Stochastic programming models for optimal shale well development and refracturing planning under uncertainty

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Abstract

In this work we present an optimization framework for shale gas well development and refracturing planning. This problem is concerned with if and when a new shale gas well should be drilled at a prospective location, and whether or not it should be refractured over its lifespan. We account for exogenous gas price uncertainty and endogenous well performance uncertainty. We propose a mixed-integer linear, two-stage stochastic programming model embedded in a moving horizon strategy to dynamically solve the planning problem. A generalized production estimate function is described that predicts the gas production over time depending on how often a well has been refractured, and when exactly it was restimulated last. From a detailed case study, we conclude that early in the life of an active shale well, refracturing makes economic sense even in low-price environments, whereas additional restimulations only appear to be justified if prices are high. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2017

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