The importance of ensuring maximum production of a well throughout its lifetime is unquestionably very important for the operator. Well lifetime starts from the beginning (i.e. drilling and completion) and proceeds through production, production decline, and finally consideration of a stimulation treatment. In situations where all wells are vertical, this process has become well understood. A different situation exists however when horizontal completions are used because only 20 years of practice is behind us. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: whether the horizontal well is drilled in a low- or a high-permeability reservoir, there will always be a need for stimulation and re-stimulation. Unfortunately, too many horizontal wells were completed with no plans for stimulation, and often, these wells can not be stimulated effectively because of mechanical or reservoir limitations. Had these wells been constructed with stimulation in mind, extensive preplanning could have helped overcome such limitations beforehand.

This paper discusses many field and reservoir aspects such as formation geology and localized tectonics that may influence proper well placement for future applications of fracture stimulation. Emerging new completion tools and processes that enable fracture stimulation should be evaluated to allow wells in less promising areas of the reservoir to become economic contributors rather than net losses on the ledger. All such considerations should be incorporated in the general recovery plan for a field, as well as proposed completion schemes (especially perforating techniques) that might be used to produce the well when stimulation is not required, keeping in mind that stimulation is still a future option. Different completion schemes may have to be used for each well based on its position 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 specific applications.

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