Recent (companion) publications have isolated some major new conclusions which have effectively led to reversal of many conventional practices in hydraulic fracturing: these conclusions are based on analysis of field data vs. erroneous theories which had influenced previous efforts. A prime example of such reversal is our conclusion that overall proppant concentration (i.e. total proppant over total fluid volume pumped) should vary essentially inversely with reservoir permeability. Other issues have been demonstrated by recently-published case-studies of fracturing in low-permeability reservoirs. This paper will extend that discussion to medium-high permeability applications, i.e. to gas (oil) reservoirs of order 1-10 (10-100) mD or more.

This paper will also emphasize many major unrealized and/or poorly-rationalized aspects of such fracturing operations: these will include identification and execution of adequately-packed fractures ("pack-fracs" vs. common near-wellbore "frac-packs"); related work has quantified the dominant role of permeability variation in fracture growth/geometry. It will be indicated that many of the common/expensive problems associated with correspondingly mal-designed/executed field operations may be easily remedied: primary among these concerns are premature screen-outs/wash-outs and proppant production problems.

This paper will also demonstrate the tremendous (incremental) economic benefits of fracturing most wells, especially where variable petroleum demand/price have made capital investment decisions difficult (and often foolish, at least in retrospect). Appropriate use of the right technology also serves to reduce (correctly/actuarially - accounted) risk, certainly when properly executed to avoid the common problems which have plagued previous experiences; proper execution should alsa serve to remedy unfulfilled claims/promises, which have previously hindered widespread hydraulic fracturing technology application. Reliable fracturing capabilities now create major new (overall project) options for/and greatly improved investment strategies.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.