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Hydraulic Fracturing

Best Management Practices


Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program
John Michael Fernandez
Matthew Gunter

Objectives of Presentation
Introduce and describe hydraulic
fracturing
Present environmental concerns
Discuss best management practices

US Shale Plays

Major Shale Plays with


Hydraulic Fracturing
Bakken
o North Dakota,
Montana, Canada
o Oil
Barnett
o Texas (DFW Area)
o Natural Gas
Eagle Ford
o South Texas
o Oil and Natural Gas

Haynesville
o Texas, Louisiana
o Natural Gas
Marcellus
o Pennsylvania, Ohio,
New York, West
Virginia
o Natural Gas
Woodford
o Oklahoma
o Oil and Natural Gas

What is Hydraulic Fracturing?


Hydraulic fracturing is a process used to
stimulate wells in tight, shale reservoirs.
Uses water, sand and chemicals to
extend, prop open fractures to allow for
the flow of oil and natural gas.

Hydraulic Fracturing Process


Drill the well
o
o

Some only vertical


Some have horizontal lateral

Case and Cement possible hazard areas


o
o

Pressure zones
Ground Water Areas

Perforate casing and cementing with Perforating


Gun
o

Begins fracture process in rock formation

Pump fracturing fluid down hole


o

High pressured fluid extend fractures

Production

Casing and Cementing


Casing and cementing a wellbore is used
to:
o
o

Protect groundwater from contamination


Keep integrity of well-bore

Casing is steel pipe that is designed to


handle:
o
o

over- or under-pressured zones and


high tensile stresses down hole

Casing is cemented in place to safely


deliver hydrocarbons to the surface

Perforating the Formation


Perforated using a perf gun
Perforating guns use explosive charges to
fracture:
o Casing
o Cementing
o Formation
o

Fracturing Fluid
98-99.5% Water and Sand
The other 0.5-2%:
o
o

Additives that enhance fracturing


Many additives are used to protect casing,
cementing, and well integrity

3-7 million gallons of fluid used in typical


horizontal well

Proppant
Sand pumped down hole is known as
proppant
o

Keeps fractures propped open

Comes in three major forms


o
o

Untreated sand
Resin-coated Sand
Coated for strength in harsh conditions

Ceramic
Artificial Proppant, very strong at high pressures
Said to be in shortage, more using resin-coated sand

Selected based on strength needed and size

Chemical Additives
Common Additives include:
Acids, Biocides, Gelling Agents, pH Adjusting
Agents, Corrosion Inhibitors, Iron Control, Clay
Stabilizer, Acid Inhibitor
o Other additives could be used depending on
well characteristics
o Additives considered harmful are often found
in household items
o

Hydraulic Fracturing Animation

Environmental Concerns
Chemical concerns
o
o

Pumping chemicals near water table


Failure in pits and liners could leak chemicals

High water usage


Air Emissions from truck use
Surface Area used

EPA Study
Looking into groundwater protection
Major areas of study include:
o
o
o
o
o

Water acquisition
Chemical Mixing
Well Injection
Flowback and Produced Water
Wastewater treatment/disposal

Water Table Safety Fracture


Facts
Fractures are necessary for hydrocarbons
to flow from the tight shale formations
Fractures are typically thousands of feet
below water table
They extend only hundreds of feet at most
in any given direction

Hydraulic Fracturing BMPs


Green Frac Program Idea
o

Chesapeake Energy

Refracturing wells
o

Restimulation via fracturing again

Closed-loop Fracturing System


o

Chief Oil and Gas one of many users

Pad Drilling
o

Drills multiple wells from same pad site

Centralized Fracturing
o

Fracturing multiple wells from central pad

Green Frac Program


Program instituted by Chesapeake Energy
o

October 2009

Researching additives to:


o
o
o

Find which are unnecessary


Find which are necessary, but harmful
Find more environmentally friendly
replacements for harmful additives

Specific findings are proprietary


information

Refracturing Wells
Used to restimulate wells with production
slowed
Reduces surface area taken by taking
away need for new well for oil and gas
85% of success found in 15% of total
wells drilled
o

Not universally successful

When successful, greatly increases


production

Closed Loop Fracturing System


Rather than using water only once and
putting in large pits, the frac fluid is
circulated and stored in large steel tanks
Solids are removed from water using
mechanical and chemical methods
Compared to older methods, CLF is
o
o

Environmentally friendly
Economically efficient

Environmentally Friendly CLF


Takes away use of pits and liners
Pits and liners have been known to burst,
releasing chemicals onto surface
o Stores in large, sturdy steel tanks
o

Uses much less water


o
o

Water is reused throughout fracturing process


Reduces water usage by as much as 80%

Reduces truck traffic

Truck loads have been observed to reduce by up


to 75%
o Reduces air emissions and traffic congestion
o

Economically Efficient
Water usage is reduced
Truck mileage is also reduced
Companies who have drilled similar wells
using CLF have saved about $10,000 in
overall expenses compared to
conventional drilling

Pad Drilling
Drills multiple wells from single pad site
Allows for centralized fracturing
o

Fracturing from single location for multiple


wells

Reduces acreage necessary for wells


Reduces truck traffic for making pad site
Enhances closed loop systems

Centralized Fracturing
Fracing multiple wells on a site from a single,
central pad
o
o

Fraced up to 140 wells from single site


Fraced up to 3 miles away

Significantly reduces truck traffic and time


expended
o
o

Truck traffic was reduced by up to 30% for a single


well, up to 90% for the site as a whole
Time was reduced by up to 80% to drill, complete
the well

When used with closed loop and pad drilling,


saves even more truck traffic and water used

Past, Present, and Future Best


Management Practices

Conclusion
Hydraulic fracturing is the future of the energy
industry
There are environmental risks involved
BMPs could be the answer to put unease at
rest
When used in combination, BMPs can be
even more effective.
Questions?