This February 2011 study compares the production and cost impacts of using energized and non-energized fracturing fluids on unconventional gas wells in the Montney formation. Analysis of roughly 24 to 36 months of gas production show significant benefit can be achieved from energized fracturing fluids and that their use warrants investigation in other unconventional oil and gas plays. There is illustrated potential for significant gas recovery improvement. There is also opportunity to reduce fracturing resources; the most significant of which is water and proppant consumption; there is also opportunity to reduce pumping rate and pressure in some instances. The potential environmental benefit of considerably lowering water consumption is attractive and may, in itself, justify their use. Energized fracturing treatments can cost more; however, the benefits are shown to far outweigh the incremental costs. The opportunity exists to improve unconventional well fracturing effectiveness and to reduce the resources used in those treatments by including nitrogen or carbon dioxide in the fracturing fluid.

Based on the comparative assessment completed on the subject Montney wells in the Dawson Area of N.E. British Columbia, the use of energized fluids is shown to generate significantly improved well performance over those wells fractured with non-energized fluids. On average each well stimulated with energized fluids is forecast to potentially recover between 1.1 to 2.2 times as much gas as non-energized fracturing treatments the Study Areas 1 and 3 respectively.

Area 1 Study compared the performance of Slick Water against Nitrified Slick Water and CO2 Foam fracturing treatments. The production analysis predicts an 11% incremental recovery improvement of 0.29 Bcf by using energized fluids. Though the treatment costs for the energized fracture treatments were seen to be higher, the value of this incremental recovery outweighs the additional cost with no incremental risk. Of note was the opportunity to reduce the fracturing fluid liquid volumes by over half with using CO2 Foam treatments rather than Slick Water. This shows the opportunity to improve production while also minimizing environmental impact. At marginal gas prices of $4.00/Mcf, the value of this incremental recovery approaches $1.4 MM from an incremental fracture cost investment of $500,000.

Area 3 Study compared the performance of Gelled Frac Oil against CO2 Foam fracturing treatments. The production analysis showed a 124% incremental recovery improvement of 3.75 Bcf by using energized fluid fracturing treatments. At marginal gas prices of $4.00/Mcf, the value of this incremental recovery approaches $14.8 MM, from an incremental fracture cost investment of $400,000.

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