Hydraulic Fracturing: Locking In Efficiencies

The saying “good enough is the enemy of perfection” is meant to convey the idea of never settling for good enough. The North American hydraulic fracturing industry represents the epitome of that dynamic, not being merely satisfied with being the catalyst behind one of the greatest oil production booms the world has ever seen. The driving mindset in the industry is that there is more to be had: more oil, more gas and at less cost.

Operators and service companies are looking closer at the details of every well completed, every fracture job and every fracture stage. They are finding more efficiencies and that more production can be gained through, for example, ensuring each fracture produces the most hydrocarbons, and by getting the right amount of fl uids to the right places in the wellbore at the right time.

However, these operational efficiencies and the desire to drain a reservoir as completely as possible are bringing new problems, chiefl y among them fracture hits. The search for answers to these challenges is leading companies to discover many systems offer operational fl exibility—they can solve more than one problem. Diverters, for instance, can push fl uid into a specific fracture while simultaneously helping avoid interference with another well.

In another example, a Woodford operator applied Reveal Energy Services’ pressure-based fracture maps to achieve a better understanding of fracture sequence, which improved fracture coverage of the upper horizon. A second operator working in the Bakken was able to understand the effect of a parent well on fracture growth of neighboring child wells. According to Reveal Energy Services, the operator minimized the parent well/child well interference and maximized production. In addition, a Permian Basin operator applied the pressure- based fracture maps to optimize downspacing.

“Understanding how each parameter affects the fracture growth allows operators to fine-tune the completion design and the treatment schedule to maximize production from every well while minimizing overall completion costs,” said Sudhendu Kashikar, CEO of Reveal Energy Services.