Archive

Chesapeake Energy declares ‘propageddon’ | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Chesapeake Energy declares ‘propageddon’

The era of the monster frack has arrived in North America, and Chesapeake Energy Corp. is singing its praises.

Chesapeake said Thursday at an analyst conference that it set a new record for fracking by pumping more than 25,000 tons of sand down one Louisiana natural gas well, a process the shale driller christened “propageddon.” The super-sized dose of sand — known as “proppant” — is able to prop open bigger and more numerous cracks in the rock for oil and gas to flow. Output from the well increased 70 percent over traditional fracking techniques, Jason Pigott, vice president of operations, said during a presentation.

“What we’re doing is un‑leashing hell on every gas molecule downhole,” Pigott said.

Shale drillers aren’t holding back in North American shale fields, where the average amount of sand used for each well has doubled since 2014, according to Evercore ISI.

At the same time, the length that wells are drilled sideways underground has grown by 50 percent, and the number of zones for hydraulic fracking are also up by half. Each zone of the well isolated for each frack is growing larger as service companies attempt to break down more of the oil-soaked rock into rubble and cram more sand into the crevices for the hydrocarbons to escape.

The more massive and complex wells are helping producers manage through the worst financial crisis in a generation by drawing more oil and gas at reduced costs. The price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, cratered to a 12-year low in February and still trades at less than half the $100-plus prices of June 2014. To cope with the market crash, companies slashed billions in spending and cut more than 350,000 workers around the globe.

Explorers are taking advantage of the larger frack jobs while prices for oilfield work remain low. Halliburton Co., the world’s largest fracking provider, told analysts and investors Wednesday that about 70 percent of the industry’s fleet of frack pumps are being put to use.

Halliburton confirmed it executed the record frack for Chesapeake.

The amount of proppant used in Chesapeake’s record-setting well was more than twice the amount used on a per-foot basis in traditional frack jobs, according to a slide presentation that accompanied Pigott’s remarks. The company used 50.185 million pounds of sand in a well in the Haynesville shale region of Louisiana earlier this month. The well had a lateral length of 9,764 feet.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.