Completion Design Changes and the Impact on US Shale Well Productivity

The 2014 oil price downturn caused the US unconventional oil and gas industry to undertake an array of cost-cutting measures affecting both capital and operational expenditures. Focus shifted towards operational efficiency, well design, and the maximization of each dollar spent, and away from the gold rush mentality that had characterized the former $100/bl price environment. Perhaps counterintuitively, the emphasis on efficiency has helped to propel consecutive years of well productivity gains across several shale plays. These gains have continued into 2017, even as the industry still grasps at profitability. This Insight seeks to build on the 2016 paper Unravelling the US Shale Productivity Gains on well productivity gains. Specifically, it examines the continued productivity growth across multiple US shale plays and attempts to identify the factors contributing to this growth, as well as addressing some of the potential economic constraints.

By: Trisha Curtis , Benjamin Montalbano