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Technical Paper: Efficient Multifractured Horizontal Completions Change the Economic Equation in Latin America Through Improved Reservoir Contact and Well Productivity

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 118292
Presentation Date: 2008
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Abstract

Latin America hasn’t escaped the general industry trend of finding reserves in ever challenging environments. Complex geology and low permeability are the common denominator in today’s environment. Developing reserves under these conditions with conventional vertical wells is in most cases uneconomical. In this setting, horizontal wells have come to mitigate the problem, however in most unfavorable conditions where oil and gas are found in tight formations fracture stimulation needs to be added to the equation.

Conventional multistage fracturing techniques including perforating, fracture stimulating and isolating stages with a composite bridge plug have been applied in some cases with limited success. The time consumed in the completion operations extends over weeks making wells uneconomical. In addition, the prolonged time over which the frac fluid remains in the formation before being flowed back often affects well productivity.

This paper describes the experience of three operators in Latin America that have implemented a new completion system to overcome the time consuming and productivity limitations of conventional completions described above.

The new completion system is run as part of the production liner, does not require cementing and provides positive mechanical diversion at specified intervals, so fracturing and stimulations can be pumped effectively to their targeted zone. The system has also been designed, so all of the fracturing or stimulation treatments along the horizontal wellbore can be pumped in one continuous operation, thus minimizing the associated risks and optimizing the efficiencies of both the personnel and equipment needed to perform the work.

The conclusions will show the operational efficiencies and reliability of this novel completion system, as well as analyze the cost benefits and production increases that have been observed.

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