Contrary to media’s many reports, hydraulic fracturing does not involve the drilling process. It is used only after the completion of the drilled hole. In a simplest way, the method uses materials and fluid to make or regain tiny fractures. With formations, it is able to make production from the existing new gas and oil wells. It creates pathways which add to the rate where fluids are generated from reservoir formations.
The process involves significant steps in protecting the supply of water. To guarantee that pumped fluid through the well (including the gas or oil collected) will not enter the water supply, there are intermediate casings inserted to the well. The depth is between one thousand to four thousand feet. The room between the drilled hole casing strings, known as “annulus,” is filled with cement. The moment cement is set, the drilling goes on starting from the surface bottom or the cemented middle steel casing going to the subsequent depth. There is a repetition of the process with smaller casing steel until the gas and oil-bearing reservoir is reached, normally from 6,000 – 10,000 feet deep.
Specialists believe that USA will have 70 to 80 percent wells drilled by the next decade. They will need this operation to include hydraulic fracturing. This fracturing will allow extensive production in natural gas and in older oil. The same fracturing will allow the oil and natural gas recovery from the formation. This is believed by geologists as impossible to happen like the formation of tight shale. Hydraulically fractured wells also function in extending the lifespan of old wells in gas fields and mature oil.
The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing
It is necessary to remind that not every additive is used in all hydraulically fractured wells. The accurate combination and proportions will differ based on the depth of the site, including the width and other factors of the intended formation.
- Acid stage has a few thousand water gallons mixed with muriatic or hydrochloric acid. This one serves in clearing the cement debris of the wellbore. This gives the open conduit for the frac fluids through melting the carbonate minerals as well as in opening fractures close to the wellbore.
- Pad stage has just about hundred thousand gallons of slick water with no proppant material. The pad stage fills up the wellbore containing slick water solution. It makes way for the formation and helps in facilitating the placement and flow of the proppant material.
- Prop sequence stage involves a number of sub-stages of water mixed with proppant materials. The stage can use few hundred thousand gallons of water. Proppant products can have fine to rough particle size all through the sequence.
- Flushing stage is composed of huge fresh water enough in flushing excessive proppant of the wellbore.
The process of hydraulic fracturing restores and increases the speed from which fluids like water, natural gas, or petroleum can be recovered from natural reservoirs.