The first horizontal re-entry gas well was successfully drilled and put on line in the Sierra Chata field in the Neuquén basin in Argentina. This article compares the model forecast with the results obtained. The objectives were: (1) to add gas reserves and (2) to incorporate horizontal technology that will allow access thin or low permeability sands, in remote areas that would be economically marginal with vertical wells.

Recent interpretation of 3-D seismic and geologic data indicated that the "D" Sands were better developed to the northwest of the vertical well SCh-17. In order to access gas reserves postulated to exist there, it was planned to drill a horizontal re-entry well utilizing the existing vertical well, SCh-17 as a re-entry conduit. From the well SCh-17 a re-entry was made at 244 m from the deviation point (KOP) in 1600 m MD, drilling slightly up-dip to 2975 m MD, using with a downhole motor and a MWD logging system.

Shale-silt lithologies within the sand members affect the vertical transmissibility (TZ) between the "D" Sand members. Sensitivity runs were made using a reservoir simulator built to test the effect of such variables on the horizontal well productivity. For the most probable case, an initial flowrate of 17.7 MMscfd (502 Mm3/d) was predicted. A final cumulative production of 7.3 BSCF (206.7 MMm3) of gas was predicted by the numerical simulation model.

Three years of production history confirmed the forecast and assumptions made in the well proposal and also encourage new horizontal prospects.

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