Tech Paper: Improved Completion Economics Through Real-time, Fiber Optic Stimulation Monitoring

Successfully installed single fiber-optic equipped well provides useful feedback on completion designs

This paper demonstrates how a single permanent fiber installation allowed the development of improved completions designs in real time in order to improve well economics. Design changes were adjusted during the completion of the well to determine stage length and completion execution. Improvements were applied to the subsequent wells in the program.

In 2018, an eight-well pad was completed with the intention of immediately drilling and completing a second directly offset eight-well pad. Further options for additional wells would be evaluated based on the performance of these sixteen wells. The laterals of the project wells were arranged in a wine-rack configuration targeting zones in the Upper and Lower Eagle Ford Formation. Initial designs were based on analytics from the area resulting in an initial design for cluster spacing, stages per cluster, injection rates and volumes, and fluid volumes. The primary goal of the diagnostics expenditure was to improve the dollars per barrel relationship, specifically by increasing stage lengths that could be effectively completed along the lateral wellbore.

The project included a casing-installed fiber optic cable to record the distributed acoustics and distributed temperature along the wellbore for, respectively, stimulation flow profiles and production flow profiles. Acoustic-based flow profiles were generated during the project and evaluated to influence the next set of stage designs. These design changes involved among other variables adding clusters to the stage, sand staging, and rate adjustments.

At the end of the project, completions changes resulted in a reduced individual well cost of 11%. Production profiling began to compare stage designs along the lateral and to confirm baseline well performance versus its peers. In both cases, those results confirmed that the design changes lowered the overall cost while maintaining well performance.

Click below to view further details and download the technical paper (PDF).

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SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, 5-7 February, The Woodlands, Texas, USA

Authors: P. F. Stark (Halliburton) | N. C. Bohrer (SM Energy Company) | T. T. Kemner (SM Energy Company) | J. Magness (Halliburton) | A. Shea (SM Energy Company) | K. Ross (SM Energy Company) )

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