With recent advances in downhole imaging technology, it has become evident that surface perforation testing does not directly translate to downhole conditions. A total of 279 pre- and 595 post- fracture treatment perforations were imaged in this analysis. Pre-treatment perforation hole size was highly variable, even with oriented equal-entry charges. Because of high pre-fracture treatment variability, it is not recommended to use an average diameter of unstimulated perforations to evaluate cluster efficiency of perforations post-fracture treatment. Ideally, perforations should be individually imaged before and after treatment for direct comparison. However, since pre-treatment imaging is costly, an alternate methodology is presented. The findings in this paper will challenge current understanding of actual pre-treatment hole sizes, their variability, and their implications on cluster efficiency.

Cluster efficiency cutoff limits have historically been subjective and promoted a false confidence in the ability of Completions Engineers to extend stage lengths and adjust perforation designs. A more stringent and calculated method of determining cluster efficiency is presented.

Utilizing both wireline pumpdown for pre-treatment measurements, and coil tubing for post-treatment measurements, downhole imaging technology was deployed to measure perforations from four separate perforation charge manufacturers for pre- and post- treatment erosional analysis.

Additionally, while understanding the strike/slip stress state of the Anadarko basin, perforations were oriented at 90° and 270° (degrees from top of wellbore), parallel to the maximum rock stress, promoting a shorter and less tortuous path to the fracture initiation point. Perforating at 90° and 270° reduced tortuosity and surface treating pressure, promoted a less variable pre-treatment perforation hole size due to its symmetry, and resulted in a significant increase in cluster efficiency verses pervious designs.

This project effectively optimized a perforation design utilizing pre- and post- fracture treatment perforation imaging and a thorough understanding of pre-treatment perforation hole size to evaluate the effectiveness of stress-targeted, oriented perforating and its effect on cluster efficiency, tortuosity, and pre-treatment hole size variability. The optimized design resulted in 84%-97% cluster efficiency and reduced surface treating pressure by 770 psi. This workflow can be applied by Completions Engineers to any unconventional basin where plug and perf design is utilized.

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