Changing the Equation: Refracturing Shale Oil Wells

As shale operators look for ways to survive amid the current downturn in oil prices, accelerating the refracturing of older horizontal wells is turning into one of the most attractive options. In years past, when oil prices were significantly higher, the more accepted proposition was to drill and complete new wells to increase production, book new reserves, and hold onto leases.

However, since late last year, the equation has been turned on its head. In many oil-rich plays, companies are realizing that refracturing is the more budget-friendly way to achieve cash flow. Compared with the USD 8 million to USD 16 million needed for a new well, most refracture jobs are reported to cost from USD 1 million to USD 3 million. In a well where all of the sunk costs have been recovered, the extra production and incremental reserves from refracturing can net several million dollars of added profit.

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Changing the Equation: Refracturing Shale Oil Wells

Trent Jacobs, JPT Technology Writer

01 April 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 4


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