By Sudhendu Kashikar
VP Completions Evaluation
How quickly time flies – particularly when you are having fun! It’s not what one would expect to hear in today’s environment. But, my first year at MSI has been a fun and exciting adventure.
I joined MicroSeismic’s team to help crystalize and bring to market the Completions Evaluation initiative. The thought process was very simple – make better use of microseismic data to improve field economics, optimize completions and achieve higher productivity from each and every unconventional well, while at the same time reducing exploration and development costs. What I didn’t know a year ago was that the path we decided to follow would bring us to a position where we are able to address the industry’s most critical issues in the current low commodity price environment. I believe we have a significant head start, compared to most of our competitors, in addressing these challenges, partly from our vision and largely from the hard work and innovation of all our team members.
We started with a goal of creating, describing and quantifying the proppant filled Discrete Fracture Network and Productive Stimulated Rock Volume (Productive-SRV®). We did this successfully, and validated our results with production data. The next step was to use the Productive-SRV to perform comparative analysis of various treatment parameters – with a goal to identify the completion design and the most effective treatment plan that would yield the best production. Again we successfully achieved this. We now routinely make recommendations on various completion and treatment options along with appropriate wellbore spacing for optimal field development. This is a big step forward for a company that started with a few geophysicists!
But we can’t stop here. Our goal is to be more prescriptive than descriptive. It is certainly important to accurately describe what happened, but it is more important to prescribe what changes should be implemented to improve recovery and field economics. We need to match historical production data and predict future production potential of every well – thus allowing operators to decide on the option with the highest ROI.
This is exactly what we are currently developing with better than expected initial results. We have developed methodology to quantify the permeability enhancement in the rock impacted by hydraulic fracturing. This information, combined with other rock and fluid properties, allows for rapid production history matching and future production predictions. We are developing tools to quantify the impact of changes in completion design on production, and ultimate recovery. This is exactly what operators are looking for in today’s environment – tools to help them evaluate various options that will result in reduced lifting cost and increased ultimate recovery.
Looking back – we certainly managed to make significant strides in our ability to help operators optimize their exploration and field development. However, we have just scratched the surface; there are many more innovations around the corner. Even in today’s tough environment I can see the silver lining. We are vigorously working with our customers to improve their bottom lines, while delivering solutions to their most critical challenges at the appropriate times.