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Three Money-Saving Ideas To Frac Faster

Source: Deep Well Services.
The entire Hydraulic Completions Unit (HCU) is brought in on the back of six trucks and is operational within 10 hours of arriving. A traditional hydraulic workover snubbing unit might require up to 20 truckloads and 3 days to fully rig up.

For reasons deep below the surface and right atop it, the North American shale sector was due for a period of turbulence and contraction. Then came two unforeseen accelerants: a global pandemic and a costly price war—the combined forces of which sent oil prices down by a record 65% during the first quarter of the year.

The double blow to the US shale sector has meant that in all likelihood, hydraulic fracturing activity in North America has peaked. Going forward, there will be fewer players and less production. Some estimates project that by the end of the year, the hydraulic fracturing market will be just 50% of what it was before the latest crash.

Just as likely though is that this disruptive corner of the oil and gas industry will persist. Shale resources in the US remain vast. Even more untapped resources are found elsewhere. But first, costs will have to be cut and a lower-cost business structure will be needed to match this second round of “lower for longer.”

As rigs drill faster with squeezed day rates, completions operations represent as much as 70% of the total cost it takes to bring in a horizontal well. Therefore, it could be argued the hydraulic fracturing side of the business has the most to benefit from adopting new technologies in the sector’s effort to cross the chasm.

Despite the obvious challenges that come with a shrinking market, a set of emerging technologies are profiled in this article to highlight how the shale sector can get rid of its hidden inefficiencies and reduce the time it takes to hydraulically fracture a multiwell pad. This is a process that takes anywhere from a few weeks to more than a month. Through innovation, these spans can be trimmed and along with that, the capital overhead required to generate each new shale well.

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Three Money-Saving Ideas To Frac Faster

Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor

01 May 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 5

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