Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook 2018

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72 | August 2018 | HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: LOGISTICS as other demands on the railroads. We are probably coming out of the major concerns for sand logistics, but there are still some local concerns. There are a lot of plans for local sand, but those are taking longer than anticipated. Not permitting issues as far as I have heard, just delays in construction." Water has been a concern for longer, and it remains so. "That is true no matter what the area," Henry said. "Produced water is definitely of interest in many areas for use in fracking but load recovery remains highly variable well to well. The operator typically handles the water logistics, but we can customize the job based on the type of water available. Fluid systems are becoming less complex, so it's mostly a matter of adjusting the recipe for the raw water. These days we can make any type of water work with proper prejob testing." The maturation of techniques in diversion and refracturing are becoming a bigger part of what Henry's group does. "We are also excited about how nanotechnology can improve recovery," he added. "Data analytics will increase decision-mak- ing speed. And I have been fascinated by fiber optics. Together these three advancements, nan- otech, data analytics and fiber optics, will make for better decision-making." None of that changes the physics of water, sand and rock. "As pressure increases, and we are pumping more material, reliability will remain a high priority," said Henry. A discharge idea resurfaces "While we do have some mobile assets, called Shale- flow, our focus is on fixed water-treatment facilities," said James Welch, director of business development for industrial projects for Veolia. "Our strength is in not only reuse standards—removal of solids, iron, bacteria, sulfate and so forth—but primarily in sur- face discharge to National Pollutant Discharge Elim- ination System standards." That approach, although more expensive and reg- ulated than deep injection, is coming to the fore in regions where disposal wells are becoming limited. "Injection is very much a concern in the Delaware Basin," Welch said. "Produced water will exceed the capacity to dispose of it in saltwater wells in the not too distant future. Seismicity will further curtail injection capacity. Producers will want to reconsider surface discharge. That could be to the Pecos River, for example, or even for irrigation—although that is more complicated." Veolia is already operating several permanent facilities in California that treat produced water and discharge it into aquifers and rivers. Another such treatment plant is being completed in the Piceance Basin in Colorado. It is expected to be in service by the end of the third quarter of 2018. To be sure, cleaning and treating produced water to surface-discharge standards remains expensive, relative to injection or recycling. Welch expects that as Veolia and other firms increase scale and efficiency, costs will decline. At the same time, the physical limits of deep disposal, not just formation capacity itself, but transportation, will increase costs and reduce availability. Simultaneously, producers are improving reuse in some cases to eliminate discharge. The fourth leg of the water management table is water collection and redistribution, or multiproducer water banks. The first of those in the Permian came into service in Howard County in May. "Operators want balance of risks and resources," Welch said. "And they are embracing all four options. We do not handle any logistics or impoundments; if a midstream water company needed support for a multiproducer system, we would be able to do the treating and make quality and quantity guarantees." ChemTerra Innovations was created as a discrete operation within Trican Well Service at the end of 2017 to sustain the North American growth of its oilfield-chemicals business even as the parent well- service business consolidated to exclusively Canadian operations. In its first half year the new kid on the block has thrived. "We had been developing proppant coatings for 20 years," said Natasha Kostenuk, general manager, "and running them exclusively through our own pumps. When the firm consolidated in response to the industry downturn, we needed a way to sell to other companies. Now that business is growing again, most of our business is in-house, but outside sales continue to grow." From dust to downhole The most established segment for ChemTerra is in proppant coating to reduce dust during transpor- tation and into use. That grew into other coatings that are intended to bring sand close to the perfor- mance level of ceramic proppants. Most recently the company has developed surfactants to enhance oil recovery. "We started with coatings for transportation," said Bill O'Neil, director of research and develop- ment. "The push recently has been coatings that improve the hydrocarbon-conductivity of the prop- pant. It permanently upgrades in-basin sand to the

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