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Why Multistage Stimulation Could Transform the Geothermal Industry

Flow rate is a major challenge for geothermal. However, the techniques used in shale to prevent flow localization can be applied directly to geothermal. If we can create hundreds or thousands of flowing fracture pathways around a horizontal or deviated geothermal well, then we will have truly “changed the game.” Read the article at the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

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Cyclists pose for photo

ResFrac Endurance Team takes on The Triple Bypass

Three brave ResFrac riders took on the Triple Bypass rider in Colorado on August 21. The Triple Bypass is a famous Colorado ride stretching 110 miles and climbing 11,000 ft between Evergreen, CO and Vail, CO.  Egor Donstov, Janz Rondon, and Garrett Fowler rode this year, sporting ResFrac jerseys and lively Mongoose tattoos. While Egor and Garrett enjoyed the views, Janz powered up the climbs, finishing in eighth in a field of over 500 riders in the 40+ category.

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ResFrac user meeting

Last month we held our third annual ResFrac Symposium, where users presented case studies and panel discussions on industry topics. This year’s lineup featured six operator-speakers as well as guests from the DOE and an independent consultant. We had several talks centered around core workflows enabled by teams using ResFrac: collecting data, facilitating multidisciplinary discussions, calibrating to field diagnostics, and performing economic optimization of prospective designs.

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Technical articles

Holistic permeability correlation

Theoretical and Empirical Problems with the Holistic Permeability Correlation for DFIT Interpretation

In this post, I focus on a particular correlation that is sometimes used in the industry to estimate permeability from a shale DFIT: the ‘holistic permeability correlation.’ I show that this correlation can greatly overestimate permeability. When applied to optimize frac design, well spacing, and cluster spacing, overestimated permeability leads to significant loss of economic value.

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ResFrac updates

Why Multistage Stimulation Could Transform the Geothermal Industry

Flow rate is a major challenge for geothermal. However, the techniques used in shale to prevent flow localization can be applied directly to geothermal. If we can create hundreds or thousands of flowing fracture pathways around a horizontal or deviated geothermal well, then we will have truly “changed the game.” Read the article at the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

Read more
Cyclists pose for photo

ResFrac Endurance Team takes on The Triple Bypass

Three brave ResFrac riders took on the Triple Bypass rider in Colorado on August 21. The Triple Bypass is a famous Colorado ride stretching 110 miles and climbing 11,000 ft between Evergreen, CO and Vail, CO.  Egor Donstov, Janz Rondon, and Garrett Fowler rode this year, sporting ResFrac jerseys and lively Mongoose tattoos. While Egor and Garrett enjoyed the views, Janz powered up the climbs, finishing in eighth in a field of over 500 riders in the 40+ category.

Read more

ResFrac user meeting

Last month we held our third annual ResFrac Symposium, where users presented case studies and panel discussions on industry topics. This year’s lineup featured six operator-speakers as well as guests from the DOE and an independent consultant. We had several talks centered around core workflows enabled by teams using ResFrac: collecting data, facilitating multidisciplinary discussions, calibrating to field diagnostics, and performing economic optimization of prospective designs.

Read more

Industry perspectives

Epistemic Challenges for Subsurface Engineering, Part II: Creating Value with a Hypothesis-Driven Workflow

How can we reconsider our approach to subsurface engineering in order to evaluate claims of truth and drive long-term value? I propose a hypothesis-driven approach, in which field testing is placed at the center of our efforts to assess the truth and improve over time. Physics-based and data-driven approaches are used as hypothesis-generating activities that motivate and prioritize hypothesis testing through field operations. Effective field testing requires the coordination of operations to enable clean well-to-well production comparisons and the design of data collection to enable strongly supported conclusions. Field testing need not increase the cost of field operations if it is done through intentional and thoughtful planning.

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Epistemic Challenges for Subsurface Engineering, Part I: The Persistence of False Beliefs

In a recent blog post, I outlined how companies use field tests, modeling, statistical analysis, and laboratory studies to improve over time. Information is synthesized as part of an iterative process of continuous improvement. In this post, I discuss what happens when the process of continuous improvement runs into trouble. In uncertain environments (like subsurface shale), there is a tendency toward overconfidence. We need to act, and in doing so convince ourselves that we are making the right decision. Sometimes we hire experts who ‘confidently confirm’ our beliefs. This is symptomatic of a phenomenon called confirmation bias, where we tend to ignore new data and outcomes that contradict our initial beliefs. After committing to strong claims, we may have difficulty changing course when it becomes apparent that they are not consistent with observations. This can cause false beliefs to persist for years, long after they have been falsified by field data.

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