hydraulic fracturing

Free Data and More Coming From Hydraulic Fracturing Test Sites

A growing volume of free data and reports from US shale fracturing test sites is available, with more on the way.

A microseismic image of a well pad at the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site.
Source: Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site.

Free data from the first Permian Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site is available online and reports from the second test site will be available this summer.

Those reports offer a unique look at fracturing in the Midland and Delaware Basins, using nearly every diagnostic test an engineer can think of and analysis by technology leaders including Occidental and Shell among the partners.

Because the US government shares the cost with industry partners, the data are made publicly available after a period during which the companies that pay half the cost have exclusive access to it.

The data posted draw on work begun more than 5 years ago. It is available on the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s EDX data sharing site (details below).

The files offer processed data from testing done at an 11-well pad in the Midland Basin dating back to 2015, said Gary Covatch, a petroleum engineer at the US Department of Energy.

It is broken into 11 categories, from well specifications and microseismic imaging to bottomhole pressure data and oil fingerprint data. The word production is not used to describe what is available.

Many gigabits of analysis are drawn from around 8 terabytes of raw data, which was more than NETL’s site can publicly share. Those looking for more should contact Covatch and be prepared to describe how they will manage the logistics of moving and storing really large datasets.

In late July, the partners on the second Permian Hydraulic Fracturing Test site will be delivering their first reports during three in-person special sessions at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in Houston.

The sessions are divided into an introduction to the project and site, papers on how the fracturing and the resulting fracture network were evaluated, and a session on the fractures found in a slant core from a well drilled past the fractured wells and how those are related to the microseismic images.

Fracturing Test Data Site

Data from the first two of many fracturing tests sites have been posted online.

The first, in the Permian, was the one simply called the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site, located in the Midland Basin. Its data files are found here. For a description of the site plus contact information for those with questions or requests, visit the test site page.

Most of the data was posted 1 year ago and does not yet include information about the enhanced oil recovery testing done about a mile from the fracturing test area. That work was described in general terms in a paper at the Improved Oil Recovery Conference last year (SPE 200468).

Descriptions of the papers to be presented at URTeC in July about Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site 2 can be found in the conference program.

Data from the first-ever test site studying fracturing in the Marcellus Shale are posted here.