Parent-child well interaction is becoming top of mind as unconventional oil and gas plays mature. Early in the play development lifecycle, single wells were drilled to delineate and hold acreage. As operators downspace to maximize acreage value, they must consider how the placement of new wells impacts existing wells, or parent wells. In the Bakken, which hosts more than 8,500 wells that are five years or older, the impact of child wells on parent well performance cannot be ignored.
In the Williston Basin, a child’s impact on a parent can be positive or negative. The impact depends on several parameters including, but not limited to: interwell spacing, the difference in completion intensity between wells, age of the parent well and geology. Figure 1 shows a parent well positively affected by the offset child wells, resulting in a 58% increase in the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for the parent well. However, Figure 2 shows the opposite effect where parent well production decreased materially, yielding a 44% drop in parent EUR.
Quantifying the impacts on parent well performance will become increasingly important as plays age. Irrespective of positive or negative parent well impacts it will be prudent to account for the adjustment the child well has on the parent or vice versa. Utilizing RSEG’s comprehensive completions, production and spacing database it is possible to begin quantifying the impacts of parent and child well interactions.
FIGURE 1 | Positive Parent Well Impact
Source | RSEG
FIGURE 2 | Negative Parent Well Impact
Source | RSEG
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