A population of over 270 wells, including over 80 Marcellus wells, was investigated to assess the impact of various early production management strategies, with attention given to the time delay between stimulation and first production, often referred to as the "resting" or "soak" period and the effect of subsequent shut-ins. Subsets of this population were used to perform the various evaluations. Four significant control factors became apparent. The use of non-volatile interfacial tension management chemistry and the rate of change of the surface flowing pressure significantly impacted the long-term performance of the wells. The use of the IFT chemistry significantly mitigated, but did not prevent, damage arising from delay to first production or shut-ins. Based on the performance metric used, delay to first production is not beneficial. However, based on other data, the probability of improvement with IFT management was less than one in four and without IFT management was about one in eight. Once on production, the rate with which the flowing pressure was decreased had an important impact on the reservoir / wellbore connectivity. If the rate of surface flowing pressure decrease was greater than about 250 psi per day, the loss of connectivity was obvious. The last control factor was the benefit derived from using high conductivity proppants, in conjunction with the IFT management achieved with persistent Interfacial Tension Modifier fluids.

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