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Understanding Well Performance and Optimizing Completions in the Bakken

10 – 12 December 2013

San Diego, California | Omni San Diego Hotel

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 10 December, 0800-0815

Chairperson’s Welcome


Session I: The Bakken Interval of the Williston Basin—Is it a Shale in Name Only?

Chairs: Randy LaFollette, Baker Hughes; Tom Lenney, Hess

The Bakken is a much more complex volume of rock than the moniker “Bakken Shale” implies. The Elm Coulee Field in Eastern Montana is a crystalline carbonate reservoir with little influence from natural fracturing. Bakken rocks in North Dakota vary in their lithology, stratigraphy, and rock properties according to location, but have both siliciclastic and carbonate influences. Natural fracture influence is similarly varied. This session is designed to provide geological and engineering descriptions of key Bakken areas, so that attendees can better understand the natural variability in well productivity.


Session II: Where is All of This Water Coming From and Can We Fix It?

Chairs: Tom Lenney, Hess; Randy LaFollette, Baker Hughes

Water saturation calculations in the Bakken and Three Forks can be misleading, and water-cuts
are often higher than anticipated. The water production in the Bakken and Three Forks
petroleum system will be reviewed using a multi-disciplined approach. The approach will
include geology, geophysics, petrophysics, drilling, and completions to characterize water source(s) and the impact of lateral placement, fracture designs, and completion strategies.


Session III: Well Placement—“Where’s the Sweet Spot?”

Chairs: Russ Buettner, Marathon Oil Company; Andronikos Demarchos, Hess

It has been a number of years since the first horizontal well was drilled in the Middle Bakken
in North Dakota. Several thousand wells have been drilled since. Thousands of feet of core
have been cut, processed, and analyzed. The 3-D seismic and microseismic data has been
accumulated and analyzed. Pilot studies and modeling has been performed in both the Three
Forks and the Bakken. This session will address what technology is the best tool to stay on target.


Session IV: Models for Performance Evaluation

Chairs: Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes; James White, Pinnacle

How do design changes in well location, length, completion, and stimulation design impact
performance? Optimization of heterogeneous reservoirs requires both forward and inverse
modeling capabilities. This session investigates the use of such models with the goal of both
evaluating and predicting well performance. Included in the discussion will be how we use
petrophysical models, hydraulic fracturing models, reservoir simulation models, and rate-transient modeling to optimize field development.

Wednesday, 11 December, 0800-0930

Session V: Performance Evaluation—Data and Measurements

Chairs: Bilu Cherian, Schlumberger; Nathan Meehan, Baker Hughes

The Three Forks and the Upper and Lower Bakken shales now have significant performance data using varied hydraulic fracture spacing, well lengths, and well spacing. This session examines methods of understanding this performance including the impact of interference,variability in fracture response, and microseismic responses. Questions to address are what implications can we reach from current performance evaluation approaches for subsequent field development and what other approaches are needed.


Session VI: How to Design an Economic Bakken Completion

Chairs: Michael Laggan, Schlumberger; Gene Beck, Statoil; Ben Ackley, Marathon Oil Company

There is a wide variety of completion choices for Bakken and Three Forks wells, with the final design having a significant impact on required capital and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR). This session will address the fundamental design elements of a Bakken completion, and set a framework for evaluating the cost and benefit of each element.


Session VII: Stimulation

Chairs: Dave Cramer, ConocoPhillips; Terry Palisch, Carbo Ceramics; Kumar Ramurthy, Halliburton

Well stimulation is needed for the successful development of an unconventional resource, and is considered to be an integral part of field development planning and optimization. These two sessions will cover the latest stimulation methods and technology that are being performed in the Bakken and Three Forks formations, including material selection, job sizing, and the role of diagnostics in the fracturing design. Each topic will be presented using case histories and will illustrate the economic benefit realized.


Session VIII: Stimulation (Continued)

Thursday, 12 December, 0800-0930

Session IX: Getting Your Bakken Well From Rig Release to Sales

Chairs: Michael Laggan, Schlumberger; Gene Beck, Statoil; Ben Ackley, Marathon Oil Company

Executing the completion design requires multiple phases of well operations prior to and beyond the stimulation, all of which are capital intensive. This session will study the life cycle of the well from final drilling operations through early production, once again setting a framework for evaluating the cost and benefit of each phase.


Session X: Field Optimization—What Are the Optimum Well Spacing, Lateral Length, and Number of Stages?

Chairs: Russ Buettner, Marathon Oil Company; Andronikos Demarchos, Hess

With all the prime acreage captured under “held by production (HBP)”, operators are in full development mode. The objective is to high gradelocations and maximize value. In addition to all the items covered before, three main factors seem to emerge: well spacing, lateral length, and number of stages. This session will address these issues.