Effective Stimulation of Horizontal Wells - A New Completion Method
- Rocky Seale (Packers Plus Energy Services) | Dan Themig (Packers Plus Energy Services) | James Athans (Packers Plus Energy Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Technical Symposium of Saudi Arabia Section, 21-23 May, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3 Production and Well Operations, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling
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Over the last several years there have been many developments in horizontal completions. These advancements have been designed to better stimulate the entire horizontal interval. The most notable advancement has been used in cased and cemented liner applications, where composite plugs have provided the mechanical diversion that has successfully stimulated the entire horizontal wellbore. However, the process of setting a plug on coiled tubing (CT), perforating, stimulating and then repeating the process for the required number of stages to optimize production and then running back in with CT to remove the plugs is costly and time prohibitive in many cases. In open hole applications, horizontal stimulations have relied almost solely on limited entry or bullheading in attempts to induce multiple fractures. This method has proven very inefficient and unsuccessful.
A new completion system has been developed that addresses all of the prior issues in stimulating horizontal wells. This system uses a series of mechanical open hole packers deployed on the production liner with fracturing or stimulation ports located between the packers that allow for stimulation in each desired interval. Without the requirement of cementing the liner in place, all the problems associated with cementing are eliminated. By placing a liner in the open hole section rather than leaving it barefoot, accessibility and production issues are more easily addressed. Additionally, the mechanical packers provide mechanical diversion at high differential pressures. The system has also been designed, so all of the fracturing or stimulation treatments along the horizontal wellbore can be pumped in one continuous operation, thus minimizing all the associated risks and optimizing the efficiencies for both the personnel and equipment. With hundreds of jobs completed, this paper will detail the operational efficiencies and reliability of this completion system, as well as analyze the cost benefits and production increases that have been noted.
Horizontal drilling has been steadily growing for well over a decade and in many cases has become the exploitation method of choice for infill drilling and reservoir depletion. As successful as horizontal drilling has been, there have been significant technology gaps hampering growth in certain applications.
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