Schlumberger 2012 Annual Report - page 9

the pressure drop along the path from the pore to the
wellbore. Maximizing both flow rate and recovery
depends greatly on stimulation technologies. Hydraulic
fracturing is one stimulation technology routinely per-
formed on oil and gas wells in low-permeability reser-
voirs. Specially engineered fluids are pumped at high
pressure and high rate into the interval to be treated,
causing fractures in the reservoir rock. Proppant, such
as sand or ceramic spheres, is mixed with the fluids to
keep the fractures open to promote fluid flow.
Over the 60 years since the discovery of hydraulic
fracturing, various techniques beyond simply increas-
ing pumping horsepower have been developed to
improve performance. But the true revolution in
hydraulic fracturing occurred in 2010, when
Schlumberger commercialized the HiWAY engineered
fracturing service and radically changed the way that
the conductivity of the fracture is generated. HiWAY
technology integrates reservoir modeling, optimized
perforating, specialized fluids, and process-controlled
delivery to construct a hydraulic fracture with a
complex network of stable flow channels within the
fracture. Instead of flowing through a proppant pack
of sand grains or ceramic spheres, the hydrocarbon
flows through open channels of infinite conductivity.
By changing the nature of the flow pathway, HiWAY
conductivity-enabled fracturing optimizes production
and improves recovery.
But not only does HiWAY fracture conductivity
increase well performance, it also uses less proppant
and less water in the process. Doing more with less in
fracturing operations means fewer trips to transport
proppant and water to the wellsite, a smaller footprint
on location, less dependence on proppant supply, and
less water returned to surface.
HiWAY technology has enjoyed exceptional market
penetration. Only two years after its introduction, more
than 10,000 operations have been performed, with the
number of stages in 2012 double that of 2011. HiWAY
operations have been conducted for more than 80 cus-
tomers in 15 countries, and approximately one-fifth of
all Schlumberger fracture stimulation jobs use HiWAY
One related recent industry development that has
been driven largely by the tremendous increase in
shale gas production has been the renewed recogni-
tion that fracturing operations consist of two compo-
nents—hydraulic horsepower and fracturing fluid
technology. While the first of these is a commodity, the
value lies in the second. To address this opportunity,
the Schlumberger SPARK* stimulation technology
delivery platform was introduced this year to enable
customers to benefit from advanced stimulation
technologies such as
HiWAY service while
deploying their own
personnel and pumping
equipment to perform
the stimulation treat-
ment. This flexible approach provides unprecedented
access to Schlumberger stimulation technology while
not limiting its field deployment to Schlumberger-
owned pumping equipment.
Controlling Flow Intelligently
In 1996, Schlumberger set a goal be able to monitor
and control, in real time, many of the key processes
associated with producing a hydrocarbon reservoir.
Driven by this vision to transform oil production prac-
tices and enable a step increase in recovery rates,
Schlumberger has been developing intelligent comple-
tion technologies since the late 1990s, establishing a
strong leadership position.
Intelligent completions allow real-time monitoring
of wellbore data and provide the ability to remotely
control flow within the well. The technology not only
controls flow from the reservoir into the well but also
can be used to positively influence larger-scale reser-
voir fluid movements. Early on, operational complex-
ity, system reliability, and equipment cost limited
adoption of intelligent completions as well as realiza-
tion of some of the benefits. However, the last few years
have seen increased acceptance and greater interest in
intelligent completions, with the market drivers being
the pursuit of optimized production, reduced or elimi-
nated intervention, and improved recovery.
Maximizing both flow rate
and recovery depends
greatly on stimulation
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