With the advent of multistage hydraulic fracturing technology, the task of well completion optimization was added to the task of fracture design - selection of well length, number of stages, distance between frac ports. A common approach is to first design the fracture and then optimize well completions with approved fracture parameters. This paper considers an alternative approach where the well completion is selected first, including preliminary fracture parameters, and then the required proppant volume is estimated.
For this study, field data from a horizontal well with multistage fracturing were used. Tracer studies were conducted and the results were also used as input information. A reservoir model was then built and the fractures were simulated explicitly using an unstructured grid. The model was history matched, and using the resulting matched model, several scenarios with different well completions and fracture parameters were evaluated.
This approach represents a practical workflow, both in terms of field development as well as reliable fracturing modeling and flow rate estimation. The approach allows for the preliminary optimization of well completion, the selection of optimal fracture parameters and, eventually, the calculation of proppant volume.
In this paper, the technique is presented on a practical example of an operating well.