Unconventional plays across the US are often made of stacked pays, typically ranging from a few hundred to thousands of feet thick. These stacked pay intervals are generally segregated into different formations as dictated by differences in geology, mineralogy, rock fabric, and fluid type. This proves to be a challenge because many stacked/staggered horizontal wells are required to provide effective coverage of the reservoir. Selecting the right landing location can become even more challenging in an environment with existing producing wells in adjacent formations because pressure depletion and its associated effects on fracture propagation necessitate consideration of vertical spacing and time.
In this study, we outline an integrated approach that addresses a four-dimensional horizontal well placement challenge in the Midland basin's Wolfcamp A formation using advanced hydraulic fracture modeling to calibrate hydraulic fracture geometries and history match five producing wells in both Lower Spraberry and Wolfcamp B. The optimal landing location within the Wolfcamp A was determined based on an assessment of reservoir quality, rock mechanics, unique structural features, and depletion effects. These data were then combined to form a 4D geomodel that enabled a completion optimization study via modeling of the resulting complex hydraulic fracture geometry and subsequent hydrocarbon production.
This integrated workflow, using a wide array of high-quality datasets and the input of experts from multiple disciplines, yielded a comprehensive assessment and clear recommendations for this challenging partially depleted stacked pay interval. Although this study is specific to the Midland basin's Lower Spraberry and Wolfcamp A and B formations, many sections of the workflow apply to other basins and their unique strata.