Effects of Infill- and Offset-Drilling Patterns on Field Development for Shale Wells

Fig. 1—Pressure field (with green representing low pressure) inside the SRV, with arrows showing flow from XRV into SRV.

Delaying the start of new wells is understood to reduce the net present value (NPV) of a section, but variations in the arrangement of infill wells have not been examined thoroughly. In this paper, the effect of timing and pattern of well placement on NPV is studied. Three scenarios were evaluated: an infill scheme in which future wells are drilled between existing wells, a linear scheme in which future wells are immediate offsets of existing wells, and a hybrid scheme that is a combination of the infill and linear schemes.


All previously published work using reservoir modeling to ascertain optimal well density assumes idealized conditions: zero well-to-well interference through fracture communication and simultaneous production initiation for all wells. Previous work postulated how infill-well drilling can improve cumulative recovery from shale-gas reservoirs because the distance between wells and the type of completion technique affect the amount of additional possible recovery. NPV considerations are important when operators consider either infill drilling or enhanced recovery methods to improve cumulative recovery from reservoirs that have gone through primary recovery. Reservoir simulation can help determine areas where depletion has not occurred and thus are optimal for potential infill-well development.

The base case was chosen to be five wells per section (1,056 ft between wellbores) because of previous work. This paper determined how the economic results vary for three different field-­development schemes for this optimal-­well-spacing scenario.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 165722, “An Examination of Infill- and Offset-Drilling Patterns in Field Development for Shale Wells,” by Vivek Sahai, SPE, Greg Jackson, SPE, Farshad Lalehrokh, SPE, and Rakesh Rai, SPE, Weatherford, prepared for the 2013 SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 20–22 August.
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Effects of Infill- and Offset-Drilling Patterns on Field Development for Shale Wells

01 December 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 12


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