STEP reduces offset well hits by deploying far-field diverter technology


CALGARY, Alberta -- Recognizing that fracturing operations often influence the production of parent wells, STEP Energy Services (STEP) recently collaborated with a Montney producer to reduce offset well communication by using its far-field diverter technology, STEP-PLEX (formerly known as REVIVE).

In early December, STEP’s engineers monitored offset well pressure during the fracturing treatment in real time and were able to pinpoint fluid and proppant volume prior to the communication events. STEP’s proprietary diverting agent, STEP-PLEX, was then deployed during sand treatment stages to reduce the probability of nearby wellbore fracturing hits and statistically mitigate future damage. Fracturing diversion was optimized by strategically changing the particle size of STEP-PLEX throughout the operation. By doing so, STEP professionals were able to deploy the most effective and economical diverting agent composition for the job.

Bailey Epp, V.P. of engineering and technology, said, “We recognize the effects of offset well communication when it comes to production and well control, especially in the Montney. Our goal is to minimize interwell fracturing interference for our clients, and we have the experts and the technology to do so. We’ve had a number of successes with clients using our diverting agent over the last year and will continue to test its effectiveness on multi-well pad completions, and preventing potential damage to offset wells.”

By proactively diverting fracture stages prior to breakthrough to nearby wells, STEP maximized formation contact and fracture complexity without jeopardizing the client’s existing, producing wells. After seeing the success of STEP’s diverting agent in December, the client is now using STEP-PLEX for its refracturing operations.

Since January 2016, STEP-PLEX has been successfully pumped in over 23 wells representing 350 diversion stages, and 12 different formations including the Montney, Cardium and Duvernay. It is currently being used for both refracturing and new well completions to increase fracture complexity and optimize stage count.

STEP-PLEX diverting agents are multi-modal diverting technologies tested in dynamic conditions that combine a number of environmentally friendly, slow degrading solids used as temporary blocking agents. The systems are excellent for fluid loss prevention, bridging, loss circulation prevention, conductivity improvement and fracture fluid diverting. STEP-PLEX is uniquely customized depending on the desired application, time and temperature. The rate of degradation can be controlled from hours to weeks depending on the product, particulate size and down-hole conditions.

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