Long-Term Productivity Comparison of Gel and Water Fracture Stimulation in Marcellus Shale Play


The goal of any hydraulic fracturing stimulation is to design and execute the appropriate treatment that is best suited for the stimulated reservoir. Selecting the best treatment must achieve the desired fracture geometry to maximize long-term well productivity and reserve recovery. The main objective of this study is to conduct detailed short and long-term production and well-to-well comparisons of the different types of fracture stimulation fluids in the Marcellus Shale play. A database of more than 4,000 horizontal, stimulated Marcellus wells was constructed for this study. The wells were divided into four groups according to the type of treating fluid: water, gel, cross-linked, and hybrid fracs. Chemical data from FracFocus were gathered and processed then combined with completion and production data to investigate the gas short and long-term production. Detailed monthly production data for the studied wells were captured from DrillingInfo database and utilized in this study. This paper reports and compares the Marcellus gas initial production, the gas cumulative production at the end of the first month, first 6 months, first year, 2 years, and 5 years, according to the type of hydraulic fracturing fluid used in primary stimulation. The work provides insights into Marcellus well performance as a function of stimulation parameters such as the volume of stimulation fluid and the amount of pumped proppants. The impact of perforated lateral length is taken into consideration and used to normalize production and stimulation parameters. The study shows that water fracturing fluids outperformed the other types of hydraulic fracturing fluids. This paper introduces several data processing workflows that serve as a reference for individuals who are interested in extracting and processing data from the FracFocus database. It also documents the occurrence in hydraulic fracturing fluid types and measures the effects of the fracturing fluid volume and total proppant pumped on the initial and cumulative production.

Meeting Name

SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019 (2019: Sep. 30-Oct. 2, Calgary, Canada)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Crosslinking; Data handling; Database systems; Horizontal wells; Oil shale; Oil wells; Petroleum reservoirs; Productivity; Proppants; Shale; Water treatment; Well stimulation, Cumulative production; Fracture geometries; Fracture stimulation; Long term production; Marcellus shales; Stimulation fluid; Stimulation parameters; Well productivity, Fracturing fluids

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2019