Extracting oil and gas from unconventional deposits like shale gas is easier and more economic with Tracerco technology

An unconventional challenge

The rise of unconventional oil and gas, such as shale gas, brings significant challenges on cost for producers. In conventional reserves, oil and gas flow freely through the materials they are held in and so are relatively easy to extract. In unconventional reserves the materials are less permeable and so the extraction techniques are more expensive to carry out. If you think of conventional resources as a wet sponge, and unconventional resources as wet clay – it is far easier to squeeze water out of the sponge than it is the clay.

Our Process Technologies Oil and Gas business helps its customers increase their productivity with its Tracerco speciality chemical tracers. Using tracers let customers pinpoint the stages of an oil or gas well that are successfully producing, saving costs by eliminating unproductive areas and capitalising on the productive areas.

Tracing productivity

Unique, patented chemicals, each one dedicated to a specific phase and stage, are added to the fracking fluid injected into the well. Then, the Tracer Production Log TM tells its story – giving customers real insight into their operations and allowing them to identify the unproductive stages.

Customers at Eagle Ford Shale are already taking advantage of this unique offering and have saved 20% in costs.

New tracers are now being developed to meet the growing needs of this industry. An ever increasing number of these unique tracers will service more complex multi-stage operations.

The data gained from the tracers is also being used to help design extraction strategies – including the number of perforations and cluster spacing – all important considerations in hydraulic fracturing methods.

A deeper look

Find out more about Tracerco technology in Vol 60 Issue 3 of the Johnson Matthey Technology Review: Measuring Stage Water, Gas and Oil Production Using Tracerco Chemical Tracer Technology