Unconventional Challenges

Continued global prosperity and growth depends on environmentally responsible energy production and technological improvements in developing energy from hydrocarbon.

Traditional Well Stimulation

Conventional hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressure liquids to break formation rock, a process requiring large volumes of water, chemicals, sand, personnel, time, and equipment.

Traditional fracturing also poses many environmental challenges (and the related expenses) including:

  • Treatment/disposal of process water
  • Potential for surface and shallow groundwater contamination
  • Induced seismicity
  • And others

History

Development of horizontal drilling from the 1960s onwards allowed oil and gas companies to access previously unproductive reservoirs, including the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Barnett, Utica, Montney, Duvernay, and others. The technology made previously uneconomic wells and formations viable, and North America since has increased its oil production by 50% and more than doubled its gas production.

Challenges

While existing technology is viable, it is being met with increasingly difficult market and economic challenges, and stringent environmental regulation due to public demand.

• Hydraulic fracturing accounts for ~50% of the cost of preparing a well for production

• Many wells are drilled in areas considered sensitive and/or face local water use issues• Local roads are often damaged by the heavy equipment traffic required for hydraulic fracturing

• Costs for water and sand – already significant expenses – are variable and expected to continue increasing.

The Dilemma

The very positive impact of oil and gas development to an economy is well understood, providing high paying jobs, tax revenue, and contributing greatly to the GDP of producing countries. However, the beneficial impact of development is being threatened by the expanding costs of well completions, as the intensity of water and proppant use continues to expand. Given the tightening window for new, economically viable and “noncontroversial” wells, a new solution is needed to sustain the positive outcomes of growth. And, RocketFrac has a solution.