Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook 2018

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56 | August 2018 | HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: BIG DATA T he emergence of the U.S. oil and gas industry as one of the pre-eminent suppliers on the world's stage has its roots in the economics of production. And on the ground floor of those eco- nomics can be found the seed that has grown into a forest: enhanced well designs. By now, the story is a familiar one—longer laterals, more intense prop- pant loads, tighter well spacing and increased stages are propelling massive production gains across all unconventional plays in North America. As operators see their breakeven well costs decline, they continue to analyze the contributing factors that impact production optimization and which design and completion methods create the most value. Many operators and service providers are finding that value lies within the massive amounts of data their opera- tions produce. Subsequently, many are also faced with the challenge of how best to leverage that data, and, specifically, how to make well design data meaningful. "This process of digitalization and collation is imperative if we are to efficiently and effectively embrace increasing subsurface complexity, and will help facilitate more effective modeling and manage- ment of these complexities across the full E&P life cycle," Gabriela Morales, senior product specialist for Halliburton Landmark, wrote in a company editorial note titled "Facing up to New Realities," which focuses on addressing challenges in the well construction life cycle. Operators are faced with a dizzying array of data sources—completions operations, wellhead infor- mation, public data, sensor data, reservoir and pro- duction information—which provide opportunities for companies to detect patterns that can be used to make better informed decisions and develop key performance indicators when designing wells. Simply put, operators must make key decisions that affect their bottom line on how to put that data into action. Optimizing frack operations Service providers both large and small have entered the Big Data analytics space in the industry and provide a wide variation of systems and tools. These companies offer recommendations on completions and design components such as chemical and fluid dynamics, mud motor parameters, collaborative well planning, ideal proppant loading and feasible lateral lengths. ConocoPhillips initiated a Big Data analytics approach in its Eagle Ford operations, which it later pushed out to its Rockies business unit, then Mid- continent and later to the U.K., Australia and Norway. "[Data analytics is] helping us optimize on a day- to-day level for frack operations, trying to make sure we have consistency as far as our pressures," said Justin Hammond, ConocoPhillips senior completions engi - neer for its Rockies business unit. "We're also doing the same thing on coiled tubing. For coiled tubing, there is a performance aspect, but there's also risk mitigation. When we don't perform well with coiled tubing, it costs us a lot of upsets of more than $1 million. Data analytics has helped throttle back the incidents we've had over the past couple of years." Hammond said leveraging an analytics approach to well designs serves as collaboration between the company's completion designs and the reservoir per- formance of its wells. "We can apply multivariate analysis and bigger data applications to try to find the best completion design," he said. "Right now we're looking at situa- tions where historically we've always wanted to do bigger and bigger completions, trying to produce higher IP wells, but now we're able to look at that from a cost of supply perspective and try to find the optimal value instead of just the largest production. Bigger is not necessarily better for completions operations and production." Service providers and operators leverage analytics into well design processes. Making Data Actionable By Brian Walzel Associate Editor, Production Technologies

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