Production Metrics To Predict Long-Term Performance of Unconventional Wells

Topics: Management and Information Petroleum economics/production forecasting Tight gas/shale gas/coalbed methane
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In unconventional plays, comparing the effect of different completion designs or well-management strategies on well performance remains a challenge because of the relatively brief production history and lack of long-term field analogs of these plays. This study examines various production durations as potential candidates for reliable indicators of well quality. The results show that predictions of midterm performance begin to be reliable only near 180 days of cumulative well production. This study used actual daily production data to confirm that 30- and 90-day initial production are not correlated strongly to well actual performance in the 2-year range.


It has been a common practice to quantify performance of unconventional wells through their 30-day initial production for purposes of information for the media and in investor presentations. The authors’ experience has been that the 30-day initial production often does not necessarily quantify a well’s potential. The goal of this study is to compare various production-duration periods to identify which can most accurately forecast longer-term production. This study tests different production durations by use of actual well-production history from the Utica play in Ohio, USA. The term “IP-nnn” in the paper refers to a specific number of days of nonzero production for the well; for example, “wellhead gas IP-30” refers to the total volume of the first 30 days of nonzero wellhead gas production for the well, whereas “condensate IP-90” refers to the total volume of the first 90 days of nonzero condensate production for the well.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 184817, “Optimal Production Metric To Predict Unconventional Wells’ Long-Term Performance,” by Edward Ifejika, Bertrand De Cumont, and Nommie Kashani, Total, prepared for the 2017 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 24–26 January. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Production Metrics To Predict Long-Term Performance of Unconventional Wells

01 July 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 7