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Page added on January 30, 2018

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Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells account for most new oil and natural gas wells

Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells account for most new oil and natural gas wells thumbnail

monthly crude oil and natural gas well drilling footage by type, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo Inc. and IHS Markit

In 2016, hydraulically fractured horizontal wells accounted for 69% of all oil and natural gas wells drilled in the United States and 83% of the total linear footage drilled. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has increased the rate of recent U.S. crude oil, lease condensate, and natural gas production.

Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells became the predominant method of new U.S. crude oil and natural gas development in October 2011, when total footage (in linear feet) surpassed all other drilling and completion techniques. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulically fracturing has contributed to increases in crude oil and natural gas production in the United States, which are both expected to reach record levels in 2018.

Although horizontal drilling has been used for nearly a century, its use as a source of U.S. oil and natural gas production began growing in the early 2000s. The process involves drilling a well vertically to a certain depth and then bending the path of the drilling until it extends horizontally. Because they are longer, and the drilling process is more complex, a horizontal well is generally more expensive to drill than a vertical well, but it is expected to produce more crude oil and natural gas.

Horizontal drilling allows more of the wellbore to remain in contact with the producing formation, increasing the amount of oil or natural gas that can be recovered. This method also results in horizontal wells having more drilled footage than vertical wells—hence total footage drilled using horizontal drilling techniques surpassed vertical footage before the actual number of horizontal wells surpassed the number of vertical wells.

In 2016, total drilled footage reached nearly 13 million feet, about 10.7 million of which were hydraulically fractured and horizontally drilled. The length of the horizontal section, or lateral, can range from a few hundred feet to several miles.

Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells have accounted for most of all new wells drilled and completed since late 2014. As of 2016, about 670,000 of the 977,000 producing wells were hydraulically fractured and horizontally drilled.

monthly crude oil and natural gas well count, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on DrillingInfo Inc. and IHS Markit

Hydraulic fracturing is a completion technique, meaning it is performed after the oil or natural gas well has been drilled. Like horizontal drilling, this technique has been practiced for many years, but it has only recently become a major part of U.S. production in combination with horizontal drilling.

Hydraulic fracturing involves forcing a liquid under high pressure from a wellbore against a rock formation until it fractures. The injected fluid contains a proppant—small, solid particles, usually sand or a man-made granular solid of similar size—that wedges open the expanding fractures. The proppant keeps the fracture open, allowing hydrocarbons such as crude oil and natural gas to flow more easily from the additional surface area to the rock formation provided by the fractures back to the wellbore (the drilled hole) and then to the surface.

EIA



10 Comments on "Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells account for most new oil and natural gas wells"

  1. fmr-paultard on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 12:07 am 

    This is good moar oil

  2. deadly on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 2:57 am 

    Hydraulic fracturing is done on water wells too.

    You get more water. Obstructions in the well are effectively removed, more water flows.

    That is why hydraulic fracturing is done.

    The depth of the well and water level are measured. Then a mechanism called a packer is lowered about 40 feet below the well pipe, or casing. Approximately 1,000 gallons of pre-chlorinated well water is pumped at high pressure into the well in an attempt to get a pressure change. The packer is then moved 100 feet deeper for a second blast. The well is flushed, the well pump is reinstalled and water is pumped out of the well for several hours for a final flush. A flow test is performed to see if water flow was improved. The entire hydrofracking process takes approximately 4-6 hours and you will have running water that same day.

    Don’t knock hydraulic fracturing, it does the work you can’t do all by your lonesome.

    The Russians drilled a 9.2 mile horizontal.

  3. deadly on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 4:12 am 

    http://www.skillingsandsons.com is the link.

    Just so it’s there.

  4. CAM on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 7:32 am 

    Does anyone see the risk here? Two thirds of wells and oil production in the US result from fracking. Conventional oil production is only a shadow of what it use to be exactly as Hubbert predicted.

    The danger is the decline rate. When fracking ends the decline rate will be enormous and conventional oil will be in very short supply.

  5. bobinget on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 9:32 am 

    Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.8 million barrels per
    day, up by 7.6% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline
    product supplied averaged about 8.8 million barrels per day, up by 7.1% from the same
    period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged about 4.2 million barrels per day
    over the last four weeks, up by 13.3% from the same period last year. Jet fuel product
    supplied is up 1.6% compared to the same four-week period last year.

  6. bobinget on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 10:02 am 

    Above consumption for this time of year.
    Last week’s record use would be
    considered good to excellent mid summer.

    Only jet fuel is down due to weather.

  7. Jerome Purtzer on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 12:51 pm 

    Hey CAM, I don’t know if you are too young to remember the old Pyramid scheme games people “in the 80″s. Everyone comes to a “Pyramid Party” with $1000 or whatever the buy in is and gives it to a complete stranger who’s name is at the top of the pyramid. Your name would now move up the pyramid and eventually you would be near the top and reap the money everyone else has brought. The hype in selling the game was that it would go on forever. Sound familiar?

  8. Anonymous on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 12:58 pm 

    The US just broke 10 million bpd for the first time since 1970. We are just 6,000 bpd under the all time record of NOV1970.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil/u-s-crude-oil-production-neared-1970-record-in-november-eia-idUSKBN1FK2J1

  9. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 1:14 pm 

    Anonyomouse!

    Nobody cares about US junk oil! And if they can’t make a profit they will go out of business soon! You can’t fool investors forever!

  10. peakyeast on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 1:17 pm 

    Oh yeah – all the hallmarks of a SUSTAINABLE development. An extremely sharp rise – made by wells with an extremely sharp decline.

    Confirmed… This must be a long term sustainable development … if ure a fruit-fly.

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