By Kelli Ainsworth, Editorial Coordinator
Schlumberger is launching the Automated Stimulation Delivery Platform, focused on improving surface efficiency at the wellsite in order to make onshore unconventional wells more economic. Geometric cluster placement and insufficient understanding of fracture networks mean that an average 40% of clusters and 40% of fractures in North American unconventional wells are not productive, Amir Nessim, President of Well Services for Schlumberger, said. He cited production log data and microseismic data. “If you combine all this, and based on an IHS report, we can reasonably estimate that 40% of the wells are not economical,” Mr Nessim said at a launch event on 25 January at the 2017 Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference in the Woodlands, Texas.
The automated platform, which is electrically powered and fully automated, consists of three major components: a process trailer, pump delivery silos and an automated missile. “This new platform lets us optimize crew size, reduces the equipment footprint and rig up/rig down time, and greatly reduces the employees’ exposure to dust,” Mr. Nessim said. The system is also equipped with predictive health management technology, allowing the equipment to be maintained proactively, avoiding failure and reducing downtime.
The process trailer is capable of mixing up to 20,000 lb/min of proppant and can pump 120 bbl/min. Because the trailer combines the blender and hydration unit capabilities, it reduces the wellsite footprint. The system’s four pump delivery silos have a total capacity of 1 million lb. The silos are filled with sand or proppant at a rate of 10,000 lb/min, either via gravity or a pneumatic process. An automated missile feeds the fluids into high-pressure pumps and to the wellhead.
“The pumps are controlled through fully automated modes, so it greatly reduces the need for pump operators, as well as the time it takes and the possibility for error,” Mr Nessim said. Without the need for pump operators, employees are removed from high-pressure areas, thus improving safety at the wellsite, he added.