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Shale Technology Showcase 2019

Jan 02, 2024

In this special section, E&P Magazine highlights some of the latest products and technologies for shale development and looks at how they will benefit companies in their ongoing search for improved production and more effective operating techniques.

Editor's note: The copy herein is contributed from service companies and does not reflect the opinions of Hart Energy.

Subsurface sensing tools, seismic processing/interpretation, reservoir characterization, rock physics, geomechanics and logging tools—the exploration technologies that upstream oil and gas operators seek out and use are abundant. The goal is the adoption of these tools will result in more efficient shale development and greater recovery.

"In this tail end of the recent downturn, operators who managed to develop workflows using data in ways that weren't thought of before are emerging as the leaders," Carl Neuhaus, vice president of Well Data Products at TGS, told E&P. "Analytics, [which is] fueled by large amounts of high-quality data that are democratized across disciplines so all stakeholders are involved in ground-truthing algorithms, is proving to increase the NPV [net present value] of shale assets."

The importance of predictive maintenance is increasing in oil and gas operations, according to a recent news release by GlobalData. "The adoption of predictive maintenance technologies is helping companies cut back on operational expenditure by optimizing maintenance scheduling and driving productivity," the report stated.

The following is a sampling of new exploration technologies and services that were developed to improve efficiencies.

Multiple problems can arise while drilling. Pointing out one example, Sam Shwayat, a technical and solutions specialist at DiverterPlus, told E&P a key component in improving drilling efficiency and controlling costs is stopping or preventing lost circulation.

"This is accomplished by the many available options of lost circulation material [LCM]; although most LCM types available in the market today do not address the amount of formation damage or the negative impact on cement bonding they can cause," he said. "Through lab testing and field applications, degradable LCM has shown to be a cost-effective solution for not only stopping losses but also in addressing these two issues."

Many operators and service companies have formed relationships to address these issues and to keep up with the challenges operators face out in the field.

"The economics have forced both the operator and supplier to continually look for efficiency gains in their operations," said Timothy Armand, Newpark Drilling Fluids' president, North America. "Processes involving supply chain, logistics, seamless operations from a service provider as well as enhancing overall operational efficiency had to improve in order to make oil and gas exploration economical at current crude oil prices."

The following is a sampling of new products and services available for shale drilling.

Completion tools are at the top of the list for significant technologies needed for a successful unconventional oil and gas operation.

"Optimizing your completion strategy is key to delivering high-performance wells on a consistent basis. Innovate or become obsolete," JD Schmidt, COO at Enhanced Energetics (formerly The GasGun LLC), told E&P.

Many service companies are continuing to develop and enhance well completion tools—innovations that are crucial to improving efficiencies.

"Completion costs and efficiency are the last domino to address as the industry aims to further reduce well costs and completion times," said Grant Ayo, vice president of AFGlobal's NRG Pressure Pumping Technologies. "While incremental gains were achieved over the last decade of the shale boom, the market is still seeking an innovation that truly changes the dynamics of well completions. The solution lies in equipment that evolves completions from the diesel age to the digital age, giving the industry tools that improve horsepower density, asset life and machine intelligence."

New technologies in the completions field are among the most important components in the overall cycle of producing a barrel of oil. The following is a sampling of the latest completions technologies.

Artificial lift, well intervention, flow assurance, production chemicals and emissions management are a few of the critical steps and technologies needed for an effective and thriving operation.

"Operators currently are able to drill and complete much faster and at lower costs today versus a decade ago," Herman Artinian, president and CEO of Upwing Energy, told E&P. "The next natural phase for the industry is to monetize by increasing production from existing assets and increasing recoverability through new production technologies."

The tools and systems featured in E&P's "Shale Technology Showcase" represent some of the latest efforts companies have made to increase production through more efficient processes, deeper wells and longer laterals. The following is a sampling of those new production technologies.

Operators can be faced with a variety of water challenges, such as reducing and recycling produced water, minimizing freshwater use, reducing unwanted water production, treating produced water, and finding and transporting water for disposal and reuse.

"The ability to reduce and recycle produced water and minimize freshwater use can improve operator profitability and contribute to water conservation," Halliburton stated on its website. "Globally, oil wells produce about 220 million BWPD [barrels of water per day]—roughly three barrels of water for every barrel of oil. In older fields, the water cut, or ratio of water-to-oil, can be 95% or higher. Managing this produced water is a great challenge for operators."

The goal remains to optimize the use of natural resources, minimize waste and use water efficiently.

"Water is both a waste and a valuable commodity that is critical to all human activities," Mark Wolf, director of onshore facilities at National Oilwell Varco, told E&P. "The future for water management in oil and gas will be finding ways to economically recycle water from waste back to something useful."

The following is a sampling of some of the new technologies and products available for companies in the water management space.

The Shale Technology Showcase was compiled by Ariana Hurtado, associate managing editor of E&P magazine. She can be reached at [email protected].

To advertise or contribute sponsored content to the Shale Technology Showcase, contact Danny Foster, executive director of digital media, at [email protected].

The relationship between natural fractures and hydraulic fracturing is critical for shale development projects. Mapping faults (as a network of faults and fractures) in a 3-D seismic volume reduces risk and uncertainty. Interactive deep learning is now in the hands of the interpreter with Bluware's Virtual Data Storage format, which includes random access capabilities, wavelet compression and an optimized Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). The CNN that is trained by the interpreter assists in mapping subsurface geological features, such as faults, using single amplitude or co-rendered seismic attribute volumes, resulting in significant time and cost savings and completion time. Bluware's artificial intelligence software enables rapid interpretation that would be impossible to complete manually especially on large volumes of seismic data.

CGG's ResPack HD (high-definition) service helps geoscientists bridge the gap between low-resolution seismic data and the reservoir model by deriving additional rock properties. Its workflow combines seismic with petrophysical and geological information using Monte Carlo Markhov Chain stochastic inversion methodology to produce multiple realizations of the subsurface. These provide effective detail of reservoir properties at a scale of about 1 m to 8 m (5 ft to 25 ft), compared to the 15-m to 36-m (50-ft to 120-ft) scale achieved by a typical seismic image. ResPack HD can generate 3-D volumes of most probable facies, elastic parameters for brittleness estimation and engineering properties, such as porosity, water saturation and connectivity. Once geological structures, such as channels or debris flows are identified, these geobodies can be extracted from the dataset and examined for plausibility and ranked to present P10, P50 and P90 probabilities. Compared to seismic data, results need less upscaling (or perhaps none) before being incorporated into reservoir models that bring enhanced subsurface insight to exploration and development teams.

Emerson's latest E&P optimization tool, Paradigm k, leverages innovative sensing technology, data historization, cloud computing and simulation engines to help companies maximize production and aid in well planning. The system depicts the oil field as a single system by enabling any field instrument to be enhanced with historical, real-time or forecasted subsurface data to enrich measurements and extend their application across all domains, including facilities, wells, fractures and reservoirs. In addition, because it is connected to the cloud, the system can run simulations in minutes rather than days, optimizing operations and fostering collaboration between silos of expertise on an unprecedented level.

Ikon Science and Fairfield Geotechnologies have partnered to improve operator production by providing the technology that accurately maps facies in 3-D from seismic. By leveraging machine learning to deploy proven calibrations across large datasets, it has become faster to identify additional targets and improve well performance. Via the applied use of this technology, Ikon Science case studies show where operators have been able to land wells accurately and inform geosteering to remain within high-productivity strata, meaning drilling hazards are avoided while keeping up with the drilling schedule. The two companies published the "Red Tank Ji-Fi" report this year. The regional seismic characterization study took place in the northeastern portion of the Delaware Basin. The report delivers a high-resolution set of facies and rock properties and provides quantitative inputs for sweet-spotting the highest rate wells, enabling greatest recovery of liquids, data-driven well spacing, optimized management of parent/child well drainage patterns and honed field development and production plans.

BIW Connector Systems is one of the first suppliers of electrical penetrator systems for the upstream oil and gas market to offer electronically monitored, ultrahigh temperature and pressure testing. To complement its testing capabilities, BIW engineers designed and introduced a $1.5 million autoclave test chamber to help customers solve a number of challenges including the ability to monitor electrical performance while a device is undergoing pressure and temperature cycling, which has become invaluable and in high demand. Operators and engineers want to know what is going on with electrical properties when pressure and temperature variations occur to help ensure longer runlife. The new chamber simulates the most challenging downhole conditions and accommodates testing of much larger samples up to 1.8 m (6 ft) long in a vertical orientation, with any ratio of gas and liquid, at temperatures up to 343 C (650 F) while at pressures as high as 10,000 psi.

E&P companies looking to streamline the process of assessing and acquiring minerals and assets have a new tool. PetroValues Inc. has released its free online Oil and Gas Marketplace with an exponentially growing database of mineral listings, appraisals and well data. On PetroValues’ website, tasks that formerly required time-consuming manual labor, costly subscriptions to multiple databases and software can now be done at no cost in seconds. Mineral buyers can access maps and information based on a wide variety of search criteria including formations, production, well operators and more. Through the Listings portal, landmen and mineral owners can instantly see a well's forecast and estimated worth based on PetroValues’ proprietary and accurate calculations. The database is constantly updated to remain current. PetroValues provides the resources of an oil company (e.g., mineral listings, appraisals, and free well and production data) in an accessible, confidential and efficient manner.

Missing log curves and incomplete data create weaknesses in oil and gas workflows. To remedy this, TGS is combining its vast digital well log library with machine learning software to create Analytics Ready LAS (ARLAS). With this technology, every LAS is transformed into a complete Quad-Combo suite. ARLAS prediction algorithms will calculate missing log curves and fill in gaps using a series of high-density data and blind testing. Accuracy is well above 90% due to more than 75 different machine learning models for each basin. The current catalog already includes Quad-Combo predictions for all 300,000-plus wells in the Permian Basin as well as 170,000-plus wells in the Anadarko Basin. The remainder of U.S. onshore wells will be available by the end of the year.

Shale operators are looking to reduce operating costs and drill more wells faster to keep up with the steep decline curves in unconventional wells. For conventional directional drilling applications, this means getting more power and torque to the drillbit and minimizing nonproductive time resulting from unplanned trips for motor failures. Navi-Drill DuraMax high-performance downhole motors by Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), have been redesigned to provide more horsepower, torque and durability to drill the curve and lateral in one run. In the Permian Basin, the Navi-Drill DuraMax motor recently drilled 2,332 m (7,652 ft) in 80 drilling hours and maintained an average ROP of 35 m/hr (114 ft/hr). By drilling 953 m (3,127 ft) laterally in one day, BHGE provided a 30% improvement in overall ROP, saving the operator three days in rig time.

Cortec's new bio-based, biodegradable EcoLine wire rope grease for various oil and gas applications protects wire rope against corrosion and extreme pressure wear. It is recommended for use in environmentally sensitive areas near waterways and is ideal for protection in salt spray conditions. EcoLine grease is formulated from vegetable oils, aluminum-based thickener and anti-corrosion additives for maximum wire rope protection. A higher flash point and biodegradable formula increases safety and lowers environmental impact compared to conventional petroleum greases. It is available in NLGI grades 0 or 1. EcoLine meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Preferable Purchasing criteria as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed bio-based product definition for EO 13101.

At 3.6 m (12 ft) in length, D-Tech's rotary steerable system (RSS) was designed to be the shortest, most streamlined system on the market. To help reduce risks and stay in the sweet spot longer, while drilling complex well profiles reliably, the RSS was designed with only 10 moving parts and employs a highly accurate, three-axis near-bit directional package. The system arrives at the wellsite preconfigured, minimizing operational errors and improving downhole performance. To further improve performance and avoid nonproductive time, an onsite D-Tech technician and 24/7 remote support are available when tools are downhole. On a recent well in the Permian Basin, an operator was drilling a 5-km (3-mile) 8.5-in. lateral in the Wolfcamp Formation. The operator wanted to increase ROP toward the end of the lateral while reducing trips. D-Tech's RSS completed 4,448 m (14,593 ft) to total depth, drilling the longest and fastest one-run RSS lateral in the basin at 47.5 m/hr (156 ft/hr).

Lost circulation is a well-known challenge during drilling and cementing operations. Losses not only negatively impact productive operating time, but it also can be damaging to the reservoir due to the influx of drilling fluids and potentially influencing the production rate. Most nondegradable lost circulation control material (LCM) does not address this problem and can leave void spaces in cement leading to poor or inadequate bonding. A well in the Midcontinent with similar lost circulation problems benefited from the deployment of a newly developed polylactic-acid-based degradable LCM (CemVert+). It proved to be effective for plugging various fracture widths at different temperatures while maintaining stability to cure losses then degraded over time to mitigate reservoir damage and improve cement bonding.

The Stinger is a robotic pipehandling system responding to specific well construction operation requirements in unconventional drilling. It allows users to build up and rack back stands of drillpipe, drillcollars and casing offline while drilling. Its configuration enhances safety and predictability by taking the workforce out of the line of fire and by carrying the pipes in a pre-established path, aided by an arm on the drill floor, the Backer. The Backer moves in full synchronization with the Stinger carrying the whole stack of pipe in a handsfree operation, working on mouse hole, center well and setback in perfect safety. The Stinger, in combination with the Striker-800 rig, is an efficient and innovative drilling rig package.

With rigs moving toward automation, the tong of the future will need precision control and operational capabilities. Frank's International has released its newest generation of tong systems. The company's 7 5⁄8-in. Electric Tong with Integral Backup combines Frank's previous tong reliability and robustness with the precision of a new electric motor system. The new control system drives down the standard hydraulic tong off-target error percentage from ±3.5% to ±0.5%, adding an unmatched level of system control. This precise torque control helps to preserve well integrity, which saves companies time and money by not having to rework the wells before their intended lifespan is reached, along with reducing the possible environmental impact by removing the need for a power unit.

Halliburton has released the Flex managed pressure drilling (MPD) system, a scalable and mobile technology that can be configured to address specific operator challenges and deliver greater rig efficiency. The tiered system allows operators to select the right level of service to help maximize the cost/benefit of MPD services. The standard Flex MPD offering is a tablet controlled solution with a single, straightforward display so the driller can control backpressure or choke position while drilling, tripping and making connections. When additional control is required, Flex Pro MPD incorporates rig data for a more intelligent automated response to adjust backpressure based on flow rates and bit depth. The system also can run as a full MPD solution using real-time hydraulic modeling to control downhole pressure.

The Uni-Lok wellhead penetrator system design is ideal for hazardous environments where safety, reliability and durability are essential. This highly engineered and affordable system for 149 C (300 F) and 5,000-psi wellheads, offers a true pressure block and retrofits to any surface cable providing efficient electric submersible pump power pass-through. Unlike other systems, Uni-Lok offers a complete verified pressure block inside the tubing hanger, ensuring that hazardous gases stay downhole. The attachable penetrator is easy to install and eliminates additional steps fitting sealing bores as small as 1.75 in. To withstand harsh environments and ensure optimum safety, Uni-Lok is thoroughly tested and has installation certifications in hazardous environments.

Midland, Odessa and the surrounding 161-km (100-mile) radius are remote regions in Texas that traditionally see critical land drilling rig equipment services stretched thin. To address the shortage of readily accessible service in the region, Logan Industries has released a mobile service truck outfitted with all required tools and spares for the most common hydraulic troubleshooting and light repair work, including filter elements, cartridge valves, onsite fluid filtering and wearable items. The mobile service unit is manned by a crew of three on rotation at all times with a service manager located in Hempstead, Texas. The new service enables Logan to offer quicker onsite and on-call services and support to clients across West Texas. Expansion to mud pump fluid end service and upgrade, as well as top drive service and support, is planned within the next year.

Newpark Fluids Systems’ Navigate is an oil-in-brine direct emulsion fluid system with densities lower than conventional water-based fluids that allows operators to drill evaporate sequences, maintain borehole integrity, lower the fluid density in horizontal wells or drill areas where losses are prevalent. The fluid system is capable of avoiding washout in salt zones when utilizing saturated sodium chloride brine while maintaining a lower density fluid, reducing lost circulation events. Navigate is a clay-free, low solids, nondispersed direct emulsion system when formulated with Ntegral products. These are polymers that can be utilized in a broad spectrum of water-based fluids. They provide shear thinning rheological properties ensuring cuttings suspension. They also deliver exceptionally thin filter cakes, reduced torque and drag, and improved casing run times for exceptional drilling efficiency.

The HyperBlade hyperbolic diamond element bit from Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company, reduces drilling costs by improving the ROP while maintaining steering response and directional tracking in soft and plastic rock formations. The new technology incorporates the distinctive geometry of Hyper hyperbolic diamond cutting elements that cut 20% deeper into rock compared with conventional PDC cutters. A thicker, precision-molded diamond table makes the Hyper element tougher and more durable for drilling soft and plastic rock formations, while armored cutting edges withstand high-impact transitions. In the Marcellus Formation in northern Pennsylvania, an operator achieved an onbottom ROP of 126 m/hr (415 ft/hr), resulting in a 62% improvement with the new bit compared with offset runs using conventional PDC bits.

Scientific Drilling's BitSub is a short, integrated sensor providing at-bit, real-time, continuous inclination, azimuthal gamma ray and drilling dynamics measurements. The BitSub sensor's at-bit azimuthal gamma ray and inclination information provide immediate feedback on both the stratigraphic position and directional trend of the wellbore. The lateral and axial vibration measurements and bit rpm enhance drilling performance and warn of inefficient or potentially damaging drilling conditions. Positioned between the bit and mud motor, the always-rotating sensor provides its full range of measurements in both rotating and sliding drilling modes. The battery-powered sub uses short-hop electromagnetic telemetry technology to communicate with the MWD tool above the motor and provides at-bit measurements back to the surface, allowing the BitSub to be used with a wide variety of mud motors.

The Deadbolt valve system is a security measure added to TAM International's Casing Annulus Packers (CAPs) to prevent any leak path inside the casing. The Deadbolt provides operators with a means of running inflatable CAPs without risking casing integrity. Inflatable CAPs are used globally to support the hydrostatic weight of cement when operators encounter weak or lost circulation zones. As part of the casing design program, these CAPs are placed right above the lost circulation zones where washouts and irregular hole sizes are common. Because of these extreme conditions, inflatable CAPs can sometimes overexpand beyond the capabilities of the packer. If a well is on losses, this could create a flow path from inside to outside, compromising casing integrity. The Deadbolt valve is an integral failsafe system that can shut off this flow path.

The Anti Stick-Slip Tool (AST) uses a simple algorithm to optimize the rock-cutting interface. A location below the mud motor gives the AST a response time of less than 100th of a second. That is far better than any surface controls. Since 2018 the AST also was available for combined curve and lateral drilling. The way a normal PDC bit will vent off torsional overload is through axial excitation, which means bouncing off bottom. Such axial excitation reduces the effective cut and wears on the bit. With AST, the same situation is solved by momentarily reducing the weight on bit to lower the torque and keep the cutter engaged with minimal axial excitation. Mathematical modeling says this principle will increase ROP by about 50% and double footage.

Rig crews are the first line of defense for a well control event. Operators and drilling contractors have used Wild Well Control's mobile Crew Training Unit to improve their rig crew's knowledge, understanding and awareness of well control. Wild Well's onsite training prepares individual team members to understand how to maintain control when a kick occurs during live drilling operations. The mobile rig site unit is an innovative way to educate drilling rig crews on the indicative signs of well kicks, critical decision-making skills in highly pressured scenarios, proper drilling techniques and correct shut-in procedures. A confident, well-prepared crew can more readily manage well control issues by recognizing potential problems before they occur and reacting quickly to safely maintain control of the well.

AFGlobal's DuraStim hydraulic fracturing pump was developed to overcome longstanding performance shortfalls of triplex and quintuplex designs. The DuraStim pump forms the basis for far-reaching gains in frac pump performance and the execution of hydraulic fracturing treatments. The 6,000-hp DuraStim is a fully automated, long stroke, low-frequency variable displacement pump. Fluid-end stress, a key source of wear with conventional pumps, is greatly reduced by the pump's 48-in. stroke and a low cyclic rate of 20 cycles per minute or less compared to 200 cycles per minute with conventional pumps. The pump triples the horsepower produced from the same footprint as conventional pumps, significantly reducing frac spread complexity and improving wellsite logistics and safety.

Chemterra and Air Liquide are releasing results from laboratory test studies of hydrophobic proppant (i.e., hydrophobically coated sand) transport by an aqueous fluid combined with nitrogen at different concentrations under high pressure (2,000 psi). The companies have found that this combination provides a significant improvement in proppant transport compared to a conventional proppant (i.e., uncoated sand without added nitrogen). This supports the expectation that proppant particles adhering to gas bubbles improves transport properties and thus overall fracture conductivity. Increasing nitrogen gas volume fraction within the fracturing fluid significantly enhances proppant suspension, particularly for smaller size proppant.

Archer's Stronghold system is field proven with more than 140 runs worldwide. Its track record shows a significant improvement of reliability from the first generation three-trip system to the new robust one-trip system. The new and improved Stronghold Barricade+ system is the latest addition to the Stronghold family. It has higher circulation, pressure and bypass capabilities to increase performance on perforating, wash and cementing operations, especially for dual annuli applications and large casing diameters. The Barricade+ system provides an economical and effective alternative to traditional plug-and-abandonment techniques. In designing the Barricade system, the engineers focused on efficiency, flexibility and reliability.

A new integrated completion workflow tracked naturally occurring DNA markers within produced fluids and well cuttings to estimate per-completion stage production contributions. When the well turned to production, produced fluids were collected for DNA analysis and compared to cuttings-derived DNA markers. The integrated analysis shows higher productivity from toe and heel stages and a lack of production from the middle stages. The completion reports indicated that the middle lateral stages had completion difficulties and little to no sand placement during fracturing operations. The toe and heel ends were completed as designed. Where the geosteering report indicates the well was in formation, the completions reports indicated successful hydraulic fracturing. Understanding lateral contribution by stage can lead to revised drilling programs and a better understanding of well productivity.

Blackhawk Specialty Tools, a division of Frank's International, offers a line of frac plugs, including the BIG EASY composite frac plug and BLACK GOLD dissolvable frac plug that are field proven to handle the most challenging applications. The BIG EASY frac plug provides a short-term barrier to separate stages during stimulation operations. The fully composite body and slip design allows the customer to easily remove the barrier and conserves water by having the ball run in place. It offers greater versatility during fracturing operations and prevents the slipping commonly encountered with these types of tools. The highly engineered material enables drill-out times of 4.5 to 6 minutes with standard drill-out procedures.

The Hibernate warm-start system from C&J Energy Services provides the ability to automatically shut down frac pump engines between stages and then make remote group starts when it's time to pump again. During 62 days of recent field tests on a West Texas fleet, the system reduced engine idling approximately 54% and total engine hours 32%. Projected for 300 days’ usage per year (using average fuel prices over time of testing), savings amount to $1.29 million for a fleet of 18 trucks. Projected total annual savings (accounting for both fuel savings and maintenance reductions) were $1.52 million for the fleet. Minimizing run time and maintenance also contributes to improvements in environmental performance and reductions in personnel safety risks.

In an age of simplistic fracturing operations and basic fluid systems, real-time engineering is still required to be an efficient operator. Reduction of nonproductive time (NPT) on location is an active process, and having actionable information relating to pending screenout events can be key to improving operational efficiencies. Calfrac engineers use an overlay charting technique to analyze pressure responses in real time, preventing screenouts and NPT. This technique was first developed to determine effectiveness of diverter drops and allow for real-time optimization (SPE-194336 paper). Applying this technique to compare previous or offset stages enables Calfrac engineers to identify pressure trends that deviate from previous frac placement successes. Getting proactive, actionable recommendations prior to a screenout always provides more opportunity for efficiency improvement than post-job analysis.

DarkVision's new high-resolution, acoustic-based downhole imaging technology gives operators a 360-degree view inside their wells, regardless of fluid clarity. Unlike optics systems, the technology uses high-frequency sound waves to see, allowing it to image through opaque fluids at a sub-millimetric level. The tool can be deployed using any standard wireline, e-coil or tractor systems in an array of applications from thermal to shale wells. The technology is being used by operators to assess a wide spectrum of problems such as casing damage, corrosion, erosion and sliding sleeves conditions. DarkVision is being used extensively for perforation analysis to measure the size and shape of individual perforations, assess cluster efficiency and completion design effectiveness. DarkVision has run its imaging tools with 16 different operators in North America.

Deep Imaging Technologies’ newest technology reduces uncertainty for operators by providing a real-time view of their frac fluid movement. By watching where the fluid is actually going operators can uncover what's really happening and make targeted adjustments that cut costs and improve net present value. For example, they can see if a child well is leaking into a parent well, if stages are overlapping or if well-placement is correct. The company tracks fluid movement by creating an electromagnetic field aboveground, off pad and over the horizontal. The field is altered as the frac fluid enters the reservoir, and those alterations are mapped. By understanding how stages interact with stages and wells interact with wells, operators are making informed changes and realizing reduced completions costs and improved production.

VORARAD technology is a formulated polyurethane coating system for sand proppants that simplifies hydraulic fracturing operations in low temperatures. The system serves two critical functions: proppant flowback control and radium capture downhole. Laboratory experiments measuring radium uptake by VORARAD containing proppants demonstrate the technology's ability to selectively sequester radium under a range of conditions, spanning from the early flowback period to the later well life-cycle stages. In a series of tests on five flowback and two produced field water samples with baseline Ra-226 concentrations varying from 1,230 to 9,750 pico Curie (pCi) per liter, the cumulative uptake of Ra-226 was found to be between 455 pCi/lb and 823 pCi/lb of proppant. Based on these results, it is estimated that 5,900 μCi of radium will be captured over one year, when 25% of the proppant mix used is VORARAD proppant.

DynaEnergetics’ DS NLine alignment system provides exact charge alignment between gun modules, ensuring accurate perforating in a chosen direction. Each module can be rotated independently then locked in place when aligned with adjacent guns. This allows the entire plug-and-perf carrier string to shoot charges in a predetermined direction, such as the direction of maximum stress or away from control lines or fiber optics. For downhole orientation, the new system uses fin-based locator subs to achieve results within the optimum window of the chosen orientation. Designed with safety and wellsite efficiency in mind, the DS NLine sub carries the same benefits of other DynaStage systems, such as the use of fracture-optimized shaped charges, an intrinsically safe detonator assembly, and full string testing and system confirmation prior to running in hole.

EKU Power Drives Inc. has released Vulcan, a smart, diesel-powered coolant heater with 60-kW power. With this new product, EKU Power Drives can retrofit frac pumps that operate in areas with ambient temperatures down to -40 C (-40 F). The coolant heater works in conjunction with the engine standby controller, a system reducing the idle time of frac pumps up to 90%. The coolant heater satisfies two different requirements: it can optimally preheat before the frac pump's first start at the well, reducing startup time, as well as after the drive train has been shut down, when it keeps frac pump primed to be restarted at any time under full load.

Operators are improving their plug-and-perf (PNP) completions with Enhanced Energetics’ Kraken propellant-enhanced perforating system. Exceeding the limits of conventional perforating, the propellant boosters generate gas pressure at a rate that fractures rock in tension while rapidly enough to avoid leakoff effect. This pressure event breaks down each perforation tunnel, allowing frac fluids to enter the formation beyond the damaged zone caused by standard perforating and initiate at a reduced pressure. By pretreating the perforation tunnels in this way, operators also can increase fracture efficiency, which is the percentage of perforations in a stage that take fluid and proppant. Utilizing this technology can replace the need for acid on the front-end fracturing operations. Kraken perforating is an engineered solution that provides consistency and repeatability for completing high-performance wells.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's report on severe injury rates (2015-16) suggests that oil and gas operations had 346 severe injuries with almost 150 injuries per 100,000 workers. Moreover, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2015 report on spillage suggests that 19% of all spillage is the fracturing fluid. FTSI keeps HSE at the core of all companywide initiatives. In 2018 FTSI introduced the National Operations Center (NOC), which monitors and assists all field operations and initiatives remotely. The NOC utilizes the engine output data stream and proprietary engine health algorithms to monitor equipment quality and vibrational analysis tools to predict equipment failures and carry out data-driven preventive maintenance. This has greatly helped FTSI reduce its spillage footprint while improving pumping efficiencies by 9% for its customers.

The Elect monobore frac sleeve systems use the mechanical framework of a standard frac sleeve but also incorporate an electronic subassembly that houses an electronic board, batteries and a one-time use electrohydraulic lock. This results in the ability to deploy an inert piece of casing in the wellbore that contains a digital brain awaiting the command to transform into any type of frac sleeve required in a wellbore. If unlimited single-entry points are required, the system can include a baffle and tell the sleeve how many balls to count. If multi-entry points or a toe sleeve are needed, the system can be run as is and told when to activate. The Elect sleeves offer unlimited stage counts in multistage fracturing operations.

Hexion's PropShield proppant flowback control additive is an economical means of proppant flowback control. This liquid flowback control agent is applied directly to the blender tub on location and can be applied to any type of proppant regardless of mesh size. The PropShield additive is delivered directly to the well site in Hexion bulk containers. It is effective over a wide range of bottomhole temperatures and is compatible with most commonly used fracturing fluid additives. Field results in the Permian Basin, Oklahoma and Canada have demonstrated up to 80% reduction in proppant flowback compared to offset wells.

Hydraulic fracturing relies on a complex proppant supply chain involving many parties and variables. The PropDispatch proppant logistics platform improves operational efficiencies and reduces costs with real-time, actionable data. The latest addition to Hi-Crush's PropStream last-mile proppant solution, the software enables real-time visibility, automation and data acquisition through a common communications platform to ensure all parties have access to the same information for timely decision-making. PropDispatch technology also automates the process of ordering, dispatching, hauling and invoicing truckloads of proppant. The software complements PropStream's container and silo systems in providing a flexible, safe and efficient solution for managing proppant volumes, frac designs and wellsite footprints. The integration of software and purpose-built equipment is a major step in the advancement of proppant logistics.

The PowerCell advanced power system addresses the HSE, emission, operating cost and footprint challenges faced in fracturing operations. Tractors are no longer required to start the frac pumps or be permanently paired. The system reduces frac pump idle time by 85% thus extending the life of the pump. Additional benefits include reduced fuel usage by 30% to 40% and reduces the NOx emissions by 25% and CO emissions by 65%. The PowerCell allows true remote starting of frac pumps thus eliminating personnel exposure from the red zone. Less equipment on site and the elimination of tractors greatly reduces the operational footprint, typically by 35%. The system also provides primary or secondary electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic power for ancillary equipment, thus providing redundancy for operations. The PowerCell can power the data van, light towers, sand handling equipment as well as maintenance and operations tools all from one system. This technology seamlessly integrates with any fracturing spread and the return on investment is typically two to three months.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) developed the new BPS Maxx for use in horizontal completions to establish interventionless fluid injection at the toe, eliminating the need for traditional tubing-conveyed perforating guns. BPS Maxx has three times more flow area than the original BPS, reducing the risk of plugging from debris left in the well after cementing operations. Recently, a major operator in the Anadarko Basin needed to maximize contributions from reservoir rock, increase efficiency and minimize risk during plug-and-perf operations. The operator installed three BPS Maxx subs with two casing joints in between to create the first frac stage cluster, eliminating toe initiation and pre-prep work. The solution enabled an average stimulation rate of 96 bpm at max surface treating pressure of 8,800 psi and helped the operator get additional footage out of the reservoir.

OmniTRAX’ Arrows Up last-mile solution helps companies staging sand in anticipation for an increase in demand without the capital requirements of building a terminal, and the company's ShaleTECH transport offering moves the Arrows Up unitized containers to exactly where they are needed when they are needed to optimize the extended energy supply chain. Last-mile transport of proppant to the wellheads continues to be the biggest logistics issue facing most oilfield service and E&P companies. This increasingly requires a managed logistics solution with scalable operations and flexibility, like the Arrows Up and ShaleTECH Transport offerings, which reduce nonproductive time and minimize demurrage while mitigating silica dust exposure.

The number of horizontal wells completed with lateral lengths exceeding 3,048 m (10,000 ft) in unconventional plays across the U.S. has grown significantly. While extended-reach laterals provide greater reservoir coverage, higher stage counts and, subsequently, higher production, it has not come without challenges. One particular challenge is the time and cost required to efficiently mill out frac plugs from each stage prior to production. The latest innovation from Packers Plus Energy Services is a suite of frac plugs that improves deployment and reduces/eliminates mill-out operations, saving time and reducing risk. The suite of offerings includes the Lightning Plug, LightningPLUS Composite Plug and LightningBOLT Dissolvable Plug. One of the early deployments on a well in Texas proved the mill-out efficiency of the plugs, as 18 plugs were milled out with an average time of 12.67 minutes—and favorably sized cuttings seen on surface. Since this line of short-length frac plugs was introduced, more than 3,000 have been installed.

Unexpected and uncontrolled sand production can contribute to production downtime, environmental issues and equipment wear leading to catastrophic failure. When a supermajor discovered quantities of sand being produced from its wells, it requested Proserv to develop a safe system for quantifying solids. Effective sampling is challenging when wells contain high gas-oil ratios, H2S and slugging issues. It is essential physical properties, including density, volume fraction, particle size and morphology, are understood to help quantify risks. Chemical and mineralogical properties are key to evaluating factors including potential corrosion. Standardized across all assets, Proserv supplied its client with an enclosed sand filtration system that simplified the process for sampling oil, gas, water and solids simultaneously, while reducing HSE risks.

The growing problem of well-to-well fracture interactions in North American shale plays dictates the need for more accurate inter-lateral spacing measurements. Conventional wellbore surveying techniques alone cannot guarantee optimal placement due to systematic errors that dominate the uncertainty in well trajectory measurements. This uncertainty impedes optimal field stimulation and production modeling as the historical wellbore positioning data used in statistical analysis are inaccurate. With the present commodity prices, the industry cannot afford suboptimal field development caused by inaccurate well placement. The solution to this problem is direct well-to-well position measurements using Scientific Drilling International's Lodestone ranging system. Lodestone can identify the cause of interactions between wellbores due to proximity, which allows operators to implement measures to improve hydrocarbon recovery and mitigate financial losses from frac hits.

The new Seismos-Frac technology is the first plug-and-play platform for real-time measurements of the fracture network during hydraulic fracturing operations. The technology, in its simple noninvasive setup that includes two sensors attached to the wing valve, delivers direct, comprehensive measurements of fracture network properties delivered on a stage-to-stage basis enabling intelligent completions. Deliverables expand beyond geometry (length, width and height) and include accurate measurements of network complexity, conductivity and proppant distribution for both the near and far field. With results provided within 10 minutes from the completion of pumping of a given stage, operators can review the measurements, assess the performance of a given stage, use the learnings on successive stages and decide whether to adopt a new completion approach. Testing changes in slurry volumes, pump rates, proppant concentrations, chemical additives and other completions variables become easy when the effect of such decisions can be translated into real-time fracture network measurements and evaluated progressively on a state-to-stage basis. Potential interference between wells and frac hits can be avoided with real-time understanding of frac height and length.

SNF has released its PowderFrac X Gen II mobile hydration system that uses a fast-hydrating powder friction reducer (FR) for rapid application in slickwater fracturing. Dosage rates range from 0.25 to 6 gpt liquid emulsion FR equivalent at frac rates of 100 bbl/min. Dosing is automated, thus providing data in real time. Studies confirm 25% dosage reductions of FR while lowering pressure an average of 1,000 psi versus emulsion FR. The system also creates high-viscosity dosage levels for proppant transport, eliminating the need for linear gel. Another study documents transport of sand at 5.5 ppa with FR dosages as low as 5 lb/1,000 gal. Finally, dry FR usage reduces transport costs and emissions by eliminating carrier fluid volumes required with emulsions and slurries.

Convoy PPS from Solvay is a new technology that offers proppant carrying capability with minimal fluid viscosity. The fluid was developed by innovating synthetic polymer chemistry to deliver much higher proppant intensity per well, while deploying an equal or lesser amount of water and chemicals and enhanced pump-ability to enable a more efficient operation. Convoy PPS's ability to deliver ideal proppant distribution across the entire fracture without any settling or dune formation translates high proppant intensity into the maximum propped surface area, greatly enhancing fracture efficiency. All of this is achieved with a single additive system that is handled like a conventional friction reducer and easily broken with conventional breakers.

Tendeka's MajiFrac is a new suite of applications that aims to reduce water use and pumping time during completion operations while maintaining effective fracturing efficacy. The bespoke sequentially deployed offering combines the following environmentally responsible technologies: the company's acid-resistant FracRight Composite Plug; the HCR-7000-WL, a wireline compatible modified spearhead acid; and one of Tendeka's MajiFrac family of high-viscosity friction reducers with proppant transport and suspension in a wide range of environments from freshwater to 100% produced water (ultralow loadings required for friction reduction result in minimal polymer residue left behind in the formation). In one example, MajiFrac delivered savings of up to 50,000 bbl of water and reduced pump operating times by 200 hours.

Since the launch of the all-composite Minima frac plug portfolio in the second quarter of 2018, Weatherford has successfully completed more than 15,000 plug installations while earning a 99.6% success rate. The Minima composite frac plug has a unique design combining a short and reliable plug with an unparalleled mill-up time. The compact design results in reduced debris in the wellbore, enabling operators to clean up more efficiently and bring their wells to production more quickly than with competing options. Consistent and predictable cleanout results are achieved, even proven, on wellbores with the demanding conditions of more than 80 plugs and lateral lengths exceeding 3 km (2 miles).

Weir Oil & Gas recently released its updated, field-proven Unitized lock-ring (ULR) wellhead. The new ULR wellhead features a standardized design for shale plays in the U.S. that accommodates 95% of casing configurations in either 11-in. or 135⁄8-in. nominal sizes. Its standardized casinghead housing increases flexibility and speed. The ULR wellhead enables connections in 15 minutes or less while enhancing safety. Optional four-string capabilities offer operators greater adaptability to increasing well depths and lateral lengths. Upgraded sealing allows better chemical compatibility and operational reliability while robust inward-biased lock rings reduce leak paths.

Production performance is impacted by many factors, so the challenge is uncovering the trends from all the noise. QRIpedia™ is a knowledge capture and decision-making service for a basin and/or a region. For operators who have only drilled a few wells, or do not have access to large amounts of well data, QRIpedia™ leverages basin-level knowledge captured by big data sculpting – integrating a variety of data sources applied to the surrounding acreage. Using a differentiated and superior Augmented AI technology, quick and science-based answers are provided for the following:

Today's rod lift systems are facing challenges related to excessive wear that interrupt production and increase artificial lift costs. Reoccurring failures in a sucker rod pumped well occur in areas of the rodstring where contact between the sucker rod connection and the tubing is becoming uneven on the side loads. Apergy developed the new Norris Sure-Spin HTSG rod rotator, which is designed to mitigate rod, tubing and coupling, and guide wear, thus reducing costly well intervention. Engineered for uniform, circumferential guide and coupling, and wear, the Sure-Spin rod rotator can overcome five times the torsional drag offered by competitors. The polished rod clamp lock-in inset system of the Norris Sure-Spin rod rotator effectively drives the rotation of the rodstring for the most challenging unconventional wells.

A new integrated workflow was utilized on an exploratory Permian Basin well that tracked DNA markers within produced fluids and compared them to a well cuttings-derived DNA baseline. This process generated a 4-D estimate of fracture drainage height. Integrating drainage height with decline curves over time provided insight into production performance. Production rates initially matched an expected reservoir model decline curve with contribution from four intervals. As production declined below expected rates, the fracture drainage heights indicated reduction of contributory zones from four to two. Continued faster than expected decline lined up with a further reduction to a single interval. Thus, the integration of a DNA derived fracture drainage height to production decline analysis enabled novel insights into the cause of decline beyond expected type curves.

In unconventional well applications, electric submersible pumps (ESPs) experience harsh and abrasive well conditions. Rapid decline rates, increasing gas volumes and unstable flow, which are typical in unconventional wells, can result in an ESP frequently operating in downthrust conditions. The Borets Packet Pump is better able to withstand prolonged downthrust through innovation in its design, which ultimately results in reduced wear and longer pump runlife. Using the same packet technology in the Vapro Gas Handler, Borets Packet and Vapro Pumps have been installed in more than 1,200 wells worldwide since 2014, including more than 180 wells in the Permian Basin. Some of these systems continue to operate in excess of 800 days run time.

EDGE uses Cryobox technology to convert otherwise wasted gas to LNG at source before distributing it to the market via its virtual pipeline logistics solution. With all equipment delivered by truck, setup within hours and little or no capex from asset-owners required, EDGE monetizes assets that would otherwise be stranded or flared. It is estimated that stranded wells account for up to 60% of global reserves, indicating the scale of this untapped resource. EDGE combines Cryobox technology with its Connected Gas logistics solution to create the virtual pipeline, producing up to 10,000 gal/d of LNG. EDGE operates from even the most remote locations while the process helps reduce the environmental impact of gas flaring along the way.

Some producers avoid monitoring wellheads, tank farms, pipelines and other remote assets with conventional toxic gas detection systems due to high wiring costs and other logistical concerns. As a result, they often rely on portable gas monitoring devices with no early-warning capability, or worse, opt not to monitor sensitive areas at all. Emerson's Rosemount 928 wireless gas monitor taps the power of WirelessHART to simplify integration, reduce installation costs and ensure safety in these hard-to-reach areas. The 928 now features a swappable power module and sensor, which can detect carbon monoxide and oxygen as well as H2S, broadening safety system effectiveness and enhancing operational safety where it is needed most.

To enhance production rates for E&P companies using rod lift systems on high-volume wells, Endurance Lift Solutions has released the Series 300 High Flow fiberglass sucker rod. The high-flow end fittings reduce the pressure drop across each connection while increasing production flow area by more than 40%. By reducing the flow restrictions, average fluid velocity across the coupling connection is reduced by about 31%, leading to enhanced resistance to corrosion, erosion and paraffin buildup. This paradigm also reduces connection-on-tubing wear and compression failures. Finally, with the increased flow area, operators can substitute Series 300 High Flow fiberglass sucker rods for lower volume electric submersible pumps.

FTSI's NuFlo X is a nonpolylactic acid (PLA)-based copolymer that allows superior diversion through shear thickening and particle distribution size. Temporary, polymeric-based diverters such as PLA are well-known in completions. However, these products rely on high temperatures and water to hydrolyze. When formation temperatures are not sufficiently high enough, these types of diverters either partially hydrolyze or not at all, thus fouling production equipment or remaining permanently on the formation face. NuFlo X completely dissolves in temperatures as low as 43 C (110 F) and has been used in reservoirs up to 107 C (225 F). This water-soluble diverter is a nontoxic product that will not resolidify during well cleanout nor will it agglomerate at high surface temperatures.

Managing produced sand has become a major focus in the unconventional market. Using ultrasonic sensors, Greene's has invested significant resources to evaluate sand separating effectiveness of a number of separator technologies. Greene's has used this knowledge to invest in the best in-sand separator technology and assist its customers to better manage sand. Cost benefits of sand monitoring are realized by significantly reducing the potential for sand bypass but also enables better equipment and personnel efficiency. Sand monitoring also lowers customers’ overall costs by allowing customers to go man-less on sites using a combination of sand monitors and roaming field personnel to dump separators. Sand monitoring equipment detects slugs of sand and alerts personnel. Rapid response to sand events ensures sand management equipment operates at peak efficiency, reducing the amount of sand that bypasses equipment and mitigates the potential for damage or cleanup requirements to permanent equipment and production losses.

ValidTorque certification is a testing process that MRC Global developed for automated valves bound for critical or safety-related service. The new automated valve test equipment and verification process establishes the true, as-delivered safety factor for new automated valves and establishes a benchmark or set of baseline operating characteristics to compare changes in performance as the automated valve ages. ValidTorque verifies the entire automated valve assembly before delivery; quantifies the as-built safety factor; provides a technical basis and acceptance criteria for in-service testing; and makes the complete automated valve "digital ready." As a result, ValidTorque provides lower overall cost associated with valve maintenance and testing, higher proof test coverage, lower probability of failure on demand and confidence in the safety system performance associated with automated valves.

After decades where operators adhered to bracketed equidistance spacing between valves in gas lift systems, new data resources are leading to greater production and a more cost-effective design. Data from flowing bottomhole pressure surveys reveal that valve spacing is critical, and at times there is communication between tubing and casing where none should exist. To address these and other issues, Production Lift's engineers developed the GLR (gas-liquid ratio) Based High Rate Gas Lift Method. Field trials show this method produces wells at higher rates than traditional equidistance bracketed designs and will transition from top to bottom easier, with fewer valves. This boosts production while reducing installation costs. Rates of 2,500 bbl/d in 27⁄8-in. tubing are easily attainable, with rates up to 3,000 bbl/d recorded. In the right circumstances, even higher production rates are possible.

When a remote well experiences a shutdown, the consequential downtime can hit production revenues, as maintenance work might require significant time to complete. Proserv's Smart Box is a real-time monitoring system for evaluating inaccessible wells. It works by collecting information from production equipment at the site and transmitting regular alerts to personnel straight to mobile devices via SMS. The firm has recently completed a successful six-month trial involving remote, desert wells for a national oil company in the Middle East. Wells with frequent shutdowns were specifically selected for the trial. Health status messages received twice daily reduced the need for physical inspections, while the shutdown alerts enabled the operator to respond rapidly to potential issues.

In an effort to cut costs and increase efficiencies, oil and gas producers are transitioning from single-well pad fields to multiwell pad sites. These more complex operations have greater data and control requirements, making measurement more difficult and creating more capital spend for producers. The In-Chassis Oil and Gas Flow Computer was developed by ProSoft Technology to reduce the cost and complexity of well pad automation systems. The solution seamlessly integrates with Rockwell Automation Logix controllers to help oil and gas producers avoid the obstacles of traditional remote terminal unit sites and lower costs, even with a higher well count. Utilizing this flow computer allows producers to have one architecture for control and measurement, helping reduce hardware, software and licensing costs, optimize operations and simplify deployment and scalability. Additionally, it utilizes a single high-speed connection to SCADA systems, improving data integrity and data accuracy.

Sercel-GRC's Spy Pro is the only electric submersible pump (ESP) gauge available with a waterproof, metal-to-metal welded seal design. It is being successfully deployed in unconventional shale oil wells where the proprietary technology enables operators to continue monitoring well performance, even when the motor connection is completely submerged in water. The Spy Pro Vibration Z channel provides important data on the behavior of the frequent slugging effects of the long laterals, while the Spy Pro WYE point channel provides critical data in regard to the electrical behavior and runlife of the ESP systems. Designed to be compatible with any ESP motor, the Spy Pro family includes multiple configuration options, including corrosion-resistant metallurgy, various motor adapters and discharge pressure measurement.

Silverwell's new 2 7⁄8-in. version of its Digital Intelligent Artificial Lift (DIAL) gas-lift production optimization system repackages the proven Binary Actuation Technology (BAT) platform in a configuration suited to U.S. shale wells. When combined with the DIAL surface control system, it enables adjustment of gas-lift rate and depth without intervention. The first 2 7⁄8-in. system was successfully run and commissioned in the U.S. Permian earlier this year. With the increasing adoption of gas lift in U.S. shale plays, production engineers are focusing on continuous gas-lift well optimization to deliver an estimated 10% to 20% uplift in production. Optimizing gas-lift systems with existing technology is typically time-consuming, costly and risky. Silverwell overcomes these limitations with a digital in-well, integrated and interventionless gas-lift system.

For decades programmable logic computers (PLCs) were the backbone of automation. Today's oil and gas industry, however, must manage vastly more data than PLCs were made for. SitePro has developed an industrial PC (IPC)-based system with greater power to collect and process today's massive data flows. For example, PLCs store little data and can make few decisions without constant connection to computing power on the web. IPCs can be programmed to track changes in pressure, volume or other variables and reset or shut off pumps and valves as required, a significant benefit for remote locations with unreliable connections. IPCs can alert producers to preventive maintenance needs by tracking changes that typically presage a failure, preventing lost production due to downtime. IPCs also save a significant number of man-hours by accepting remote updates to the OS and algorithms that control the automation, which eliminates the costly site visits required by PLCs.

Tendeka has developed FloFuse STIM, a fusion of injection rate governing technology and smart modified acid formulations to ensure effective matrix stimulation through proportional fluid distribution of acid along the entire wellbore. The biased open valve is mounted into the base pipe and closes when the injection reaches a predetermined rate. This prevents a disproportionate amount of acid being displaced into one zone. The acid is then diverted to the next zone and the process is repeated, resulting in uniform distribution throughout the wellbore. The use of smart modified acid improves wormhole penetration length and mitigates reprecipitating calcium carbonate post dissolution. This technique is particularly beneficial in carbonate formations with long laterals where efficient matrix acidization is challenging.

Traditional data analysis techniques, such as rate transient analysis and decline analysis, have shown to be less than ideal for shale. Contextual time-series production data and well properties can help address these issues. TrendMiner's ContextHub can be used by the subject matter expert to wade through important meta information, such as reservoir, completion, frac job, placement and stacking, in a matter of seconds. From there, trend analyses can be done to identify significant patterns or track well productivity. Deviations from the norm are easily visualized using TrendMiner's DashHub, providing the operators with a single, consistent view on operations. TrendMiner can integrate context data with the available time-series resources and present the subject matter expert with an intuitive analysis workflow to get to results instantly.

In unconventional shale gas wells, liquid loading can dramatically reduce production and lead to premature abandonment. Existing artificial lift systems cannot remove liquids completely in both the vertical and horizontal sections of the well. Upwing Energy's new Subsurface Compressor System (SCS) lowers the bottomhole well pressure, increasing the velocity of the gas stream and removing liquids from the vertical and horizontal sections of the well. The lower suction pressure at the intake of the SCS also overcomes the capillary effects to remove blockages of condensate within the formation to produce more gas and condensates. The Upwing SCS is designed with hermetically sealed magnetic technologies for reliable and effective operation in the harsh underground environment with no motor protector needed.

Three to seven barrels of water are produced for each barrel of oil in unconventional oil and gas assets. As a result, water management in the oil and gas industry is a significant expense and serious environmental concern. Recycling produced water for use as frac fluid reduces freshwater aquifer drawdown and lowers operator costs. With the most productive wells often tens of miles from infrastructure, onsite mobile services give operators the security of knowing that a total solution is available anywhere they need it. As a field-ready onsite sodium hypochlorite generation system, the De Nora Neptune mobile treatment unit produces oxidant or biocide at the lowest cost, without using or producing hazardous chemicals. This gives operators a completely safe solution for frac water disinfection and produced water recycling.

Exterran Water Solution's new Separon multiphase wellhead and wellstream desanders are economic, highly efficient alternatives for high-pressure environments. The technology is a complete solution that is compact, lightweight and meets all standards up to 20,000 psi, removing solids from wellhead and wellstream applications at a lower cost than other products and made for multiphase and gas applications. Exterran provides a full range of treatment solutions for removing oil and suspended solids from produced water with primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. Exterran designs, builds and commissions systems that quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively treat produced water ranging in volumes from 100 to more than 1 MMbbl/d of water for oil and gas production facilities and has treated more than 5 Bbbl to date.

Fountain Quail Water Management's genesis of SCOUT grew out of collaboration with the industry. E&P operators were asking for a call-out type service and a reliable system that generates clean brine from flowback water with minimal setup time and labor. SCOUT offers a minimum 10,000 bbl/d of water clean brine capacity. The self-contained mobile system can be hooked up in hours and offers proven performance in demanding environments. Developed jointly with Filtra-Systems, each SCOUT only requires 480 V power and three connections: Feed IN, Treated OUT and Backwash. The backwash volume is typically less than 1% of feed.

Hydrozonix has released its HYDRO3CIDE, a fully automated oxidation system for the treatment and reuse of produced water. This system generates ozone on demand, significantly reducing the cost of recycling produced water as a completion fluid. Produced water is typically managed in disposal/injection wells, which has been the lowest cost option. Induced seismicity concerns have the potential to significantly restrict permitted capacity of disposal/injection wells, leaving recycling as a viable alternative. Oxidation of produced water for bacteria, iron and sulfide control is a critically important step in the recycling process and has been primarily completed using a liquid chemical oxidizer. HYDRO3CIDE reduces the cost of oxidation by up to 90% finally allowing recycling to become the lowest cost option for the management of produced water.

Kaizen Fluid Systems has announced the newest innovation to its proprietary technology in treating high total dissolved solids and chlorides found in produced and flowback water. The technology is designed to increase revenue streams to the operator's income by extracting the valuable minerals and metals found in produced water. Kaizen has consistently extracted valuable commercial grade metals and minerals, such as vanadium, lithium and cobalt, which has proven more valuable than oil or gas. It is important that the produced water is cleaned to potable standards to extract a commercial grade product. If the produced water is not cleaned to potable standards, all contaminants entrained in the water will be trapped within the minerals or metals reducing the value significantly.

Water logistics dispatchers are challenged with finding available drivers with the right certifications in the best possible locations for each job. LiquidFrameworks’ recently redesigned FX Schedule & Dispatch module has streamlined the dispatcher's job for service companies in the water management space by updating, storing and managing all of the pertinent job, personnel and equipment information in one convenient place. Dashboards can be customized with dynamic drag-and-drop functionality, and personnel can be sorted by role, schedule and qualifications.

Monarch Separators’ H2O Floc green flocculant is used to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas operations through cost-effective produced and flowback water recycling while also improving oil recovery. The green alginate flocculant's primary treatment objectives are removal of oil, grease and total suspended solids and when used in conjunction with an oxidant, metals, H2S and bacteria. Through multiple pilot scale produced and flowback water treatment tests in the Permian, Denver-Julesburg and Powder River basins, H2O Floc chemistry was able to reduce turbidities from greater than 650 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) to 1 NTU, oil removal to less than 2 mg/L, and iron and manganese to less than 1 mg/L, while being dosed at a much lower rate than current market flocculants.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has released a new Oil-in-Water Monitoring Service, which offers oil producers and saltwater disposal operators a simple and more effective way to see the oil removal performance of their water handling systems. An online monitoring device linked to NOV's GoConnect digital platform provides continuous, real-time oil-in-water concentration data and trending analyses. NOV's comprehensive remote monitoring service eliminates the need to purchase costly, sophisticated equipment or perform time-consuming maintenance and calibration steps. Placing this valuable information at the user's fingertips enables operators to better evaluate and understand facility process performance, resulting in increased oil recovery, improved profitability and prevention of injection well damage.

Orion Water Solutions has released its new, double-capacity dissolved air flotation (DAF) unit, which is designed to treat large quantities of produced water for fracturing use in shale plays. Orion's DAF, including its operating system, was designed from the ground up specifically to treat produced water for fracturing. This separates it from most currently available DAFs built for other industries. The DAF solves the bacteria issue for operators storing produced water in ponds. By removing iron and total suspended solids, it leaves water without the food that airborne bacteria need to survive, keeping ponds fresh longer and saving on chemical cost. Its capacity of 40,000 bbl/d and 12,000 gpm enables operators to treat on the fly in support of fracturing operations.

From an operations and accounting standpoint, managing source water required for shale play fracturing and drilling jobs can be a juggling act. Upstream operators have to keep track of source water well ownership and volumes, monitor water pit levels, track movement to jobs and on a monthly basis account for what they owe their water providers. A new offering from P2 Energy Solutions eases the burdens of managing complex midstream water systems. P2 Source Water Management eliminates spreadsheets, allowing companies to accurately track and manage pit water available for jobs and invoice providers and, in so doing, reduce overpayments or underpayments.

The Sourcewater.com oilfield water intelligence platform helps companies find water-related business opportunities and see oilfield water and disposal prices, utilizations and market trends ahead of their competition. Sourcewater gathers, analyzes and maps water, disposal, oil and gas permits, capacity, production and pricing data from its exclusive water and disposal marketplace as well as from Sourcewater's satellite imagery analytics, government records and from continuous market research to show users where every barrel of water is located and where it comes from and goes in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. The new dirt work detection technology scans weekly satellite imagery of the Permian Basin to predict drilling permit and rig activity six months ahead of permit filings.

Shale operations are dealing with higher water management costs and more environmental and operational risks than ever before, both of which are becoming an increasingly larger part of operators’ costs. Sourcing freshwater and increasing volumes of sand flowback and produced water, which are often trucked out and disposed, are the primary cause. Addressing these challenges in an environmentally responsible way frequently requires adding more services and personnel at each site. TETRA Technologies’ water management solution delivers innovative and differentiating offerings for produced water transfer, de-sanding and on-the-fly water treatment and recycling. By integrating and automating the company's offerings, efficiency is maximized through job planning and crew optimization, helping reduce manpower for a typical fully integrated completion operation by more than 30%. The step change in efficiency is delivered through fully automated technology that provides greater transparency and quality control throughout the transfer, flowback and recycling of produced water, all while simultaneously improving environmental considerations.

ShaleFlow is a cost-effective transportable solution for reuse of produced water and flowback water from hydraulic fracturing operations. This compact, modular system utilizes technologies designed to enable reuse with the flexibility to be moved as the field is developed. It treats up to 10,000 bbl/d (300 gpm) of produced water with a simple drop-and-go approach. ShaleFlow tolerates a wide range of influent water quality containing up to 300,000 ppm of total dissolved solids. It can remove up to 98% of particulates such as suspended solids, oil and grease and scale formers. The treated water is suitable for reuse in fracturing and completion operations.

Proper characterization of the composition of various waters throughout the upstream oil and gas industry is critical to understanding how that water should be handled and treated. Dissolved minerals dramatically impact the performance of friction reducers, scale inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, biocides and other chemical additives that are critical to the performance of a hydraulic fracturing operations, waterfloods and production chemical programs. Water Lens has developed a fast, lab-quality water testing system that can be run by anyone, anywhere in the world. It is specifically designed to correct for the numerous interferences found in oilfield waters and can be operated by any oilfield worker in any field environment. This allows operators and service companies to ensure they have the correct chemicals for a given water and are using the correct dosage, which saves money and damage to the formation and associated equipment.

Water Standard has developed its compact and modular H2O Spectrum platform after successfully executing demonstration programs in the Permian, Denver-Julesburg and Powder River basins for treatment of produced and flowback water where cost and operability were key drivers. The H2O Spectrum platform offers the ability to treat water for reuse and recycle, or advanced treatment for safe surface discharge back into the water cycle, demonstrating the stewardship of this water as the most valuable resource. The general constituents targeted for removal in reuse applications include oil and grease, suspended solids, bacteria and iron, while treatment for surface discharge extends to the removal of salt, ammonia and dissolved organics.

The Thincell direct contact electrochemical treatment technology is providing the oil and gas industry with an in-situ method to cost effectively treat flowback fluids from shale produced wells. Thincell has been proven to surpass electrocoagulation and other similar treatment methods. It reduces soluble and insoluble hydrocarbons, heavy metals, suspended solids and bacteria with an efficiency exceeding 99%. The technology replaces traditional electrocoagulation methods, which are plagued with passivation, the early failure of electrodes due to scaling and corrosion. Instead, Thincell's cathodes, anodes, sacrificial electrodes and fluidized bed combine to provide multiple treatment reactions in a compact, single treatment chamber. The result is low maintenance, increased uptime, reduced operating costs, higher efficiency and improved personnel safety.