March Luncheon - Distinguished Lecturer

When:  Mar 6, 2024 from 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM (CT)
Associated with  Austin Section

Are You Draining From Where You Think You Are?

The Answer Is: Not Necessarily!


Development of unconventional resource plays, globally, relies largely upon production from stacked, horizontal wells. As understanding of drainage networks, interference and production dynamics has increased stacking and completion patterns have evolved.

Most operators assume, from inferred methodologies, that while interconnectivity across these stacked wells play a role, most production is sourced from the landing formation. However, while this can indeed be the case, it is not a given and production from adjacent formations can and does dominate production in many laterals. Poorly understood – or assumed – drainage networks, based upon inferred data, impact the modeled lifetime of wells, the development of optimal stacking patterns, completion designs and overall field developments. Understanding where wells are draining from is crucial to successfully, and economically, exploiting resource plays.

This talk will outline, through case studies, that are applicable globally, the crucial role subsurface fluid chemistry workflows perform, both static and dynamic, in these plays. The methodologies discussed can be used - in conjunction with complimentary data - to directly assess flow unit variability, quantify source contributions, and monitor how drainage networks change through time. All of which ensure operators understand, and can account for, effective production operations across their acreage. The principles discussed can be deployed in both unconventional and conventional systems.

Members should take away the concept that, in the absence of direct subsurface fluid data, just because you are targeting, and have successfully landed in a known productive hydrocarbon zone, does not mean that this is where your production is coming from.


Dr. Craig Barrie holds a Ph.D. in geochemistry from Liverpool University and a B.Sc. in geology from Glasgow University. Since his Ph.D. he has held teaching and research fellowships at the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow before joining industry in 2011. Dr. Barrie is an acknowledged SME in fluid chemistry and has published 40 technical and research papers since 2007. Before joining Applied Petroleum Technology in 2021 he worked as director of reservoir geochemistry at GeoMark Reseach in Houston, Texas, USA. Dr. Barrie has worked in every major resource play in North America and a range of basins globally.


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Jennifer Harpel