Well Spacing Opportunities in Bounded Development
Data Science & Analytics

Well Spacing Opportunities in Bounded Development

Rosemary Jackson  •  

Frac Hit App: Optimizing pad spacing vertically and horizontally

Pad Designer: Goes beyond type curves and frac simulators to fill in the gaps with a full understanding of your pad’s bounded development

For the bounded development of unconventional shale, the scenario exploration of Petro.ai’s Pad Designer and Frac Hit App are crucial. Determining the spacing of infill wells between parent wells with bounded areas of depleted reservoir and cross well communication, requires more fine tuning than the current flawed forecasting which is keeping companies and their investors from reaching profitability.

parent well depletion

What is bounded development in unconventionals? Troy Ruths, CEO of Petro.ai explains, “You’re putting a well in and you’re surrounded by depleted reservoir. Depleted reservoir is a problem because you can think of it as a sink for fracs where your pore pressure has dropped. That influences stress. Depletion can even change the orientation of the frac. You don’t want to create permeability in a place where you’ve already created permeability. You’re spending a lot of money to make that permeability and you’ve got to model and examine first.

“Pad Designer and Frac Hit are tools that go beyond the standard type curve and frac simulator to help you understand what you have left in your reservoir and where you can put wells.”

undesirable or non-productive formation vs. target formation

“We receive questions like this all the time: Our client owns the Wolfcamp B and they know that another operator has developed the Wolfcamp A. So, they want to understand, how much of the Wolfcamp B is left for them to develop? That’s something the Pad Designer can answer that type curves can’t. And frac simulators have a lot of trouble answering as well, because frac simulators are useful for dialing in the right stages or the number of clusters in a stage or the perf diameter and your proppant ramp. And the simulator can also look at pair wise distances between wells. If I have two wells, are these fracs hitting each other? But when the complexity amps up, frac simulators are left behind Pad Designer’s intricate AI simulations.

“When you have lots of rock, the development history around that rock is very complex. Where you have an opportunity to put those wells is almost entirely dependent on your geologic modeling, what you believe is happening in the rock. Are the zones getting thicker or thinner?

There’s also the geomechanics modeling that the Pad Designer can take into account which makes it more like a frac simulator and different than a type curve. A type curve can’t take geomechanics modeling into account and a frac simulator can. But a frac simulator can’t scale up to a level of development that companies need. A frac simulator has a lot of trouble modeling out depletion. Not all frac simulators have the latest productivity model for shale which is propped hydrofracs and shear fracs. They just have propped. A good history match becomes difficult.

“That makes Pad Designer, complete with AI, an attractive tool. Where the AI becomes effective, is that you can take new well results and feed them straight into the AI without having to go through the gauntlet of history matching which is required for simulators. Or chopping new things up with type curves.”

pad designer working well

Next week we’ll continue the exploration of bounded development and use cases for the Pad Designer. Pad Designer offers the multi-disciplinary approach that modeling unconventional well spacing requires beyond type curves, beyond frac simulators, an AI software poised to change an industry. As JPT noted, “One important way operators can leverage new sets of higher-resolution data will be as an input into the advanced fracture models and simulators. As you realize, this is not the completions engineer’s job, the reservoir engineer’s job, or a production engineer’s job. This is an interdisciplinary problem that we are facing—and it requires a fully integrated approach.”

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