ResFrac is releasing Egor Dontsov’s new crack propagation algorithm, MuLTipEl, a major new development in the field of fracture modeling. The algorithm tracks the position of the crack tip within each crack element, giving us unlimited spatial resolution to handle propagation across thin layers, and enables high accuracy 3D crack propagation calculations, even if using a relatively coarse mesh and accounts for detailed layering and heterogeneity of the formation.
We’re excited to announce that Mark McClure, ResFrac CEO was chosen to receive a “TWA Energy Influencers Class of 2021” award, given by The Way Ahead, a publication of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. This honor was given to seventeen young professionals, under the age of 36, “who excel in their fields at a level superior to that of their peers, yielding second-to-none achievements. Their outstanding efforts help shape the narrative around key issues in the energy sector for future generations.” Learn more about all those awarded on The Way Ahead website.
The ResFrac team has been going full speed this year! At our ‘virtual water-cooler’, I noticed that we have quite a few team members who are endurance and/or competitive athletes and did interviews to learn more about our athletic pursuits and how we have been able to fit athleticism in even around the most challenging schedules and in the craziest of years. Here are a few things I learned…
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.
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.
Professor Zoback in The Onion
This blog post reviews technical opportunities and challenges for next-generation geothermal systems. Multistage hydraulic stimulation, which has been transformative in the oil and gas space, has the potential to create a breakthrough for geothermal energy.