During the life time of a production well, sometimes it is inevitable that remediation methods have to be adopted for different reasons. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the common ways to boost production by either reopening existing fractures or creating new fractures. Considering the large number of unconventional wells that have experienced sharp production declines and the current tight budget for drilling new wells, refracturing will certainly become an important technology worthy of more investigation.

This paper reviews the production and completion data for a number of wells that have been re-stimulated by hydraulic fracturing since 2011. Wells with enough production data were selected to evaluate their production responses by comparing both the cumulative production in a fixed period of time before and after the re-stimulation and by evaluating incremental production increase normalized by amount of proppant used to restimulate the well. Wells involved in the study had been producing from various formations for different periods of time before restimulation. In addition to the analysis above, this study went a step further by attempting to understand the reasons behind inconsistent results after refracturing: high performance of some wells and the failure of the others to meet production expectations.

Two re-completion effectiveness indexes are defined in the paper based on production performance before and after restimulation and on re-completion job size. Overall, the study shows mixed results. Although some formations demonstrated much more favorable response than others, it was also possible for wells producing from the same formation to have extremely different responses to the restimulation. Candidates for restimulation should be evaluated carefully, to include their level of depletion, the petrophysical and geomechanical properties of the rock, and previous well completion and stimulation. These data and measurements are required to engineer an appropriate refracturing or recompletion design. The study also shows very promising results from refracturing some long-producing conventional wells, which indicate opportunities to rejuvenate old wells with hydraulic fracturing.

This study provides an overview of the lessons learned from examination of a limited data set of hydraulic fracturing restimulations done in the past five years.

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