The Pictured Cliffs formation in the San Juan basin has been a target interval for operators for many years. This tight gas reservoir lies just below the prolific Fruitland coals and has been completed either separately or as additional pay in vertical wells. With the advent of horizontal well technology, operators have begun drilling laterals in the Pictured Cliffs and completing them with multistage stimulation treatments. Because of the relatively shallow depths and the low closure pressure associated with it, 20/40-mesh proppant has been the main proppant used when completing the Pictured Cliffs formation. In this project, a different approach was necessary to complete the laterals because of limited accessibility to the well locations and the small size of the locations where storage of large mass of proppants is not viable. After analyzing the reservoir properties, the first lateral in this project was completed with a new type of thermoplastic alloy lightweight partial monolayer proppant (TPA-LWP). Following its success, three more horizontal Pictured Cliffs formation wells were completed with the partial monolayer proppant.

Production results from all four wells are presented in this work, along with the selection criteria and the operational aspects associated with pumping these proppants. This paper also discusses the production analysis performed on these four wells and compares them with five other Pictured Cliffs laterals in the basin that were stimulated with 20/40-mesh proppant.

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