Reducing Water Costs
Reducing fresh water sourcing and fracture fluid disposal expenses for drilling and stimulation operations
Shale wells require fracture treatments to achieve economically viable production levels. The volume of water required for these treatments and for drilling can be significant.
Just how much water is needed?
In the Marcellus, typical drilling and completion operations use approximately 4 million gallons of water (or 1,000 truckloads). Of that, 100,000 gallons would be required for drilling and 3 to 5 million gallons for completing a standard 5-10 stage lateral utilizing slickwater fracs every 300 ft.
Once stimulated, operators typically recover 350 truckloads of flowback water that will require disposal.
For operators, sourcing and disposing of such large quantities of surface or ground water is no easy task. In most shale basins, it can be daunting to address the associated regulatory requirements and approval processes. There is also increasing competition from the local population and other businesses for access to the same – and often limited – water resources.
Finding ways to reduce the fresh water required, and reduce the associated sourcing and disposal costs, can impact the economics of any well.
Recycling produced water for use as a fracturing fluid can significantly reduce the amount of fresh water that needs to be sourced for shale well completions.
Halliburton is aggressively investing resources into the development of fracturing fluid systems that enable the re-use and recycling of flowback and produced water. In 2008, Halliburton introduced OmegaFrac® fluid, a new fracturing fluid system that can utilize a wide variety of produced water.
Today, in a major field development, Halliburton is performing 70% of all fracturing treatments with produced water, which has minimized water sourcing and disposal issues for the operator.
The use of micro-emulsion surfactants can not only help production go online faster and at higher rates, but it also increases the frac fluid flow back, which can be recycled and reused as a fracture fluid on the next well.