A Linde paper to be presented at the upcoming Centre for Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering Symposium will highlight matters on the subject of “Frontiers in Subsurface Energy”.

The paper will provide discussion on how optimising individual well treatments and scaling up to full field development ensures the best economics with the lowest water footprint when utilising energised fracturing fluids.

The two-day Symposium will be held at the University of Texas’ Pickle Research Center in Austin, 26-27 March.

At the Symposium, Robin Watts, Linde North America’s Oil & Gas Technology manager- Energy Solutions, will be speaking before a gathering of University of Texas faculty, professionals from the oil and gas industry, the US Department of Energy and academia to brainstorm key future research issues for subsurface energy.

“With energised solutions, optimising hydraulic fracturing treatment design brings the added benefit of EOR & IOR (Improved Oil Recovery) – the E-I-O R of energised fluids,” says Watts in her paper entitled Energy Solutions: The EOR & IOR (E-I-O-R) for Energised Fluids for Hydraulic Fracturing.

Watts says, “While significant strides have been made in the efficiency of drilling and completions during the past decade, the next generation of improvements will focus more on optimising full field development. This optimisation centres on the concept of the 3 E’s: enhancing productivity (EUR), environmental footprint reduction, and improved economics of the field.”  

Case studies in unconventional reservoirs have shown that in well-designed hydraulic fracturing processes, energised fluids utilising carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2) can reduce costs and improve well performance to achieve a lower unit cost of production. “From a field-wide perspective, based upon historic uses of CO2 and N2 for EOR, one can quickly discern how individual well stimulation treatments utilizing energised fluids can provide a leg up in the ultimate recovery of a reservoir,” Watts says. Her paper will review case studies on the productivity and economics of various fracturing fluids in unconventional plays and then assess, in the Eagle Ford Formation in Texas, relative costs of stimulations with various fracturing fluids and compare the simulated production results for each of those fluids. Reducing the footprint of water can be significant through the use of safe, alternative fracturing fluids such as energised fluids.

“The bottom line,” says Watts, “is that better options exist when you evaluate the play from a reservoir, field-wide development perspective so you can plan, develop, and invest to achieve optimal results.”