be maintained at levels below fracture pressure so shear failure and resulting microearthquakes should be limited. However, the extended periods of alternating pressure pulses corresponding to the injection and production cycles might generate low frequency events of long time period (LPLD events), as noticed earlier at various hydraulic fracturing sites (Das & Zoback, 2011; Eaton et al., 2013; Kumar et al., 2017). This information can be correlated to the geomechanical properties of the reservoir and might promote a better understanding of reservoir deformation processes.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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