AAPG Middle East Region, Shale Gas Evolution Symposium

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Cracking the Code in a Challenging Shale Play: Going Horizontal in the Vaca Muerta Shale


Defining the optimal horizontal completion design in the Vaca Muerta shale took several years. It took an integrated approach and workflow based on data acquisition and production modelling to sensitize different well models and identify the optimal landing locations, cluster spacings and fracturing designs that resulted in economical horizontal wells. With pad drilling development, well spacing became an additional constrain for hydraulic fracture dimensions not to overlap with hydraulic fractures of neighboring offsets. The presentation will focus on the challenges faced in the early development of the play as well as the workflow that helped gradually improve the performance of the horizontal wells to the point where they became the primary mode of development. More recent challenges related to pad drilling and well interference will also be discussed in the second part of the talk.