Recently, there has been discussion of the need to advance hydraulic fracturing technology from the current ‘operational effectiveness’ mode of high-rate slickwater fracture designs, to a ‘fracture effectiveness’ mode provided by optimizing designs to achieve higher recoveries and better economics. This case study shows how advanced fracture fluid system designs have increased fracture effectiveness in an area of the Montney unconventional gas play.
The study focused on fifty multi-stage fractured horizontal wells in the dry gas area of the Heritage Montney Field in British Columbia, Canada. These wells were stimulated by different operators with a number of different fracturing techniques, fluid systems, etc. Wells were selected such that a sufficient variety of completion techniques were represented, and there was over 18 months of production history. A thorough review of the geology and petrophysical data within the area was undertaken in order to develop individual well descriptions for use in the production analysis (Rate Transient Analysis). Wells were history matched by varying reservoir permeability and fracture treatment properties. The results demonstrate that fracture effectiveness is a function of the fracture type and has a large effect on well productivity and economics.
This case study shows there is value in optimizing fracture designs through look-back studies, and that there is a need to focus on more effective fracture treatment designs in unconventional gas development. The results of the study show the importance of fracture fluid selection as well as both effective fracture half-length and fracture conductivity in maximizing the economic returns in this area of the Montney.
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