World energy demand has led unconventional reservoirs to become a focal point for operators worldwide. In some regions, including North America, unconventional resources have been developed successfully, accumulating important experience and lessons learned in the process, allowing these resources to become important contributors to countries’ energy production. In an attempt to reproduce this effect in other regions, operators are also looking into important unconventional reservoirs outside North America. Currently the world’s third-largest shale oil and gas resources holder, Argentina has become a key focus for many operators initiating exploration and development operations. This brings many challenges to operators trying to take over this market as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible.
When developing unconventional reservoirs in the magnitude expected, one of the most important challenges for service companies and operators in Argentina is effectively grasping the global expertise, best practices, and lessons learned from these types of operations and adapt them to the local environment. This should reduce the learning curve experienced while starting a new development. A key component of these challenges includes all coiled tubing (CT) interventions involved in well completion; expertise in CT intervention is critical because of the risks concerning these operations, which include wellbore calibration, perforating, fracture plug drillouts (FPDOs), and sand cleanouts. Overcoming this challenge can translate into valuable time and cost reductions and allow operators to reach the efficiency that took years to attain in other parts of the world in much less time.
Lessons learned and best practices incorporated from global experience, in addition to the local ideas, contributed to the implementation of CT interventions for the shale startup and beginning of the development phase in Argentina. Statistics and results from jobs performed in these reservoirs in its first year since startup reflect the changes and adaptations undertaken to successfully develop the shale resources in Argentina and to inform future plans for this rapidly evolving market.