Permian operators have dramatically increased the number of multi-stage fractured horizontal wells over the past 5 years and face challenges associated with maximizing production of existing wells while developing new acreage and benches, all the while meeting capital return requirements. Over that time, DNA diagnostics have been applied successfully to more than 1000 wells throughout the Permian Basin to help operators reduce uncertainties ranging from drained rock volume, well-well communication, and sources of water production.

When subsurface conditions change, microbes change, and the DNA from microbes can be used to profile total fluid flow (water + oil phases) from benches and between wells. It therefore serves as a powerful tool to provide a range of answers, using advanced analytics and integration with various data sets. In this study, we will provide the background of DNA diagnostics and related analytics, along with the latest insights into viable operating environments. We also highlight recent Permian basin projects that have used DNA in conjunction with operator data to reduce uncertainty about subsurface conditions.

We will show Total Fluid Logs, which are based on comparing DNA signatures from produced fluids with a DNA stratigraphy log. Total Fluid Logs are utilized to 1) constrain interpreted fracture heights, and 2) work in combination with pressure and production data for Rate Transient Analysis (RTA) for significantly improved estimation of the half-length. The case histories will illustrate the differences between production rates and confirmed fracture height and half-length, and a discussion of microseismic is included.

We show how produced fluid collection during pad completions can elucidate well-well communication and demonstrate the impact of completion size and completion order on effective drainage heights. DNA changes in produced fluids can be compared to production data to reveal the timing and impact of frac hits between wells during zipper completions.

Finally, we provide a suggested workflow for analyzing water contributions out of target in the diagnosis of problem wells. Petrophysical logs can be compared to drainage height assessments to help reveal from which depths water may be producing and can be integrated with production data for a more complete subsurface understanding.

DNA diagnostics represent a complementary, cost effective, minimum environmental footprint and low risk tool for operators to easily integrate into existing production and engineering workflows for monitoring well health and subsurface conditions across time.

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