During the heady “drill, baby, drill” days hydraulic fracturing was often just a brute-force technique to introduce enough permeability into shale plays to release the hydrocarbons. But operators quickly discovered that what worked well in one play didn’t necessarily translate to another, and they continue to experiment with lateral lengths and proppant loads to optimize their completions.

This month E&P takes a look at a company that has done just that in the Utica. Using its “Generation 3” completion scheme, Eclipse Resources is enjoying phenomenal success after first testing the strategy on its record-setting Purple Hayes well.

Logging-while-tripping technology aids operators who want to do engineered fractures by gathering log data while the pipe is being pulled out of the hole. This saves time and money and provides immediate formation evaluation information.

Other articles look at a new biosurfactant technology as well as the importance of proppant sand quality.

In this lower-for-longer environment, it’s likely that continued advances in hydraulic fracturing will lead to greater efficiencies and—the holy grail—increased production.

Read each cover story:

Recipe for success

Engineering better completions with LWT

Engineered biofluids control clay, fines

Quality control, logistics key to effective proppant