TOPICS OF INTEREST
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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