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An area of great interest to those researching flowback is the interaction of water and salt inside the shale reservoir. After a well is stimulated, the flowback fluids tend to show a rising concentration of salt that falls back to near zero over time. Most shale producers in North America have given little thought to the flowback stage following hydraulic fracturing. Others have come to realize it represents a valuable opportunity to learn more about their wells. On the far end of the flowback spectrum is a completion process called soakback.
Unconventional development has made it clear to Erdal Ozkan that conventional theory overlooks a lot of potentially productive rock. He talks about looking for ways to do better as part of JPT’s tech director report. Completion engineers feel pressure to maximize production per acre and minimize the downsides of fracturing in tight spaces. Terry Palisch, talks about promoting knowledge sharing as part of JPT’s tech director report. Though crude prices are rising, US shale producers face questions over whether their improving oil production results and cost efficiencies will last as increasing drilling activity drives demand for oilfield services.
The current oil and gas commodity prices have posed several challenges to oil and gas companies operating in shale plays trying to generate revenue or even becoming cash neutral. The 1996 book, Lean Thinking, introduced lean to mainstream business. Since then, lean has propelled operational excellence in construction, software development, healthcare, financial services, state government, and more.
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? Money is the root all of startups, but getting it and making more of it depends on dealing with demanding people.
The Eagle Ford Shale has reclaimed its standing as one of the most attractive US onshore liquids basins, and for good reason. Does this mean more operators will seek to buy in to the play, and could further consolidation take hold following last year’s big deals? What Happened to all the E&P Deal-Making? One of last year’s big stories in the industry was consolidation among several of the larger upstream operators. But deal activity has fallen off in recent months.
Researchers mapped 251 faults in the North Texas home of the Barnett Shale, the birthplace of the shale revolution, finding that wastewater injection there “significantly increases the likelihood for faults to slip.” 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. This paper provides a retrospective assessment of the Barnett and Eagle Ford Shale plays to highlight lessons learned and the associated value of those learnings.
The chief upstream strategist of IHS Markit said in a recent presentation that oil exploration must improve its ability to deliver value and better communicate that value to the financial community. New ways of thinking about exploration opportunities are needed. 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. The Austin Chalk play could go through a revival if the industry can view the formation through “a fresh set of eyes,” says EnerVest’s Tony Maranto. Dimethyl-ether (DME) -enhanced waterflood (DEW) is a process in which DME is added to injection water and, upon injection, preferentially partitions into the remaining oil.
The latest move to consolidate the US shale sector will add 1,500 drilling locations to the buyer's portfolio. It also reflects that all-stock or mostly-stock deals are now the sector’s preferred acquisition vehicle. The SPE Liquids-Rich Basin Conference in Midland, Texas, merged topics that have dominated recent industry discussions: technologies centered on big data, interwell communication, and Permian Basin production.
Knowing which horizon crude oil flows from and in what proportions has been a major challenge for shale producers. Increasingly, they are turning to new technology to find the answer. For the past 2 decades, the use of DNA sequencing technology has largely been relegated to the domains of criminal forensics and the healthcare industry. One company is betting that the shale industry soon will join that list.
Oil exploration and production jobs globally are at about the level they were after deep cuts following the 2014 crash. Now companies need to find more to cut. The prescribed treatment for market- and virus-induced oil price collapse is to quickly slow production growth. Two US shale companies moved swiftly to cut the pace of drilling and completions, but it is too soon to know if that will have any impact. Digital advances allow computers to do many of the tedious tasks once done by engineers, which frees them to focus on more interesting tasks.