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Water Management In Unconventional Oil And Gas Development – The Issues And Their Optimization

789 words - 4 pages

The U.S. natural gas industry, and by extension the industry globally has borne witness to tremendous change over the past decade. During this period, U.S. natural gas production levels have risen from a twenty year low of 18 Tcf (510 Bcm ) in 2005, to an all-time high of 24 Tcf (680 Bcm) in 2012 . At the same time, natural gas prices have fallen to levels not seen since the period immediately following the U.S. gas market deregulation in the mid-nineties. The underlying driver of these dynamics has been the very rapid growth in the production of unconventional natural gas resources, and in particular shale gas resources – historically considered unrecoverable.
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For example, in the power generation sector, gas-fired generation is now expected to make up a much higher proportion of total U.S. output over the coming twenty to thirty years than was anticipated before the full extent of the so-called shale gas revolution became apparent. On the international front, the impacts of shale gas on the global energy systems are likely to be significant. Already, shale gas has essentially removed the U.S. from the global market for LNG imports. In fact, there are now a range of proposed projects at various levels of maturity planning to export LNG from the U.S. How these developments ultimately alter the shape of global gas markets remains to be seen; however, it is undeniable that U.S. shale gas is leading to a shift in both global gas market structures and altering energy-related geopolitical balances.
Hydraulic fracturing – A key enabler of unconventional gas production
The shale resource is really a collection of many hydrocarbon-prone mud rock formations with a diverse set of geological, geomechanical, geochemical and petrophysical characteristics. One unifying feature of these formations is that they generally do not produce gas at economically feasible rates unless artificially stimulated, owing to very low rock matrix permeability [1]. Hydraulic fracturing of these formations results in a significant enhancement in well productivity, and today it is a ubiquitous reservoir stimulation...

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