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WTGS September 10, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

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Date(s) - 09/10/2019
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Midland Country Club Upstairs Ballroom


Optimization of Stacked Play Development in Delaware Basin – A Step Change in Multi-disciplinary Value Creation

Randal Utech*, Priyavrat Shukla, Lili Xu, Alfiya Nikolaeva, Chris Dorion, Li Fan, Lee Swager, Lance Smith, Kashif Naseem, Shekhar Sinha, Vivian Rohrback, Schlumberger


An accurate earth model is essential for unconventional field development. The geomodel is the basis for geomechanics and simulation modeling which enable intelligent well placement and geosteering for optimized production recovery and development economics.

The effective integration of depth calibrated seismic information improves the accuracy of structural modeling but also provides key input for discontinuity analysis and litho-constrained extrapolation of facies and advanced log petrophysical properties between wells. The seismic elastic and discontinuity properties are further used in 3D geomechanical and completions modeling to provide better assessment of fracture geometries and production interference.

This case history in the Delaware Basin involves multi-bench development with complex stratigraphic heterogeneity and variable fluid composition. The integrated earth model was instrumental in guiding well landing and geosteering. Mechanical properties and in-situ stresses were key parameters impacting well design and hydraulic fracture simulation. A 3D Mechanical Earth Model (MEM) was built to improve understanding of geology and stress regimes. The model was used in a multi-bench landing point analysis with fracture geometry estimation. Optimal landing points were determined in each sector using parallel Cloud-based fracture and reservoir simulations for six stacked benches addressing production and development economics.

History-matching existing well production in each sector was used to calibrate reservoir and fracture properties, such as half-length and conductivity. Production forecasts under different completion and well placement scenarios provided valuable input to optimize lateral-spacing for each geologic bench, leading to asset development with substantially reduced well cost and uncertainty.

The results of this work provided crucial information needed for optimal asset development. The optimization model resulted a reduction of 8 wells per section leading to substantial savings in capital expenditure.


Randy Utech is an Advisor Geoscientist with Schlumberger Integrated Solutions, Asset Consulting, based in Houston.


Having more than 37 years in the industry, Randy’s forte is in exploration and field development studies integrating geology, geophysics and reservoir engineering. With a degree in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin he began his career in geophysics at Western Geophysical in 1982. He currently serves as the Schlumberger Geophysics Discipline Career Manager and has engaged in a wide range of oil and gas development activity worldwide from seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation to basin modeling, exploration, prospect development, reservoir modeling and simulation. Recently has been active in asset evaluation and unconventional field development integrating geophysics and machine learning.  Experienced in exploration, he is credited with several discoveries (domestic and international). He is a registered geophysicist in the State of Texas, a long-standing member of SEG and AAPG and has numerous publications involving seismic acquisition, reservoir geophysics, prospecting and basin modeling, AVO and rock physics, shallow hazards, gas hydrates and geomechanics.




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