US Oil & Gas Industry Reports More Proppant Per Lateral Foot Equates to Better Completions
US land oil & gas operators are using on average nearly 1,800 pounds of proppant per lateral foot to complete their unconventional wells using multi-stage hydraulic fracturing technology.
This reflects a significant increase from the 300 pounds to 800 pounds of proppant per lateral foot used to complete US land unconventional wells just three to five years ago. In fact, US land operators have been rapidly increasing their use of proppant per lateral foot in the past one to two years.
A recent Hydraulic Fracturing study conducted by Kimberlite Oilfield Research based on personal interviews with over 125 US land oil & gas operators reveals they are indeed trialing the use of increasing amounts of proppant per lateral foot to improve initial production rates.
The report reveals that US land oil & gas operators have increased the average amount of proppant used per lateral foot from approximately 1,244 pounds in 2016 to approximately 1,755 pounds in 2017. Some basins such as the Marcellus/Utica and Haynesville are averaging over 2,000 pounds of proppant per lateral foot. In addition, oil & gas operators are reporting the trial use of as much as 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of proppant per lateral foot as they seek the optimal completion approach to maximize initial production and economic reservoir response.
So why use so much proppant?
US land oil & gas operators report that using increasing amounts of proppant per lateral foot results in better completions.
More specifically, operators averaging over 2,500 pounds of proppant per lateral foot in their completions report experiencing nearly 50% fewer completions failing to meet initial production estimates versus that of operators averaging less than 1,500 pounds of proppant per lateral foot. Clearly, more is better when it comes to the use of proppant per lateral foot for US land unconventional well completions.
The Hydraulic Fracturing report also reveals that US land oil & gas operators continue to innovate and trial new completion approaches and technologies such as diversion, frac modeling and dissolvable plugs with the goal of further improving initial production rates, economic reservoir response and completion efficiency that leads to lower overall cost.