The profitability of a well in an unconventional play is significantly influenced by its completion. It is widely understood that tighter rock needs more stimulation to economically recover hydrocarbons. However, how does one know if a well is being over-stimulated (fracture area created does not justify cost incurred) or under-stimulated (lost potential/profitability in productivity from a well's limited contact to the formation)?

The objective of this paper is to develop and demonstrate an efficient workflow that will help stakeholders make better decisions in the area of completion planning. The workflow utilizes information from fracture modeling, production data analysis, and project economics to quantify the relationship between the key input parameters of the well completion (e.g. pumping rate, proppant and fluid pumped) and expected profitability expressed in net present value (NPV) terms. As a secondary objective, the case study demonstrates that a probabilistic approach (Monte Carlo Simulation) can be used to efficiently arrive at a consistent conclusion to the primary workflow. The output of the probabilistic model includes P90/P50/P10 production and net cash-flow forecasts, from which distributions of NPV can be obtained.

This workflow is intended to help engineers compare profitability among different completion options. A shale gas field example is presented to illustrate the methodology.

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