Cementless Multi-Zone Horizontal Completion Yields Three-Fold Increase

Maddox, Bradley Dean (ECA Holdings, L.P.) | Wharton, Molly (Halliburton Energy Services Group) | Hinkie, Ronald Lee (Halliburton Energy Services Group) | Balcer, Brent Powell (Halliburton Energy Services Group) | Farabee, Mark (Ely & Associates Inc.) | Ely, John W.


This case-history paper presents an account of the application of expandable (swelling) packers and a hydrajet perforating stimulation technique to perform a cementless completion and hydraulic stimulation in a 350o F, openhole horizontal well of 15,700 ft total vertical depth (TVD). Resulting production was more than three times that of an offset vertical well.

The first Wilcox Meek 2 well in the Brazos Bell Prospect Area was drilled and completed to test the effectiveness of horizontal well technology in tight-sand formations. This paper presents the cementless completion process and explores the effectiveness of horizontal-well technology in tight sands by comparing initial horizontal-well production rates to those of offset vertical wells.

The well, which was the first horizontal Wilcox in the area and probably the deepest horizontal well completion for a sandstone reservoir in South Texas, used a 5 ½-in. / 3 ½-in combination string as a production string. The 3 ½-in casing was run in the openhole horizontal lateral section and extended into the 7 5/8-in liner casing. It employed five swellable packers, strategically placed on the string to facilitate isolation for optimum stimulation results. An additional swellable packer, larger than the previous five, was run on the top of the 3 ½-in casing string and was placed inside the 7 5/8-in casing to help ensure complete isolation of the annulus. The swelling packers were activated over an 18-day period by hydrocarbons present in the oil-based mud (OBM) in the annulus.

Following packer activation, four fracture-stimulation operations were conducted in a non-cemented hole using a unique fracturing technique that incorporates hydrajet perforating with coiled tubing (CT). This technique allows for (1) multiple stimulation treatments to be performed in series without the CT being removed from the hole, (2) larger stimulation stages, and (3) maximum surface-area exposure to the fracture pressure without formation damage caused by cement.