Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook 2018

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88 | August 2018 | HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: CASE STUDIES A midst a slight uptick in activity at recently improved commodity prices, the petroleum industry is still well below 2014 peak levels and overall drilling fewer but more efficient wells. Operators are maintaining a sense of caution when approaching development strategies, seeking oppor- tunities to improve operational efficiencies and maximize ROI quickly. One approach to improve operational efficiencies involves the consolidation of processes or procedures. ProTechnics partners with operators to identify and evaluate these opportunities through a strategic diag- nostics program. This approach emphasizes early learnings in a development cycle, establishing a foun- dational knowledge then evolving to more intricate fine-tuning of drilling and completion programs. In the case of an operator moving into new acreage in the Delaware Basin, the challenge was understand- ing what strategies could migrate into the new area. For example, how does the prior completion strategy translate? What changes should be considered? What can be improved? Together, ProTechnics and the operator were able to align technology, experience and business initiatives to develop a plan for success. One area for a potential increase in efficiency involves a reduction in the number of stages required to complete a horizontal well, which can have a significant impact on the completion and stimulation program costs. It must not come, however, with a sacrifice in stimulated reservoir volume or a loss of production, and it must come quickly to maximize the financial impact under the current development program. Any time an operator is considering material changes to completion design, understanding cluster efficiency is key. To make decisions going forward, an operator must first understand the completion. Is the entire wellbore being treated or is all production com- ing from only half or maybe one-third of the lateral? In this project, a procedural change reduced total stages by 4% over the 2018 program while maintaining 100% cluster efficiency. By reducing the learning curve to a single well, the operator immediately begins real- izing a $5,000,000 positive impact on the bottom line. Brief reservoir background The reservoir in question is the Wolfcamp/Bone Springs in Pecos County in the Delaware Basin of West Texas. During basinal Wolfcamp deposition, the southern section of the Delaware Basin was sub- ject to tectonic and hydrographic conditions that were less prevalent in other areas of the Permian Basin. The lithofacies are potentially significant concerning organic carbon production, natural fracturing and geomechanical rock properties rele- vant to hydraulic fracturing. The wells in this study were landed in the Wolfcamp A zone or the approx- imately 300-ft shallower Bone Springs. Cores taken in and adjacent to the Wolfcamp A in this area reveal substantial lithofacies variability, grading from a siliceous mudrock upward through silt and sand turbidites and further upward into calcareous and siliceous mudstones. Fracture design changes It was estimated that for a 10,000-ft lateral, reducing the number of stages from the typical 51 down to 49 could reduce completion costs and time while main- taining perforation efficiency. To ensure equivalent Strategic diagnostics help a Delaware Basin operator increase efficiency and returns in its horizontal well completions program. Stage Consolidation Leads to Value-added Cost Efficiencies By Buddy Woodroof and Claudio Ramos ProTechnics, a Division of Core Laboratories

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