Thorough planning of a well, or better yet, a field, to determine how each well can provide maximum production throughout its lifetime is unquestionably very important to the operator. For fields of vertical wells, this process is well understood. For horizontal completions, however, only 20 years of practice are behind us. For lower permeability reservoirs, the theory that using horizontal wellbores can eliminate fracture stimulation has proven to be false. Today, the assumption that moderate to higher permeability reservoirs will never be candidates for stimulation is also being challenged by a high number of non-economic wells. Too often, we find many of these horizontal completions need stimulation but are not candidates because of the mechanical limitations of the completion plan.

This paper discusses the many field and reservoir aspects, including formation geology and localized tectonics, that can influence proper well placement for future applications of fracture stimulation. The evaluation of emerging completion tools and processes that enable fracture stimulation should be nurtured to allow wells in less promising areas of the reservoir to become economic contributors and not net losses on the ledger. These wells must be incorporated into the general recovery plan for a field and taken into account in completion schemes (especially perforating techniques) to best produce the well when stimulation is not required, yet keeping stimulation as a future option. Different completion schemes may have to be used based on the position of the well within the field. Field experience with supporting data will be presented and discussed in depth, as well as conventional and new stimulation options that would optimize the specific applications.

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