Loma Campana field, located in the Neuquen Basin, produces from the Vaca Muerta formation (VM) which is a shale oil reservoir. The first exploratory wells drilled in 2010 exhibited good production which resulted in a field wide development plan being executed. There are currently more than 300 wells on production.

Drilling from multiwell pads of four wells was encouraged from 2012 onward in order to reduce costs and improve logistics. The proven pay thickness exceeds 305m (1000ft) at Loma Campana which drove a vertical well strategy to develop the west part of the field. In an attempt to accelerate development and improve economics, factory drilling has been implemented with a rig count peaking at 17 rigs in the western part of the field. Although the primary development approach is with vertical wells, it is shifting to more horizontals in selected areas of the field.

A fieldwide interference study, starting with the western part of Loma Campana is underway. The objective of this study is to understand the impact of well interference on productivity and identify best practices for future field development plans. The data being used in this work includes: daily production data, microseismic, open hole logs, production logs, wellhead and bottom hole pressures, and stimulation data.

Several forms of interference have been observed between the affected wells:

  • Interference between producing wells

  • Interference during well stimulation with producing wells

  • Interference during well stimulation with offset wells being drilled

To date, the severity of the interference has ranged from pressure disturbance to watering out of offset wells. However, there is a possibility that this may change in the future as more horizontal wells are drilled in the field.

Preliminary conclusions include:

  • Interference during stimulation operations is not limited to the direction of maximum horizontal stress; multiple dominant orientations of interference have been observed.

  • Natural fractures can enhance productivity but also increase the risk of well interference.

  • Advancing the development along a drilling front can help to minimize interference with nearby wells.

  • Well defined operating practices such as shutting in producers or taking extra precaution with wells on artificial lift when stimulating offset wells can help to minimize the impact of interference.

  • Interference might affect the Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR), but more production history is required to quantify its impact.

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