TOPICS OF INTEREST
NextTier and NOV Field Test Their First Electric Fracturing Fleet
Electrically powered completions equipment takes another step toward greater sector adoption with the announcement of this new agreement.
UAE Has Become World's Newest Producer of Unconventional Gas
The first delivery of shale gas in the UAE marks a major milestone toward its goal of reaching 1 Bcf/D by 2030. It also signals the expansion of hydraulic fracturing in the UAE’s conventional fields.
Saltwater Disposal Optimization Drives Water Midstream Sector
Operators of unconventional plays face a conundrum—how to dispose of produced water economically without risking seismicity or aquifer contamination. A recent paper and virtual forum offer ideas for optimizing saltwater disposal.
Study Models Onset of Liquid Loading in Large-Diameter Deviated Gas Wells
The complete paper describes an experimental study performed to investigate the onset of liquid loading in a 6-in. production casing at various inclination angles.
Bringing the Heat: Aramco Field Tests High-Temperature Chemistry To Slash Tight-Gas Completion Costs
Saudi Aramco and university researchers are experimenting with a thermochemical fracturing fluid that aims to eliminate more than half of the pumping horsepower typically required to complete horizontal wells.
Study Quantifies Stress Sensitivity of Fractured Tight Reservoirs
The complete paper describes and quantifies the stress-dependence of compaction and permeability for anisotropic rock matrices, natural fractures, and hydraulic fractures, based on comprehensive rock tests of a fractured tight reservoir.
Surfactant-Based Treatment Fluids Mitigate Fracture Hits in Parent Wells
The complete paper presents a strategy for selecting a surfactant/solvent package for parent wells. Oil recovery and associated water saturation in the microfluidic-based device, with or without surfactant, are quantified and reveal that the oil recovery is enhanced with surfactant.
Water, Water Everywhere: Using ML and Game Theory To Win at Produced-Water Forecasting
Advanced machine-learning methods combined with aspects of game theory are helping operators understand the drivers of water production and improve forecasting and economics in unconventional basins.
New Fracture Diagnostic Test Delivers Tight Reservoir Data in 2 Hours or Less, Bolsters Future of Engineered Completions
Unconventional producers around the world have been hamstrung by expensive and cumbersome options when it comes to obtaining reservoir data. Among the latest ways to break past these barriers is a new method developed by Canadian researchers and field tested in Australia’s unconventional frontier.
Environmentally Preferable Smart Chemicals Improve Production, Performance
This paper describes studies that confirm that enzyme-based, environmentally preferable chemistries can be used to break polymers and mitigate H2S in various systems.
Schlumberger Dumps Fracturing Operations, Making Liberty Oilfield Services a Force in the Business
Schlumberger is getting rid of its struggling OneStim business unit 2 years after an acquisition that doubled its size. It will get 37% of the shares of Liberty Oilfield Services, which said it will be the second-largest player in that sector.
ExxonMobil Looking at a 20% Reserve Reduction
ExxonMobil is reluctant to join other big oil companies writing down the value of their reserves. It could chop its reserves by 20%, but it has not made a final decision.
Tomorrow’s US Fracturing Fleet Will Be Smaller Than Usual, but Better Than Ever
The forces of low oil prices and new efficiency trends are converging to remake the US pressure-pumping business into one that can complete more wells with less horsepower than ever. However, that might also mean service provider margins remain low for much of this new decade.
Australia Presents Opportunity for E&P Companies Looking Beyond US Unconventionals
Black Mountain executives outlined the key criteria they used to determine why Western Australia was a prime location for private-equity investment when looking at international unconventional plays.
A Double Vision: Service Companies Aim To Save Shale Dollars With Simultaneous Completions
Why stimulate horizontal wells one by one when they can be done two at a time? The largest pressure-pumping company in the business says it might even be possible to complete three wells at once.
New Closed Blender Reduces Footprint, Gasification of CO2 in Waterless Fracturing
Carbon dioxide (CO2) waterless fracturing uses liquid CO2 to replace water as the fracturing fluid in reservoir stimulation. The continuity and reliability of the blender are key factors determining performance of the operation.
Succeeding in the New Pressure Pumping Environment
New report offers guidelines for pressure pumpers of the future.
The Chow Pressure Group: Shut-In Wells Offer Case for a New Approach to Interference Testing
As wells across the US shale sector are brought back onto production, they may want to do so strategically to learn about the connectivity of their wells. One challenge will be in selecting a model that delivers the most insight.
ConocoPhillips CTO: The Shale Revolution Will Be Digitized
Greg Leveille said he is optimistic that the shale sector will be able to bounce back from its second downturn in 5 years. The trick this time, he says, will be not just investing in new digital technologies but putting them to work.
What Damage Is Wrought by the Rush to Shut In Wells?
The Permian Basin is now influencing the upstream water market on the way down, while many questions swirl around the implications of unprecedented shut-ins.
Devon Makes Sealed Wellbore Pressure Monitoring Available to Entire Shale Sector
Developed by the large shale producer, its new way to monitor interactions between horizontal wells is now available as a commercial software. The concept is considered a stepping stone toward real-time fracture design.
Distributed Temperature Measurements Allow Fracture Diagnostics During Flowback
In the complete paper, the authors derive a novel analytical solution to model the temperature signal associated with the shut-in during flowback and production periods.
Multiple-Source Data Provide Insight Into Hydraulic Fracture Geometries
The complete paper demonstrates the benefits of honoring data measurements from a multitude of potential sources to help engineers do a better job of including more diagnostics into routine operations to provide additional insight and result in improved models and completion designs.
Advancing Production Flow Profiling With Subatomic Fingerprints and Big-Data Analytics
This paper describes a smart-tracer-portfolio testing and design solution for multistage hydraulic fracturing that will, write the authors, enable operators to reduce operating cost significantly and optimize production in shale wells.
A new real-time-visualization (RTV) technology combined with high-resolution pressure reading and acoustic sensors is being used to overcome operational difficulties and to optimize stimulation efforts by reducing uncertainty.
Oil Price Pains Flow Downhill
As operators feel the pinch of low oil prices, so, too, do their service providers.
Leveraging the Combined Benefits of RTA and PTA During Market-Induced Production Shutdown
The silver lining for those overseeing the unprecedented shut ins of tight-oil wells is the potential to acquire a wealth of reservoir data. But first, petroleum engineers need to monitor these wells and use the right analysis toolbox.
Electric Frac Fleets Rise From 3% to 30% of US Shale Market Amid Diesel Drop
Though they have been a niche ever since their introduction to the market a few years ago, e-fleets are proving to be some of the most downturn-proof assets in the shale sector.
The US Upstream Cementing Market Feels the Full Force of the Effects of COVID-19
The cementing services market size in the US is expected to drop 50% year-on-year from 2019. The significant drop in Permian Basin activity will account for 40% of the total market size reduction.
Three Money-Saving Ideas To Frac Faster
Faster drilling speeds have become one of the major obsessions of the shale sector in recent years. But since completions represent up to 70% of a new well’s cost, maybe this side of the business needs more attention now.
Keys to Better Water Management: Seeking Sustainability Amid the Chaos
The room for error and cost overruns just got a lot smaller with the escalating need to make operations more efficient and leaner with fewer resources and investors continuing to prioritize ESG alongside profitability.
Managing Risk and Reducing Damage From Well Shut-Ins
A technical synopsis of major considerations for unconventional wells facing prolonged shut-ins. The review includes deciding factors for kill fluid selection and risks of incompatible fluid mixing.
Australia Study Finds Few Environmental Effects From Hydraulic Fracturing in Coal Seams
A 3-year study of air quality, soils, groundwater, and waterways found few to no effects as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations in Surat Basin coal seam formations.
Permian Completions Activity Falling Fast, But Not Evenly
While many shale producers are racing to cut costs by removing crews from the field, ExxonMobil and Chevron stood out as maintaining large numbers of fracturing crews.
Oilfield Service Giants Report Billions in Losses
Halliburton and Schlumberger write-off billions in asset value and signal that more job cuts are coming during the second quarter.
Sealed Wellbores and the Unlikely “Breakthrough” Behind Cheap, Accurate Fracture Diagnostics
When engineers went searching for clues on how fractures move beneath the surface, they expected to uncover important learnings. They did not know they were on the path to a new invention.
UPDATE: Oil Industry Budget Cuts Adding Up Across the Globe
The list of companies that are slashing millions and sometimes billions from their annual spending programs is growing longer as the ripple effects of a price war and pandemic spread across the globe.
Industry Faces Long Road to Recovery
Leaders of Rystad Energy went online recently to talk about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the oil and gas industry, and the prognosis isn’t good.
Record US Production Topped 12 Million B/D in 2019, Will Climb Slower This Year
Led by Texas and New Mexico, year-over-year crude output jumped by 11% according to the US Energy Information Administration. Going forward, new records will be set but at a slower pace.
Podcast: Highlights from SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference
In this episode, we discuss some of the latest research and emerging techniques that were shared at the industry’s leading hydraulic fracturing gathering earlier this year.
Why Shell Drilled a “Horseshoe” Well in the Permian Basin
Sometimes problems turn out to be an opportunity to try something new. In this case, the result was a well design unlike anything most in the shale sector have seen before.
Operators Seeking Faster, Cheaper Ways to Screen Fracturing Ideas
High-tech testing is playing a bigger role than ever in helping shale producers reduce the time needed to screen out bad ideas.
An Unconventional Challenge: Can Casing Failures During Hydraulic Fracturing Be Stopped?
The shale sector is seeking answers to a complex issue involving casing deformations that block access to long sections of a lateral. As opposed to frac hits, this rising problem is considered to be an intrawell phenomena.
Superior Energy Becomes Latest Service Firm to Abandon Pressure Pumping
As completions activity slows down in the US, the second service company in a week’s time has said it is exiting the business of hydraulic fracturing.
Basic Energy Services to Leave Pressure Pumping Business
The company said it will avoid the pumping business's “structurally disadvantaged position” and instead focus on well servicing and water logistics.
Permian Basin Decline Rates Have “Increased Dramatically” Amid Ongoing Slowdown
A new report says that production growth in the world’s most prolific unconventional basin is on the verge of stalling out.
Questions Over Permeability Prompt Producer-Led Group To Rebuild Key Fracture Diagnostic
For the past 20 years, the diagnostic fracture injection test has been used across the frontlines of the shale revolution to paint a picture of what cannot be seen. However, that picture has not always been so clear in the eyes of subsurface engineers.
SPE Talks Tech: 2020 Technology Watch List
With 2020 on the horizon, JPT editors put together our Top 10 list of technologies and ideas to keep an eye on in the coming year.
UT Study: Permian Seismic Activity Up Dramatically
New research links a rise in seismic activity in West Texas with increased oil and gas development over the past 20 years and, in particular, the past decade.
SPE Talks To: Andrew Pepper
Fluid saturation isn't what it used to be when it comes to unconventional reservoirs. Our guest is among those sharing new research to discuss the shale sector’s changing perspectives on the importance of mobile hydrocarbons vs. immobile hydrocarbons.
Britain Imposes Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing
The decision comes 2 months after UK shale operator Cuadrilla Resources halted stimulation work at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire because of a magnitude 2.9 seismic event.
Newly Merged C&J Energy, Keane To Become NexTier Oilfield Solutions
Expected to close 31 October, the deal will create one of the largest pressure pumpers in the US.
Schlumberger, Halliburton Mull New North American Land Strategies
The two largest oilfield services firms grapple with a worsening North American land market.
To Spark Real-Time Revolution, Fracture Diagnostic Firms Partner Up and Innovate
The types of advancements made in real-time drilling data acquisition and processing are now on the doorstep of the North American completions sector. Technology developers are banding together under the umbrella of “coopetition” in a bid to change the way producers fracture tight reservoirs.
Louisiana Austin Chalk: Hundreds of Millions Down the Drain?
ConocoPhillips has pulled out of the much-hyped Louisiana Austin Chalk play after the company’s test wells yielded a gusher of water. Meanwhile, an Australian operator flying under the radar continues to pursue the adjacent-but-even-more-challenging Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.
Dallas Fed Survey: Oilfield Service Woes Fuel 3Q Upstream Industry Contraction
Lower equipment utilization and prices have worsened the pain for oilfield service companies in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana, while operators continue to grapple with the industry’s shifting business climate.
Report: “Simple” Well Spacing Calculations Are Inaccurate and Costly
Figuring out how far apart to place horizontal wellbores remains one of the biggest challenges facing the future of the shale revolution. One roadblock appears to be the way in which the sector has traditionally measured these distances.
Shale Sector’s Switch to Slickwater Highlights Compatibility Issues with Produced Water
Not all friction reducers are created equal. With dozens of varieties on the market, industry research suggests that oil and gas companies be choosy.
Study of DUCs Concludes Better Later than Never
Average production from Bakken wells completed more than 3 years after they were drilled was approximately equal to wells drilled a year before they were put into service, according to a study by the US Energy Information Administration.
Chemical Tracer Flowback Data Help Understanding of Fluid Distribution
This paper presents a data set involving the pumping of multiple, unique chemical tracers into a single Wolfcamp B fracture stage.
Colombia’s New Ambitions Include Caribbean and Shale Development, But Are They Achievable?
Colombia is walking a thin line between becoming another fading petroleum province and Latin America’s next big success story. Its aces in the hole: unleashing its nascent offshore and unconventional sectors.
To “Right Size” Fractures, Producers Adopt Robust Monitoring and Custom Completions
If you can see it, then maybe you can control it. This sums up the latest quest that the unconventional engineering community embarked upon to get a better understanding of proper well spacing and how fractures really interact.
“Dominator Project” Raises Key Questions About Future of Cube Drilling
The shale sector is studying the results of a 23-well experiment in the southeastern corner of New Mexico to learn what the wider implications might be.
Dallas Fed: US Shale Boom Accounted for 10% of US GDP Growth
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas quantified the economic impact of the US shale revolution for the first half of this decade.
Santos To Resume Shale Drilling in Australia’s Northern Territory
The green light for Santos Energy’s drilling program in the McArthur Basin comes after a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory was lifted in 2018.
Analytics Firm: Permian Fracturing Work Underreported by 21% in 2018
Findings from Kayrros suggest the average Permian well is both less productive and more expensive than reflected in public data.
Permian Operators Collaborate to Improve Understanding and Performance of Unconventional Reservoirs
Permian Basin operators and service companies met to discuss completions diagnostics, flowback strategies, water management, and artificial lift strategies.
Permian Basin Frac Hit Notification System Under New Management
First developed as a proprietary system by a large Permian Basin operator, this hydraulic fracturing schedule exchange will be run by a data company and opened up to the entire North American shale sector.
Cuadrilla to Fracture Second Well in UK Bowland Shale
The UK shale operator will move forward with fracturing and testing its second well at its Lancashire site despite strict constraints on induced seismicity that hampered fracturing work on its first well.
US Crude Production Tops 12 Million B/D in April
The new milestone was reached less than a year after the country surpassed 11 million B/D last summer, and is driven by activity in the Permian Basin and new fields in the Gulf of Mexico.
US DOE To Fund 12 R&D Projects To Boost Unconventional Characterization, Recovery
Twelve organizations—universities and private technology companies—will conduct research and development on emerging shale plays and technologies covering everything from digital pressure-sensing to smart microchip proppant.
New Merger to Create Third-Largest US Pressure Pumper
As the hydraulic fracturing market faces pressure to lower costs, Keane Group and C&J Energy Services announce they will combine their businesses.
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 the development of the groundbreaking completions practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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