[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the August 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

More than seven years after the issue of frac-driven interactions (FDI) were first identified, operators are still trying to determine which well spacing patterns can both optimize production while also mitigating risk factors. Completion designs, well economics and the age of a play are also factors producers are considering when trying to better understand FDIs.

“If there is a risk of interference in the oil production, if you space the wells too tightly, that doesn’t necessarily mean that upspacing is always going to lead to better productivity because it really also depends on the rock and on the completion and on a whole lot of different factors,” said Amanda Richardson, senior research analyst with Wood Mackenzie. “So it’s not as clear cut of a trend as you might expect between productivity and spacing. It’s just a risk that needs to be mitigated basically.”

Wood Mackenzie recently compiled a report studying well spacing and productivity in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins. The study looked at well densities in both plays compared to basin maturity, the effect of co-completions on wells and single-well economics versus full section development economics.

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