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Unconventional Yearbook 2018

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Page 88 of 107 | January 2018 | 87 COMPLETION OPTIMIZATION | 2018 UNCONVENTIONAL YEARBOOK Aucoin said CT sliding sleeve systems deliver enhanced control for infill drilling, where operators are increasingly concerned about frack hits, and that PNP methods typically cannot reliably control how long a frack is going to be—what NCS Multistage calls "runaway fracks" and others call "super clusters." "If one cluster out of five or six takes all the fluid and proppant pumped for that stage, that fracture will probably propagate beyond the designed frack length and communicate with nearby producing wells," Aucoin said. "The advantage that pinpoint fracturing with CT offers is the operator fractures only one cluster at a time, so they have complete control over how much proppant and how much fluid is pumped into that fracture." A related challenge with PNP completions oper- ations, Aucoin said, is that they aren't repeatable from well to well because the number of fractures, fracture spacing and propped volume are uncon- trolled variables. "For infill development, operators really need repeatable, consistent completions that maximize stimulated reservoir volume without impairing their production," Aucoin said. "Pinpoint frac- turing control allows them to design and execute aggressive infill completions that match their well-spacing strategies, while minimizing the risk of communicating with parent wells." Aviles said that, depending on the reservoir needs, CT sliding sleeves may allow operators to stimulate reservoirs at a lower rate to limit fracturing heights. "Although hydraulic fracture length (un-propped length) may be affected when com- pared to PNP, the net or effective fracture length (propped length) can be similar," he said. "In such scenarios, Schlumberger implements the Broad- band Precision integrated completion service, which fractures every intended entry-point along the lateral, while improving proppant transport to increase hydrocarbon production." The end game Continuously evolving completion strategies— longer laterals, tighter well spacing, more frac- ture stages, ever-increasing proppant loads—are leading to enhanced productions, at least in a reservoir's early stages. A depressed pricing envi- ronment has forced operators to get creative while also not giving up on their role of produc- ing oil and gas. In a $50/bbl environment, oil and gas companies needed to cut costs, and neces- sity is the mother of invention. The result has been innovative approaches to well completions. WPX's Downey cautioned, however, that as costs to complete a well may rise with production rates, maximizing productivity is still the end game for completion design advances. "We need to make sure we prioritize finding the very best completion first and not give up on the quality of the completion just because of inflation," he said. "The No. 1 priority is to maximize productivity." n When BroadBand Shield service is used to stimulate an infill well (light green), far- field diversion (yellow) limits fracture growth outside of the designed fracture area, preventing communication with neighboring wells and increasing fracture complexity. (Image courtesy of Schlumberger)

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