The efficiencies observed in simul-frac operations are commonly associated with a singular, four-plus well pad containing an even number of wells. These efficiencies yield significant savings and reduction in overall completion time, expedite first-production and substantially reduce the time in which offset wells are shut in during frac operations. The introduction of remote simul-frac operations in the Delaware Basin, proven by Matador Resources Company in their Stateline asset, has removed this operational single-pad limitation by connecting adjacent multi-well pads and opening the opportunity to capitalize on ‘traditional’ simul-frac efficiencies on multiple pads simultaneously.
Simul-frac is the use of a singular frac crew to simultaneously stimulate two separate wells. In most cases, the frac crew is equipped with an increase in hydraulic horsepower to be able to achieve rates ranging from 120 – 160 barrels per minute. The backside equipment in a Simul-Frac operation remains relatively unchanged, with the crew still utilizing only one blender. In earliest trials, wells completed via simul-frac operations were on the same pad and potentially receiving an uneven split of the fracturing slurry. By splitting the flow on the low- and high-pressure side of the frac, Matador and Universal Pressure Pumping were able to evenly meter the flow of slurry to two separate banks of pumps on location. One bank led to a zipper manifold on the same location that directed flow accordingly. The other bank directed flow along a 1,500′ high-pressure flanged-pipe frac line to an adjacent location to stimulate its "partner" well. Remote, satellite-communicating pressure gauges were used to monitor pressures on the adjacent pad.
Matador has reported savings of up to ~7.5% of total completion spend per well and increased completed lateral footage per day by upwards of 50% on four well simul-fracs. Six of eleven batched wells in the Stateline asset were selected as a pilot location in Q4 of 2021 for remote simul-frac operations. Two three-well pads, Pad A and Pad B, were to be connected via high-pressure frac line and simultaneously stimulated. A Universal frac spread capable of 160 bpm was rigged up on Pad A and successfully stimulated wells on both Pad A and Pad B, via a high-pressure remote frac line throughout the job. The remote frac operations were a success; 6 wells, 407 stages, and over 73,000 lateral feet were completed in just under 33 days. In addition to the ~7.5% total completion spend per well savings, Matador was able to reduce total completion time by roughly 20 days, which brought forward production on the 11 well batch by 20 days and simultaneously reduced shut-in time of 16 offset wells.
Successful remote simul-frac operations have enabled Matador to revisit a much wider variety of planned pads as candidates for simul-frac activity. After successful implementation in Q4 2021, Matador was able to increase its 2022 simul-frac activity by 91% due to remote operations.