Innovation in Refracturing and Restimulation, North America, 2018
Innovation in refracturing and restimulation is creating new opportunities for participants in the oil and gas industry. Volatility of oil prices is driving a growing need for reducing production cost, fueling technological advances to propel the growth of refracturing and restimulation procedures. Innovation in refracturing and restimulation is expected to create growth opportunities in the coming years across upstream (exploration and production) avenues. As operators and equipment providers foray into the digital landscape, service providers are expected not to stay far behind. Technological advances focused on reducing production cost and improving operational efficiency will be key drivers of growth in refracturing and restimulation.
Growth opportunities for refracturing and restimulation will have significant impact on the overall oil and gas industry. While there are a few challenges and pain points prevalent in this space, technological investments by all market participants (operators, equipment manufacturers, service providers, as well as contractors) are expected to address most of the existing concerns. The recent development of IIoT-based solutions leverages historical production data that aids in precise determination of the ideal wellbore. This, coupled with effective isolation and diversions technologies, represents significant opportunities for refracturing and restimulation activities. With innovation driving operational efficiencies, initial capital investment is a major consideration for market participants. Several operators, equipment manufacturers, and service providers are often deterred by the high initial cost of investment and market uncertainties due to fluctuating crude oil prices. Operators such as Pioneer Natural Resources, Chesapeake Energy, and ExxonMobil along with equipment and service providers such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Weatherford are positioned as innovators in the refracturing and restimulation market primarily due to their continued investments in effective and economical technologies. These investments outline their strategies for growth in the overall oil and gas market.
Oil prices are witnessing significant volatility and trending at new lows, largely driven by inconsistencies in oil production in both OPEC and non-OPEC countries. This has increased the pressure on oil operators and equipment service providers to reduce the total cost of production. As a result, operators as well as equipment and service providers are focusing on the refracturing and restimulation of old wellbores. It is thus imperative for operators, equipment manufacturers, and service providers to monitor and evaluate technological innovations and new refracturing and restimulation methodologies, which will help in determining the ideal wellbores and the appropriate methodologies for their refracturing and restimulation to improve operational efficiencies. Permian Basin is expected to be a prime area of focus based on the refracturing and restimulation work done so far. Eagle Ford has also showed potential with significant production increase (30% to 70%) during 2015–2017. Innovations in data analysis, isolation, proppant tracers, diverting technology (mechanical and chemical), and real-time reservoir monitoring will propel the implementation of refracturing solutions. Economic considerations (50% to 70% lesser than drilling and completing a new well) and technological feasibility (% of potential EUR produced/remaining, offset characteristics, pressure depletion) will also be key drivers in the refracturing and restimulation market in coming years.
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