Delivering Prescriptive Completions Optimization

By Kash Kashikar
VP Completions Evaluation

This is an exciting month – MicroSeismic will be attending and exhibiting at the SEG Annual Meeting in Denver and the SPE ATCE conference in Amsterdam - both held during the same week. Considering the industry is against a back drop of falling oil prices, it’s certainly going to be an exciting ride ahead.

Looking at the SPE ATCE technical programs, I noticed there are 14 sessions dedicated to unconventional reservoirs.  That’s 31% of all sessions held at the Annual Meeting of Petroleum Engineers!  The topics range from completion technology, to fracture diagnostics, to reserves estimation.  It is intriguing that the 1st session at the SPE ATCE is on “Integrated Workflows: Geophysics and Fracture Characterization.” The SPE is discussing geophysics?  Shouldn’t this belong to the SEG sessions in Denver?  Similarly, the SEG Annual Meeting also has several sessions devoted to unconventional reservoirs.  The focus is mainly reservoir and rock characterization and the estimation of permeability.  How fitting that the development of unconventional resources has led to a geophysical session in an engineering focused annual meeting (SPE), and the geophysical community is discussing hydraulic fracturing and reservoir permeability estimation. 

This goes to show how our industry is adapting to the complexity of unconventional resources and the need for integrated analysis.  To fully understand the variability in unconventional reservoirs, to optimize the completion, maximize recovery and to do so while reducing the finding and lifting costs, will require serious innovation and a multi-disciplinary approach. The industry had come to accept the large variability in the shale properties and the impact on the resulting fractures and productivity.   Understanding these variations and engineering the completion and hydraulic fracturing program to address these variations will be paramount to future success and is evident in the various talks at the SPE and SEG annual events.

This integrated approach becomes more critical in the face of falling oil prices.  While one could achieve a commercial well with minimal engineering and customization of the frac program at higher oil prices, doing so at significantly lower commodity prices will be very difficult if not impossible.  There is an urgency to not only diagnose the effectiveness of the completion design and the hydraulic fracture treatment, but also to improve our modeling and predictive capabilities. We need to understand how treatment parameters such as volumes, rates and proppant concentration impact the resultant fracture network, which part of this fracture network is contributing to short and long-term production, and how to maximize the productivity of every stage.  Gaining this understanding will enable us to better design future completions that will yield higher production and ultimate recovery at a lower price per barrel.  MicroSeismic’s FracRx™ and PermIndex™ are designed to help diagnose the frac treatment and prescribe options in relevant time for improving production and ultimate recovery.

MicroSeismic’s focus is to help customers maximize their asset value and increase production through optimized stimulation treatment and improved understanding of the reservoir. To learn more about these methods and how to perform prescriptive completion diagnostics, visit us at our booths at SPE ATCE (booth 743) and SEG (booth 338). We look forward to engaging with you!

Kash