Hydraulic Fracturing of 403 Shallow Diatomite Wells in South Belridge Oil Field, Kern County, California, in 2014
Abstract:We examine all 403 Hydraulic Fracture (HF) jobs performed by Aera Energy, LLC, in the South Belridge oil field, Kern County, CA in 2014.
HFs in the South Belridge oil field are atypical amongst North American plays because the reservoir is shallow and produced via vertical wells.
Our data set constitutes 88% of all HF jobs performed in CA oil fields in calendar-2014. The South Belridge field produces 11% of California’s oil and the shallow HFs performed here differ from most HFs performed elsewhere.
We discuss fracture modeling and methods and summary statistics, and modelled dimensions of fractures and their relationships to depth and reservoir properties.
The 403 HFs were made in the diatomite-dominated Reef Ridge member of the Monterey Formation. The HFs began at an average depth of 1047 feet below ground (ft TVD) and extended an average of 626 ft vertically downward. The deepest initiation of HF was at 2380 ft and the shallowest cessation was at 639 ft TVD.
The average HF was performed using 1488 BBL (62,496 gallons) of water. The HFs were performed in no more than 6 stages and nearly all were completed within one day.
We (1) compare metrics of the South Belridge sample group with recent, larger “all-CA” and nationwide samples; and (2) conclude that if relationships of reservoir properties, well completion and HF are well understood, shallow diatomite HF may be optimized to enhance production while minimizing environmental impact.