American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017 - 45

'Last Mile' Solutions
Enhance Efficiency, Reliability
Of Proppant Supply Chain
A Bakken/Three Forks operator reports that its spud-to-total-depth
cycle time for wells with 10,000-foot laterals is averaging 12 days, or
roughly half the time it took only three years ago to TD wells with
laterals that were 50 percent shorter.

By Kevin Fisher
DENVER-U.S. proppant consumption is on track to range between
125 billion and 150 billion pounds this year, exceeding the historic
volume pumped in 2014. Not surprisingly, the Permian Basin is the
largest consuming region, accounting for more than one-third of
total U.S. demand. According to IHS Markit and others who track
the hydraulic fracturing market, frac sand demand is forecast to
be even stronger in 2018, potentially reaching as much as 200
billion pounds.
This unprecedented level of proppant usage is driven by several
factors-increased rig productivities, longer laterals, higher stage
counts per lateral, and greater proppant concentrations per stage-
but it comes down to the simple fact that developing tight oil and
gas shale reservoirs requires a lot of capital, technology, horsepower
and consumable goods, proppant included.
There is no question that drilling rigs have become much more
efficient, to the point that productivity metrics are being redefined
by horizontal pad drilling. In fact, according to the chief executive
officer of a major service company, drilling penetration rates are
so high that 1,000 rigs now drill about the same amount of footage
as 2,000 rigs could drill in 2014. The improved productivity is
crucial to the bottom-line economics of resource plays.

AUGUST 2017 45



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