The Morrow formation in Hutchison County, Texas was long considered incapable of producing hydrocarbons at an economic rate. Most post-frac production rates were the same or less than pre-frac rates. Only high flow rate, non-stimulated completions were considered economic, but these completions were few in number. These facts lowered expectations for sufficient recovery of investment necessary to continue developmental drilling.

Utilization of modern fracture model techniques, core analysis, fluid testing and stress data lead to a system of stimulation techniques, fluids and proppants that has created a cost-effective stimulation system for the Morrow formation. Lithology studies showed that the frac fluid was primarily critical to success. These studies lead to an unorthodox fluid. It contained two elements that would not be considered practical in any other formations or circumstances in the Western Anadarko basin. Proppant placement was identified as the second most important issue. Fracture height was found to be controlled by permeability, not stress. This led to the discovery that proppant convection did not allow for good proppant placement. Proppant staging methods were augmented to combat excessive convection and then acquire advantageous proppant placement. Proppant selection was identified as the third most important criteria. Reservoir stresses and modeling showed that high cost, high stress proppants were not necessary. Lower cost, larger sized proppants yielded much higher conductivity than in previous completions.

These criteria were integrated into a solution which brought the post-frac production rate from a one fold to a ten fold increase.

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