TOPICS OF INTEREST
Exploring the Innovative Evolution of Hydraulic Fracturing
The evolution of hydraulic fracturing is a long and circuitous one that deserves examination. Engineering and completions leaders from Liberty Oilfield Services did just that, authoring a paper that encapsulates the high points in development of the groundbreaking completions practice.
As gas development focuses more on tight and ultratight formations, the challenges to produce economically become diverse and more intense. One main challenge faced while fracturing a well is a high fracture gradient.
Factory-Model Approach Improves Performance of Coiled-Tubing Drillout
This paper presents a factory-model approach to improving CT drillout performance that has been used successfully for more than 3 years and has become standard practice.
Real-Time Formation-Face-Pressure Analysis Improves Acid-Fracturing Operations
This paper contains a detailed discussion of methods and a software tool that has been developed to generate information that predicts formation-face pressures in real time with the help of live bottomhole-pressure data.
Chemical-Diversion Agents Can Aid Acid Fracturing in Openhole Horizontal Wells
This paper presents a newly designed triaxial fracturing system and describes a series of experiments that verified the validity of tool-free chemical diversion for multistage fracturing of openhole horizontal wells.
Phosphonate-Based Inhibitor Reduces Scaling Potential of Seawater
In this study, a laboratory analysis was conducted to study the effect of a phosphonate-based scale inhibitor on a mixture of hypersaline Arabian Gulf seawater and formation water under high-temperature/high-pressure conditions.
China’s Shale Dream Rests Atop Chaotic Geology
As the country pushes for higher output from its emerging unconventional sector, nature is pushing back. To get better results, operators there are increasing their reliance on technology.
Surface Drilling Data Can Help Optimize Fracture Treatment in Real Time
This paper presents a unique work flow that addresses in real time the challenges of perforation and fracture-treatment design while accounting for the lithologic and stress variability along the wellbore and its surroundings.
Computational Model Predicts Breakdown Pressures in Unconventional Plays
This paper presents a newly developed model to predict the breakdown pressures in cased and perforated wells.
Operator Executives Share Haynesville Development Strategies
Indigo Natural Resources, Aethon Energy, and Rockcliff Energy are among the most active operators in the revived Haynesville Shale of North Louisiana and East Texas. And most people outside of the region likely have never heard of them.
Shale EOR Delivers, So Why Won’t the Sector Go Big?
There is every reason to believe that enhanced oil recovery through huff-and-puff injections in US tight-oil plays could be a technical success across large numbers of wells. However, widespread economic success remains uncertain.
Looking for Fracturing Sand That Is Cheap and Local
The very first fracturing job used sand scooped from a nearby river. After decades of buying sand based on tight size standards, unconventional operators are increasingly going back to a broad range of sizes, similar to that river sand.
New Operators, Well Designs Drive Record Gas Production in Haynesville
After a long cooling off period, this dry-gas shale play is once again red hot.
Shale Producers Look for Fracturing Power, See a Tighter Market
In the fast-moving US shale sector, no market trend seems to last long. The pressure pumping market exemplifies the maxim.
Shale Pioneer: Hard Ceiling on Production Growth Coming
The complicated parent-child relationship in US shale fields is emerging as a turning point in the US shale revolution. One of the first executives to exploit tight oil says the issue will reverse the sector’s cumulative growth rate by 2025.
Shale CEO on Parent-Child Challenge, Well Declines: We Know
Encana CEO Doug Suttles assures that shale executives are acutely aware of the parent-child well challenge, and he doesn’t think it’s “a big threat” to the sector.
Imaging Fracturing’s Unexpected Changes
Pictures shot in fractured wells show how a high-pressure slurry of water and sand carves up the perforations.
Shale Executives Address Investor Concerns Over Production, Frac Hits, Up-Spacing
The technical challenges imposed by tight well spacing and fracture interactions have become a focal point of recent earnings calls between investors and the leaders of several shale producers. The picture of the future is becoming clearer, and there are fewer oil wells in it.
Noble Energy Touts Output Gains, Potential From “Row Development” Concept
Noble’s first row of wells in its massive Mustang project is helping increase the operator’s DJ Basin output, and similar results are soon expected in the Delaware Basin.
Keeping Up with the Older Generation Proves Costly and Futile in the Permian
Another reminder that it costs more to coax the same amount of oil from new wells as for older wells nearby, with a closer look at the big plays and how the wells are completed.
EIA Adds New Plays to Shale Gas, Tight Oil Reports
The agency updated its methodology and production volume estimates to factor increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as older plays that have rebounded thanks to drilling advancements.
The Eagle Ford Still Looks Good to Operators
The Eagle Ford Shale has reclaimed its standing as one of the most attractive US onshore liquids basins, and for good reason. Does this mean more operators will seek to buy in to the play, and could further consolidation take hold following last year’s big deals?
UK Shale Flow Test Positive, But No Regulatory Relief in Sight
UK’s first horizontal shale well has yielded positive results after an initial flow test. But further testing—and fracturing of a second well—will have to come amid a continuation of UK’s stringent regulations on induced seismicity.
To Solve Frac Hits, Unconventional Engineering Must Revolve Around Them
The struggle to overcome the challenge of frac hits has led to a critical dialogue about which pathway the shale sector should take. One idea is to simply put the problem at the center of every major decision.
US Shale To Drill And Complete 20,000 Wells This Year
A new report expects US producers to drill their highest number of wells since 2014, and that completion activity may exceed drilling for the first time since 2016.
After-Closure Analysis of DFITs Drives Design of Hydraulic-Fracturing Programs
This paper describes a diagnostic fracture injection test-analysis program and the suitability of the results from ACAs for use in hydraulic-fracture design.
C&J Energy, Seismos Combine Technologies To Evaluate Fractures As They Are Made
Using drilling data and a downhole acoustic signal, developers aim to assess unconventional fracture networks in real time and give engineers ability to customize each stage.
ProPetro Completes Acquisition of Pioneer’s Pressure Pumping Assets
ProPetro closed its deal to purchase Pioneer’s pressure pumping fleet, boosting its services in the Permian Basin.
Reservoir-on-a-Chip Technology Opens a New Window Into Oilfield Chemistry
An oil and gas startup has attracted the business with a major operator thanks to its ability to forecast whether production-enhancing chemicals will work as advertised.
Shale’s Big Sand Switch Is Delivering Dollars, but Not Eroding All Concerns
Producers in Texas have claimed an economic victory with their transition to local sands that they once avoided using in horizontal wells due to their low-quality.
How Does Vaca Muerta Stack Up vs. US Shale? Data Tell the Tale
Vaca Muerta production is on the upswing. Will increasing activity propel the Argentine play to the ranks of US shale? Data suggest it is both already there and has a ways to go.
Led by Frac, The Oilfield Services Space Could Get Interesting in 2019
Slumping oil prices may throw a wrench into a positive outlook for the global oilfield services and equipment industry. Even if prices rebound, complications in the US fracturing market—and elsewhere—are expected to persist.
USGS’s Largest-Ever Assessment of Continuous Oil Potential: Permian’s Wolfcamp-Bone Spring
Production and proved reserves in the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation are reaching new heights, and a new assessment from the US Geological Survey indicates the industry is just scratching the subsurface when it comes to what may be technically recoverable.
Fighting Water With Water: How Engineers Are Turning the Tides on Frac Hits
If the shale sector’s most complex problem can be solved, it will require companies to use their wells as a team. Newly detailed field work shows that a good defense is the key to success.
Three Trends Shaping Global Production: US Well Spacing, Argentine Shale, and Middle East Conventionals
For the next several years, supplies of crude will depend on several macro factors. Some are easier to forecast than others.
Total, ADNOC To Explore for Unconventional Gas in Abu Dhabi
The French major will become operator of the Ruwais Diyab concession, and ADNOC says additional companies are lining up to partner on the emirate’s other unconventional areas.
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
Frac Hits To Take Center Stage at SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Conference
The upcoming event will provide the shale sector with a venue to share new learnings and approaches meant to overcome one of its greatest subsurface challenges.
Gas Begins Flowing From UK Shale Well
Small quantities of gas and water are flowing to the surface from the UK’s first horizontal shale well—just days after operator Cuadrilla paused injection work for a second time amid earthquakes.
Can Machine Learning Mitigate Frac Hits?
BHGE is developing an analytics and machine-learning approach that offers descriptive and predictive insights on frac hits, with the aim of eventually offering a real-time monitoring capability to be deployed during frac jobs.
Liquids-Rich Permian Showcased as a Model Basin
The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Small Earthquakes Pause Fracturing of UK’s First Horizontal Shale Well
Cuadrilla has encountered its first bumps in the road while fracturing its Preston New Road shale gas well, with two quakes already temporarily halting injection operations.
Schlumberger and Halliburton Warm on Global Market, Cooler on US Shale
The two biggest oilfield services providers are enjoying a rebound in international activity but continue to struggle with a softening US shale completions market. While takeaway constraints will be temporary, steep shale production declines may emerge as a longer-term challenge.
Company To Fracture First UK Horizontal Shale Wells
Cuadrilla Resources will test the two wells over the next 6 months to determine how much gas it can initially recover from the Bowland Shale.
It May Be Boom Time for the Oil-Rich Powder River Basin
The Powder River Basin has emerged over the past year as the latest source of oil production growth for the Lower 48. Companies ranging from a reborn Samson Resources to US onshore mainstays Devon, Chesapeake, and EOG are now betting on the basin to become a long-term core asset.
Four Charts That Show DUCs Are Soaring in US Shale Fields
There is no single reason that they all exist—and bringing them all on line will face challenges.
Study Detected Methane in Water Wells But Not From Booming Oil Drilling Nearby
When methane is found in water wells near an unconventional well, fingers point to facturing as the liklely suspect. But a study of wells in the Utica Shale named other sources.
Halliburton Aims For Better Wells With Automated Fracturing
The pressure pumping giant turns to algorithms to get better fractures and fewer problems.
Now There’s Enough Pressure Pumping and Sand to Go Around
Hydraulic fracturing is now a little bit easier for US shale operators thanks to readily available horsepower and in-basin sand.
Innovative Pressure Map Offers Insights on Frac Hits
Well-interference issues can be hard to diagnose, but this startup may be figuring that out. The data-driven process it developed can also help operators come up with more effective ways to use diverters.
In the Battle Against Frac Hits, Shale Producers Go to New Extremes
The rise of cube developments in the Permian Basin has introduced a new way of thinking for some of the region’s biggest players.
Big Leaps Still to Come in Unconventional Technology
Today’s advancements in unconventional technology are worth marveling over, but there is still plenty of room for growth.
US Onshore Pressure Pumpers Adjusting to New Market Demands
Higher oil prices and higher-intensity completions are increasing the need for US onshore pressure pumping horsepower. Will still recovering pressure pumpers and equipment manufacturers be able to step up?
Leaching Study Conducted on Phenolic Novolac Resin-Coated Proppants
Prompted by concerns about possible leaching from phenolic novolac resin-coated proppants (RCPs) during operations, Fairmount Santrol conducted analysis that showed no leaching of free formaldehyde or free phenol from its phenolic novolac RCPs.
Significant improvements to completions design and manufacturing have been made recently to accommodate long laterals and multiple fracturing or acidizing stages for different reservoir types, lithologies, and conditions.
Well-Placement Timing, Conductivity Loss Affect Production in Multiple-Fracture Wells
This paper describes numerical-simulation results from a three-well pad in a stacked liquids-rich reservoir (containing gas condensates) to understand the interaction between wells and production behavior.
Pillar Fracturing a Sandstone Reservoir Shows Benefit Over Conventional Fracturing
The Kaji Semoga Field in South Sumatra consists of three main reservoirs—Telisa sandstone (TLS), Baturaja limestone, and Talangakar sandstone. The successful development of TLS with hydraulic fracturing led to further efforts to maximize oil recovery.
Digging up New Information on What Fractures Really Look Like
During a panel discussion on what fractures look like, one expert added a significant qualifier to the title: what they “may look like.”
Rystad Sees ‘Very Promising Year’ for Shale
Analysts at Rystad Energy, an oil and gas consulting and business intelligence data firm, anticipate a strong year ahead for North American shale oil producers.
Why the Fracturing Craze?
Did you know that fracturing is not permitted in parts of the Middle East? And it has been that way for a long time.
Official: Lack of Industry Knowledge Hampered EPA Study on Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water
A professor who the EPA charged with reviewing its 2016 study on hydraulic fracturing’s possible drinking water impacts shared her observations on the flawed process that led to the agency’s final conclusion.
Downhole Testing Identifies Really Costly Problems
Good reservoir detective work costs money, but two studies show how it can help identify even more expensive problems.
They Are Not Drilling Shale Wells Like They Used To
Shale operators are working harder to get as much out of new wells as they did from older ones nearby.
UK Shale Horizontal Drilling Under Way, Fracturing to Follow
Overcoming numerous regulatory hurdles, Cuadrilla Resources is pressing ahead with its plans to fracture a well in the UK for the first time since 2011.
Previously Undetected Fracture-Induced Tremors Could Foreshadow Larger Quakes
Stanford geoscientists have found a way to detect thousands of tiny tremors around hydraulic fracturing operations that could serve as predictors of eventual larger earthquakes.
Schlumberger Buys Weatherford’s US Fracturing Assets
Schlumberger and Weatherford called off a joint venture, with Schlumberger buying Weatherford’s US fracturing assets outright.
Water Demand Spurs Permian Infrastructure Investment
Rising oil production in the Permian Basin has created an opportunity for midstream companies to acquire and expand pipeline infrastructure to handle a predicted spike in produced water.
Producers’ Commitments Keep Methane Emission Reduction in the Spotlight
With the API and a multi-operator group passing separate programs aimed at reducing methane emissions, the discussions on what defines an acceptable level of regulation continues within the industry.
The Problems With Bigger Fracs in Tighter Spaces
Fracturing reservoirs effectively can be like boxing. Moving in close enough to land a powerful punch often means a fighter has to take some hits. To effectively develop all the productive rock in a lease, new wells are drilled as close as possible to older ones, making frac hits inevitable.
After Drop in Activity, Haynesville Shale Sees Resurgence
After a drop in drilling activity in recent years, the Haynesville shale has become a hot area for natural gas production in the US, and companies are looking to bolster their positions in the area.
Production Pressure-Drawdown Management for Fractured Horizontal Shale Gas Wells
The primary objective of this study is to address all known causes of productivity declines in unconventional shale gas formations with horizontal multifractured wells and to develop a fully coupled geomechanical/flow simulation model to simulate these production conditions.
Hybrid Microseismic and Microdeformation Monitoring of a Coal-Seam-Gas Well
A hybrid downhole microseismic and microdeformation array was deployed to monitor fracture stimulation of a vertical coal-seam-gas (CSG) exploration well in the Gloucester Basin in New South Wales, Australia, to provide more-accurate insight into overall fracture height.
Startup Aims To Advance Rocket Fuel Technology for Fracturing
A Canadian startup company is developing a tool that uses solid rocket fuel to fracture vertical and horizontal wells without the use of water.
Three-Phase Flow in Fractured Porous Media: Investigation of Matrix/Fracture Interactions
The authors present the results of a detailed experimental study in which underlying pore-level-displacement physics of two- and three-phase flow in a fractured rock sample is investigated with high-resolution X-ray microtomography techniques.
Integrated Completion Sensitivities for Horizontal-Well Design in the Vaca Muerta
The boom in organic shale plays has revealed the critical need to size hydraulic-facture treatments correctly to achieve commercial success.
Bakken Case Study: Fracturing-Plug Drillout Performance With Task-Built PDC Bit Design
A new line of specialized polycrystalline-diamond-compact bits have been tested in a series of Bakken wells. The bits’ integrated design allowed significant increases in drilling rate and the number of plugs drilled.
Demand for Raw Fracturing Sand Set for Healthy Growth
Driven by a recovery in well completions and increased proppant loading per well, the market for raw fracturing sand is expected to grow by more than 4% annually through 2021, an industry research study says.
Unconventional Resources: Will Shale Oil Ever Make Money? Quite Possibly Next Decade
This well-established oilfield consultancy explains why 2020 might be a big year for the unconventional sector.
Natural Fractures Add Little to Shale Gas Reservoir Productivity
Senior Research Scientist and SPE Distinguished Lecturer Ian Walton uses a semianalytic shale gas production model to show that natural fractures, contrary to the intuitive beliefs of many, do not contribute significantly to production.
Unconventional Resources: Three Alternative Paths To Maximizing Unconventional Resources
As well-developed shale plays and tight formations mature and decline in production, nontraditional strategies for maximizing production and discovering new resources must be considered.
Don't miss out on the latest technology delivered to your email weekly. Sign up for the JPT newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.