Treat Every Frac Like it's the First
The science of refracturing has become a serious topic when discussing unconventional reservoirs in the US. Whether that's a derivative of the primary hydraulic fracturing market slowing down as a function of commodity pricing, or a trend driven by the convergence of developing technology and economics, remains to be seen. Hopefully, the latter, because it is science and technology – not hydraulic horsepower – that delivers production.
Hydraulic frac programs applied to any reservoir – conventional or unconventional, vertical or horizontal, initial frac or refrac – have inherent operational and economic challenges. Selecting locations with the best likelihood of success is critical. Best practices in approaching vertical and horizontal refracs is similar to prospecting for initial frac/stimulation candidates. Are there quantifiable reserves and appropriate reservoir pressure? Is the well conduit integrity competent enough to avoid hazards? Addressing these questions in a robust, methodical way is essential to success.
A comprehensive engineering approach ensures that you apply inter-disciplinary, optimal well design, maximize ROI and optimize stimulation effectiveness. This process is equally as critical when considering a refrac campaign on any existing well. And in today's market, one must process NPV of recovery of the reserves vs. the "Contango" concept of leaving hydrocarbons in the ground until commodity prices are higher.
SIGMA³ Delivers a Distinct Advantage
SIGMA³ helps clients improve field performance by delivering practical recommendations and completion techniques that improve the production response from both existing and new completions. Using a comprehensive engineering approach field-tested in basins around the world, production comparisons are conducted to evaluate different completion techniques, and production responses are reviewed on each well to verify the impact of hydraulic fracturing modeling results.
Breathe New Life into your Reservoir
The current cost of producing oil makes revitalization of existing reservoirs very enticing, but it requires close scrutiny to ensure worthwhile ROI. Cookie-cutter drilling and completion strategies are not appropriate for any well, especially heterogeneous shale. While there's no such thing as a silver bullet, refracs work, depending on when and where and how they are applied. Through the advent of better technology concerning both fracturing fluids and proppants, incremental conductivity is possible. Job sizes can be increased to expose the wellbore to additional new rock, as well as accessing new areas of the reservoir via isolation/diverting techniques. You can re-energize natural fractures, frac past condensate blocks, induce additional complexity, and rearrange existent proppant packs.
With proper supervision and engineering, all of this is possible at a fraction of the cost of drilling and completing a new well. SIGMA³ engineers apply the same, proven methodology to refrac a well as we do when designing completions for new wells. Treating every frac like the first frac ensures you will identify the best stages, optimize stimulation effectiveness, and maximize EURs.
Links to case studies -- is SLE considered a refrac?