Over the last decade, there have been numerous advancements in horizontal drilling applications and in combination with hydraulic fracturing there has been a plethora of growth in producing unconventional resources. Literature in unconventional well performance shows a close correlation between the oil and gas prices and the operators’ willingness to pump more or less proppant in their wells. Despite this general trend, operators are constantly assessing the optimization of completions design to find the optimum stimulation and completion applications. This paper utilizes 3782 unconventional horizontal wells to analyze the impact of proppant volume and the length of the perforated lateral on short and long-term well productivity across the Permian (Midland) Basin.
The raw stimulation data were collected from FracFocus website. Rigorous data management techniques were utilized to build a comprehensive dataset with all the volumes of proppant, water, perforated lateral length, and all other stimulation chemicals. Quality control and data validations were applied to the dataset and all outliers were removed. In this study, the amount of the proppant pumped is compared to the cumulative production of equivalent barrel of oil (BOE) for the first year, 2 years, and five years. The effect of normalized proppant per perforated foot on the cumulative production is also investigated.
Tying cumulative production to completion and stimulation practices, showed that increasing the pumped proppant per well from 5 million pounds to less than 10 million pounds, yielded a 34% increase in the five years cumulative average BOE. Stepping up the pumped proppant per well to 10-15 million pounds and 15-20 million pounds increased the 5 years BOE cumulative from the previous proppant range group to 27% and 18.5%, respectively. The cumulative production per foot versus the amount of pumped proppant, lateral length versus production, cumulative production per foot versus lateral length ranges, and finally the proppant per foot versus cumulative production per foot are all discussed in this study.
This study represents a descriptive analysis approach to investigate the impact of different stimulation and completion designs on short and long-term cumulative production.