A brief overview of different proppant types and amounts used in stimulation designs in the Bakken shale play since 2011 is presented in this paper. The primary goal of the paper is to determine the long-term production and economical effectiveness on hydraulically fractured wells using different proppant types, percentages of proppant types and overall amount of proppant in the well completions. The results are based on four case studies that focus on 72 wells in four different fields in the Bakken formation of the Williston Basin.
In these four case studies, the primary variable that affects the difference in long-term production of the different well groups is the percentage and amount of each proppant type used in the completion design. Completion and stimulation data was collected from public resources such as the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) database. In each case study, wells in the same field were grouped. For each group of wells, the average long-term production and economical effectiveness was analyzed.
The case studies in the Capa Field in Williams County North Dakota and the Chimney Butte Field in Dunn County North Dakota shows that over a 270 day period, in each group of wells completed with about 30 percent ceramic proppant mixed with silica sand, the wells produced an average of over 100 percent more than the comparable group of wells completed using only silica sand. The case study in the East Fork Field in Williams County North Dakota shows that after 270 days of production, the group of wells using 100 percent ceramic proppant attained an average of 27 percent production increase over the group of wells using an average of 62 percent ceramic proppant. These wells also attained a 67 percent production increase over the group of wells using an average of 35 percent ceramic proppant.
In comparing completion procedures in these high-producing fields, using a combination of high percentages and large amounts of ceramic proppant has yield higher production and EUR. The use of ceramic proppant not only covers the additional proppant cost in a short period of time, but also generates higher revenue in the long term. The findings from these case studies should apply to all fields that have similar reservoir characteristics.