SHALE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
Best practices for more production, less HSE impact
It was only 1981, when George Mitchell began experimenting with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett shale. In just 33 years, we have discovered scores of major shale plays in North America and often, through trial and error, we’ve built up an enormous body of knowledge regarding shale formation evaluation, horizontal drilling, multi-stage fracturing and water management.
Since each shale play is different, and there could be major variations within a few miles of even a particular play, it is necessary to “crack the code” for a specific shale well program. Nevertheless, as the articles in this Shale Technology Review demonstrate, it is possible to establish certain “best practices” processes for each phase of shale E&P, regardless of where the activity is taking place.
If I may be bold enough to make a prediction, I think that within the next decade, there will be operators, who will be able to adapt the North American shale experience toward developing major shale plays in countries as geologically diverse as Argentina, Australia, China and, possibly, England.