The Channel Fracturing technique was introduced for multi-stage well stimulation in the Jonah Field in 2010. 622 stages have been pumped with this novel technique since. Production increases by as much as 27% (Johnson et al., 2011) have been realized over conventional completion methodologies. In this previous study, each stage was flowed back immediately after each treatment.

The successful introduction of the Channel Fracturing technique prompted a new attempt to optimize completion practices by eliminating immediate flowback of each stage as a necessary step to sustain production performance goals (Cramer, 2008). A field study was conducted to evaluate the performance of five new wells stimulated with the Channel Fracturing technique combined with sequential fracturing treatments without flowback in between stages. Gas production, fluid flowback and treating pressure data was gathered and compared against a sample of 18 offset wells stimulated with conventional proppant placement with immediate flowback after each stage.

Results indicate that the Channel Fracturing technique increased production by up to 28% with respect to the control group. Production gains were obtained without the occurrence of screen-outs for the wells stimulated with Channel Fracturing. Improvements in operational efficiency due to continuous fracturing operations and avoidance of screen-outs led to a reduction in overall operational costs of 18%. Results show that the combination of Channel Fracturing with sequential stage stimulation within a single wellbore can mitigate previously documented production performance issues, reduce operational logistics and reduce the overall impact to the hydraulic fracturing footprint. By virtue of these benefits, well stimulation via multi-stage Channel Fracturing without flowback in between stages has been adopted as a completion practice of choice for wells in the Jonah field.

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