Industry Article: Improving Horizontal Completions in Heterogeneous Tight Shales

Improving Horizontal Completions in Heterogeneous Tight Shales
Publication: Journal of Petroleum Technology
Publication Date: 10/01/2012

Production from nanodarcy-range-permeability shale formations requires extensive hydraulic fracturing, large volumes of water, and closely spaced wells. The current trend of increasing lateral lengths, increasing the number of perforation stages, and increasing the volume of water and proppants pumped is unsustainable. Comparing calculations of the possible fracture-surface area created during treatments to production results indicates that a large proportion of that surface area is ineffective for production, resulting in ineffective use of resources and increased costs. A fundamental understanding is required to improve the efficiency of horizontal completions of oil and gas in producing tight shales. Applying extensive laboratory characterization of mechanical properties on core, core/log integration, and continuous mapping of these properties using LWD along the horizontal wellbore, helps operators define the appropriate guidelines for effective perforation and fracturing to improve completion design and horizontal-well-completion efficiency.

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