Concerns and Clarifications for Drilled Uncompleted (DUC) Wells in the Williston Basin
- Karthik Srinivasan (Schlumberger Technology Corporation) | Jayanth Krishnamurthy (Schlumberger Technology Corporation) | Peter Kaufman (Schlumberger Technology Corporation)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 190 - 202
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Hydraulic Fracture Modeling, Completion Optimization, Reservoir Characterization, DUCs (Drilled but UnCompleted wells), Risk Analysis
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 202 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 5.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
The recent slump in oil prices has resulted in new terminology: “drilled uncompleted wells,” often referred to as DUC wells by the industry. In 2013 and 2014, when oil prices were more than USD 100/bbl, rate of return (ROR) from most unconventional plays was in the range of 15 to 50%, depending on the quality of rock and the operator’s portfolio in the basin. The objective of this paper is to address key challenges associated with DUC completions when they are eventually fractured and brought on line for production. The paper addresses four main concerns that can have significant impacts on productivity of DUC wells: fracture hits (well interference), reservoir quality (hydrocarbon drainage), multiple horizons (zone connectivity), and well spacing (high-density drilling). The paper also showcases case studies in which real-time observations made from wells have been used to validate predictions from forward-looking fracture and production models.
First, fracture hits commonly have been observed in all unconventional plays throughout the US, with effects on offset wells being mixed. Some fracture hits result in a positive uptick in production in offset wells, whereas other fracture hits affect production negatively in the form of increased water cut, reduced wellhead pressure, and other responses. Understanding fracture hits and their influence on other wells is very critical to avoid any detrimental impacts or to leverage positive effects on production. Second, reservoir quality decides how much oil in place is available for the DUC wells to drain, which, in turn, depends on length of production history and parent-well-completion geometries in offset wells. Third, in basins where there are multiple producing horizons or formations, fracture-height growth and interference between adjacent formations can result in asymmetric fracture propagation toward depleted zones. The longer these wells completed in the same/adjacent formations have been on production, the greater the extent of asymmetry will be. Addressing this concern requires a good understanding of drainage patterns from offset wells and evaluation of their impact on fracture geometries in DUC wells. Last, in areas with high-density drilling, a combination of longer production and fracturing stages with multiple perforation clusters per stage can leave very little oil available for the DUC well to produce.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||13|
Barree, R. D., Barree, V. L., and Craig, D. P. 2007. Holistic Fracture Diagnostics. Presented at the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Technology Symposium, Denver, 16–18 April. SPE-107877-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/107877-MS.
Bloomberg. 2015. New Energy Finance White Paper Report, https://data.bloomberglp.com/bnef/sites/4/2015/01/BNEF_ChemicalsWhitePaper_2015-01-20-final1.pdf. (January 2015).
Burrus, J., Osadetz, K., Wolf, S. et al. 1996. A Two-Dimensional Regional Basin Model of Williston Basin Hydrocarbon Systems. AAPG Bull. 80 (2): 265–291.
Cherian, B. V., Stacey, E. S., Bressler, S. et al. 2012. Evaluating Horizontal Well Completion Effectiveness in a Field-Development Program. Presented at the Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 6–8 February. SPE-152177-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/152177-MS.
Cherian, B. V., Nichols, C. M., Panjaitan, M. L. et al. 2013. Asset Development Drivers in the Bakken and Three Forks. Presented at the Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 4–6 February. SPE-163855-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/163855-MS.
Drilling Productivity Report. 2017. https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-3 (accessed 17 January 2017).
EIA. 2016. Drilling Productivity Report (12 December 2016). https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/archive/2016/12/#tabs-summary-3 (accessed 31July 2018).
EIA. 2017a. Estimates of Drilled but Uncompleted Wells (DUCs), supplement report, https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/pdf/duc_supplement.pdf (accessed November 2017).
EIA. 2017b. Estimates of Well Count of Drilled but Uncompleted Wells (DUCs) in US www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/xls/duc-data.xlsx (accessed November 2017).
Gale, J. F. W., Laubach, S. E., Olson, J. E. et al. 2014. Natural Fractures in Shale: A Review and New Observations. AAPG Bull. 98 (11): 2165–2216. https://doi.org/10.1306/08121413151.
Gaswirth, S. B. and Marra, K. R. 2014. US Geological Survey 2013 Assessment of Undiscovered Resources in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations of the US Williston Basin Province. AAPG Bull. 99 (4): 639–660. https://doi.org/10.1306/08131414051.
Gent, V. A. 2011. Fourier Analysis of the Laminated Facies of the Middle Bakken Member, Sanish-Parshall Field, Mountrail County, North Dakota. MS thesis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Hamlin, S. H., Smye, K., Dommisse, R. et al. 2017. Geology and Petrophysics of the Bakken Unconventional Petroleum System. Presented at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Austin, Texas, 24–26 July. URTeC 2670679. https://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2017-2670679.
Hayes, M. D. and Holland Jr., F. D. 1983. Conodonts of Bakken Formation (Devonian and Mississippian), Williston Basin, North Dakota. AAPG Bull. 67 (8): 1341–1342. [Presented at the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Billings, Montana, USA, 18 September.]
Jacobs, T. 2017. Oil and Gas Producers Find Frac Hits in Shale Wells a Major Challenge. J Pet Technol 69 (4): 29–34. SPE-0417-0029-JPT. https://doi.org/10.2118/0417-0029-JPT.
Kuhn, P. P., di Primio, R., Hill, R. et al. 2012. Three-Dimensional Modeling Study of the Low-Permeability Petroleum System of the Bakken Formation. AAPG Bull. 96 (10): 1867–1897. https://doi.org/10.1306/03261211063.
Lander, R. H. and Laubach, S. E. 2014. Insights Into Rates of Fracture Growth and Sealing From a Model of Quartz Cementation in Fractured Sandstones. GSA Bull. 127 (3–4): 516–538. https://doi.org/10.1130/B31092.1.
LeFever, J. A. 1991. Horizontal Drilling in the Williston Basin, United States, and Canada. In Geological Studies Relevant to Horizontal Drilling: Examples From Western North America, ed. J. W. Schmoker, E. B. Coalson, and C. A. Brown, pp. 177–197. Denver: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists.
Male, F., Gherabati, A., Browning, J. et al. 2017. Forecasting Production From Bakken and Three Forks Wells Using a Segregated Flow Model. Presented at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Austin, Texas, 24–26 July. URTEC-2666809-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2017-2666809.
Mata, D., Cherian, B., Gonzales, V. et al. 2014. Modeling the Influence of Pressure Depletion in Fracture Propagation and Quantifying the Impact of Asymmetric Fracture Wings in Ultimate Recovery. Presented at the Unconventional Resources Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 1–3 April. SPE-169003-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169003-MS.
Meissner, F. F. 1978. Petroleum Geology of the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin, North Dakota and Montana. Presented at the Montana Geological Society 24th Annual Conference, Billings, Montana, USA, 24–27 September, pp. 207–227.
Miall, A. D. and Blakey, R. C. 2008. Phanerozoic Tectonic and Sedimentary Evolution of North America. In The Sedimentary Basins of the United States and Canada: Sedimentary Basins of the World, ed. A. D. Miall, pp. 1–29. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Peza, E., Kvale, E., Hand, R. et al. 2014. 3D Integrated Workflow for Understanding the Fracture the Fracture Interference and Its Impact Into the Gas Production of the Woodford. Presented at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, 25–27 August. URTEC-1923397-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2017-1923397.
Pitman, J. K., Price, L. C., and LeFever, J. A. 2001. Diagenesis and Fracture Development in the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin: Implications for Reservoir Quality in the Middle Member. US Geological Survey. Survey Professional paper 1653.
Requejo, A. G., Allan, J., Creaney, S. et al. 1992. Aryl Isoprenoids and Diaromatic Carotenoids in Paleozoic Source Rocks and Oils From the Western Canada and Williston Basins. Organic Geochemistry 19: 245–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/0146-6380(92)90041-U.
Simenson, A. 2010. Depositional Facies and Petrophysical Analysis of the Bakken Formation, Parshall Field and Surrounding Area, Mountrail County, North Dakota. MS thesis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Simpson, G., Hohman, J., Pirie, I. et al. 2015. Using Advanced Logging Measurements to Develop a Robust Petrophysical Model for the Bakken Petroleum System. Petrophysics Journal 56 (5): 457–478. SPWLA-2015-Z.
Sitchler, J. C., Cherian, B. V., Panjaitan, M. L. et al. 2013. Asset Development Drivers in the Bakken and Three Forks. Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 4–6 February. SPE-163855-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/163855-MS.
Smith, M. G. and Bustin, R. M. 1998. Production and Preservation of Organic Matter During Deposition of the Bakken Formation (Late Devonian and Early Mississippian), Williston Basin: Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, Vol. 142, pp. 185–200. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(98)00063-7.
Sonnenberg, S. A., Vickery, J., Theloy, C. et al. 2011. Middle Bakken Facies, Williston Basin, USA: A Key to Prolific Production. Presented at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Houston, 10–13 April. Search and Discovery Article #50449.
Srinivasan, K., Gbededo, M. D., Hue, H. et al. 2015. Examining the Impact of Hydrocarbon Drainage on Completion and In-fill Drilling Strategies in Unconventional Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 3–5 February. SPE-173370-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/173370-MS.
Theloy, C., Leonard, J. E., Smith, S. C. et al. 2017. An Uncertainty Approach to Estimate Recoverable Reserves From the Bakken Petroleum System in the North Dakota Portion of the Williston Basin. AAPG Bull. https://doi.org/10.1306/1208171621417181.
Thiercelin, M. J. and Plumb, R. A. 1991. A Core-Based Prediction of Lithologic Stress Contrasts in East Texas Formations. SPE Form Eval 9 (4): 251–258. SPE-21847-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/21847-PA.
Webster, R. L. 1984. Petroleum Source Rocks and Stratigraphy of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. Presented at the 1984 Symposium of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, pp. 57–81.