The Montney Formation Resource Play, which straddles the border between the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, is considered by many to be one of the largest natural gas resource plays in North America. Original gas-in-place estimates for the Montney range from a minimum of 80 tcf to as high as 700 tcf. Despite horizontal, multistage stimulation being common practice to effectively exploit tight gas sand and shale reservoirs, determination of the optimal methodology and identification of the parameters that affect optimization have yet to be fully understood.

This paper compares two different multistage hydraulic fracturing technologies applied in the Lower Montney Formation: cemented liner and openhole multistage system (OHMS) completions. In-depth analysis was performed on field data from 15 wells divided into two separate geographical areas within the same field. Comparisons included production analysis, lateral lengths, number of stages, stage spacing, proppant volumes, and pump rates. Additionally, operational time and cost comparisons on a per well and per stage basis for both technologies were determined.

Based upon the field data analyzed, the application of OHMS completion technology is appropriate for the Lower Montney in the region of the play studied. Application of this technology for the wells selected in the two study areas resulted in both greater initial production rates and overall cumulative production than cemented liner completed wells. Additionally, less time was required to perform the fracture stimulation job when using OHMS technology as compared to cemented liners. Both the average total cost of completion and average cost per stage in conducting cemented liner jobs was higher than employing OHMS completions.

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