TOPICS OF INTEREST
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Production Performance in the In-Fill Development of Unconventional Resources
This paper presents results from the analysis of the effect of in-fill drilling on parent-well performance, and describes a simplistic approach to understanding the effect of the quest for operational efficiencies and economic cycles on development strategies.
Mapping Fracturing With Pressure Change
A service using pressure data from a few nearby unconventional wells to map fracturing will soon be for sale.
Unconventional Measures For Shale Reservoirs
One of the biggest ways to lower the cost of production from shale would be to identify zones that are productive, or not, before fracturing them.
Shale Completions Improve, Despite Shrinking Number of New Wells
Two places that illustrate the mounting challenges facing the shale business are the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, where the number of working rigs is one-third what it was a year ago, and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, where there are no more working rigs.
The Wide Divide Between Fracturing Plans and Reality
What is observed when an unconventional well is fractured is often at odds with what was expected by those who planned the job.
Pressure Changes While Fracturing Add To Marcellus Well Production
When it comes to hydraulic fracturing, steadiness may not be a virtue. That was the conclusion of a test to see if rapid pump rate variations would lead to greater production than conventionally fractured stages when the pressure was held steady.
An Improved Model for Predicting Hydraulic-Fracture-Height Migration
While many factors may influence fracture-height evolution in multilayer formations, the consensus is that the so-called “equilibrium height belonging to a certain treating pressure” provides an upper limit, at least for nonnaturally fractured media.
Novel Proppant Surface Treatment for Enhanced Performance and Improved Cleanup
A new proppant exhibits a neutrally wet surface, which does not have a preferential affinity for oil, gas, or water and therefore will not promote the preferential entrapment of any phase within the proppant pack.
New Stimulation Method Significantly Improves Hydrocarbon Recovery
Hydraulic fracturing exerts transient geomechanical forces near the wellbore, enabling a brief time interval in which a second hydraulic fracture can be created in a different direction.
Rod-Shaped-Proppant Fracturing Boosts Production and Adds Reserves
A new unconventional proppant technology—a rod-shaped proppant—delivered 25% higher oil per net pay compared with offset wells using conventional proppant.
The oil-economy downturn will not affect the areas where research, development, and application of novel technologies are absolutely necessary for the commercialization of hydrocarbon.
Electromagnetic Imaging Offers First Look at the Propped Rock
Understanding how much rock is being stimulated and propped is critical for unconventional producers. New imaging methods using electromagnetic energy or acoustic microemitters could represent a milestone in understanding what is left behind after fracturing.
New Technology Seeks To Give Voice to Proppant
A pair of inventive companies are working on a way to allow microseismic tests to visualize the otherwise silent process of propping fractures.
Payoff Still Possible in Refracturing Conventional Wells
A refracturing campaign in the Permian yielded a production gain that allowed payback on the investment within 6–12 months.
High-Fidelity Microseismic-Data Acquisition in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp Shale Play
The integration of microseismic data with 3D seismic attributes, and well log and completions data is used to understand geomechanical rock properties.
Downturn Represents Stress Test for Unconventional Hydraulic Fracture Modeling
Developers of the latest generation of unconventional hydraulic fracturing models are hoping that current weak oil and gas prices will generate newfound interest in their software technology.
The Case for Hydraulic Fracturing
I am disappointed to see public opposition to hydraulic fracturing, because I think, for the biggest part, it is unfounded. It would be inaccurate to deny that there can be problems. But an objective look reveals that its benefits far outweigh its potential risks.
Refracturing: A Second Chance To Get It Right Through Diagnostics
The surge in unconventional completions has created a substantial accumulation of previously hydraulically fractured wells that are candidates for hydraulic refracturing.
Saudi Aramco Moving Forward on Unconventionals
With the world’s fifth-largest estimated shale gas reserves, there is great potential for Saudi Arabia to replicate North America’s unconventional growth.
Enhancing Sand Strength for Fracturing Applications
A strategic objective of Saudi Aramco is exploring and developing deep and unconventional gas reservoirs, many of which are considered extremely tight.
Study Finds Surface Spills a Higher Risk to Groundwater Than Fracturing
Researchers at Yale University who analyzed groundwater wells in the Marcellus Shale area have determined that hydraulic fracturing is highly unlikely to be a direct source of contamination.
Improving Shale Production Through Flowback Analysis
Most shale producers in North America have given little thought to the flowback stage following hydraulic fracturing. Others have come to realize it represents a valuable opportunity to learn more about their wells.
Optimizing Spacing of Multistage-Fractured Horizontal Wells in Gas Reservoirs
This paper gives the recommended MSF horizontal-well spacing for several development scenarios in Saudi Arabian gas-reservoir environments.
Success of Rigless Multistage Selective Stimulation in Supergiant Tight Reservoirs
A tight gas carbonate reservoir with no oil rim in a supergiant onshore gas field in Abu Dhabi was targeted for stimulation during a field review to increase field production.
A Practical Simulation Method Capturing Complex Hydraulic-Fracturing Physics
To understand production from shale reservoirs, the role of hydraulically induced fractures, natural fractures, and their interaction in a formation must be captured.
Understanding Unusual Diagnostic-Fracture-Injection-Test Results in Tight Gas Fields
In hydraulic fracturing, the use of diagnostic-fracture-injection tests (DFITs) can provide valuable information.
Inaugural Challenge Generates New Proppant Ideas
GE Staoil Open Innovation Challenge results in new proppant ideas.
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