Interpretation of Fracture Height From Temperature LogsThe Effect of Wellbore/Fracture Separation Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Temperature logs commonly have been used to evaluate fracture height by locating cool anomalies that indicate the locations where cool fracture fluids were injected. Instead of cool anomalies, however, warm anomalies (called "warm noses") often occur on temperature logs run after fracture treatments. When interpreting fracture height from a temperature log, warm anomalies make it difficult to identify the top and bottom of the fracture. We believe that a plausible reason for warm anomalies is that the wellbore and the fracture are not coincident over the entire extent of the fracture; instead, away from the perforations, the fracture and the wellbore may be separated a finite distance that varies with depth. This paper investigates the effect of the existence and magnitude of the displacement between the wellbore and the fracture on wellbore temperature behavior after fracturing. The results obtained explain the "warm noses" on shut-in temperature logs run after a fracture treatment and, more generally, illustrate how fracture-wellbore separation can result in a variety of characteristic temperature log responses. A mathematical model has been developed to simulate the wellbore temperature after fracturing for cases where the wellbore and the fracture are not coincident for the entire extent of the fracture. The study shows that the temperature behavior strongly depends on the pattern and the magnitude of the displacement. When the fracture is perfectly connected with the wellbore, the cool region on the log indicates the top and bottom of the fracture clearly. However, the cool region is much smaller than the fracture height if the wellbore deviates from the fracture at a constant angle away from the perforationsa situation that may occur in a well that is deviated slightly from vertical, for example. Furthermore, "warm noses" appear on the log if the well spirals in a helical trajectory because the spacing between the wellbore and the fracture will vary with depth for this geometry. Therefore, when evaluating a postfracture temperature log, the possibility of a deviated wellbore-fracture system must be considered to avoid misinterpreting the fracture height. Longer shut-in times are shown to improve the fracture-height interpretation.

published proceedings

  • SPE Formation Evaluation

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, E. R., Zhu, D., & Hill, A. D.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Davis, ER||Zhu, Ding||Hill, AD

publication date

  • June 1997