Halliburton, the world’s largest provider of fracking services, is working on cataloging the combination of sounds that signal the perfect frack: an explosion, cracking rock, and eventually the gurgle of hydrocarbons seeping into the well bore, said Glenn McColpin, director of reservoir monitoring at Halliburton’s Houston-based Pinnacle unit. A bad frack means the rock didn’t crack as much as it could have.
When perfected, a computer will convert the sounds to a graph that will show how deeply and thoroughly cracks penetrate the rock surrounding the well, indicating the success of each frack stage. The longer and more numerous the cracks, the more oil and gas will flow.
One fracking stage can cost about $100,000 and a typical well now will have about 15 stages, said Alex Robart, principal at PacWest. The effectiveness of each stage varies wildly. The industry generally subscribes to the 80-20 rule, meaning 80 percent of North American production comes from about 20 percent of the fracking stages, he said.Great article. Huge thanks to Don for sending another great link.
"...a typical well now ... has15 stages ..." ----- That must be the wells on the East Coast, in the Marcellus. Out west where real men (and real women) do real fracking, the typical well has 30+ stages. Whoohoo.