Industry Article: Perspectives on Refracturing

New technologies and methodologies are key to the successful revitalization of mature shale wells

Perspectives on refracturing
Publication: E&P
Publication Date: 11/01/2015

When it comes to the concept of refracturing within the industry, the key word is “potential.” This concept of returning to mature shale wells to refracture them to increase—or at the minimum to restore—estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) has the potential to help operators get more out of their wells. Even so, it is currently being greeted with varied responses.

Oruganti et al. cited a reason to pursue refracturing in shales. Results presented from the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays showed increased reserves and incremental net present value. Refracturing operations showed an increase in EUR of 53% and 69% for the Eagle Ford and Bakken, respectively. According to another author, refracturing operations on a well in the Woodford Shale resulted in a ninefold production rate increase.

Such stories are fueling interest in refracturing shale wells. Also driving interest in the refracturing technique are the low oil recovery factors in horizontal wells, improved fracturing techniques and the current oil price environment. Fracturing techniques have dramatically improved, with wells originally fractured using older and less effective techniques becoming potential refracturing candidates.

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