A unique well-tracing design for three horizontally drilled wells is presented utilizing proppant tracers and water- and hydrocarbon-soluble tracers to evaluate multiple completion strategies. Results are combined to present an interpretation of them in the reservoir as a whole, where applicable, as well as on an individual well basis.

The new approach consists of tracing the horizontal well(s) leaving unchanged segments along the wellbore to obtain relevant control group results not available otherwise. The application of the tracers throughout each wellbore was designed to mitigate or counterbalance variables out of the controllable completion engineering parameters such as heterogeneity along the wellbores, existing reservoir depletion, intra- and inter-well hydraulically driven interactions (frac hits) as well as to minimize any unloading and production biases. Completion strategies are provided, and all the evaluation methodologies are described in detail to permit readers to replicate the approach.

One field case study with five horizontal wells is presented. Three infill wells were drilled between two primary wells of varying ages. All wells are shale oil wells with approximately 7,700 ft lateral sections. The recovery of each tracer is compared between the surfactant treated and untreated segments on each well and totalized to see how the petroleum reservoir system is performing. A complete project economic analysis was performed to determine the viability of a chemical additive (a production enhancement surfactant). Meticulous analysis and interpretation of the proppant image logs were performed to discern the cluster stimulation efficiency during the hydraulic fracturing treatments. Furthermore, comparisons of the cluster stimulation efficiency between the two mesh sizes of proppant pumped are also provided for each of the three new unconventional well completions. The most significant new findings are the surfactant effects on the wells’ production performance, and the impact the engineered perforations with tapered shots along the stages had on the stimulation efficiency. Both the right chemistry for the formation and higher cluster stimulation efficiencies are important because they can lead to increased well oil production.

The novelty of this tracing design methodology rests in the ability to generate results with a statistically relevant sample size, therefore, increasing the confidence in the conclusions and course of action in future well completions.

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