Production optimization in unconventional reservoirs has traditionally been driven by hydraulic stimulation technologies. One critical technology that has been historically overlooked is the actual perforations through which the stimulation treatment is performed. While many technologies have been updated and optimized for unconventional well applications, perforating gun systems have remained largely unchanged. Conventional perforating guns create long, spiral-pattern perforations that enable effective hydraulic fracture treatments in vertical wells. However, in horizontal wells that are drilled perpendicularly to the least principal stress plane, this design is inefficient, leading to issues of tortuosity and competing fractures. This situation eventually leads to inadequate formation treatment, locking hydrocarbons within the reservoir.
In this study, we present a novel, game-changing frac-optimized perforating system that features an efficient gun design and an optimized perforating pattern that enhances fracture treatments, improves overall drainage and increases operational efficiency. The system features only three shaped charges that are orthogonally oriented with the objective of focusing treatment pressures to maximize fracture length and reach while achieving the benefit of reducing competing fractures and tortuosity near the wellbore. This also enables more proppant and fluid to penetrate the formation, reduce pressure drop across the wellbore and minimize choking during flow back. Additionally, the shorter gun length and decreased number of shaped charges provide greater operational efficiency and reduced HSE risk.
Following system qualification and operational planning, a field trial was recently conducted for an operator using the frac-optimized perforating gun system. The system was deployed in two of the stages in a 55-stage well completion. The operation was successfully run on both stages and results showed that the treatment pressures during the frac operation were smaller than in the stages perforated with conventional guns. Further, the desired flow rate of 100BPM was achieved faster with the frac-optimized gun system. The stages where this system was run also had a noticeable operating time reduction in comparison with their adjacent conventional gun stages.