Completion and Well-Spacing Optimization for Horizontal Wells in Pad Development

Topics: Directional/extended reach wells Hydraulic fracturing Shale oil
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In organic shales, hydraulic fracturing is important for optimizing the production of horizontal wells. For a standalone lateral, the propped surface should be maximized to increase production. In the case of a pad, well spacing is an additional factor. Competition for production between laterals of a given pad should be minimized and is the result of both well spacing and hydraulic-fracture design. A numerical model coupling an explicit description of the hydraulic-fracture geometry and reservoir simulation is proposed to evaluate production interference.


Well Spacing. One of the more critical questions that any asset team must consider concerns well spacing when designing the development plan for a new field. Well spacing defines the total number of wells, the drilling and completion schedule, and the field-production curve. The ultimate decision relies on economic analysis, balancing the expected ultimate recovery against capital and operational expenditures.

This work focuses on methods to evaluate different well spacing and on how to reduce the range of uncertainty in the development of the Vaca Muerta play.

Well-Spacing Evaluation. Well spacing depends on geomechanics, petrophysics, stimulation design, hydraulic-fracture geometry, and reservoir fluids. These factors are combined by use of numerical simulation to study their effects on the well spacing. The following are some of the methods that are applied to define possible well spacing.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 180956, “Completion and Well-Spacing Optimization for Horizontal Wells in Pad Development in the Vaca Muerta Shale,” by M. Suarez, SPE, YPF, and S. Pichon, SPE, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2016 SPE Argentina Exploration and Production of Unconventional Resources Symposium, Buenos Aires, 1–3 June. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Completion and Well-Spacing Optimization for Horizontal Wells in Pad Development

26 September 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 10