How microseismic can help to improve our understanding of refracturing
The rapid drop in production rate from horizontal wells in unconventional reservoirs requires adding new wells to maintain an economically viable production level from the reservoir. The main goal of drilling new wells is to access unproduced hydrocarbons and unlock the full potential of the asset. Alternatively, bypassed hydrocarbons can be accessed by restimulation of depleted wells through refracturing. The latter offers significant cost savings because it eliminates the costs associated with drilling and completing new wells. However, the final economic viability of refracturing is a matter of the balance between the post-refracturing production increase gain and the treatment cost. The reported results on the efficiency of refracturing are very mixed so far, even for the wells within the same formation (Kashikar and Jbeili, 2015). While some operators reported satisfactory post-refracturing production uplift, some have reported no significant production gain, indicating the high level of uncertainty and unpredictability.