Eagle Ford completion technology is evolving as it needs to if operators want to remain competitive. Operators have lots of theories, but the proof is in the pudding. Drilling and completing wells is the only real way to test new technologies. That technology is needed as we experience rising service costs, along with natural gas prices of $4 per mcf and oil prices that look to be below $90 for the foreseeable future. $90 a barrel isn’t bad, but it isn’t $100.
Petrohawk was the first to announce a major change in completion technology by using Schlumberger’s Hi-way Frac system. SLB refers to it as “HiWay Flow Channel Fracturing”. Fancy name and all, nobody really cares unless it delivers. For Petrohawk, it looks to have done just that. Petrohawk had utilized hiway fracs in 12 wells that had a production history of 90 days or more as of June. Those 12 wells had produced 32% more at a pressure 42% higher than other wells with a choke (18/64ths). More production at a higher pressure is about as good as it gets. The higher pressure indicates better overall communication, which is great in tight shale rocks. We’ll hear more about hiway fracs as operators test it in other parts of the Eagle Ford and in other plays. Read more on Schlumberger’s HiWay Flow Channel Fracturing at www.slb.com
The other service companies are not slouches, and are working the technology game too. Halliburton is pushing for speed and has lowered completion times by as much as two days with its “Delta Stim” completion service. Multiply two days per well over 100s of wells per year and you begin saving alot of money. Across 182 wells per year, that’s an extra well on production for a full year! Days and hours count in the oil & gas game. If you’re offering, I’d be just fine with an extra year of production from an Eagle Ford well.
A GasFrac completion in Maverick County is being tested for Jedela Operating. The results will be interesting to watch as GasFrac’s technology is more commonly used in Canada where the company was founded. The idea is interesting. If you can sell your flowback fluids or gas, you might only be out the costs of getting it there. If you’re in a drought and have to spend top dollar for water, it gets even more compelling. If better production rates and quicker completions prove true, you’ll likely end up with a winning combination. Read more at GasFrac.com.