Technical Paper: Asset Development Drivers in the Bakken and Three Forks

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 163855
Presentation Date: 2013
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Home to one of the largest North American deposits discovered in the last few decades, the Bakken, spanning 200,000 square miles along the borders of Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana is rivaling some of the largest proven reserves. As the use of long horizontal wells and multi-stage fracturing technology has significantly increased productivity and activity in the basin, the challenges associated with infill-completions, depletion and controlled fracture growth must be addressed to ensure efficient and effective practices, encouraging long-term planning without hindering investment.

In this paper, models are built to replicate well performance (fracturing and production-numerical & rate-transient) and to understand the impact of key technologies (multistage/completion type and multilaterals) across the basin to demonstrate why completion strategies must be modified based on reservoir quality and stress state. Confusion between the success of sliding sleeves/plug-and-perf and what drives the optimal number of stages is also addressed using fracture modeling and production modeling with emphasis on key parameters (fracture length, connectivity, number of fractures) influencing productivity. The recent focus on data acquisition and modeling in the Three Forks has presented a range of challenges and opportunities due to the laminations in this reservoir. Log up-scaling methods and simulator engines were crucial to modeling and thus evaluating propagation behavior. This paper also presents how the use of data gathering (log, routine and specialized core) and modeling has enabled us to understand how in-fill drilling can alter drainage patterns and influence production success

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