Shale Producers Continue Pursuit of Fracking Advances

Service companies are working to help shale operators get the most out of aging fields while cutting costs and emissions.

Liberty says it is constantly striving for further efficiency gains and aiming to step up how much it can pump. (Source: Liberty Energy Inc.)

The shale industry has evolved considerably since its early days, and this evolution continues as producers keep pursuing technological advances and efficiency gains. While significant advances involving hydraulic fracturing and downhole completions technologies were previously made during commodity price downturns, the current high price environment does not appear to have stopped the pursuit of new gains.

Cost efficiency remains a priority, but there are also other drivers of technological advances that have emerged, including decarbonization. The industry is also taking a more sophisticated approach to gathering downhole data and responding to it more quickly.

There is room for improvement, however, and as the industry seeks ways to improve it can also be expected to increasingly embrace automation and digitalization. Another factor to consider is that shale basins are maturing, and producers are increasingly moving out from their core areas into more challenging acreage. Against this backdrop, improving the efficiency of completions and boosting well productivity becomes even more important.

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Anna Kachkova

Anna Kachkova is a freelance writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland.