Completion optimization in unconventional wells has been an industry goal since the earliest stages of horizontal development. Motivated by the desire for higher financial returns and fueled by the rise of both technology and big data, optimization efforts have become de rigueur. This paper describes an optimization project in which a legacy Bakken completion design was set aside to make way for a "blank slate" analysis. Addressed in this context are the optimization research challenges faced by smaller operators in the play. The resulting re-designed completion was applied on a recent six-well zipper frac in east-central McKenzie County yielding a production increase of 13.5% with a cost reduction of 3.6% compared to legacy completions.

On the same zipper project, an active well defense strategy on existing producers offsetting the six-well pad was also employed. With the increase in development density across the Bakken play, well interference associated with fracturing treatments is becoming increasingly common. While such well interference, known as "frac hits", can produce a variety of effects, including some that are beneficial, they are generally considered to be undesirable. Included in this paper is a discussion of the operator's frac hit experience and the results of the active well defense strategies applied in this project.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.