As the development of tight/unconventional and partially depleted gas reservoirs has increased, so has the demand for more innovative hydraulic fracture designs. Operators are increasingly placing proppant with slickwater, linear gel or hybrid fracture designs. Since few (if any) models on the market can adequately model the propagation of a slickwater frac as well as the associated proppant transport and deposition, it becomes difficult to optimize these fracture designs.
One East Texas operator has combined insight into proppant transport with an appropriate understanding of realistic proppant pack conductivity to develop a hybrid slickwater fracture design, which has allowed the placement of larger diameter, higher conductivity proppant in fractures that many believed could not be placed either operationally or economically.
This paper will present a case history of these hybrid slickwater fracture designs in the operator’s East Texas, Cotton Valley – Taylor completions. The design theory and sequential improvements will be documented, as well as the field results from the first wells that have been fracture stimulated. Economics will also be shown to illustrate the tremendous value added to completions utilizing this hybrid fracture design.