TOPICS OF INTEREST
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.
Tool Developed for Modeling Space Between Aquifers and Wells in Eagle Ford
A 3D conceptual model developed by ConocoPhillips helps to outline the company’s water usage for hydraulic fracturing operations in the Eagle Ford.
Can Austin Chalk Expansion Lead to Revival?
There is increasing interest in drilling the Austin Chalk formation, with hopes that the latest unconventional development methods can deliver a boom in a play that has seen several over a 90-year history.
Cryogenic-Fracturing Treatment of Synthetic Rock With Liquid Nitrogen
This study aims to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of cryogenic-fracturing technology in enhancing the permeability of unconventional-reservoir-rock analogs.
Getting More From Fracturing With Diversion
Significant production gains are being made with hydraulicly fractured wells using diversion to stimulate a higher percentage of the perforations.
Permian, Bakken Operators Face Produced Water Challenges
As oil prices recover from the low point of the downturn, operators in the Permian and the Bakken are tackling water management issues.
Frac Sand Demand Expected To Exceed Peak 2014 Levels
Increasing lateral lengths, stage counts, and proppant intensity levels are contributing to a bullish outlook on frac sand demand.
Disappearing Downhole Tools Eliminate Need for Intervention
Development of a new polymer composite that degrades via hydrolysis in hot water or brine holds potential for use in structural applications for intervention-less downhole tools.
Optimism and Activity Rising in the Vaca Muerta
Shale explorers in Argentina are reporting that improving performance and activity is set to rise this year to boost the country’s gas production.
Argentine President Macri Visits With US Oil and Gas Industry, Asks For More Investment
Argentina President Mauricio Macri visited with oil and gas companies in Houston to emphasize that his country’s reforms are making it increasingly attractive for upstream investing.
Analytical Model Developed To Study Fracture Initiation Near Wellbore
An advisor at Schlumberger discusses the company’s work in examining the effect of perforations on hydraulic fracture initiation.
Multidiscipline Method To Optimize Shale Laterals Can Boost Production vs. Geometric Completions
Optimizing laterals by integrating data from many sources to address reservoir variability and structural challenges can increase shale well productivity.
Val Verde Basin Woodford Project Holds Strong Potential With a Barnett Bonus
Kerogen Exploration is excited about the Vista Grande project, a Woodford Shale play in a west-Texas Permian sub-basin that offers further targets lying above in the Barnett Shale.
Schlumberger: New Automated Hydraulic Fracturing Tech Trims Time and Workforce Requirements
A new spread of stimulation equipment from the world’s largest service company demonstrates the latest significant step to creating a more automated oilfield.
Airborne Dust Limits Finalized for Sand Use in Hydraulic Fracturing
A closer look at technological and mechanical solutions being developed to limit exposure to respirable silica dust during hydraulic fracturing operations in the wake of US government regulations.
Oil and Gas Producers Find Frac Hits in Shale Wells a Major Challenge
In North America’s most active shale fields, the drilling and hydraulic fracturing of new wells is directly placing older adjacent wells at risk of suffering a premature decline in oil and gas production.
New Study: US Shale Rebound Strengthened By Dealmaking
A Houston-based energy consultancy concludes that a series of downturn deals have contributed more to the resiliency of the US shale sector than a rise in oil prices.
Digital Image Correlation: A New Way To Look at Hydraulic Fracturing
Technology that allows researchers to see stress forming inside rock samples may help unravel some of the mysteries associated with fracture behavior.
Momentum Gathers for Austin Chalk Revival
The Austin Chalk play could go through a revival if the industry can view the formation through “a fresh set of eyes,” says EnerVest’s Tony Maranto.
CERAWeek: New ExxonMobil CEO Addresses Carbon Reduction, Expresses Optimism On US Gulf Coast Downstream
The new head of ExxonMobil used his first major public appearance to emphasize the major oil company's committment to environmental concerns through the development of emerging technologies.
A Comparison Between Seawater-Based and Freshwater-Based Fracturing Fluids
This paper examines the chemistry of developing seawater-based fracturing fluids using two types of polymers as gelling agents and compares results to existing fresh-water-based-fracturing-fluid data under different conditions.
An Innovative Approach to Gel Breakers for Hydraulic Fracturing
Recent studies have found that the viscosities of borate gels at actual downhole pressure conditions may be 80% less than those from standard high-pressure/high-temperature rheometer measurement (which uses 400-psi top pressure).
Comparison of Multiphase-Flow Results in Transverse vs. Longitudinal Fracturing
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive multiphase-flow study that investigated the relationship between the principal stresses and lateral direction in hydraulically fractured horizontal wells.
Seeking Big Oil Production Gains By Fracturing With Microproppant
Early testing suggests that grains of proppant so small they need to be measured in microns can add production by slowing the notoriously rapid declines in unconventional wells.
With newly discovered fields and the extension of existing areas, the challenges related to reservoir heterogeneity, tight rock, layered systems, and field maturity have led to innovative ideas and to testing and application of technologies.
Fracture Modeling Using a Constructed Discrete Fracture Network From Seismic Data
The objective of this study is to validate the concept of using a seismically derived discrete fracture network (DFN) calibrated with borehole measurements, for complex-hydraulic-fracture modeling.
Ignored Signal During Hydraulic Fracturing Offers Instant Feedback
Always recorded but almost never used, the water hammer signal could offer completions engineers another set of insightful data if petroleum engineers can crack its code.
An Unconventional Approach to Oilfield Acquisitions
Figuring out the right price for an active oil and gas field is tricky business in the shale sector but one producer explains how it uses data analytics to get a clearer picture.
PDC Optimistic About Wattenberg, Delaware Assets
PDC’s president and CEO describes the company’s management strategy for its hydraulic fracturing operations in the Wattenberg Field and the Delaware Basin.
Independent Shale Producer is Driving Permian Well Improvements with Clean Sweeps
Permian Basin producer Callon Petroleum is attributing its data-driven approach to a routine completions practice to improved proppant placement and higher oil production.
Science Proves Key in Noncore Eagle Ford Success
Battlecat Oil & Gas ratcheted up on data, analysis, and technology to successfully develop unproven shale acreage.
Rebound To Test If Cost Cuts Will Last
As drilling activity rises, the demand for all that is needed to complete wells rises even faster. The wells are bigger, and more water and sand are used for each foot stimulated.
New Oil and Gas Institute Seeks To Boost Knowledge and Production in the Permian Basin
Through data gathering, machine learning, and the use of a supercomputer, a non-profit organization in Texas is seeking to boost oil and gas production on land owned by the states’ two largest university systems.
Saudis Find Proppant Source in Their Own Back Yard
Although Saudi Arabia has plenty of sand, it took some ingenuity by Saudi Aramco and Schlumberger to figure out how to use it effectively as proppant.
Think-Tank Founder and Author Gives Morale Booster to Fracturing Conference Attendees
In the keynote speech at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, author and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress Alex Epstein explained the moral case for fossil fuels.
Looking Up, But Still Tough Outlook Brightens for Unconventional Oil
US drilling and completion companies that were slashing workforces and cannibalizing pumping trucks for parts 6 months ago are now hiring crews and repairing equipment to meet rising demand.
Ways To Break More Rock When Hydraulic Fracturing
Around the top of the list of ways to make hydraulic fracturing more efficient is by expanding the area that is effectively fractured. There is growing evidence of the need for methods to do this that are cost-effective, reliable, and repeatable in wells that vary widely.
Hot Permian Play Gets Panel Focus
The successes and challenges of producers in the United States’ most active oil play received a wide-ranging discussion by three panelists recently at an SPE Gulf Coast Section meeting in Houston on the state of the Permian Basin.
UK Geomechanical Firm Targeting US Shale; Addressing Frac Hits
One of the oldest names in geomechanical modeling has learned some new tricks, and like so many recent advances in the oil and gas industry, it has everything to do with the North American shale revolution.
New Diagnostics Aid Completion Designs
A new diagnostic technology that exclusively uses surface pressure data to map hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs has helped an operator to improve well completion designs in its Oklahoma field activities.
Fit-for-Purpose Treatment of Produced Water for Hydraulic Fracturing in the Permian Basin
Sourcing water for large multifracture stimulations in west Texas is a well-known constraint on oil and gas activities in the area. A 6-month pilot operation demonstrated that produced-water reuse is technically feasible and can be a cost-effective solution.
Solving Produced-Water Challenges With a Novel Guar-Based System
This paper summarizes the benefits of using a bipolymer crosslinking system in environments where water quality cannot be guaranteed. It also demonstrates the yielded cost savings per well that are achievable when reusing 100% produced or flowback water for hydraulic fracturing.
Chemical Maker: Adoption of Completions Nanotechnology Doubles in Downturn
Use of a complex-nanofluids (CNF) additive to hydraulic fracturing fluids has doubled even as activity has fallen because of potential production increases.
ATCE: Dubai Petroleum Completes Multistage, Offshore Tight Oil Well
Dubai Petroleum embarked on a new mission last year to drill and complete its first multistage, hydraulically fractured, and propped horizontal well from an offshore platform.
Saudi Aramco Gearing Up Unconventional Drilling
Saudi Aramco has begun moving toward the production phase of its ambitious plan to develop its enormous hoard of unconventional gas resources.
Completion and Well-Spacing Optimization for Horizontal Wells in Pad Development
In organic shales, hydraulic fracturing is important for optimizing the production of horizontal wells. For a standalone lateral, the propped surface should be maximized to increase production. In the case of a pad, well spacing is an additional factor.
The Role of Induced Unpropped Fractures in Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells
On the basis of production data, diagnostic methods, and field observations, it is becoming increasingly clear that induced unpropped fractures created during the hydraulic-fracturing operation play a critical role in determining the success of fracture treatments.
Model for a Shale-Gas Formation With Salt-Sealed Natural Fractures
This paper offers an alternative explanation for the early boundary-dominated flow related to dissolution of salt-sealed natural fractures in the shale.
Is the Struggle Really Worth It?
One study is showing that when pumping a proppant into a fracture, a little bit of extra effort might increase performance.
Four Answers to the Question: What Can I Learn From Analytics?
The use of intelligent software is on the rise in the industry and it is changing how engineers approach problems. A series of articles explores the potential benefits and limitations of this emerging area of data science.
Understanding Completion Performance: Software-Guided Work Flows and Models
This paper describes a comprehensive field study of eight horizontal wells deployed in the stacked Niobrara and Codell reservoirs in the Wattenberg Field (Denver-Julesburg Basin).
Boosting Shale Fracability With Positive Ions
A long-time energy industry executive and chemical engineer has built a new water treatment system that he says can increase recovery rates from shale wells without using chemicals and will recycle all the water used in the process.
Completion Methods Analyzed in Two US Unconventional Plays
Openhole multistage (OHMS) systems are more cost-effective than the cemented casing plug-and-perf (CCPP) techniques for increasing production and reducing development costs.
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12 June 2018