A Multientry, Multistage Fracturing-Sleeve System in Bakken Shale Wells

Fig. 1: 3- and 6-month production results.

This paper evaluates dominant and currently applied completion methods by comparing wells in the Middle Bakken continuous resource play that have used all identified systems. The authors discuss these completion designs and methods and fracturing operations that are often executed. Assessment of viability and production efficiency of multiple-entry-point fracturing-sleeve-system (MEFSS) completions as compared with other completion methods is the primary focus of the complete paper.


The three most common completion techniques in the Middle Bakken are plug and perforation (P&P), single-­entry-point fracturing-sleeve systems (SEFSSs), and MEFSSs. Traditional P&P techniques were developed initially for vertical-well applications and then adapted to horizontal wellbores. As a result, composite-fracturing-plug design had to evolve for horizontal-well deployment and pumpdown capabilities. Cementing, typically the isolation method for P&P-completed wellbores, is also difficult in horizontal wellbores. Because of the need for an interventionless completion system to facilitate compartmentalized stimulation designs, development and use of SEFSS technologies to overcome many of these challenges came into accepted practice.

SEFSS technologies use specifically sized balls that are dropped from surface to actuate sleeves that are pre­installed with the completion liner string. These actuation balls also provide progressive downstream isolation as the treatment is pumped sequentially from toe to heel. Fracturing-sleeve systems can be used in conjunction with openhole annular isolation packers or cemented in place. These systems do not require millout to ensure that a target zone can produce, although the ball seats are typically milled in the Bakken system. Fracturing-sleeve technologies also help eliminate the use of water and chemicals because the isolation balls do not have to be pumped to depth post-flush as in a P&P technique. Because the actuation balls can be launched and landed on the fly, hundreds of barrels of water are typically saved on each individual treatment.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 171629, “Does a Multientry, Multistage Fracturing-Sleeve System Improve Production in Bakken Shale Wells Over Other Completion Methods?,” by Ben Wellhoefer, Andy Eis, and Geoffrey Gullickson, Halliburton, prepared for the 2014 SPE/CSUR Unconventional Resources Conference—Canada, Calgary, 30 September–2 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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A Multientry, Multistage Fracturing-Sleeve System in Bakken Shale Wells

01 September 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 9


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