The frack design behind QEP’s asset sell-off

By North American Shale magazine staff | April 10, 2018

QEP Resources’ plan to become a Permian Basin pure-play operator are linked to the Denver-based E&P’s frack strategy. Using it’s “tank-style” development, QEP’s methodology attempts to create a pressure wall separating producing wells from wells undergoing completion. The wall—or buffer—minimizes the interference between the wells, and is created by the geologic rock formation and distance present in the stacked pay zones of the Midland. The tank style approach reduces drilling costs by keeping the drilling rig on a pad for longer as it works to drill out all of the well bores planned for a single geologic formation before moving on to a new formation. Wells in a single tank are also completed in full before being brought onto production.

The goal of the tank style top-down completion method is also to maintain reservoir pressure in each geologic pay zone. The approach helps to keep the rock “super-charged,” according to QEP, as additional laterals are placed below existing laterals. Microseismic data has shown that QEP’s wells that were developed in a tank style featured higher initial flowing pressure with additional frack complexity downhole. Beyond day 120, oil rates in high-density Spraberry units exceeded that of parent wells, the company said.

Although the cost to drill and complete a Permian well versus a Williston Basin well are nearly identical, there are more pay zones in the Permian. According to QEP, the company can drill at least six zones from a single pad. In the Williston Basin, most producers are currently targeting between two and four zones.
As of march, QEP held 50,000 acres in the Permian and planned to sell more than 100,000 acres in the Williston Basin.