Operator Uses HiWAY Technique to Increase Production 36% with Less Water and Proppant | Schlumberger
Case Study
Midland Basin, United States, North America, Onshore

Challenge: Complete more stages using fewer resources and increase production to make Cline Shale exploitation more profitable.

Solution: Use HiWAY flow-channel fracturing technique to provide high fracture conductivity and reduce the amount of fluid and proppant needed.


  • Saved 32% proppant and 13% fluid per stage
  • Pumped 90% of stages to completion, compared with only 60% of stages with slickwater
  • Yielded 36% more normalized oil production with HiWAY technique compared with slickwater
  • Provided better well stimulation with flowback load recovery at about 33% for HiWAY technique
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Operator Uses HiWAY Technique to Increase Production 36% with Less Water and Proppant

HiWAY technique consumes 13% less fluid and 32% less proppant per stage than slickwater fracturing in Cline Shale formation

Existing fracture strategy includes high fluid requirements in remote area

As one of the innovators in the Midland basin, an operator has vast experience with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques. Searching for an option that required less fluid and proppant to be effective, the operator wanted to compare HiWAY technique with slickwater for both operational efficiency and production.


Image of Hydrocarbons flowing through open pathways and stable channels created using the HiWAY technique
Hydrocarbons flow through open pathways and stable channels created using the HiWAY technique.

Operator tests new fracturing technique against slickwater

To increase production and improve efficiency in these tight wells, Schlumberger recommended testing the HiWAY technique against slickwater fracturing stimulation. A vertical pilot well was drilled, and ECS elemental capture spectroscopy sonde, CMR-Plus combinable magnetic resonance tool, and Sonic Scanner acoustic scanning platform data were used to model the hydraulic fracture simulations and eventually optimize the pump schedule. FracCADE fracturing design and evaluation software, Mangrove engineered stimulation design in the Petrel platform, Petrel E&P software platform, and Planar3D fracturing design simulator based on a planar 3D model were also used for running fracture modeling and simulations. To accurately measure the effectiveness of the HiWAY technique, the operator drilled, staged, and completed two similar laterals from the same surface location.

HiWAY technique improves fracture conductivity and overall production

The well fractured with the HiWAY technique flowed back naturally for the first 20 days, while the slickwater well required the use of an ESP. The final load recovery from the job using the HiWAY technique was about 33%, which was higher than slickwater load recovery of about 24.5%. In 65 days of production, the HiWAY technique increased normalized oil production 36% compared with the offset well. In addition, the HiWAY technique used 13% less fluid and 32% less proppant per stage. Due to these results, the operator decided to use the HiWAY technique in future wells to be drilled in Cline and Wolfcamp Shale of the Midland basin.

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