Demonstration of an Efficient Concept-Selection Process for Tight and Unconventional Resources
- Dean Wehunt (Chevron Corporation) | Martin J Hrachovy (Chevron North America Exploration & Production Company) | Padmakar Ayyalasomayajula (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Stacey C. Walker (Chevron North America Exploration & Production Company (ret.))
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Economics & Management
- Publication Date
- October 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 5 - 14
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.6.9 Production Forecasting
- 6 in the last 30 days
- 630 since 2007
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Making an efficient and wise concept-selection decision--quickly selectingthe right project--is often of equal or greater importance than later designand execution tasks for determining project success. An efficient assessmentprocess is one that supports rapid assessment of an appropriately broad rangeof viable alternatives, leading to an optimized project design, while consumingthe minimum necessary assessment resources. Value lost from a suboptimalconcept-selection decision or from a needlessly prolonged assessment process isindependent of value-generation opportunities during design and execution, andcannot be recovered during later project phases. The objectives of the methodsshown in this paper are to improve concept-selection decision quality byallowing simultaneous optimization of interdependent development decisions, andto improve the quality of and reduce the resource requirements forsimulation-derived production forecasts. This paper presents a complementarydecision framework, production forecasting process, and economic model thatpromote an efficient and high-quality concept-selection decision, and areparticularly appropriate for early phase development concept selection andoptimization for tight or unconventional resources. The method is suitable forboth oil and gas resources, and is especially useful for assessing anddeveloping large contiguous tracts.
The decision framework is efficient because it is structured so that somedecisions are independent of the simulation model, and those decisions can beoptimized within the economic model. Our production-forecasting method isefficient because it uses small, symmetry-element reservoir-simulation models.The symmetry-element sector simulation models run fast and can evaluate manycases, but they still improve forecast quality by explicitly addressing manyrelevant physical effects that are not addressed by other methods that areattempting to model a much larger volume of the reservoir. The economic modelis efficient because it includes an automated optimizer for those decisionsthat are independent of the simulation-derived forecasts, and it promoteshigh-quality decisions by incorporating meaningful constraints to ensure thatthe forecasts are both realistic and achievable. The economic model alsoincludes a fracture efficiency factor that may be important for modeling thediminished performance observed as the number of stages increase inmultifractured horizontal wells. This fracture efficiency factor may also be animportant discriminator of performance between wells fractured by use ofaqueous vs. nonaqueous fracturing fluids.
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