In Shale and Tight, the term "Parent-Child effect" refers to the impact the depleted area and corresponding stress changes originated by the production of a previously drilled well, the "parent", has over the generated hydraulic fracture geometry, conforming initial drainage area and consequent production performance of a new neighbor well, called "child". Such effect might be considered analogous to the no flow boundary created when the drainage areas of two wells meet at a certain distance from them in conventional reservoirs; but, unconventional developments exhibit higher exposure to a more impactful version of this phenomena, given their characteristic tighter well spacing and the effect pressure depletion of the nearby area by the neighbor well has over the child well's hydraulic fracture development.

Due to the importance the Parent-Child effect has for unconventional developments, this study aims first to generally characterize this effect and then quantify its expected specific project impact based on real field data from the Vaca Muerta formation.

To do so, we developed a methodology where fracture and reservoir simulation were applied for calibrating a base model using field observed data such as microseismic, tracers, daily production data and well head pressure measurements. The calibrated model was then coupled with a geomechanical reservoir simulator and used to predict pressure and stress tensor profiles across different depletion times. On these different resulting scenarios, child wells were hydraulically fractured with varying well spacing and completion designs. Finally, the Expected Ultimate Recovery (EUR) impact versus well spacing and the parent´s production time were built for different child´s completion design alternatives, analyzed and contrasted against previously field observed data.

Results obtained from the characterization work suggests the parent child effect is generated by a combination of initial drainage area changes and stress magnitude and direction changes, which are both dependent of the pressure depletion from the parent well. Furthermore, the results show how the well spacing and parent's production timing, as well as parent's and child's completion design, significantly affect the magnitude of the expected parent child effect impact over the child's EUR.

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