The Marmaton formation is a large limestone reservoir straddling the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle. This oil laden formation is a significant resource with potential recovery exceeding 88 million BOE, making it an attractive target for many operators. Similar to the Bakken, it was once considered unviable as an unconventional carbonate play due to complexity and associated production costs. With the application of modern horizontal drilling and fracturing techniques, operators are dispelling this notion.

To date more than 1,300 vertical and approximately 300 horizontal wells have been drilled in this play. Although the first horizontal was completed back in 1992, full development of the Marmaton has been relatively slow. Until recently, much of it was considered marginally economic, but this is changing with the application of innovative technologies that unlock and extract commercial volumes of hydrocarbons from the reservoir.

The standard well completion is typically an open hole, multistage (OHMS) completion system that utilizes packers for isolation and fracturing sleeves for stage diversion. This technology facilitates placement of stimulation treatments in one continuous pumping operation. Once the stimulation operation is complete, the well can be immediately flowed back and put on production resulting in efficient operations.

This paper will discuss how one of the more prolific operators in the play is developing its acreage by prudently employing new technologies. These new technologies and advancements include the following: degradable balls, water-soluble tracers, radioactive tracers, and high-rate water fractures. Each will be discussed in detail to help paint a picture of how this particular operator is leading the industry in unlocking the full potential of the Marmaton. To assist in the ongoing development of this unconventional play, theoretical and practical lessons will be highlighted.

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