American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 83

SpecialReport: Natural Gas White Papers

R&D Areas Key To Improving Fracturing
By Guy Lewis and Kent Perry DES PLAINES, IL.–Along with horizontal drilling, enhanced 3-D seismic imaging and other technological advancements, the hydraulic fracturing of gas shale and tight gas sands have transformed the U.S. energy picture and hold the potential to have a similar impact globally. In ultralow-permeability shale and tight sand reservoirs, hydraulic fracturing is critical to creating permeability to enable commercial flow rates. Since the first commercial use of the technology in 1947, it has been used in more than 1 million wells and has helped to produce more than 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 7 billion barrels of oil. The payoff to developing hydraulic fracturing advances has been extraordinary in bringing new life to old wells and unlocking the potential of oil and gas resources from reservoirs with low permeability. Today’s research focuses on continuing to fine-tune the approach with more precise sizing and placement through multistage fracturing. Improvements will enable further reductions in the environmental footprint and enhanced productivity per application. While different well sites require different mixes of frac fluids depending on the composition of the rock bed and other factors, almost all mixtures are comprised of more than 95 percent water. Environmental Footprint Many concerns have been raised associated with the environmental footprint of hydraulic fracturing. In part, this is the result of significant activity taking place in populated areas that have little experience with natural gas exploration, drilling and production. The vast majority of applications are performed without incident, but good news is not news. For the most part, hydraulic fracturing is an invisible process with high visibility put on certain activities that support it. These include water delivery trucks (50 or more per well) that bring traffic, noise, dust and local water requirements. Produced water handling then requires lined pits, disposal trucks, “chemical handling,” and on-site treatment/recycling, and all of these activities provide the potential for spills. The potential is there for environmental impact and the industry is becoming increasingly proactive in reaching out to affected communities. Part of the challenge is that several potential concerns get combined under the heading of “hydraulic fracturing.” These include the volume of water required, the potential for groundwater contamination, and the potential for spills of water at the surface. The solution for the industry is doing good science and providing transparency to fracturing activities, both of which the industry is actively engaged in. Beyond the environmental issues, more research and development will enable the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing to improve. Today, it is an expensive process with only 50 percent of fractured stages reaching their full potential based on logs. Causes of nonproductive fracture stages include inadequate design, wrong proppant loadings, poor fluid selection, proppant embedment, poor fracture fluid cleanup, water blockage of permeability, and poorly understood reservoir compartmentalization. Much progress has been made to date, but opportunities remain to improve the effectiveness of fracturing through improved diagnostics, leading to improved fracture design, better understanding of fracture fluid migration, optimizing propFIGURE 1 Evolution of Hydraulic Fracturing Technology
1960s
Well Bore

pant loadings, ensuring the right fluids are used, considering alternatives to hydraulic fracturing, risk modeling to quantify potential negative impacts, and improving rock mechanics models for assessing impacts of well construction and completion techniques. Technological Evolution Today, the evolution of lateral and horizontal drilling technology is beginning to allow the development of unconventional resources through the placement of smaller well bores into exactly the area and location required for optimum production. Figure 1 illustrates the evolution of the technology over the past four decades, with horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing combining to allow operators to stimulate substantially more reservoir volume yet achieve ever-more precise placement and treatment size. In order to continue this trend in efficiency, a large portion of the formation containing the hydrocarbons has to be exposed to the well bore and stimulated to enhance permeability. This can only be achieved if the well bore follows the bedding plane of the formation for long distances, which requires long-lateral horizontal wells completed in multiple stages along the entire length of the lateral. The effectiveness of horizontal wells can be directly measured by production

1980s

2000s

Ideal World

Pay

Wellbore

Real World
Pay

From Pinnacle Technolgy

Nuclear Stimulation

Massive Hydraulic Fractures

Precise Size & Precise Placement

DECEMBER 2011 83



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011

American Oil and Gas Reporter 12/11
Contents
Reports
Calendar
Oil & Gas Counts
State Legislative
Industry Digest
Tech Connections
Washington Watch
Keystone XL
Liaison Committee
Shale Gas Subcommittee
Endangered Species
Midstream Startups Emerging to Meet Booming Demand
Liquids Resource Plays Have Oil Production Rising Again
Organizers Anticipating Big Things for 2012 PBIOS
Cover Story
R&D Areas Key to Improving Fracturing
Natural Gas Offers Solutions as Transportation Fuel
Completion Design, Frac Modeling Optimize Eagle Ford Wells
Novel Drill-In Fluid Excels in Horizontal ERD Wells
Technologies Optimize Sand Control
Operators Must Manage Risk Before, During and After Drilling
OCS Access: BOEM Offers Business-as-Usual OCS Leasing Plan
Court Finds for Insurers in Gulf Spill Ruling
OIPA
Clean Air Act
IOGA NY
COGA
IPAA Annual
Louisiana
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Texas
The American Well Servicing Directory, Winter 2011
Industry Focus
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - American Oil and Gas Reporter 12/11
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Cover2
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Contents
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Reports
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 5
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 6
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 7
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Calendar
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 9
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 10
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 11
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Oil & Gas Counts
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 13
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Industry Digest
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 15
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 16
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 17
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 18
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 19
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 20
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 21
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 22
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 23
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 24
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 25
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 26
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 27
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 28
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Tech Connections
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 30
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Washington Watch
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Keystone XL
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 33
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Liaison Committee
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 35
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 36
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 37
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Shale Gas Subcommittee
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 39
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Endangered Species
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 41
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Midstream Startups Emerging to Meet Booming Demand
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 43
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 44
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 45
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 46
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 47
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 48
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 49
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 50
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 51
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 52
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 53
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 54
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 55
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 56
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 57
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Liquids Resource Plays Have Oil Production Rising Again
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 59
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 60
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 61
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 62
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 63
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 64
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 65
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 66
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 67
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 68
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 69
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 70
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 71
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 72
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Organizers Anticipating Big Things for 2012 PBIOS
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Cover Story
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 75
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 76
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 77
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 78
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 79
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 80
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 81
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 82
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - R&D Areas Key to Improving Fracturing
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 84
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 85
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 86
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 87
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 88
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 89
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 90
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Natural Gas Offers Solutions as Transportation Fuel
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 92
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 93
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 94
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 95
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Completion Design, Frac Modeling Optimize Eagle Ford Wells
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 97
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 98
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 99
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 100
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 101
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 102
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 103
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 104
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 105
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 106
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 107
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 108
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 109
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 110
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Novel Drill-In Fluid Excels in Horizontal ERD Wells
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 112
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 113
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 114
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 115
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 116
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Technologies Optimize Sand Control
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 118
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 119
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 120
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 121
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Operators Must Manage Risk Before, During and After Drilling
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 123
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 124
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 125
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 126
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 127
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 128
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - OCS Access: BOEM Offers Business-as-Usual OCS Leasing Plan
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Court Finds for Insurers in Gulf Spill Ruling
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 131
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 132
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - OIPA
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 134
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 135
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Clean Air Act
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 137
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - IOGA NY
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 139
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 140
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 141
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 142
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 143
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - COGA
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 145
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 146
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - IPAA Annual
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 148
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 149
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 150
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 151
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Louisiana
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 153
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 154
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 155
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - West Virginia
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 157
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Pennsylvania
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Texas
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 160
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - The American Well Servicing Directory, Winter 2011
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 162
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 163
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 164
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 165
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 166
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 167
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 168
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 169
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 170
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 171
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 172
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 173
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 174
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 175
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 176
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 177
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 178
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 179
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 180
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 181
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 182
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 183
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 184
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 185
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Industry Focus
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 187
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 188
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 189
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 190
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 191
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Classified Advertising
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - 193
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Advertisers Index
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Cover3
American Oil & Gas Reporter - December 2011 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios2016_programguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/pbios2014_programguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/2012_pbios
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/demo/aogr_clone
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aogr/201112
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com