Abstract

The development of shale assets has reached a point where operators face the challenge of infill drilling. The scope of this project is to investigate the impact of neighboring well pads on the performance of a newly developed well/pad. This paper highlights the differences in production performance of "old" pads versus "new" well and analyzes how the depletion history of the existing pads affects the performance of new well.

The study area covers two pads: Pad A and Pad B which have 10 and 12 wells respectively; these wells have been producing since 2016 from the dry gas region of Marcellus Shale in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pad A and Pad B are more than 9000 ft apart, and the region between these two pads has potential for future development. For this project, a 3-D reservoir simulation model that includes both pads was built and calibrated to match past performance of Pad A and Pad B. The calibrated simulation model then was utilized for developing new wells. The reservoir simulation model was used to perform a sensitivity analysis on reservoir characteristics and the impact of Pad A and Pad B's depletion history on the performance of new well(s). The workflow involves optimizing the well spacing of proposed well(s) with/without considering the depletion history.

Usually, with the very low permeability of shale reservoirs, the depletion history of neighboring wells is expected to affect the performance of newly developed wells. The new wells are considered as a different well pad, and their stimulated reservoir volume does not overlap with the Pad A and Pad B. However, the region average reservoir pressure is reduced due to the Pad A and Pad B production history. In most of shale reservoir numeral simulation studies, the reservoir is considered virgin. The average reservoir pressure potentially impacts the well spacing optimization workflow as well as the designing of an effective well completion job. In this study we compare two scenarios. One scenario considers the depletion history of neighboring well pads and the other one does not. The net present value optimization was done with and without considering the impact of depletion history.

This project studies the effects of neighboring well pads on production performance of newly developed pad. Compared to the interaction of parent/child well in a single well pad, multi-pad studies are rare primarily because of the high computational cost associated with a multi-pad numerical simulation analysis.

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