Marathon Oil says its shale fields are producing more oil and gas with less hands-on work from company personnel thanks to a growing arsenal of digital technologies and workflows. Producers in Oklahoma’s newly opened Merge play are sitting atop a resource that rivals some major world gas fields and discoveries, Citizen Energy’s Geology CEO Greg Augsburger told the SPE Gulf Coast Section Business Development Group recently. Linn Energy recently sold its Williston Basin properties for $285 million. This deal brings Linn’s year-to-date total sales agreements to more than $1.5 billion as it financially restructures after bankruptcy. The United States’ liquids-rich shale experience has been dominated by three major plays: the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas, the Permian Basin in west Texas, and the Bakken Shale that straddles North Dakota and Montana.
Findings from Kayrros suggest the average Permian well is both less productive and more expensive than reflected in public data. The projects are designed to reduce technical risks in enhanced oil recovery and expand application of EOR methods in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. 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. 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.
The well will immediately be brought on production and is expected to flow at more than 100 MMscf/D of gas and 3,000 B/D of associated condensate, the company said. The $5.6-billion deal includes the Prudhoe Bay field and the Trans Alaska Pipeline and vaults Hilcorp to be the second-largest Alaska producer and reserves holder, behind only ConocoPhillips. 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. The shale sector is making moves to consolidate amid investor pressure to increase cash flow. This deal will form the second-largest producer in Colorado’s DJ Basin.
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas quantified the economic impact of the US shale revolution for the first half of this decade. Times are still financially tough for many shale operators: Sanchez Energy and Halcón Resources become the latest to file for Chapter 11 protection. Share prices have plunged for seemingly every major US shale producer, with Concho, Pioneer, and Continental among those receiving the worst of the market’s fury. Have investors completely lost faith in the industry? And are shale executives any more optimistic?
Latest News are articles brought to you online only and have not been published in an issue of JPT. The well will immediately be brought on production and is expected to flow at more than 100 MMscf/D of gas and 3,000 B/D of associated condensate, the company said. The $5.6-billion deal includes the Prudhoe Bay field and the Trans Alaska Pipeline and vaults Hilcorp to be the second-largest Alaska producer and reserves holder, behind only ConocoPhillips. 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. The shale sector is making moves to consolidate amid investor pressure to increase cash flow. This deal will form the second-largest producer in Colorado’s DJ Basin.
Doug Suttles, Encana president and chief executive officer (left), and Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil president and chief executive officer, took part in a panel discussion covering the latest in North American shale at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston. Much has been made recently about the disparities in production between parent and child wells in US shale basins. The increased attention on the issue is part of broader concern among investors about the ability of operators to maintain high levels of output over the next few years. However, Doug Suttles, Encana president and chief executive officer, assures that shale executives are acutely aware of the parent-child challenge. His company has been "very public about this for 5 years now,” he said before an audience largely consisting of the investor community at CERAWeek by IHS Markit this week in Houston.
A pressure pumping unit stands ready for water injections into a parent wellhead to prevent damage from frac hits in the North Fork oil field of North Dakota. Frac hits were once a painful cost of doing business for Abraxas Petroleum. But today, the San Antonio, Texas-based shale producer has softened the blows dealt by this widespread and challenging problem. Its approach, called “active well defense,” has been put to the test amid the rolling hills of the company’s North Fork oil field in McKenzie, North Dakota. Instead, active well defense is designed to prevent temporary, yet costly, production stoppages caused by unabated frac hits filling parent wells with sand.
Countering a raft of negative outlooks, a new study argues that the unconventional sector has reason to be optimistic about the months and years ahead. Thanks to a greater understanding of geology and improved technology application, the new generation of horizontal wells completed during the downturn are outperforming their predecessors by wide and growing margins, according to the study published by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies in November, "Unravelling the US Shale Productivity Gains." The bottom line, as this study sees it, is that the well productivity and efficiency benchmarks established over the past 2 years represent sustainable progress that cannot be wholly attributed to high-grading programs or service sector price concessions. The expectation is that many operators will be able to offset the approaching financial headwinds with higherproducing wells. These conclusions are based on the performance of operators in several key shale plays where not only are initial production rates improving--an early measure of success--but so are two other important performance indicators: higher cumulative production and slower decline rates.
Some are more concerned about the low recovery rates of horizontal shale wells, estimated to be about 7% on average-- far short of the 40% achieved through primary and secondary (waterflooding) production in conventional reservoirs. Refracturing has been touted as the next big thing to improve ultimate recovery, but such operations remain relatively expensive and may only temporarily reset production to initial rates once or twice in a well's life. To see long-term results and a doubling or tripling of current recovery rates, a number of experts say enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies must be developed to work in tight shale reservoirs. And due to persistently low natural gas prices, current efforts appear to be exclusively focused on oil and condensate producing wells. It is early days for this area of EOR research.
Barry Biggs, vice president of onshore operations at Hess, said the company is using an “army of problem solvers” to help navigate through the current downturn. July’s drop in oil prices to below USD 50/bbl reminded the shale industry that the hard times may be around for a while and that operators need to continue working on their cost reduction plans. At the recent 2015 Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, a major theme was how companies can improve performance without increasing the size of their budget. Some companies are looking to work closer with other companies to share knowledge and technology that may yield higher production. Others are looking inward for ideas that may reduce risk and improve the bottom line.