March 2014
Shale Technology Review

What's new in Shale Technology

What's new in Shale Technology

Melanie Cruthirds / World Oil


New technique sequentially isolates fractures

Schlumberger has introduced the BroadBand Sequence fracturing technique, which enables sequential stimulation of perforation clusters in wells drilled in unconventional reservoirs. This new technique sequentially isolates fractures at the wellbore, to ensure that every cluster in each zone is fractured, resulting in greater production and completion efficiency compared to conventional methods. Developed using a composite fluid, and comprising a proprietary blend of degradable fibers and multimodal particles, the technique is suited for use in new wells, as well as recompletions. This technique is particularly suitable for re-fracturing operations, given its ability to promote temporary cluster isolation, without the aid of mechanical devices, such as bridge plugs. This fracturing technique has been delivered in more than 500 operations in several unconventional plays, including the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Woodford, Spraberry and Bakken shales.

Fracturing services to maximize cluster efficiency and measure movement

Halliburton’s Pinnacle has commercialized ControlFrac, a solution that combines the group’s FiberWatch service with Halliburton’s AccessFrac diversion technology, to optimize cluster efficiency. ControlFrac is a real-time optimization solution service, putting users in control of cluster efficiency and fracture initiation during stimulation. Integrating FiberWatch services with AccessFrac technology enables real-time diagnostics and successful well stimulation. Additionally, the company introduced the FracHeight service, a hybrid tool that combines fiber optic wireline-conveyed microseismic receivers with Pinnacle’s downhole tiltmeter sensors, to directly measure the formation movement associated with fracture dilation. By incorporating microdeformation measurements made by downhole tiltmeters, the service provides definitive evidence of fracture dilation. The result is a service that leads to more accurate fracture mapping, by providing insight on actual fracture deformation as a function of depth.

SHADOW series frac plug introduced

Baker Hughes has commercialized its SHADOW series frac plug, a permanent, large-bore, flow-through frac plug designed to be left downhole after fracturing operations are complete. The plugs are a more efficient alternative to traditional composite plugs, because they eliminate CT operations from the critical well path, and enable reduced costs and HSE risks. The plugs feature a large, flow-through inside diameter, and use IN-Tallic disintegrating frac balls, allowing production flow—with the plugs in place—as soon as fracturing operations are complete. The IN-Tallic frac balls, which are made with a controlled electrolytic metallic (CEM) nanostructured material, hold pressure during fracturing, and disintegrate in the well when exposed to produced fluids, leaving a large ID to enable maximum production.

Mud motor failure capability added

Verdande Technology, a provider of real-time, predictive analytics, decision management solutions, has announced the launch of DrillEdge mud motor failure capability. The solution uses predictive analytics, such as case-based reasoning (CBR), to identify key indicators of potential mud motor failure, and to take action before drilling operations are impacted, or costly tool damage occurs. The solution monitors for early symptoms of damage sustained ahead of an outright failure by relating mechanical specific energy (MSE), a well-established downhole drilling performance efficiency metric, to accumulated downhole tool stress.

Software targets unconventional resources

CGG has released HRS-9/R2, an upgrade to its Hampson-Russell HRS-9 reservoir characterization software suite. It builds on HRS-9, launched in 2012, by offering geoscientists new capabilities, focusing on unconventional resources. A new module, named ProAZ, will increase the effectiveness of well planning in fractured reservoirs and unconventional resource plays, by helping interpreters map fractures and other forms of anisotropy. In ProMC, further refinement to the joint inversion of PP and PS volumes is provided, through a new option for an automatically computed, variable Vs/Vp ratio (Gamma). Any well log attribute for horizontal wells can now be overlaid on seismic volumes and displayed as a log curve or color infill. In a subsequent release, later in 2014, Hampson-Russell will add the ability to extract sampled attributes from seismic volumes along horizontal well paths.

Sixth patent issued for frac chemical reduction process

Ecosphere Technologies, Inc., a U.S. technology licensing and manufacturing company, has announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a formal Notice of Allowance for a process patent that lowers the scaling tendencies in E&P flowback water. This notice marks the sixth patent for the company’s patented Ozonix water treatment technology issued by the U.S. Patent Office since 2010. The firm’s latest patent is directed to a technology that saves millions of gallons of water, and reduces the amount of production wastewater disposed of in Class II injection wells.

Free fluid end, power end inspections now available

Gardner Denver is now offering customers up to 10 free inspections of power ends and fluid ends per yard, per month, under its new “Free Pump Inspections” program. Inspection times average three hours, and, once the inspection is complete, the technician will leave a detailed report with the customer. Gardner Denver’s customer service department will reach out to the customer to schedule repairs, if needed.


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Melanie Cruthirds
World Oil
Melanie Cruthirds
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