Total E&P is currently operating a tight gas field in Argentina, consisting of a low permeability and heterogeneous sandstone under hydrostatic pressure regime.

The field is mainly developed with casing-cemented horizontal multi-frac wells at 1700 m TVD and 3000 m MD and vertical wells targeting the same depth.

Numerous technical drawbacks were faced at the beginning of field development, threatening the chances of producing commercial rates and eventually locking a projected campaign. As a result, innovative solutions in terms of stimulation and reservoir evaluation techniques had to be deployed in order to achieve sustained productivity.

After performing more than 200 fracture treatments in 10 multi-frac horizontals plus 50 vertical wells, several key lessons were capitalized in the field of;

  • Fracture design, including proppant selection and the application of ultra light weight proppants

  • A new approach in permeability assessment allowing completion optimization of horizontal wells

  • Horizontal drain vertical placement in a thick reservoir

One relevant step in the process was, in addition, learning to manage reservoir free water production by introducing the appropriate artificial lift techniques.

This paper summarizes the main challenges, milestones and lessons captured in the completion and productivity domain that finally enabled a cost effective field development.

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