This paper presents a feasibility analysis of using frac-packing completion techniques to produce natural gas from offshore gas hydrate reservoirs. A case study was carried out for the gas hydrate accumulations in the northern South China Sea. The feasibility analysis covers the requirements of proppant size, fluid injection rate, fracturing pressure, and well productivity. For the median grain size of sediments in the studied formation from 2.60 to 28.96 μm with an average value of 8.49 μm, the required range of proppant size is between 333 mesh to 748 mesh (0.001 inch ~ 0.003 inch). Since the proppants in this size range are not commercially available, it would be economical to use screened natural sands as proppants in frac-packing operations. The minimum flow rate of fracturing fluid required to carry the 0.003 inch proppant/sand into the fracture tip at 510 ft is 3.64 bpm, which is much lower than the practical values ranging from 20 bpm to 100 bpm. Therefore proppant/sand transport during frac-packing is not a concern. To create a horizontal fracture of 510 ft radius with a fracturing fluid injection rate of 72 bpm, the maximum bottom hole injection pressure is predicted to be 2,378 psi, which is only 334 psi above the reservoir pressure and can be handled by most pumps used in frac-packing operations. Well productivity forecast with a simplified mathematical model shows that a commercial gas production rate of 16 MMscf/day is achievable with the fracture radius of 510 ft. However, the model requires further validation.
Published Date: 2020-02-28; Received Date: 2020-01-28