SPE Technical Reports

SPE Technical Reports address areas where SPE membership and the public would benefit from understanding the current technology and challenges. Each report is the result of broad-based input from subject-matter experts. Draft Technical Reports are prepared by a committee and posted for SPE member review and comment for at least 30 days. Comments received are considered in finalizing the report for submission to the SPE Board of Directors for approval for publication. Any SPE member can propose development of a Technical Report to the SPE Board of Directors. Learn more in our guidelines document.

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If you have any comments regarding the SPE technical reports posted below, please send an email with your full contact details to techreports@spe.org.


Hydraulic Fracture Well-to-Well Communication

SPE Posts Draft of Report for Public Comment. 

The authors of this technical report, “Hydraulic Fracture Well-to-Well Communication” (Fracture-Driven Interactions Between Horizontal Wells), aim to present a comprehensive, technical cause-and-effect review on the subject of Fracture-Driven Interactions (FDI); its causes, types and expected consequences, as well as recommendations for operators and vendors. Presentation of actual case studies based on thoroughly examined experiences are also included in order to better assist in the prevention of damage, production losses, and environmental releases. Conclusions will be framed and reported within the individual bodies of discussion and demonstrated by actual field data or previously published information.

A draft of the report has been posted online in an effort to gather public input before the final report is published. Your comments will be accepted until 30 April.

The report starts by offering a technical review of the causes, types, and expected consequences of these interactions, supported by actual case histories, including:

  • Fracture shadowing: This causes minor pressure increases in the shut-in well. Its production interference is likely to be delayed and minor.
  • Temporary fracture-to-fracture communication: The pressure increase caused by this type of interaction can be as high as tens or even hundreds of psi. However, the increase in pressure stops shortly after the end of pumping of each stage. Production interference (losses or gains) caused by this type of interaction is expected to be delayed. Chemical factors, such as formation wetting changes or emulsion formation with fracturing fluids, may also influence production recovery.
  • Long-term fracture-to-fracture connection: The pressure communication caused by this type of interaction lasts beyond the end of each fracture stage. Its resulting production interference is usually quick and may be long-term or permanent.

In reviewing this topic and this report, the reader should keep in mind the important difference between technical and practical aspects of production interference. On the practical side, a reasonable level of daily production is needed to make these ultralow-permeability (often assumed to be naturally fractured) reservoirs financially viable. To achieve this production threshold often requires accepting a certain level of production interference. One of the goals of this report is to provide the reader with enough insight to determine the type and degree of FDI and decide what steps can help reduce its severity, if needed.

SPE and the subject matter experts who authored the draft, encourage you to review the technical report draft and submit your comments and feedback by 30 April 2018. To download the report and participate in this public comment period, please see below.

Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward

This report is a compilation of the discussions from various SPE sessions, and expands on those discussions to identify and evaluate elements that may aid the industry in removing obstacles to achieving zero harm.  The report explores current thinking and views; incorporates experiences and learnings from other industries that are mature in the application of human factors; and suggests the next steps that will enable the oil and gas industry to meet an expectation of zero harm. 

Assessing the Processes, Tools, and Value of Sharing & Learning from Offshore E&P Safety-Related Data (SPE-182847-TR)

This report was written by a steering committee of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Industry input was obtained from a summit held April 2016 in Houston as well as members from SPE online communities. This Technical Report is based on discussions and conclusions from the summit and is intended to provide guidance on an industry-wide safety management data sharing program. The overall objective of the effort is to: a) eliminate or reduce risk of harm through industry sharing of data, b) to generate information that builds knowledge, understanding and ownership, and c) to disseminate recommended corrective actions to prevent a re-occurrence. It was approved by the SPE Board of Directors in September 2016.

"Guidance for Decision Quality for Multi-Company Upstream Projects" (SPE-181246-TR)

This technical report is the product of a collaboration of subject matter experts across the oil & gas industry which began at a discussion session at SPE's Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in September 2015. The report provides practical advice on the application of decision quality principles, which apply during all phases of a project's life cycle, including exploration, development, and operational phases. It was approved by the SPE Board of Directors in March 2016.

"Calculation of Worst-Case Discharge (WCD)" (SPE-174705-TR)

This technical report documents the findings of the 2014 WCD Summit (17-18 March 2014, New Orleans) and presents an SME consensus for calculating the WCD of liquid hydrocarbons to the environment resulting from a loss of control from a well during openhole drilling. It was approved by the SPE Board of Directors in March 2015.

"The Human Factor: Process Safety and Culture" (SPE-170575-TR)

This report captures the findings of the July 2012 SPE Summit on Human Factors. It is the first technical report to be published and was approved by the SPE Board of Directors in March 2014.