The stress state at infill wells changes as a function of production from the existing producer. Understanding spatial and temporal in situ stress changes surrounding drilled uncompleted (DUC) wells or infill wells has become increasingly important as the industry works through its inventory of DUC wells and redesigns infill wells with an engineering approach.
Optimizing infill/DUC well completion designs requires an estimation of the altered in situ stress state. This study presents the concept of a "production shadow" as the stress change in four-dimensional space, affecting well performance and optimal well configurations for pad development. The production shadow accounts for the compound effects from both hydraulic fracture mechanical opening and stress-state alteration from depletion.
This paper details an Eagle Ford case study integrating production shadow effects into the parent and infill well hydraulic fracture modeling as well as "frac hit" analysis. The production shadow influences the degree of fracture complexity developed by the infill/DUC well stimulation. Understanding and accounting for the production shadow are critical in engineering to establish and preserve an optimal connection of the induced stimulated fracture network to the wellbore.