The acquisition of accurate downhole pressure measurements from land-based unconventional wells can enable analysis of pressure data that can be used to help optimize and reduce the cost of fracture treatments and improve overall well productivity. The pressure data for the analysis are obtained from downhole electronic gauges in both the target well and in the surrounding observation/monitoring wells. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the value monitoring this downhole pressure data can provide throughout the life of land-based unconventional wells. The paper also describes the selection of the equipment, the steps necessary for its successful installation, project commissioning, and acquisition of reliable data throughout the life of the well.

Historically, operators have experienced less-than-desirable success rates for long-term downhole pressure monitoring, especially in multizone, openhole, horizontal wells. This paper discusses how the success rate of these installations has been significantly improved by the implementation of a program with a well-defined series of steps that includes detailed planning (completing the well on paper exercise), onsite function testing of equipment prior to installation, and stringent attention to job execution detail. This program is based on the fact that adoption of the proper selection criteria for the application is critical to selection of the proper type of monitoring equipment and to the operational and economic success of these pressure-monitoring projects.

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