Baker Hughes introduces service to maximise conductive fracture area

Baker Hughes has announced the commercial release of its Ascent™ high-side fracturing service. The Ascent fracturing service increases the conductive fracture area to improve recovery in stimulated wells compared to conventional fracturing techniques. This service incorporates specialised modelling, pumping techniques and proppant technology to create and maintain open fractures above the lateral wellbore.

Unlike conventional fracturing fluid applications, in which proppant often fails to remain in the high-side of the fracture network, the Ascent fracturing service leverages advanced modeling and strong, ultra-lightweight proppant technology with a specific gravity near that of water. The Ascent fracturing service keeps the proppant in place above the lateral wellbore even after pumping has concluded and the formation begins to close, propping open those hydrocarbon pathways and ensuring access to more potential production—even in formations with extended closure times. Additionally, because the service transports the proppant using extremely low polymer loading, the risk of gel residue restricting hydrocarbon flow through the proppant pack is virtually eliminated. The Ascent fracturing service’s specialized pumping techniques help achieve these benefits while also reducing water usage and proppant volumes along with their related costs.

“Because hydraulic fracturing represents a significant portion of unconventional well construction cost, it’s critical for customers to produce hydrocarbons cost-effectively from as much of their fracture network as possible,” said Douglas Stephens, President, Pressure Pumping at Baker Hughes. “The new Ascent fracturing service uses specialised technologies and pumping techniques to help our customers lower their cost per barrel by producing hydrocarbons that otherwise would have remained trapped in the formation above their laterals.”

In a 19-well production study, the Ascent high-side fracturing service helped operators in a Texas shale play more than double hydrocarbon recovery—by an average of 117%—compared to other, conventionally stimulated wells of a similar depth and length located within a two-mile radius. This substantial increase in recovery indicated a significantly greater conductive fracture area due to the Ascent service’s ability to effectively place proppant above the horizontal wellbore. The Ascent-serviced wells also lowered the operators’ water usage 20%, from an average of 1543 gal/ft in the offsets to 1223 gal/ft in the wells using the Ascent service.

The Ascent high-side fracturing service is the latest example of Baker Hughes’ strategy to improve well efficiency, optimise production and increase ultimate recovery.

Edited from press release by

Published on 01/10/2015

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