Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook 2018

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52 | August 2018 | HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: TECHNOLOGY "Through a range of sensors on the pumps cou- pled with advanced data analytics we are able to pre- dict the onset of major component failures from our remote monitoring center in Houston well in advance of them happening," Borges added. "This allows us to remove the pump from the operation and do the required maintenance before it fails, which dramatically reduces maintenance costs as well as the requirements for back-up equipment on location." Since 2014, these technologies have generated approximately 10% year-on-year savings in both capex and maintenance costs, according to the company. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Schlumberger has created three extra fleets with its existing asset base by improving its equipment down by 25%, as well as increasing the average horsepower used by each pump by 5%. Halliburton sees an evolution coming of how frack jobs are set up and deployed, with the overriding goal of new efficiencies and driving costs out of the overall system. "I think there is room for optimization when it comes to logistics," Gale said. "We're seeing the move toward containerized proppant, multiple different offerings that are out there. That has generated a step-change in logistics costs. There is still a lot of water that is transported by industry unnecessarily. Given the quantity of materials that are being moved around for the deployment of a frack job there is definitely continued room for improvement there." Slickwater completions reign In an effort to find just the right completions cock- tail over the past several years, the industry has exper- imented with several different mixtures with small changes in proppant concentrations and volumes, pump rates and fracturing fluids. Gel-based solu- tions emerged and made a few waves, most notably the price shock around guar, their central compo- nent, in 2011-2012. Gel and hybrid gel completions are still used today, but there has been a tectonic shift among most toward slickwater completions. "There has clearly been a migration by industry from gel-based systems," Gale explained. "Part of that is in response to the types of fluid designs that are out there as people try and find the ceiling on proppant per lateral foot, and finding that optimized completion. Additionally, the migration to non-API spec sand as well as smaller sand grains has opened the door for slickwater-type systems to be used more prevalently. That trend is very real. What we see as more customers get more comfortable placing their completion designs using a slickwater system that the industry is very unlikely to revert back to cross-linked systems in earnest." Halliburton continues to reevaluate its friction reducer portfolio. Technologies that made up its friction reducer system even three years ago have been completely replaced with new systems, new active polymers and multifunctional polymers. "When the price of guar broke out of its historical band, it spurred off a lot of innovation in the industry that over the past couple of years has really come to fruition," Gale said. "Our slickwater portfolio today has a completely different complexion than it did even two years ago." Radical fluid end design makes inroads One of the most expensive consumables on a frack spread is the fluid end—the part of the pump that contains parts directly involved with the move- ment of fluid. It's the operation's punching bag, exposed to extreme environments including high pressures, abrasive materials and corrosive fluids around the clock. All of which contribute to the rate of fluid end failure, which can occur in as little as 100 pumping hours. Kerr Pumps set out to find a solution to the fluid end dilemma and in February started shipping the Frac A Halliburton crew prepares to deploy an Illusion dissolvable plug on a frack job in West Texas. (Photo courtesy of Haliburton)

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