Thursday, May 12, 2016

More On EOG's Fracking Technique -- May 12, 2016


Later, 9:52 a.m. Central Time: see first comment. I will get back to this later:
Alberta BakkenPlay At Ferguson.
Granite owns and operates a 30-mile-long fairway producing oil from the Alberta Bakken. The heart of the pool is under gas injection enhanced oil recovery, with a long-term development and infill drilling inventory. It is complemented by a large, recently discovered pool area providing years of delineation and development opportunities.
Posted a long, long time ago:
November 18, 2012: if these numbers pan out, the Alberta Bakken will be much bigger than the Williston Basin Bakken: Alberta’s emerging shale and/or siltstone formations could ultimately yield 423.6 billion barrels of oil, 58.6 billion barrels of liquids and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, says a long-awaited report by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and the Alberta Geological Survey. 
Original Post
In the most recent EOG conference call, references were made to new fracking procedures. Investor's Business Daily has a story: can this new fracking technique beat the oil bust? Let's see what IBD is talking about:
EOG has been injecting cheap natural gas into some of its existing wells as the shale producer looks to extract more oil at low costs amid the prolonged slump in crude markets.
The top oil producer in Texas said in its first-quarter conference call Friday that it had successful trials of its natgas process in 15 mature horizontal wells in the Eagle Ford in south Texas. EOG plans to add another pilot project later this year that includes 32 producing wells.
Management expects the method to increase recoveries from oil reservoirs and reduce the rate of decline in production, while keeping operating costs low. But the company cautioned that the new method may not work in other shale plays with different geologic properties.
Then this:
The company has been working on the new process for three years but management wouldn’t go into detail about how exactly it works.
James Williams, an economist at WTRG, said that the enhanced recovery process is likely similar to a water or CO2 flood, where liquid or gas is pumped in a well, mixes with oil to add pressure, and pushes oil toward wells at the other end of a field to be pumped out.
“What they are effectively doing is using natgas to push more oil out to the surface, which is more valuable than the gas,” he said.
Natgas is three and a half to four times cheaper than oil and enjoys low transport costs, because it’s already produced near oil wells. Water, meanwhile, is more expensive, and water floods don’t work that well in shale formations, Williams said.
Even when natgas comes off its historically low prices, EOG thinks it would still see “incremental benefit and good economics” up to $5 per million BTUs for natgas, which is currently trading at about $2.10 per million BTUs.
By the way, is there a typo in this sentence?
Natgas is three and a half to four times cheaper than oil and enjoys low transport costs, because it’s already produced near oil wells.  
Did the writer mean to say that natural gas is three and a half to four times cheaper than water and enjoys low transport costs, because it’s already produced near oil wells. Maybe I misread it.

Takeaways regarding EOG's new fracking technique:
  • natural gas is cheaper than water for fracking; probably cheaper than CO2
  • water probably gums up shale
  • EOG is taking a page from nature's playbook: using natural gas to "over-pressure" oil formations
  • there is more communication among wells than previously believed
  • if accurate, great news for drought-stricken Texas 
  • environmentalists will have trouble arguing against injecting natural gas back underground
 Regular readers are aware of EOG permits in the Bakken to test "gas" injection.

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