Hydraulic fracturing has been described as one of the three most significant technologies to be developed in the upstream oil and gas industry in the last 50 years (the other two being 3D seismic and horizontal wells). However, the traditional approach to hydraulic fracturing has been that it is a technology best applied to new wells, drilled into low permeability formations. It is true that fracturing has been highly successful in this environment - but it is also true that fracturing can be both technically and economically successful in a very wide range of reservoirs, including depleted, oil and gas assets. Various strategies such as skin bypass fracturing, batch fracturing, screenless frac-packs, coiled tubing fracturing and neutral density proppant fracturing can be combined with complimentary techniques for zonal isolation, relative permeability modification and scale inhibition, to produce low-cost, high-value solutions for mature assets. Success in this environment is not necessarily about using the latest and greatest fluid system or computer monitoring technique. The successful application of hydraulic fracturing to mature oil and gas reservoirs is about recognising that there is a wide range of appropriate solutions available. A number of case histories will be used to illustrate the effectiveness of these techniques, when they are systematically applied.
One idea I would like members to take away from this lecture:- Hydraulic fracturing is not just for new wells in tight formations