As we move past appraisal in the Permian Basin and jump to full-field development, complications are apparent when wells interact with each other. Operators have begun to deploy vast amounts of capital to large development programs that drill, complete, and produce multiple horizons and locations in a short amount of time. Many have told of the benefits to “cube” style development; less frac hits, better overall production, and uplifted NPV. However, heterogeneity in the subsurface leads to variability across a basin when it comes to well interactions. Time and time again, it has been borne through data that no frac hit from a child to a parent is the same. This variability opens the door to thinking about tailored development, where some areas are better suited to a “cube” while others can withstand sequential development dependent upon time.
There are many ways to characterize frac hits and parent-child interactions. One developing way is to deploy bottom-hole pressure arrays and analyze the interactions through rate transient analysis (RTA). Detailed work on this front has led to the characterization of well interactions based upon specific signatures derived from the production analysis. I postulate that there is complimentary way to characterize well interaction that involves direct downhole measurement of microseismicity. Dynamic Parameters Analysis (DPA) assesses microseismic events as collective behavior during rock deformation. Certain characteristics measured and collated as indices, such as plasticity, stress, and diffusivity, are used to determine if deformation is directly related to fluid-driven stress response or more diffuse response driven by compressive stress propagation.
This study focuses upon a 3-well, Wolfcamp A pad in the Delaware basin that was drilled and completed adjacent to a well that had been online for more than 2 years. Using standard microseismic analysis, or the “dots in a box” approach, it would appear that the southern most well and the parent well are interacting in a substantial way. Conversely, DPA work illustrates there are only two specific locations along the wellbore that show a distinct and significant hydraulic connection. Supported by pressure and tracer data, this project contends that perceived interference has to be assessed carefully for development considerations.
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