The application of horizontal wellbore drilling and multistage fracturing technology has been playing a pivotal role in unlocking shale-gas reserves globally. More recently, the same technology has been applied to both new and mature oil fields.

A key question for economic optimization of these assets is what fracture spacing to use along a horizontal wellbore. Of equal importance is what spacing to use for multilaterals and the wellbores themselves to achieve optimal drainage of the reservoir. In addition, the design of the fracturing treatments must be optimized.

To address these questions, a combination of reservoir and fracturing simulation has been applied. The required input data are provided through a combination of advanced log and core analyses, diagnostic fracture injection testing (DFIT), rate transient analysis (RTA), and characterization of fracture geometry through microseismic monitoring. Fluid rheology is characterized using pressurized rheometers and flow loops.

This paper presents results of this work using examples of current Canadian oil and shale-gas reservoirs and a methodology to improve the economic return of different completion and production scenarios.

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