Halliburton Unveils New Fracture Mapping Service

Halliburton Energy Services and Pinnacle Technologies announced the availability of a new fracture mapping service, which employs downhole tiltmeter mapping technology to directly map fracture geometry from the treatment well in real time. The new FracTrac(SM) TW (Treatment Well) service can help operators know more precisely how their reservoir is responding to a fracture treatment, allowing for better-informed asset management decisions.

"This service will enable our customers to benefit from fracturing design decisions based on better information," said Jody Powers, president, Halliburton Energy Services. "By having the ability to measure the fracture geometry directly in real time, we can offer enhanced fracturing processes and deliver improved production results. This technology is another facet of Halliburton’s commitment to helping our customers by providing a Real Time Reservoir Solutions™ (RTRS™) strategy to maximize returns from their assets."

The FracTrac TW service is provided by Pinnacle Technologies through a service provider alliance with Halliburton and is a result of an ongoing joint development agreement between the two companies. Fracture mapping can add significant value to an overall asset management program. Understanding fracture creation through direct, real-time measurement of fracture geometry and using this information to more accurately calibrate the fracturing model can help optimize the treatment of the producing zone and has the potential to yield improved production.

A recent survey of fracturing experts showed that for reliability, tiltmeter mapping placed second only to physically mining the formation to determine fracture characteristics. "Pinnacle has illustrated the benefits of tilt fracture mapping to the industry," said Chris Wright, president, Pinnacle Technologies. "We are convinced that integrating measured dimensions with highly adaptable fracture modeling software will have major economic benefits for producers. More accurately calibrated fracture models can also remove a large portion of the fracture modeling uncertainty that the industry has had to accommodate in the past."

Prior to the new FracTrac TW technology, an operator's only means to obtain direct information about fracture growth in real time was via fracture mapping from offset wells and/or the surface. While fracture imaging from offset wells is highly reliable, application is limited to areas where nearby offset observation wells can be utilized. Surface monitoring is, at present, limited to onshore applications, only provides orientation measurements, and requires drilling several shallow holes around the treatment well. With the addition of the FracTrac TW service's complementary capabilities, the benefits of fracture mapping have now been extended to the vast majority of the stimulation market.

Currently, most fracture treatments are preceded by a diagnostic injection procedure (actually a miniature fracturing treatment or minifrac) to evaluate the stress and permeability environment in the near wellbore area. The FracTrac TW service is based on placing wireline-conveyed downhole tiltmeters in the treatment wellbore during the minifrac treatment. The fracture mapping results (height and width) are then used to help calibrate the fracture modeling software on-site to allow treatment design optimization.

Fracture mapping is appropriate in a wide variety of situations and is especially applicable when the fracture is being created in multiple, layered zones; during an active infill drilling program; and when beginning a large fracturing project. The FracTrac service can also provide an environmentally safe alternative for situations where radioactive tracers are not practical, and can help reduce the number of wells to be drilled by more accurately defining the fracture contact area. The service, coupled with Halliburton's HalLink™ satellite and computer network and Pinnacle's FracproPT® fracture simulator, can allow Pinnacle, Halliburton, and operator experts to collaboratively monitor and advise on treatments anywhere in the HalLink system.

Halliburton will provide other components of Pinnacle's fracture mapping portfolio in addition to the new FracTrac TW service, which is currently available for specific environments with applications expanding to cover most environments in 2002. These services include surface and offset well tiltmeter mapping, as well as a microseismic fracture mapping service, which Pinnacle has licensed from the Gas Technology Institute. This broad offering will enable Halliburton to more precisely meet the needs of a particular fracturing situation.