Playbooks Supplements

Unconventional Yearbook 2018

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86 | January 2018 | 2018 UNCONVENTIONAL YEARBOOK | COMPLETION OPTIMIZATION common alternative to PNP is the sliding sleeves method that utilizes coiled tubing (CT) operations and offers pinpoint fracturing capabilities. Although PNP dominates the fracturing market, sliding sleeves have their place, such as in Encana's operations in the Midland Permian. "Slickwater is both low viscosity, which mini- mizes the net pressure of the reservoir and also is very clean, minimizing the impact on the reservoir," Downey said. "Even though slickwater is not very effective in proppant transport, the velocity of the fluids carries the proppant at low-prop concentra- tions. Sliding sleeve technology is operationally very efficient. It takes away from the lateral coverage of the high number of clusters and perforations, which enhances the reservoir coverage and stimulation." Damon Aucoin, U.S. sales manager for NCS Mul- tistage, which provides a CT sliding sleeve system, said NCS recently assisted with several high-inten- sity well completions that combined longer laterals with more stages and higher proppant loading. "Operators are testing the value of higher inten- sity completions," Aucoin said. "These completions demonstrate that CT fracturing can deliver the per- formance needed." However, Ingram said Halliburton, which also offers sliding sleeve completions to its operators, still sees PNP operations as the go-to method in unconventional completions. "We see a niche application having existed and continuing to exist on or about its same scale today for about the last many years," Ingram said. "Pinpoint, or sleeve, technology really reduced in application about five years ago as we saw the movement to tighter wellbore spacing and we saw a cost-prohibitive technology being offered in the industry." Indicative of that trend is Longfellow Energy's evolution of well completions from 2012 to 2017. According to information presented at Hart Energy's DUG Midcontinent Conference in September, in 2012 Longfellow utilized packers and sleeves for its 64 wells completed at its Stack Nemaha play. Those completions included an average of 17 fracture stages, 237-ft well spacing and 614 lb/ft of proppant loading. By 2017, Longfellow had switched to a PNP completion operation with high-velocity slickwater, 141-ft stage spacing and more than 1,700 lb/ft of proppant. Ingram said that operators faced concerns with pinpoint fracturing methods about the risk associ- ated with premature screenouts and leaving well- bores full of sand. He added that the cost of some sliding sleeve technologies have come down and tri- als are being run in major basins in North America. "However, what we still see in the big picture is over 98% of all treatments placed being plug-and- perf," he said. Halliburton's Obsidian fracture plug is designed to isolate perforated intervals or portions of a wellbore. (Image courtesy of Halliburton)

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