December 21, 2015: for even more detailed fracking data, and to obtain fracking data even before a well comes off the confidential list, visit FracFocus. FracFocus does not provide the number of stages, nor does it provide the number of pounds of proppant but one can use the data provided to estimate fairly closely the amount of proppant used, and from that, (perhaps) estimate the number of stages.
First of all, the best information comes from corporate presentations and in the quarterly conference earnings calls. The corporations may not break down fracking details by well, but they sometimes provide their "philosophy" on number of stages, and whether they use ceramics.
Second, some readers send me updates on information that I have missed.
Third, and this gets to what folks are probably asking about. I get almost all of the specific information that I post about an individual well from the NDIC website, Basic Services. It requires a subscription (password) and costs $50/year.
Once you get that subscription, when a well comes off the confidential list and reports an IP, the completion data/fracking data generally is posted with the File Report. Because fracking is about the last thing a producer does, this information is generally at the top of the well file if one is checking recently completed wells.
The data will be found on a 3-page "sundry" form. The bottom of the first page provides the company's IP for the well; the second page provide that formation depths (in feet) and the target formation; and, the third page has the fracking data. It has become my experience that 9 out of 10 companies now provide that data on a timely basis. One company is notoriously late. A reader tells me that operators are not required to provide fracking/completion data; somehow I doubt that, but I could be wrong.
If the fracking data is provided, the number of stages is almost always provided. The amount of proppant used, which includes sand, is generally included.
About half the companies are providing very detailed proppant information (size of sand, ceramics) but some are vague. I can't remember off the top of my head who is most forthcoming but I can say that BEXP has been the best in providing their data. I don't remember any specific data from Whiting wells, but they are also most forthcoming, particularly in their corporate presentations and their quarterly conference calls.
If after you subscribe to Basic Services, and download the well file, and still unable to find fracking data, most likely is was not provided. If you get that far, and just not sure if you missed it, send me a comment/query, and I will see if I can find the fracking data. It helps if you provide the file number.
Before writing me, you may want to search the Bakken Shale Discussion Group (linked at the sidebar at the right).
There is no guarantee that I will reply to all queries. I do not post all comments. I generally only post comments that a) pertain to the Bakken; and, b) add some value to the blog. Vulgarity is never posted.
Idle rambling regarding my thoughts on knowing the number of stages and whether ceramics were used in a particular well:
For me, the specific fracking data for a particular well no longer matters. I look up the data and post the data periodically, mostly when the spirit moves me and/or something unusual stands out about the well.
Why it no longer matters to me:
1. The geology of each well is different.
2. The operators are more forthcoming in their presentations on what they prefer -- how many stages, ceramics, or no ceramics. If the company does not provide that data in their corporate presentations or in their quarterly conference calls, checking up on several wells gives me an idea of their preferences, in a very general way.
3. The jury is still out on cost benefit regarding sand vs ceramics.
4. The cost of fracking is still just one component, albeit a very big component, of bringing a well to production. In fact, to some extent, I don't even care all that much about how much it costs to bring a particular well to production. One well is anecdotal; three months' worth of data (a calendar quarter) is helpful in spotting a trend, but it's a year's worth of data that is of any help to me, and the operators provide that information in their corporate presentations.
5. The number of stages to use on a particular well, how much proppant to use, and whether or not to use ceramics, may depend as much on availability of material (proppants, e.g.) as anything else. One certainly gets the impression that some companies are containing costs upfront by minimizing stages and amount of proppant used.
So, some idle rambling; not checked for typos, will do that later. Mostly my first thoughts on the subject at this sitting; these thoughts may change over time.