Fall 2009
Case History: Increasing Bakken Oil Production

Over the last few years, operators working in the Wiliston Basin have applied different completion strategies to determine the optimal approach for this challenging play. During a recent Bakken technology conference, an operator stated that in their experience uncoated ceramics generally cost 30% more than resin coated sand. Not only did they find significant cost savings when using resin coated sand, but they also found that these wells had comparable production to offset uncoated ceramic wells.

Case History
A recent study was conducted comparing the productivity of Bakken wells fractured with curable resin coated proppants, uncoated frac sand, and uncoated ceramics. The test group consisted of 38 wells completed by five operators in the Murphy Creek Field over the past two years. In this sample, a well fractured with Hexion’s curable resin coated proppants had the highest 30 day IP (Initial Production) of all wells.

A comparison of 90 day cumulative oil production based on six of these wells also provided some valuable information. Two wells with Hexion’s curable resin coated proppants produced 30% more oil than the four offset wells which utilized uncoated frac sand and uncoated ceramics. This increase which is equivalent to $290,000 in revenue is due to the increased effective conductivity provided by Hexion’s curable resin coating technology*. This operator also realized that the proppant flowback control provided by curable resin coated proppants reduced the need for costly cleanouts in the horizontal laterals.

For more information about the Bakken including details about formation characteristics, proppant usage, and Hexion’s infrastructure, refer to the article “New Proppant Choices Improve Bakken Shale Production” (Fracline, Summer 2009).

*This revenue estimate is based on the average oil price of $70/bbl during the production time period.


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