The Lower Huron Shale is of Upper Devonian age and produces in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. This formation is a good candidate for hydraulic fracturing due to naturally occurring fractures and faults. Since the early 1900s, wells in the Lower Huron have typically been drilled and completed open hole with a variety of fracture treatment plans. However, to maximize production in the area, horizontal drilling using open hole multistage system (OHMS) completions began in the mid 2000s.
Studies in the Lower Huron led to operators require longer laterals with increased stage numbers in order to maximize production; however, the limitations of OHMS restricted the potential of many wells. In order to deal with these limitations, the repeatable fracturing port (RFP) was developed. The RFP utilizes the same size ball to activate more than one fracture port – essentially multiplying the number of isolated stages.
A field study in the Lower Huron demonstrated the benefits of using RFP technology, as the system functioned effectively and increased the number of potential stages. The success of RFP technology in the Lower Huron has been echoed throughout the U.S. and Canada, as increased knowledge continues to improve the technology and well performance.