Hydraulic fracturing has been described as one of the three most significant technologies to be developed in the upstream oil and gas industry in the last 50 years (the other two being 3D seismic and horizontal wells). However, the traditional approach to hydraulic fracturing has been that it is a technology best applied to new wells, drilled into low permeability formations. It is true that fracturing has been highly successful in this environment - but it is also true that fracturing can be both technically and economically successful in a very wide range of reservoirs, including depleted, oil and gas assets.
Various strategies such as skin bypass fracturing, batch fracturing, screenless frac-packs, coiled tubing fracturing and neutral density proppant fracturing can be combined with complimentary techniques for zonal isolation, relative permeability modification and scale inhibition, to produce low-cost, high-value solutions for mature assets. Success in this environment is not necessarily about using the latest and greatest fluid system or computer monitoring technique. The successful application of hydraulic fracturing to mature oil and gas reservoirs is about recognising that there is a wide range of appropriate solutions available. A number of case histories will be used to illustrate the effectiveness of these techniques, when they are systematically applied.
One idea I would like members to take away from this lecture: Hydraulic fracturing is not just for new wells in tight formations.
Tony Martin graduated from Imperial College, London, with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Petroleum Engineering. He has spent 24 years in the service sector and has completed engineering assignments all over the world. Throughout his career, Tony's primary interest has been hydraulic fracturing and he has been involved in fracturing projects in over 40 different countries.
Tony teaches fracturing, acidizing and sand control both in-house and externally to customers. A constant theme in this teaching is the need to de-mystify the world of hydraulic fracturing, in an attempt to make the process more accessible and less intimidating. He is the author or co-author of numerous SPE papers and has served on the technical committees for several SPE events. He is the Baker Hughes Subject Matter Expert on Hydraulic Fracturing and is the author of Baker’s Hydraulic Fracturing Manual, as well as co-editor of the book Modern Fracturing: Enhancing Natural Gas Production. Tony has also been awarded the SPE Central and Southern Europe Region Technology Award, for contributions to Production and Operations. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2008-09 and now sits on the SPE’s Distinguished Lecturer Committee.
Tony is currently Baker Hughes’ Director for Offshore Stimulation and is based in London.