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During a panel discussion at the 2013 World Oil ShaleTech conference, several questions were raised about the size of hydraulic fractures in horizontal shale wells. Specifically, are we over-fracturing horizontal shale wells? These queries beg the basic question: Can we determine what is the right fracture size? What made the question more pertinent were presentations that showed fracturing cost to be the major component of total well costs, often its biggest piece! Based on my reading of existing practices within the companies that I am familiar with, I offer my perspective on the subject.
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