Reduce risk and enhance production through integrated subsurface understanding.

Introduction 

Unconventional resources are characterised by low permeabilities and typically require fracture stimulation or other enhanced recovery techniques combined with long horizontals to be economic. They are engineered plays where effectively extracting the resources as opposed to locating the resources is the key technical challenge. Optimising well placement and completion design to maximise production, while minimising drilling and completion costs is essential to maximise economic return. 

Changes in rock properties and in situ conditions can have a significant impact on well performance, stimulation behaviour and drilling cost. Understanding this variation and its impact enables optimal decisions on well placement, well design and completion strategy. Well control incidents, drilling hard layers and poor well placement have all lead to significant additional costs and lost production. 

Over the past decade, onshore exploration and production has seen a rapid rise in growth, most notably in the US and Canada, thanks to numerous developments including technological advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In the US alone there are currently 9000 companies active in onshore exploration, production and drilling and with an estimated 1 million new wells expected to be drilled in the Permian Basin alone by 2025. The production volumes of 2.5 mbopd achieved to date now exceeds the peak of conventional oil production of 40 years ago. With this level of activity, there is a large international focus on exploiting and maximising the productivity of these unconventional plays. To date this has been an operational drive to take costs out and ramp up well count, however amongst some operators there is a growing recognition that the intrinsic compositional and mechanical rock properties are a critical factor in asset quality and production performance. 


The only data capable of illustrating critical lateral variations between wells across an asset is seismic. Integration of seismic data with stresses, pore pressure and rock properties can significantly reduce costs and enhance production through improvements in three key areas: well placement and geosteering; well planning, and stimulation design. 

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