Abstract

In response to the low hydrocarbon price environment, most operators have decreased the number of rigs actively drilling wells (Cui 2016, Chapman et al. 2016). However, the production decline in wells completed in a given timeframe has undergone far more change than the count of active rigs. In many cases, wells must be drilled to meet contractual lease obligations but are not being completed due to uncertain economic conditions.

Type curves are valuable tools to predict future performance of such drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells by analyzing results of existing wells exhibiting similar characteristics. It is reasonable to assume, while considering reservoir characterization and completion engineering, that existing wells can predict the performance of future wells. However, to generate a larger sample size with which to construct the type curves, data can be normalized by a particular variable. A normalized curve is then scaled by an adjustment associated with the new well to produce its expected production profile. This same process also allows type curves to be applied to other areas with different reservoir properties or completion parameters. Analysis focuses on applying normalized type curves to estimate DUC well performance and populate a ranking system to guide the completion planning process. Reservoir material balance and surface network simulation are also utilized to understand subsurface effects and identify possible facility constraints above ground. Additionally, there is a brief discussion regarding type well best practices to aid in the analysis.

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