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Barnett Shale Completions: A Method for Assessing New Completion Strategies

R. Leonard, R. Woodroof, and K. Bullard, ProTechnics Division of Core Laboratories, and M. Middlebrook and R. Wilson, Range Resources Corp.

Activity in the Barnett shale of north Texas has continued to surge over the past several years, and with this surge in activity has come a steady evolution of completion strategies. Most operators agree that the best Barnett shale wells are those that have the most extensive fracture network development. One of the biggest challenges facing operators has been determining which completion strategy will create the largest fracture network along with identifying the most cost-effective diagnostic methods for evaluating those strategies and ultimately optimizing the completions.

This paper will describe an integrated completion diagnostic methodology for assessing and potentially optimizing Barnett shale completion strategies. The methodology described employs radioactive tracing and logging together with chemical tracing and conventional completion metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of Barnett completions.

This methodology will be utilized to assess the effectiveness of four pairs of simultaneously-fractured parallel horizontal laterals located in three different areas stretching from the western edge of the Barnett “Core Area” to the western edge of the play’s expansion acreage. Key completion parameters were identified that can be used to optimize future Barnett completions in this and potentially other areas within the basin.

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