Even after the drilling of several thousand horizontal Bakken wells in Montana and North Dakota, geologists and engineers question whether their companies are using the appropriate completion and stimulation parameters for their reservoir in their particular location. Answers to this fundamental question can be difficult to come by using univariate statistical techniques. Thus, more advanced and integrated methods of analysis may be needed to achieve sound interpretations. The purpose of this paper is to apply multivariate statistical modeling in conjunction with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) pattern recognition work to update and expand previous Bakken data-mining efforts.

The investigation began by updating Bakken Formation data using both proprietary and public information. The different data sets were loaded into a common database and put through quality control sanity checks. Production proxies, such as maximum oil rate in the first 12 producing months, were selected and merged with the other data. Final data sets were then subjected to analysis in both an open-source statistical analysis environment and a commercial (GIS) application.

The integration of the two analysis and interpretation methods highlighted the importance of using well location as a proxy for reservoir quality when working with data sets that lack such measurements. The use of multivariate statistical analysis allowed modeling the impact of particular completion and stimulation parameters on the production outcome by averaging out the impact of all other variables in the system.

This work is believed to be unique in its combination of multivariate statistics and GIS pattern recognition to address questions of well optimization in unconventional reservoirs and that is its application. It is significant in that it expands the scope of prior studies that did not take full advantage of multivariate statistical methods.

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