SPE logo

Horizontal Well Completions in North American Shales

11 – 13 June 2013

Keystone, Colorado | Keystone Resort and Conference Center

Technical Agenda

Monday, 10 June, 1730–1900

Welcome Reception

Tuesday, 11 June, 0800–0815

Chairpersons’ Welcome


Session I: Understanding Critical Characteristics and Differences in Shales

Chairs: Roberto Suarez Rivera, TerraTek; Randy LaFollette, Baker Hughes

This session emphasizes the understanding of critical differences between shales, including the identification of critical drivers of reservoir quality and mechanical properties associated with completion design. The aim of this session is to promote a broad discussion on tight shale behavior, including geology, petrology, geochemistry, reservoir, and mechanical properties. The goal is to provide a common ground foundation that will facilitate the discussions presented in subsequent sessions.


Session II: Production Management, Flowback, and Early-Time Considerations

Chairs: Ibrahim Abou-Sayed, i-Stimulation Solutions; Mike Conway, Core Laboratories

Evidence continues to mount showing the importance of initial field practices on the ultimate production from unconventional wells. The management of drawdown pressures and liquids removal is even more critical in liquids-rich reservoirs. These practices have been implemented with success in a number of reservoirs, and case histories demonstrating best practices will be presented.


Session III: Well Performance Analysis

Chairs: Stuart Cox, Marathon Oil; Billy W. Harris, Wagner and Brown Ltd.

Well performance analysis provides the key to understanding the effectiveness of our field development, completions, and ultimate recovery projections. This session will focus on advances in rate transient and decline curve analysis for their application to the evaluation of unconventional resource development. Presentations will focus on the consistent application of the techniques.


Session IV: Legacy Shales—Transition from Dry Gas to Liquids-Rich

Chairs: Karen Olson, Southwestern Energy; Randy LaFollette, Baker Hughes

Operators in unconventional resource plays today are trending toward producing more volatile liquids, rather than either dry gas or oil. This session is designed to provide data and experiences in both dry gas and liquids-rich legacy plays. Speakers are focused on engineering and economic best practices.

Wednesday, 12 June, 0800–0930

Session V: Best Practices—Appalachian

Chairs: Henry Jacot, Chevron; Tim Beard, Chesapeake Energy

The evolution of best practices within the Marcellus shale along with the industry’s transition into the more liquids-rich plays of the Appalachian basin will be discussed. Presentations will give insight into the Utica shale and liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus while highlighting the latest completion and flowback practices as companies transition from dry gas to liquids.


Session VI: Best Practices—Canadian

Chairs: Dwight Bobier, CalFrac; Dan Themig, Packers Plus; Doug Bearinger, Nexen

This session will focus on recent horizontal completions techniques within Canadian shales. Well design, construction, and completion strategies have all been affected as focus has shifted from dry gas shales to the more liquids-rich portions of shales such as Montney, Saskatchewan Bakken, and Duvernay. As these plays progress from the initial individual wells to large pad completions, the search for increased efficiency plays a large role in the economics of the area. The continued development of unconventional resources and the further refinement of horizontal completions have led to new technologies and re-evaluations of best practices in many Canadian resource plays.


Session VII: Best Practices—Rocky Mountain

Chairs: Mike Eberhard, Anadarko; Paul Huckabee, Shell

The focus of this session will be on best practices and the evolution of lessons learned in the USA Rocky Mountain region. Bakken, Three Forks, and Niobrara shale appraisal and development areas will be highlighted.


Session VIII: Best Practices—Permian Basin and Mid-Continent

Chairs: Jason Baihly, Schlumberger; Tim Beard, Chesapeake Energy

Unlike a number of the unconventional plays across North America, the newest horizontal plays in the Permian basin and Mid-Continent areas have had a rather unique evolution. This session will focus on the evolution in some of the key plays in these basins along with some of the cutting-edge hydraulic fracturing technologies that have made the Permian basin and Mid-Continent plays two of the most active plays in North America. Operators will give insight on their completion progression and best practices along with empirical data that tell a different story in the more established horizontal plays in North America.

Thursday, 13 June, 0800–0930

Session IX: Best Practices—Eagle Ford

Chairs: Shawn Holzhauser, Shell; Buddy Woodroof, ProTechnics

The Eagle Ford shale of southeast Texas is a major gas, condensate, and oil resource. As one of the most active shale plays in North America, it involves a wide variety of reservoir types each requiring a different approach in exploitation and completion design. This session will focus on completion optimization and production operations as they influence well performance.


Session X: Emerging Plays

Chairs: David Copeland, Encana; Jim Venditto, Trican Well Service

The completion optimization process is different for each play. What works in one play may or may not be applicable to another play. Some steps to optimize the completions in several emerging plays will be presented.