Properly defining the question and associated value in the answer is the first step in designing a diagnostic program. This presentation will focus on the use of diagnostic tools to characterized fractures created in hydraulically stimulated reservoirs, focusing on fracture height. The performance of hydraulically stimulated horizontal wells in unconventional reservoirs depends largely on the quality of the completion. When developing an unconventional field with horizontal, hydraulically stimulated wells, proper characterization of fracture geometry can yield a more economic field development strategy in well spacing and completion design. The size of the fractures created directly impacts the spacing between wells and the number of wells required to economically produce the resource in place. Completion costs commonly account for more than 50% of the total well cost in horizontal, unconventional wells. In developments with tens to hundreds of wells planned, small improvements in completions design can yield massive value additions to a program. The earlier the performance drivers are identified and the uncertainty in the range of outcomes is minimized, the sooner optimal field development can take place. This presentation will outline the process of defining the question, assigning value to the answer and review available diagnostics. The presentation will cover a case study focused on evaluating fracture height using fiber optic strain monitoring, and two forms of offset pressure monitoring to reduce the uncertainty in the well count in a stacked pay development.
One take away: before we select the diagnostic tool(s) we plan to employ, we must first define the question we are trying to answer to ensure the value of the answer exceeds the cost of the diagnostic.