Refracturing: well selection, treatment design, and lessons learned—a review

Abstract

As one of the main stimulation methodologies, refracturing has been implemented for decades in horizontal wells that are producing from unconventional shale plays. During the downturn in the oil and gas industry, in particular, refracturing of underperforming wells that have gone through hydraulic fracturing already seems to be the most cost-effective method to increase recovery. Although several case studies and relevant research have shown the advantages of refracturing with regard to its significant technological and economic aspects, it has not yet convinced all operators to replace drilling a new well and fracturing them with refracturing for multiple reasons. In this review paper, the fundamentals and history of refracturing technology were briefly presented, and the criteria for selecting the candidate wells were discussed in detail, which can be divided into four categories, including parameter model definition, statistical analysis, classification method, and numerical simulation. The possible technical reasons why refracturing might not be the most suitable method in the field implementation were pointed out. Furthermore, main aspects of refracturing from technical and economical to public concerns were summarized in order to offer the reference and guideline of conducting refracturing treatment on unconventional reservoirs. This review article attempts to provide a comprehensive insight into various topics related to refracturing treatment for screening, design, and implementation of restimulation operations in the field.

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Kong, L., Ostadhassan, M., Tamimi, N. et al. Refracturing: well selection, treatment design, and lessons learned—a review. Arab J Geosci 12, 117 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-019-4281-8

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Keywords

  • Refracturing
  • Well selection
  • Unconventional reservoirs
  • Review