Reducing Risks Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing


Hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and gas (O&G) has developed in leaps and bounds over the past decade. This has included developing multiple geometries as well as fracturing patterns to optimise output and minimise water flooding. Included in hydraulic fracturing is the option to use reservoir properties to assist with production by means of different chemical treatments, choice of fracturing methodology and depth/location. Hydraulic fracturing methods can be beneficial in improving the sub-surface performance of a petroleum reservoir by increasing localised permeability. The upside is that the reservoir engineer can use more direct means of abstracting O&G that allows for greater efficiency and reduced costs. However, the increased permeability can also result in enhanced chemical and water transport risks which can negatively affect the flow of O&G in the production system. GeoSquare has the capability to assist in reducing risks with geochemical modelling, water production analysis, data processing, optimisation, automation and risk assessment methods of complex data to limit the adverse impacts on O&G production.

Shale bed with foreign inclusion and hammer for perspective

Carbonaceous shale with fracturing pattern (CC2, James St. John)

Although hydraulic fracturing is the start of the stimulation process it is by no means the end as different technologies can be applied to improve production of O&G from the well during its lifetime. The produced water is a by-product with elevated salt content and fines that require additional management options. In addition, the water produced can be highly corrosive from a materials perspective and require on-site storage or treatment to allow transport or discharge. Both options are unfavourable, incurring costs and impose water management requirements that can be a long-term risk for the wellfield.

Storage tanks

Hydraulic fracturing water storage units (CC2 Fracking Waste Containers, Tar Sands Blockade)

GeoSquare can assist with geochemical modelling combined with bulk reservoir parameters to simulate potential production impacts associated with injected water on the subsurface. This type of assessment can be related to changes in chemical, pressure and temperature conditions in the reservoir allowing you the client to develop an informed opinion about potential stimulation and management options to reduce risks. Conversely, production water can be evaluated to determine potential changes in water quality and brine management solutions should it be required on the surface.

Installed and operational gas wells in well pad

Completed gas wells (CC2, Gary Dincher)

To augment this service, GeoSquare can interrogate exploration and production data at multiple levels to deliver insights that are related to its subject matter experts. This would include linkages between geological, chemical and hydraulic data in both a temporal and spatial sphere which reduce costs to the project. Working with your onsite engineering teams we can connect seamlessly with them to deliver products that are clear and tailor-made to fit their needs. We provide ‘Earth Inspired Solutions’ and believe in delivering products which should increase productivity.