Fracturing/pressure pumping

Hydraulic Fracturing Operations-2024

Fracture monitoring to optimize fluid volumes and designs remains a critical area of development. Research is ongoing with the focus on combining different monitoring technologies including tracers, fiber optics, downhole cameras, and microseismic monitoring.


Hydraulic fracturing continues to be one of the popular stimulation techniques employed to enhance production from oil and gas wells worldwide. The application of this technique in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs has resulted in improved hydrocarbon recovery from several oil and gas reserves worldwide.

The authors of paper SPE 217813 discuss the use of far-field diverters as a technique to protect parent wells from the detrimental effects of fracture-driven interactions when fracture-stimulating infill wells. Various case histories of the wells drilled and completed in the Bakken and Three Fork formations are presented in the paper. The authors observe that most infill wells under study exhibited superior or comparable year-long production behavior when compared with offset parent wells and also resulted in fewer wellbore cleanouts in some of the parent wells. The authors also note that effectiveness of such treatments depends on formation characteristics and wellbore production history.

Paper SPE 213110 presents the observed benefits of fracture-stimulating a high-viscosity oil-bearing formation that was earlier classified as a secondary target in the Apaika-Nenke oilfield in Ecuador. The authors provide a detailed description of reservoir, geology, and pressure/volume/temperature properties, along with modeling workflows adopted to maximize the benefits of stimulating low-API and highly viscous oil-bearing formations that resulted in improved well performance in comparison to unstimulated cases.

In paper SPE 215705, the authors present the introduction of hydraulic fracturing on initially unstimulated wells completed in low-permeability oil-bearing formations in North Africa. The authors report a multifold increase in well production after fracture stimulation from the formations that have been producing for a long time after initial well completion that did not include well stimulation. The authors emphasize that the potential to improve well performance with fracture-stimulation treatments must be pursued despite challenges offered by wellbore architecture.

This Month’s Technical Papers

Far-Field Diverters Protect Parent-Well Production in Unconventional Wells

Hydraulic Fracturing Optimizes Extraction of Reservoir Initially Considered Secondary

Fracture Stimulation Increases Production in Challenging North African Completions

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 216510 Photonic-Hydraulic Fracturing Hybrid Approach Minimizing Breaking Pressure by Sameeh I. Batarseh, EXPEC, et al.

SPE 217764 Statistics and Case Studies of Drainage Frac Height and Zonal Contribution of Stacked Plays in the Midland and Uinta Basin by Shuangyu Ge, RevoChem, et al.

SPE 217327 Successful Deployment of New Innovative Polymer Fluid System for Coalbed Methane Hydraulic Fracturing in Hancheng Area, Shaanxi Province, China: A Case History by S.H. Goh, SLB, et al.

Vibhas Pandey, is an engineering fellow with ConocoPhillips in Houston and has 35 years of industry experience, with expertise in hydraulic fracturing and well performance. As an SPE member for more than 25 years, he has served on various conference and workshop committees. He has authored numerous technical papers and chapters in SPE books. He was a Distinguished Lecturer in 2022–23 and currently is an Associate Editor for SPEJ and serves on the JPT Editorial Review Board. Pandey holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and turbomachines, respectively, from NIT (India), a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in petroleum engineering from the University of North Dakota.