Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Engineering

Hydraulic Fracturing for Conventional, Tight and Shale Reservoirs

Course Code: N959
Instructors:  Carl MontgomeryMike Smith
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
4 days


 This course addresses the multi-disciplinary technical and economic variables involved in the design and implementation of hydraulic fracturing. This flows from a reservoir evaluation of why/how to frac, to geoscience to quantify many design variables, to frac design and post-frac economic evaluation. Fracture mapping and implementation of multi-stage hydraulic fractures in horizontal wells are included.

Any subsurface activity is inherently the operator’s responsibility and in today’s environment that certainly includes stimulation, specifically hydraulic fracturing. This course prepares attendees to assume responsibility for, or intelligently evaluate stimulation design proposals from a service provider. Or, if not directly involved in detailed operations, this course prepares geologists and geoscientists to understand what input is required from them to optimize hydraulic fracturing.

The course empowers attendees to evaluate if sub-surface fracturing plans are too big, too small, or just right. Either reducing costs, enhancing value, or providing assurance of quality operations.


Tutor did an excellent job teaching the course! I learned a lot. It was a very enlightening and enjoyable week.

Duration and Training Method

This is a four-day classroom course which includes classroom lectures with discussion, worked examples, and hands-on exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Recognize the multi-disciplinary nature of hydraulic fracturing involving geoscientist, reservoir engineering, geomechanics, materials selection …….
  2. Assemble pre-frac data
  3. Calculate predicted post-frac productivity
  4. Estimate major frac design parameters (in-situ stress, modulus, fluid loss, and fracture tip effects)
  5. Select appropriate fluid viscosity and pump rate
  6. Select the economically optimized treatment size and proppant program
  7. Select fracturing materials, base fluids, additives, and propping agents
  8. Design and analyze pre-frac testing
  9. Determine stage size/spacing for multiple-fractured horizontal wells

1. Overview

  • Introduction
  • Important Factors in Fracturing

2. In Situ Stress

  • The dominant variable for fracture design
  • Geomechanics - What controls in situ stress and how to estimate this critical parameter
  • The role of geologic structure
  • Proppant stress and how this affects fracture conductivity

3. Reservoir Aspects of Fracturing

  • What controls post-frac productivity
  • How to predict post-frac production
  • How to determine what “type” of fracture is desired
  • Horizontal Well Fracturing
    • Well spacing
    • Cluster/Stage spacing

4. Fracture Geometry

  • Geomechanics aspects of fracturing
  • Major parameters needed for treatment design
  • PNet, Net Fracturing Pressure
  • Horizontal Well Fracturing
    • Effect of fracture interference on fracture geometry

5. Treatment Design

  • How to estimate/measure major design parameters (Height, Modulus, Fluid Loss, and Frac Tip Effects)
  • Data sources
  • Selecting desired fluid viscosity and pump rate
  • Treatment scheduling (viscous gel fracs, water fracs, tip-screenout fracs)

6. Pre-Frac Testing 

  • Step-Rate Test analysis
  • Injection/Decline (DFIT) Analysis
  • Fluid efficiency

7. Materials 

  • Proppant and Fracture Conductivity
  • Fluids and fluid selection process 

The course is designed for mid to senior level engineers and engineering supervisors/managers who are directly involved in hydraulic fracturing design and operations. It is also recommended for geologists, geoscientists and others who routinely supply input data for fracture design optimization.

Carl Montgomery

Carl Montgomery is a Senior Engineer with NSI Technologies, where he specializes in well completion and production enhancement. Carl is recognized as an industry leader in all areas of stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, matrix stimulation, cavity completions, waste/cuttings injection, rock mechanics, and scale prevention/removal. Carl also has considerable experience in cementing, sand management, conformance control, perforating strategy, and formation damage.

Carl’s career has included stints with ConocoPhillips (2000-2009), Arco (1989-2000), and Dowell Schlumberger (1973-1989), and he has worked on wells in 54 different countries around the world. Carl has served the SPE as a Distinguished Lecturer, was the first SPE International Technical Director for Completions, presents SPE short courses on Fracturing, and was awarded the 2007 SPE Drilling and Completions award.

Carl is the co-author of the book “Hydraulic Fracturing”, has authored numerous papers and chapters in several stimulation and cementing books, and holds 27 US/International patents.

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc Ball State University - Biochemistry
BSc Colorado State University - Biochemistry

Courses Taught
N959: Hydraulic Fracturing for Conventional, Tight and Shale Reservoirs

Mike Smith

Dr. Smith has over 30 years experience in rock mechanics, well completions, and hydraulic fracturing. While with Amoco Production Company, Mike co-developed the framework for fracturing pressure analysis which revolutionized fracturing technology. Along with worldwide consulting, Mike has served multiple times as a SPE Distinguished Lecturer, authored multiple chapters in the recent fracturing SPE Monograph, and developed and presented SPE short courses on Fracturing Pressure Analysis. Most recently, Mike was presented the SPE Lester C. Uren Award for his contributions to hydraulic fracturing technology

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Rice University - Rock Mechanics

Courses Taught
N959: Hydraulic Fracturing for Conventional, Tight and Shale Reservoirs


CEU: 3.2 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 32 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.