In horizontal tight and unconventional reservoirs there is currently a lack of low-cost/low risk data that could be used for optimizing completions and hydraulic fracturing designs. The objective for optimizing completion and frac designs is to achieve more consistent stimulation and production from every stage in the lateral. Most wells are completed based on geometric stage lengths and cluster spacings. Evidence is beginning to suggest that using geometric frac stage lengths does not provide consistent production from each perf cluster within a particular stage.
Traditionally, unconventional lateral well completion planning uses mostly vertical pilot-hole wireline log data where available. The resulting rock and reservoir characterization is projected along the entire length of the lateral. This methodology does not account for reservoir/mineralogical heterogeneities that can adversely affect stimulation efficiencies for each stage and ultimately, production. By properly characterizing the lateral, the completion design can be optimized with strategic staging and cluster selection that should result in a more consistent production from every perf cluster in each stage.
This paper demonstrates a process for correlating mineralogical and textural formation properties from drill cuttings with data from the pilot-hole (including wireline, mud-logging and drilling data and any available core data) with drilling and mud-logging data from the lateral. This process improves lateral well characterization in real time and provides the basis for an optimal completion design. This paper will illustrate the process using currently available data.