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Book Chapter

Hydraulic-fracturing Concepts

January 01, 2014


The objective of a hydraulic-fracture treatment is to stimulate production for a well, by injecting high-pressure fluids to stimulate a fracture network and enhance permeability and production (Montgomery and Smith, 2010). The first hydraulic-fracture treatment was performed in 1947 in the Hugoton field in Kansas, U.S.A. Since that time, technological advancements have transformed the process into a routine operation in most North American oil and gas well completions. Modern stimulations can involve injection of up to several thousand cubic meters of fluid (over a million gallons) using tens of thousands of pumping horsepower for high-rate injection. Depending on the total injection volume, individual hydraulic-fracture stimulations can cost anywhere between $10,000 (U. S. dollars) and several million. The current worldwide commercial fracturing market is estimated at nearly $30 billion per year — mainly in North America and consisting mostly of fracturing wells in unconventional reservoirs. Many modern wells are drilled horizontally and typically can be stimulated with 15 to 30 individual fracture treatments or stages at different positions along their length, although in some cases as many as 60 fracture stages have been performed.

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists Distinguished Instructor Series

Microseismic Imaging of Hydraulic Fracturing: Improved Engineering of Unconventional Shale Reservoirs

Shawn Maxwell
Shawn Maxwell
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January 01, 2014




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