Schlumberger Introduces New Fracking Technique
Schlumberger - a leading oilfield services company that provides technology, project management and information services to the global oil and gas industry - has introduced a new hydraulic fracturing technique to enhance the process of extracting shale gas.
Called HiWay, Schlumberger says the new process will significantly enhance output from reservoirs.
So what makes HiWay so special?
To tap shale reserves, companies have to employ a process called hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that creates cracks in the bed rock. Once the cracks are formed, "fracking fluid" is pumped inside (usually a combination of water and sand, ceramic, or other particulates) which further props open the fractures allowing natural gas to flow into the wellbore, and essentially keep the cracks open. In the world of shale extraction, the sand/ceramic particles are called a "proppant pack."
(Watch THIS VIDEO to learn more about the fracking process).
HiWAY eliminates the link between the flow within the fracture and the proppant pack conductivity. Instead of being controlled and limited by the proppant pack, this new process allows the gas to flow through a network of stable channels within the fracture "created by placement and completions techniques, fluid engineering and process control." Thus, instead of flowing through sand and ceramic, in the HiWAY process the gas flows through highly conductive channels.
The new fracking technology contains many benefits according to Patrick Schorn, president of Schlumberger Well Services. HiWAY not only "delivers...effective infinite fracture conductivity" but also allows for faster extraction time and yields higher production rates.
Initial tests showed that wells using the HiWAY system produced 53 per cent more gas than those using conventional fracturing techniques.
To date, Schlumberger has successfully used the technique in Argentina, Russia, Mexico and in the United States.
The Press and Journal: "New Fraccing Technique Shows Great Promise, Says Schlumberger"
Zacks.com: "Schlumberger's New Technique"
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