The message that a scientific approach should trump the all-out wildcatting of the fading shale boom is echoing through more corridors of the energy industry. But oil producers may not want to hear it.
Frac sand suppliers say U.S. oil producers should use the lull in drilling as a chance to step back and study mountains of oil field data to see which blends of water, sand and chemicals are best for blasting open shale rock, a process called hydraulic fracturing. Rapid-fire drilling – a practice that shale producers used during the boom to keep output rising over natural well depletion – often yielded bad, unproductive wells, as does hasty hydraulic fracturing, they say.
“There’s a high failure rate because we don’t do our homework,” said Jim Venditto, vice president of technical services at Trican Well Service, a fracturing firm that coats sand in material that makes it more buoyant and easier to pump into a well. He said producers have been talking more about finding ways to bolster well productivity, even as they send hundreds of drilling rigs to the sidelines.
“You’re not going to be able to drill your way out of this,” Venditto said. “Every so often we have to reinvent the oil industry again.”
The CEO of proppant provider Preferred Sands says his firm last year launched a free iPhone app called NavPort that tracks hundreds of thousands of wells in North America and provides data on aspects of frac jobs, including the types and amounts of proppants used.Click here to continue reading.
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!