Shale and unconventional reservoir wells require multiple completion options be available so that the best one can be selected to maximize the stimulation influence potential, enable efficient operations, and increase production potential. Shale and unconventional reservoir continuous resource wells are typically drilled horizontally with the completion system run in the lateral section of the wellbore. The completion design must enable the hydraulic fracturing of multiple discreet treatment zones in the target interval to help ensure economical production. Traditionally, unconventional reservoir wells have been completed using a plug and perforate methodology. This completion uses wireline intervention to set composite fracturing plugs for stage isolation and to perforate individual stages. Due to inefficiencies with this type of completion design, single entry fracturing sleeve systems (SE FSS) completions have gained acceptance. SE FSS offer a single entry point per stage and remove the need for wireline intervention thereby increasing completion efficiency. Recently, multi-entry fracturing sleeve systems (ME FSS) completions have been deployed in unconventional reservoir stimulation operations. ME FSS completions also do not require wireline intervention, and allow for multiple entry points per stage to be simultaneously stimulated. Even though it is optimal for unconventional reservoir development to have several completion alternatives, evaluation of the best method can be challenging.
This paper will evaluate the three dominant and currently applied completion methods by comparing wells in the Middle Bakken continuous resource play which have utilized all identified systems. The paper will discuss each of the three completion methods (Plug-and-Perforate, SE FSS, ME FSS), the completion design, and fracturing operations that are executed. The paper will then illustrate production results from using all three of the completion methods. This data will be drawn from similar well designs for comparison purposes.
Assessment of viability and production efficiency of ME FSS completions against other completion methods is the primary focus. Results will be presented based on production outputs obtained after a qualified 180 day period. Conclusions will also highlight the potential efficiency gains of a ME FSS completion versus traditional methods.