FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Next-generation of shale oil recovery
DETAILS: Extracting oil from shale formations requires much different technology and resources than standing up an oil rig to pump oil from an underground reservoir. Drilling needs to be able to turn sideways, and hydraulic fracturing is needed to break apart the rock and let the oil seep out. Many fields are producing less, so operators need new modeling techniques to figure out where to explore next.
SPEAKER: Garrett Fowler, chief operation officer, ResFrac
BIO: Fowler is a petroleum engineer by training. He previously was vice president of operations. Prior to joining ResFrac, he held engineering positions at Tachyus Corp. and Occidental Petroleum.
KEY QUOTES FROM FOWLER:
“There is this continual innovation cycle. We’ve seen cost per lateral dropping drastically. … ResFrac helps our clients understand what they should be doing next. Putting some physics behind that natural investigation and experimentation process so you’re not shooting from the hip.”
“One of the consistent challenges operators face is there is very little certainty in this industry. And you have more ideas than you can test in a statistically significant manner. … Being able to quantify and predict what the impact of each independent variable is. And that’s very important when you’re trying to march up this progression curve, trying to get more production per lateral foot, trying to see what the results of reducing your capital expense are. You made three changes; which is the change that was actually impactful?”
“You can do statistical studies, you can look at some trends. But you are living within the bounds of what’s been done. And that’s where a simulator really helps you explore outside the historical trends, look outside what hasn’t been tried.”