The industry has an increasingly difficult battle on its hands when it comes to unconventional-resource development in the lower-for-longer oil price environment in which we continue to dwell. Taking measures to reduce well costs and reduce rig use while trying to meet or exceed field production targets and increase resource recovery is a daily challenge—in other words, trying to get more with, and out of, less.
Since this time last year, operator and service provider efforts to optimize well and fracture cluster spacing in new completions has increased. Room and desire, of course, remain for collaborative improvement. Restimulation of existing wells also has been on the rise, but implementation is still quite limited relative to new-well drilling and completion. The optimal restimulation procedure in a particular unconventional play is still largely in question; results from one approach or another in one formation can vary greatly from those same approaches in another formation. Also, additional attention continues to be placed on improved-oil-recovery and enhanced-oil-recovery (IOR/EOR) methods applicable in tight reservoirs and shales, but approaches are still in the experimental stage, realistically and understandably.
To continue to advance optimization in new-well completions, to cost-effectively restimulate existing wells, and to enhance recovery will require capacity for laboratory studies and field trial programs and implementation of a range of analytical methodologies to accelerate application of lessons learned.
Along those lines, three papers are featured this month. The first provides a detailed review of IOR/EOR methods applied in unconventional oil reservoirs, including numerical modeling studies, laboratory investigations, and field trial studies. The second addresses well spacing and completion optimization by use of a fast-paced optimization work flow. The third discusses methods to optimize fracturing and fluid design using public data across multiple basins and various analytical and statistical methods to identify trends and the key parameters that can lead more rapidly to stimulation optimization.
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 192808 Increasing Stimulated Reservoir Volume in Unconventional Reservoirs: A Microstructural and Rock Mechanical Study by Ayyaz Mustafa, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, et al.
|Leonard Kalfayan, SPE, is a global production engineering adviser with the Hess Corporation in Houston. He has more than 35 years of experience in the industry, working with a major operator and a major pressure-pumping company and as an independent consultant before joining Hess in 2009. Kalfayan’s background is in conventional and unconventional oil and gas, geothermal production enhancement and stimulation, new-technology development and deployment, and business development. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2005 and has served on numerous SPE program and technical committees. Kalfayan is author or coauthor of more than 30 SPE and other society publications, serves as a technical reviewer for SPE Production & Operations, and is coeditor of the SPE monograph Acidizing Fundamentals. He is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee and can be reached at email@example.com.|
Leonard Kalfayan, SPE, Global Production Engineering Adviser, Hess Corporation
01 October 2019
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