SIGMA³ Engineers 4X Production Increase

SIGMA³ Engineering Builds & Executes Re-Stimulation Design in Challenging Reservoir Using Oil-Based Fluid

Paradox Basin


Operator: Small Independent

Location: Paradox Basin, Utah

SIGMA³ Engineering Solutions:

  • Re-Completion Design & Stimulation with Oil-Based Fluid
  • Real-Time Monitoring
  • Onsite Consulting


  • 4X Increase in Production Relative to Initial Completion

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SIGMA³ assisted an operator in the Paradox Basin, Utah in designing and executing a re-completion program on three existing, under- performing, horizontal wells.

Historically, the reservoir had been difficult to stimulate due to interbedded, highly-soluble salt layers. Previous completions utilized large, multi-stage hydraulic fracture stimulations. These stimulations breached the salt layers resulting in the fracture fluid dissolving the salt.

When the wells were put on production the salt precipitated in the wellbore creating repeated plugging and clean-out issues. Production could not be maintained, severely compromising project economics.

Treatment Design & Execution
SIGMA³ proposed re-completing wells using oil-based fracturing fluid to eliminate dissolving the salt. Additionally, the re-completion designs constrained fracture height to avoid encroaching the salt layers. Thus, these designs were substantially smaller, compared to typical unconventional horizontal wells completions, averaging only 200 barrels (8,400 gallons) of clean fluid per stage.

SIGMA³ worked closely with the pumping company to optimize the fluid system performance and formation fluid compatibility. As pumping operations commenced, SIGMA³ engineers performed thorough QA/QC reviews as per the company's best-in-class operating procedures. Prior to the main treatment, diagnostic injections verified critical fracture mechanics, leak-off characteristics, and quantified the near-wellbore connection.

During the main treatment, the SIGMA³ on-site engineer monitored and modeled the pressure response in real time and made crucial adjustments on the fly. Due to the relatively small treatment size, a stage was initiated at the surface before the previous stage entered the perforations. This increased the execution challenge. However, all stages were successful avoiding screen outs.

Throughout the process our team approach coordinated seamlessly with both the client and service company.

Treatment plot of typical stage.


Project Success
Two of the re-completed wells observed a 4X increase in production relative to initial completion. Since these were the first economic wells on the flanks of the field, these two wells notably increased the marketability of the asset.