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Distinguished Seminar Series: Shale Frac Designs Move to Just-Good-Enough Proppant Economics, Mike Mayerhofer
February 14 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Mike Mayerhofer, Liberty Oil Services
Abstract: Selecting appropriate proppants is an important part of hydraulic fracture completion design. Proppant selection choices have dramatically increased in recent years as regional sands have become the proppant of choice in many liquid-rich plays. But are these new proppants the best long-term choices to maximize production? Do they provide the best well economics?
The presentation presents a brief historical perspective on proppant selection followed by various detailed studies of how different proppant types have been performing in various unconventional basins (Williston, Permian, Eagle Ford, Powder River and DJ) along with economic analyses. As the shale revolution pushed into lower-quality reservoirs, the concept of dimensionless conductivity has pushed our industry to use ever lower-quality materials – away from ceramics and resin-coated proppant to white sand in some Rocky Mountain plays and more recently from white sand to regional sand in the Permian and Eagle Ford plays.
Further, we compare early- to late-time production response and economics in liquid-rich wells where proppant type changed. The performance of various proppant types and mesh sizes is evaluated using a combination of different techniques, including big data multi-variate statistics, lab conductivity testing, detailed fracture and reservoir modeling, as well as direct well group comparisons. The results of these techniques are then combined with economic analyses to provide a perspective on proppant selection criteria. The comparisons are anchored to permeability estimates from production history matching and DFITs and thousands of wellsite proppant conductivity tests to determine dimensionless conductivity estimates that best approach what is obtained in the field.
Bio: Mike Mayerhofer is the Director of Technology at Liberty Oilfield Services in Denver. He leads a team of engineers providing advanced fracture engineering solutions with special emphasis on unconventional shale and tight oil & gas plays. Previously, he was the Director of the Fracturing Center of Excellence at Pinnacle a Halliburton Service in Houston specializing in the application of fracture diagnostic data to optimize fracture completions, well placement and infill drilling strategies. Prior to joining Pinnacle in 1997, he worked for Union Pacific Resources in Ft. Worth. He has a Doctorate in Petroleum Engineering from Mining University Leoben in Austria.