Multistage Completions, Fracturing, and Refracturing in Shales

Production and Operations

Course Description

This course gives an overview for completing, fracturing, and refracturing shales and other low-permeability formations that require multistage hydraulic fracturing. Participants will learn the primary types of wellbore completion options, plug-and-perf, ball-activated systems, and coiled tubing-activated systems, and how they compare in different applications. Participants will also learn hydraulic fracturing and refracturing theory and design, including slick-water fracturing, cross-linked gels, fluids, proppants, additives, refracturing options, and identifying refracturing candidates.


  • Multistage completion options
    • Plug-and-perf completions
    • Ball-activated completion systems
    • Coiled-tubing-activated completion systems
  • Benefits and considerations for each completion option
  • Application comparison of completion options
  • General fracturing theory and design
  • Selection of fracturing components – fluids, proppants, etc.
  • Fracturing challenges – proppant transport, conductivity, fracture geometry, etc.
  • Stimulation Design Optimization – stage placement, risk mitigation
  • Refracturing theory and challenges
  • Identifying refracturing candidates
  • Refracturing options and design considerations

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different types of multistage completions
  • Recognize the benefits and considerations for each type of completion system
  • Use knowledge gained to select completion based on their specific application
  • Understand theory and design of fracturing and refracturing wells
  • Compare the application specific challenges for a fracturing and refracturing job
  • Apply knowledge gained to their fracturing and refracturing application

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

In the last decade new production from shales and other low-permeability reservoirs that require multistage hydraulic fracturing has significantly influenced the price and supply of hydrocarbons. The success of these plays in North America has operators around the globe trying to identify similar reservoirs. In order to replicate these results in new plays and implement a more sustainable and improved approach to unconventional resource development in existing plays, it is important to understand and recognize the multiple options and challenges of completing, fracturing, and refracturing these types of wells.

Who Attends

This course is designed for all Oil and Gas Industry professionals involved in planning, drilling, completing, hydraulic fracturing, asset management, and operating wells with multistage hydraulic fracturing.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


W. Aaron Burton’s career has been focused on the completion of shales and similar unconventional plays that require multistage hydraulic fracturing. In 2015, Burton started Unconventional Oil and Gas Training, a company specializing in training and consulting for unconventional multistage completions. Prior to starting the company, he was with Baker Hughes for nearly 8 years. During his tenure in operations he held the roles of field engineer, operations coordinator, and application engineer. Outside of operations he has been Product Line Strategist, Completions Manager for the Unconventional Resource Team, and Product Line Manager for unconventional multistage completions. He has completed wells, conducted training, and consulted on a variety of projects worldwide. Through his experience, he has developed a solid understanding of reservoir properties and stimulation design that are used in a data-driven approach to more effectively design completions in unconventional wells.

He is active in the industry authoring and instructing on the subject of unconventional completions. He has authored and coauthored three SPE papers, and continues to teach two SPE continuing education courses. He has written a variety of other documents including magazine articles and newsletters, and taught numerous classes in many different venues to operators, service companies, and other companies involved in the industry. Also, he has been a discussion leader, presenter, panelist, and participated in many other roles in industry events.

Burton holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.

Sergey Kotov is the Manager of Integrated Technology, Global Products and Technology at Baker Hughes. Kotov has 20 years of oil and gas industry experience primarily specializing in production enhancement. Kotov started his career in Russia, participating in all aspects of pumping operations in most of the major oil and gas basins from the South to the Arctic Circle. As an application engineer of BJ Services Technology Research Center, he participated in the development and optimization of new stimulation technologies. As a senior stimulation specialist, Kotov worked in North Africa. He was involved in many stimulation projects around the world. In recent years Kotov has specialized in unconventional stimulation as a Region Engineer in the US, Sr. Stimulation Advisor/Stimulation Manager for the Unconventional Resources, and as a Global Product Line Manager for Unconventional Fracturing, providing technical expertise and leadership globally. Currently Kotov is leading the Baker Hughes’ NextWave production rejuvenation initiative to maximize value from the existing assets in unconventional reservoirs.

He is an active member of the SPE. He participated in numerous industry events as a speaker and a panelist. Kotov is as instructor for the “Unconventional Completions and Fracturing” SPE course, he is also a co-author of Baker Hughes Recommended Practices / Data-Driven Solutions for Shale Gas/Oil Analysis and Development, a co-author and instructor for Baker Hughes Shale Academy, and a co-author of “Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources: Exploration and Development” book CRC press, 2016.

Kotov holds an MS in petroleum engineering/oils and gas geology (Russia), he also earned an honors MA in linguistics (Russia).