Horizontal well completions provide the GasGun propellant stimulation tool with a unique set of opportunities. Horizontal wells typically produce oil and gas at significantly improved flow rates over their vertical counterparts. This is because more of the reservoir is exposed by drilling through it horizontally rather than being limited to the reservoir thickness as is the case in a vertical well. This also allows for the opportunity to effectively stimulate more of the reservoir.
Fractures generated by propellant tools are limited in length primarily by the type of propellant that is used and the quantity of propellant that can be placed adjacent to the reservoir. The progressively burning solid propellant contained in the GasGun tool is specifically formulated to deliver the maximum amount of energy possible across the formation. As a result, the tool creates longer and wider fractures with improved flow characteristics over other competing products.
This is particularly important in horizontal wells where creating the maximum amount of fracture surface area in the horizontal section is essential to achieving optimum production rates. This is achieved with hydraulic fracturing by stimulating the formation in multiple stages. These hydraulic fracs are very expensive and complex to engineer, but are often a necessary step to make the well a commercial success.
Propellant stimulations can compete effectively with hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells because of the amount of exposure to the formation. An operator can choose to run hundreds or even thousands of feet of propellant in a horizontal well. This allows for a propellant tool to create an extensive amount of fracturing in the targeted formation. While propellant fracturing of a horizontal well is more expensive than their vertical counterparts it is still often just a fraction of the cost of hydraulic fracturing.
Propellant stimulations are also much more environmentally friendly because there is little onsite equipment and do not require that massive amounts of water and chemicals be injected into the earth.
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