VACA MUERTA RISING: A Trip Along the Learning Curve

Source: Diego Levit, YPF.
A flexible water line that snakes along the edge of a road delivers water for fracturing, eliminating the need for heavy truck traffic on the gravel roads.

A drive down a gravel road in the Loma Campana follows the steep early learning curve in the Vaca Muerta.

There are large pump jacks on old single wells left from the early days when vertical wells were drilled on scattered sites in a place that looks a lot like West Texas.

There are pads with four vertical wells forming a rectangle. That pattern reduced the time needed to drill the wells by shortening the trip from well to well for older rigs not built to walk or slide on skids. Still it used two rigs, and the wells were far less productive than horizontal ones.

A flexible pipeline snakes along the edge of the road leading to a fracturing site where it supplies the fresh water needed for the job. Flexible water lines have become a common sight, replacing fleets of trucks pounding down the bumpy, unpaved roads.

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VACA MUERTA RISING: A Trip Along the Learning Curve

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 February 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 2


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