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Optimizing Completion Designs for Horizontal Shale Gas Wells Using Completion Diagnostics

J.E. Bartuska, J-W Energy Company; J.J. Pechiney, R.S. Leonard, R.A. Woodroof, ProTechnics Division of Core Laboratories

In horizontal shale completions, one of the primary goals is to maximize contact with the most reservoir rock and effectively drain the complex fracture network that has been created during the stimulation process. This paper covers a five-well case study in the Marcellus Shale where completion diagnostics were used to evaluate and optimize the completion process. The case histories will detail key completion parameters and how they changed over time based on various diagnostic results.

Completion diagnostics such as proppant and fluid tracers can be integrated with production, stimulation and geologic data to provide useful information as to the effectiveness of the completion design. Proppant tracers have been utilized in horizontal shale basins throughout North America to evaluate near-wellbore fracture initiation, identify un-stimulated perforations, and evaluate proppant interference between stimulated wellbores. Fluid tracers are currently being used to analyze lateral clean-up over time and to quantify fracture fluid interference between wells.

In this case study, these diagnostic technologies were instrumental in addressing several completion design questions. Proppant tracers were used to evaluate cluster and stage spacing and also identified proppant interference with adjacent wells. Fluid tracers were utilized to evaluate overall load fluid recoveries for various wellbore trajectories and helped quantify the source and amount of interference between wells.

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