The Bakken formation in southeast Saskatchewan has been developed using a progression of completion methods with the goal of increasing recovery rates from this tight, light oil resource play. Open hole horizontals completed with the Packers Plus StackFRAC® multi-stage fracturing system have been utilized in the Bakken because of excellent production results and continuous operation, which provides cost savings.
Two major operators working in the Bakken wanted to improve the performance of their leases by more effectively draining the available resources. To achieve this, they required a well design and completion method to increase reservoir contact. At the same time, the operators needed to minimize additional development costs. This meant keeping the number of pads and rig time to a minimum. To ensure the highest return on investment, operational efficiency was key.
One option to increase reservoir contact that has become more popular among operators working in the Bakken is to drill two or more laterals off of one vertical wellbore. This design greatly reduces the upfront capital costs compared to drilling individual horizontals as the majority of drilling cost resides in the vertical portion of the well. Additionally, it effectively doubles or triples the reservoir contact from a single vertical.
Both operators were already using the StackFRAC system to complete their open hole horizontals, so it was natural for them to come to Packers Plus to complete their dual laterals. One operator ran 8-stage, 4.5-in. StackFRAC systems in their 1,200 m, 6.25-in. open hole dual laterals for a total of 16 stages. This operator drilled the first leg and Bakken, SK, Canada installed the StackFRAC system before drilling the second leg and running the second system.
The other operator used 16-stage, 3.5-in. StackFRAC HD systems in each 6.25-in., 1,200 m leg for a total of 32 stages. This operator drilled both laterals and then installed both systems with a service rig. Operationally, these completions take one day per system to stimulate, so two days total for the two laterals.
Packers Plus continues to install and successfully stimulate dual laterals in a variety of formations in Canada. Re-entry of existing horizontals to drill and complete one or more additional legs is another option being taken by operators. Packers Plus is the innovator of open hole multi-stage completions and adapts to changing industry demand for specific applications in technically challenging formations.