Horizontal wells give a great opportunity for maximizing the potential of unconventional resource play developments by providing enhanced reservoir contact but present multiple challenges in the process due to the heterogeneous nature of the unconventional reservoir rock.

This study covers the implementation of an integrated completion and production workflow to optimize a horizontal well development project in the Delaware Basin located in Reeves County, Texas. By undertaking a vertical well pilot logging program, the acreage was evaluated for petrophysical and geomechanical properties using advanced geo-chemical and full-wave sonic tools to quantify reservoir quality (RQ) and completion quality (CQ), respectively. Detailed fracture simulations were performed at multiple depths to locate the optimum landing point that maximized reservoir contact. Incorporating the key findings of the wellbore stability analysis, the well was geo-steered using a rotary steerable system (RSS) and a logging-while drilling (LWD) resistivity tool that placed 100% of the lateral in the target zone. Further completion simulations were performed to determine a perforating and staging strategy which would optimize the number of stages. The flow-channel fracturing technique, which provides a novel approach for achieving fracture conductivity, was also implemented on the studied well to significantly improve the effectiveness of the fracture stimulation treatment. Fracture diagnostics, detailed post fracture modeling, and production analysis techniques, which utilized rate-transient analysis and history matching, were performed to provide better understanding of the effectiveness of the stimulation treatments (fracture lengths/conductivity), thereby allowing further optimization of the stimulation program.

This study has demonstrated how the implementation of an integrated design and evaluation workflow can optimize the overall well production performance as well as reduce drilling and stimulation costs in unconventional resource play developments.

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