In our previous post, “Will Tools, Data, Science or Courage Boost Completions in Unconventionals”, Darcy Partners looked at contending methods for solving the completions efficiency dilemma.

Here we will review the case of data and modeling.

It is soundly understood that well performance is a function of both reservoir quality and completion performance. However, in the absence of fully deterministic numerical solutions for modeling unconventional reservoirs, the task of modeling has been also picked up by statistical approaches.

The input to these models include a range of parameters such as:

a) well data (landing, spacing, architecture)

b) completion geometry (lateral length, stage length/separation, number of clusters)

c) hydraulic fracturing (liquid type, additives, proppants, pressure, rate of injection)

d) reservoir (porosity, natural fractures, permeability, water saturation, TOC)

e) production (choke size, tubing pressure, rate)

The expected output from these models could be both understanding of the relationships between these drivers and also predictive ability on production/EUR for a set of input parameters.

While Netflix has solved for accurate prediction of your next choice of movie selection, these models have struggled (but are making progress) to shed light on the interplay of the hundreds of interdependent variables impacting production and EUR. The empirical proof is in the high degree of variability in performance by operators in the same basins.

These innovating models in this space have two fundamental choices to make:

1) Degree of statistical formalism 

2) Degree of embedding physics in their models.

In our industry-sponsored study “Unconventional Completions Optimization” we have uncovered multiple types of these models and corresponding innovators in each category.  Following a comprehensive research period, looking at over a hundred technologies, we are closing in on the top companies that we believe will drive forward the greatest improvements in well completions over the coming years.

To learn more and see how you can access and benefit from this work, contact us.