Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Provides Wolfcamp Completion Design Insight

Shelley, Robert (Consultant) | Oduba, Oladapo (Liberty Oilfield Services) | Melcher, Howard (Liberty Oilfield Services)


Abstract The subject of this paper is the application of a unique machine learning approach to the evaluation of Wolfcamp B completions. A database consisting of Reservoir, Completion, Frac and Production information from 301 Multi-Fractured Horizontal Wolfcamp B Completions was assembled. These completions were from a 10-County area located in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin. Within this database there is a wide variation in completion design from many operators; lateral lengths ranging from a low of about 4,000 ft to a high of almost 15,000 ft, proppant intensities from 500 to 4,000 lb/ft and frac stage spacing from 59 to 769 ft. Two independent self-organizing data mappings (SOM) were performed; the first on completion and frac stage parameters, the second on reservoir and geology. Characteristics for wells assigned to each SOM bin were determined. These two mappings were then combined into a reservoir type vs completion type matrix. This type of approach is intended to remove systemactic errors in measuement, bias and inconsistencies in the database so that more realistic assessments about well performance can be made. Production for completion and reservoir type combinations were determined. As a final step, a feed forward neural network (ANN) model was developed from the mapped data. This model was used to estimate Wolfcamp B production and economics for completion and frac designs. In the performance of this project, it became apparent that the incorporation of reservoir data was essential to understanding the impact of completion and frac design on multi-fractured horizontal Wolfcamp B well production and economic performance. As we would expect, wells with the most permeability, higher pore pressure, effective porosity and lower water saturation have the greatest potential for hydrocarbon production. The most effective completion types have an optimum combination of proppant intensity, fluid intensity, treatment rate, frac stage spacing and perforation clustering. This paper will be of interest to anyone optimizing hydraulically fractured Wolfcamp B completion design or evaluating Permian Basin prospects. Also, of interest is the impact of reservoir and completion characteristics such as permeability, porosity, water saturation, pressure, offset well production, proppant intensity, fluid intensity, frac stage spacing and lateral length on well production and economics. The methodology used to evaluate the impact of reservoir and completion parameters for this Wolfcamp project is unique and novel. In addition, compared to other methodologies, it is low cost and fast. And though the focus of this paper is on the Wolfcamp B Formation in the Midland Basin, this approach and workflow can be applied to any formation in any Basin, provided sufficient data is available.

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