In order to produce economic unconventional wells, operators have focused on “factory-style” operations in the past few years. In this quest for optimization, lateral wells are being drilled and completed quicker and longer with 40-70 stages per well, requiring more proppant placed at higher rates.
To meet the demands of efficiency, completion engineers typically spend more time using spreadsheets than fracture simulation software, where formulaic outputs dictate treatment stage spacing, perforation cluster depth, and the pump schedule. This is confounded by the fact completion engineers often orchestrate simultaneous fracturing and “zipper” fracturing operations with multiple horizontal wells. These complex operations leave no time to review data or perform diagnostic tests between stages.