Optimizing Hydraulic Fracture Completion Designs through Fiber-optic Sensing

A retrievable fiber-optic well logging service visualizes entire well dynamics in real time much more rapidly than conventional technologies, reducing deferred production.

Shale wells have evolved in recent years with increasing lateral lengths and decreasing cluster spacing. (Source: Silixa)

Effective and safe hydraulic fracture completions are crucial to maximizing the profitability of horizontal wells. To enable engineers to continue to optimize well treatment designs, diagnostic data tied to production is crucial. A recent project at a shale well in East Texas showed the benefits of employing fiber-optic sensing during production monitoring. 

Shale wells have evolved in recent years with increasing lateral lengths and decreasing cluster spacing. Quickly finding the ideal lateral length and perf cluster design for the economic conditions requires a diagnostic tool that can tie those design changes back to production in near-real time.  The questions remain, though, how close is too close and does decreasing cluster spacing to a certain length improve well profitability and add to EUR, or does it create potential challenges? 

These design optimization trends have driven a demand for a diagnostic tool that can simultaneously measure all events happening along the entire wellbore, with little interference to the true production flow regime during in-flow, while also maintaining high spatial resolution down to the cluster level. Fiber-optic sensing technology can do both providing new data that are being used by operators to take their fracture stimulation designs to the next level.

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