An Efficient Work Flow for Planning Well Completions and Forecasting Profitability

Fig. 1—Hypothetical, but realistic, cash-flow profile for stakeholders of a multiple-fractured horizontal well.

The objective of this paper is to develop and demonstrate an efficient work flow that will help stakeholders make better decisions in the area of completion planning. The work flow uses information from fracture modeling, production-data analysis, and project economics to quantify the relationship between the key input parameters of the well completion (pumping rate, proppant, and fluid pumped) and expected profitability expressed in net-present-value (NPV) terms.


Over the past decade, completion costs have risen because of longer laterals, higher pressures, and an increase in stages and in fluid and proppant pumped. As completion teams continue to see economic production from larger completions, it is safe to assume that the cost of completions will remain high relative to total well cost. While drilling costs are generally spread out over weeks or months, completion costs are highly concentrated at the end of the development phase. Furthermore, the risk of unforeseen costs in the completion phase creates significant uncertainty in profitability. This type of cash-flow profile (Fig. 1) causes the completion phase to largely determine the profitability of a well. It is difficult to separate the impact of completion and reservoir effects on production.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 169821, “Well Completions and Profitability: A Horn River Shale Case Study,” by C.R. Ross, SPE, and D.M. Anderson, SPE, IHS; C.P. Stephens, SPE, Calfrac Well Services; and C. Virues, SPE, Nexen Energy, prepared for the 2014 SPE Hydrocarbon Economics and Evaluation Symposium, Houston, 19–20 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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An Efficient Work Flow for Planning Well Completions and Forecasting Profitability

01 July 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 7


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