Most technical papers on the subject of hydraulic fracturing to date have involved detailed case studies of individual wells or clusters of wells evaluating the effectiveness of differing types of hydraulic fracturing treatments. These case studies are useful for increasing understanding fracturing effectiveness, but provide a limited view on hydraulic fracturing trends across formations, plays, or regions. This paper will analyze thousands of fracturing treatments in major plays in the United States in order to provide insights into how frac designs have changed across time.
FracFocus.org is website that was established in early 2011 as centralized registry to provide hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure. At the time the analysis for this paper was undertaken the website contained chemical disclosure records for over 26,000 hydraulic fracturing treatments, including information on all chemical and additive volumes, treatment date, TVD, water volume, production type, etc. We have collected all available data from FracFocus.org, classified each frac treatment into a set of standard hydraulic fracturing treatment types, and extracted other meaningful technical information from the dataset.
This paper analyzes changes in key hydraulic fracturing fluid system trends across time at the aggregate US, basin, and operator level. The analysis identifies changes over time in frac type, based on the broad categories of conventional, water frac, hybrid, etc. The paper also analyzes consumption trends for water and key chemical additives, such as clay control agents, surfactants, and hydrochloric acid.
To date, most knowledge of aggregate trends in hydraulic fracturing treatment design is anecdotal and based on the direct experience of operators or service companies. This paper provides a more rigorous quantitative perspective of how the industry has evolved in its hydraulic fracturing design choices over the last two years.