The evolution of well completions in the Barnett Shale Reservoir of North Texas has moved into the realm of horizontal wells. This move was clearly evidenced by an increase from 10 permits in 2002 to more than 100 permits in 2003 to drill Barnett Shale horizontals. In late 2003 and into 2004, success with horizontal completions has possibly proliferated the most in the more economically challenging areas of the field (outside of Denton and Wise Counties) where the Viola "bottom" is poor to absent, making Ellenburger water a concern.

Conventional fracturing processes that were well defined in the vertical well stimulation arena have helped to shape the completion strategies of horizontal wellbores, such that operators generally assume that a large-volume, light-sand waterfrac stimulation will be a requirement. However, many are concerned that fracturing of uncemented liners may not provide adequate effective reservoir drainage in horizontal wells. At times, these concerns have pointed to a need for complicated and expensive multistage fracture treatments using cemented liners to get complete lateral zone coverage.

At least one Barnett Shale operator has made extensive use of microseismic fracture mapping during fracture stimulation of horizontal wells for both cemented and noncemented liner completions. Additionally, wells with cemented and noncemented casing have been completed using the relatively new hydrajet-fracturing technology and were microseismic mapped. This paper presents a comparison of varied completion techniques and what has been learned from these mapping efforts.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.