2014 Rocky Mountain Section AAPG Annual Meeting

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Fracture Creation and Observed Pitfalls in Bakken Reservoirs, Williston Basin, North Dakota


Hess is developing the Bakken reservoirs (Middle Bakken and Three Forks) in the Williston Basin. We are beginning to see artifacts of prior and concurrent work effecting active drilling operations. This poster will present a case-level review of such a series of well situations. We'll look at a ±10-well system that demonstrates well communication during frac, completions, and drilling operations. A review of these events leads to a discussion and likely causes of the event(s), expanding into potential mitigation effects and issues. The review will focus in an area, where several drilling wells saw pressure communication during frac operations. An analysis of the pressures seen over 48 – 96 hours is developed, and subsequent drilling failures (bore-hole collapse) are interpreted to be geomechanically related to the frac stimulation. Evidence and support of this likelihood are reviewed. 3D survey data in the area yields some support for the interpretation, and suggests that some seismically observed discontinuities (fault?) might contribute to communications and subsequent bore-hole instability. Production response(s) were also observed, adding support to the interpretation and evaluation. The poster concludes with interdisciplinary lessons learned and potential cooperative opportunities to drill and produce better and more profitable wells in the future. Proposed for the RMS of AAPG Annual Meeting, Denver, July 2014 (Subject to review and release by Hess Management, prior to presentation)