Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Definitive Reply to Different Fracking Technologies --- A Huge "Thank You" To a Reader

Earlier today I posted a link to a Motley Fool story regarding KOG: it got a fair bit of attention, and after receiving the first comment, I realized that I was in over my head, perhaps bamboozled by Motley Fool. It wouldn't be the first time (I've been in over my head when it comes to the Bakken).

Subsequently, I received a great comment that provided more explanation and background regarding fracking/completion technologies. Because some people may not read comments, I will post the part having to do specifically with the issue at hand (next paragraph). Before reading that, one should read the original post, the updates, and the comments (at the link above).

Now, the comment that provides a much fuller explanation:

The jury is still out on the swell packers/frack sleeves vs cemented liners. Cemented liners are old-school technology. Swell packers are new-school. Unfortunately, there is a big pressure drop across the ball seats in the frack sleeves which makes fracking the more distal sleeves less effective than utilizing plug-n-perf. Plus, sometimes the sleeves do not work and you have to skip that zone. Plus, if you want to go back in and recomplete a zone later, you have way less flexibility with the frack sleeves. Prices are coming down on the frack sleeves/swell packers, they were getting way out of line for awhile leading some operators to consider going back to cemented liners. I'm still on the fence with this issue and am not 100% sure which method will be the preferred down the road. My suspicion is the old-school plug-n-perf will eventually go back into vogue due to eventual re-fracks of the Bakken and Three Forks wells (like in the Barnett Shale of the Ft. Worth Basin), but that is only an educated guess.

As far as the 5 days to drill......normally you are doing good if you spud-rig release in 20 days. A few contractors who trip pipe exceptionally fast and have no break downs and just get lucky where everything goes well(i.e. no mud motor or mwd failures) can spud to TD in as little as 12 days, but that does not include the time to run the production liner. The 5-day number may come in as the number of days to drill a 10,000' lateral. Once again, you have to get lucky to knock it out drilling 2000' a day and have no failures. Plus, that is a Middle Bakken well. Three Forks are more difficult to drill that fast.
There is more to the comment but that should be read at the original link to put it in context.

I will ask for everyone's patience if I continue to link Motley Fool stories in the future, but will emphasize again that they may not be the best source (or perhaps not even a source at all -- smile).


  1. I suspect the Motley Fools had a little bit too much of new year fun and were unable to check the facts with the booming head ache they had.

    1. Yes. I wish I had never posted it in the first place (hindsight is 20/20) but again, I have learned a lot.