In today’s ‘lower for longer’ oil price environment operators are making every effort to lower costs and improve efficiencies in unconventional reservoirs. However, a review of the market reveals quite a spread in unconventional reservoir production break-even costs. For some, the reason behind this economic inequality is a difference in the reservoir quality; however, for many operators, the differences in economics are found in the inefficiency of their drilling and completion operations and the resulting cost differential. Many of today’s common completion practices have not been benchmarked or updated for quite a while. There is a general understanding that the economics are highly sensitive to drilling and completion costs, especially now as the industry shifts towards longer laterals and more complex completions. As we look at the drilling and completion practices across the industry, there are large and apparent differences in operational practices and in the amount of data being both taken and analyzed in reference to completion operations.
Given this economic gap and the apparent lack of consistency among operators in executing these operations and in collecting operational data, we believe there is no better time than the present for a joint industry study to define best practices in completion operations. In the current low cost environment it is critical to assure that every operator is utilizing state-of-the-art practices.
For this JIP, we have broken the completion operations into six (6) distinct study areas for data collection, observations, analysis and benchmarking: