Outperforming the Permian CurveHart's E&P, January 2018

An article by Dave Sobernheim, VP of Engineering & Technology, and Bill Scanlan, Business Development Director, of Keane Group. Download the full article PDF on the right, or read it at epmag.com.


West Texas operator Jagged Peak Energy has worked to optimize its completions and maximize return on investment in the challenging Delaware Basin arena—specifically the southern region in Ward and Pecos counties. This area is known for its high treating pressures during hydraulic fracturing as well as many other intrinsic challenges. Slickwater designs incorporating large volumes of water and proppants have been deployed throughout the area. The operator’s historic completion designs placed large volumes of about 2,500 lb of proppant per perforated foot of lateral using upward of 85 bbl of fluid per foot to carry this proppant. West Texas wells often incorporate resin-coated proppant as a tail within each stage to aid in minimizing sand flowback post-completion. All of these factors impact economic feasibility of a play, and strategic improvements to proppant placement within targeted zones can positively impact well performance and the bottom line for the operator.

Jagged Peak developed an optimized completion design that incorporates chemical diversion as well as smaller stage size and an increased number of perforation clusters to more efficiently stimulate the formation. The aim of these process changes is to increase the intensity of the fractured interval and maximize stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) to increase potential EUR. The company contracted Keane Group, a hydraulic fracturing service provider experienced in the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations, to implement the design and provide a diverter customized to meet operational specifications.

When increasing the number of perforation clusters within a smaller stage, there are inherent issues with cluster inefficiency. An overabundance of holes reduces the flow rate per perforation and can leave many perforations under- or unstimulated. The diversion chemistry Jagged Peak selected for its completion design is designed to flow to the path of least resistance; it follows where the proppant has been going to seal off the flow and forces the fluid and proppant to an alternate path through other perforations. The result of using chemical diverters is that more perforations are stimulated and fracture intensity is improved. The net result is that more of the rock volume is stimulated and the surface area of the fracture network is maximized.

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