Industry Article: Technology Fuels BHP’s Eagle Ford Improvements

Technology Fuels BHP’s Eagle Ford Improvements
Publication: World Oil
Issue: August 2014
Publication Date: 08/01/2014

Modelling performed by BHP Billiton indicated an opportunity to increase estimated ultimate recovery in one of its dry gas shale fields by 20%–60% through improved vertical coverage and fracture conductivity. The company subsequently extended a scientifically oriented approach to all four of its onshore unconventional plays, including the Eagle Ford. There, improving proppant placement and fracture geometry are just two elements in a multi-component completion and fracture evaluation—which includes both numerical and analytical modeling with diagnostics validation—directed at optimizing completion designs.

To help maximize efficiencies, the company’s Eagle Ford shale group established strategic partnerships with select contractors and service providers considered to be philosophically well-aligned with its development approach. Investment in various optimized drilling and well completions technologies have since successfully improved ultimate recovery rates. For example, after microseismic and production logging data confirmed disproportionate contribution by individual fracture clusters, BHP decided to apply the Schlumberger BroadBand Sequence fracturing service, which uses a composite fluid comprising a proprietary blend of degradable fibers and multimodal particles to enable sequential stimulation of perforated clusters or open-hole intervals. This essentially creates chemical diversion to improve stimulated rock volume and create a more uniform distribution across clusters.

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