With sixty plus packers coming on line, any major resource now can be retested for productivity. A huge amount of previously stranded oil is now becoming accessible. It will not readily displace conventional oil production but it will certainly augment dwindling supplies on a timely basis. Note that with the huge drilling expense we have only 50,000 barrels per day.
At least we know that this can be duplicated many times in the USA, but it will not be cheap.
I do not know what the true resource figure is for the USA. There have always been oil bearing sediments that had many horizons holding oil but were also too thin to bother with. Usually the problem was thinness. With horizontal drilling, multiple packers and dropping costs, most of this warrants a fresh look see because we are able to thread a production well practically along the foot wall, while using indirect methods to measure local thickness. We are most of the way there actually to fully map a target and understand its contents.
The true resource of oil in Western Canada is likely well over two trillion barrels and climbing. This technology is able to at least look at any of it, in case there is some way to get at it and remove it.
October 13, 2009
Multi-frac horizontals are a "game changer" for oil and gas drilling because of their potential to increase recoveries from established plays. The technology is unlocking tens of thousands of barrels of oil per day in
Previous overview of multi stage fracturing of horizontal wells
The number of formations where multi-frac horizontals are being tried continues to grow. You basically look for low recovery factors and large oil (or gas) in place numbers. The trick is to get three to five times as much initial production and ultimate reserve recovery from the multi-frac horizontals as from vertical wells, which may cost half as much.
What are the limits of multi-frac horizontal technology? As producers expand its geographic and geological boundaries, Packers Plus continues to push the technical envelope. In August, the company said it successfully ran a 20-stage Bakken frac for Petrobank. Announced less than two months ago, that milestone is already history. Packers Plus is already doing up to 32-stage fracs for Bakken clients in the U.S., and even that astonishing record will soon bite the dust, said Themig. "We're very close to release of a second-generation HD system that potentially will give us over 60 fracs."
The biggest potential prize is locked in the Cardium formation. Spread over several fields, the Cardium's initial oil in-place oil is almost a quarter of the total in the
Operators are taking either of two approaches. Some are using multi-frac horizontals on the edges of the field in virgin reservoir that was too thin or too tight to produce from vertical wells.
Others, like TriAxon, are drilling in the main part of the field where there's been depletion and waterflooding, but where some of the units have very low recovery factors. There are typically sandstone reservoirs. Doing multi-frac horizontals in the main part of the field are typically targeting the sandstone where there's more oil left.