The revolution surrounding unconventional resources has transformed the economics of oil and gas production in the U.S. and its effects have been far reaching. However, the approaches taken during the initial phase of a high commodity price period cannot be continued in the current economic environment. Many operators across unconventional plays are moving from drilling wells in the held by production (HBP) phase and focusing on infill well development. It is not uncommon for lateral infill wells to exhibit lower estimated ultimate recoveries (EURs) than their parent HBP resulting in lower economic returns. In some cases the parent well is damaged and production is permanently lost due to hydraulic fracture interference caused by infill wells. This presentation will be focused on a review of past practices, developmental challenges, modeling, and technology enablers in order to maximize the limited CAPEX being spent on infill well development.
Infill well development cannot focus on single well modeling and economics, instead it must be treated as an integrated, dynamic system. Methods that can improve productivity in infill and HBP wells will be discussed such as parent well protection via refracturing and integrated completion design & modeling approaches. Multiple case histories will be shown that discuss the productive and financial impact on improving infill well performance via refracturing.
New, complex hydraulic fracture simulators are now being incorporated in the design and optimization of infill pad well completion evolution. Such simulators can be easily created from field wide geologic models and results can be coupled with reservoir simulators to quickly optimize the completion. This talk will detail hydraulic fracture model calibration from a single well, carryover to infill wells, perform production history matching of existing infill well fracturing treatments, and optimize infill well completions in a partially depleted reservoir area. Design modifications will be discussed in addition to the impact they had on infill well production results.