47th Annual AAPG-SPE Eastern Section Joint Meeting

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Developing an Efficient Workflow to Utilize Geo-modeling in order to Predict Unconventional Hydrocarbon Production and Maximize Operational Efficiency


Subsurface teams can determine unconventional reservoir performance drivers affecting operational efficiency by creating a workflow that integrates structural, stratigraphic, petrophysical, drilling, completion, and production data into a 3-D geologic model. When using these data to build a model, it is critical to construct a geologically detailed volumetric model from existing well data (e.g., well log, drilling, completion, and production data). In particular, it is essential that the entire length of the horizontal portion of the wellbore is stratigraphically placed into the correct model layer to accurately represent subsurface geology and engineering data. For this study, a workflow was developed to efficiently integrate data into a sequence stratigraphic-framed geologic model, which also incorporates structural data collected from geosteering results. Petrophysical properties were normalized and geostatistically distributed throughout the model, and drilling and completion parameters - including rate of penetration, treating pressure, water used, and proppant delivered - were also distributed in a similar fashion. This model allowed the subsurface team to visualize how stratigraphic sequences/systems tracts and faults affect production and engineering parameters. Further, the model can be used to provide recommendations regarding field planning, drilling, and completion recommendations, as well as highlight “big levers” affecting operations and production in an unconventional well field. Specific to this study, model results suggest that stratigraphic well placement and structural complexity affect drilling, completion, and production trends, and drilling and completion trends vary greatly among different stratigraphic systems tracts. Production is affected by structure and stratigraphic sequence placement but not necessarily by individual systems tract placement within a sequence. By utilizing a workflow to integrate and analyze geologic, engineering, and production data in an accurate and timely fashion, we can: 1) optimize efficiency in the planning and operational phases, 2) provide recommendations during drilling and completion operations, 3) predict drilling, completion, and production trends based on geologic structure and the stratigraphic placement of the wellbore, and 4) foster supportive relationships among disciplines.