Refracking may release a third more oil from shale wells

There is a developing trend of ‘refracking’ old shale oil wells in the U.S. that looks set to reap significant benefits. The short life span of shale wells, long thought to be perhaps the single biggest weakness of the shale industry, is being stretched out. Early evidence of the effects of restimulation suggests that the…


Barnett Shale research raises new concerns about methane emissions

Researchers from the University of Houston found that some natural gas wells, compressor stations and processing plants in the Barnett Shale leak far more methane (CH4) than previously estimated, potentially offsetting the climate benefits of natural gas. The study is one of 11 papers published in the July 7 edition of Environmental Science & Technology,…


Maturing Wolfcamp Delaware shale play in US offers promise – IHS

Located in the western portion of the Permian Basin, which straddles the Texas-New Mexico border, the Wolfcamp Delaware play is an emerging hydrocarbon play that, according to new analysis from IHS, has the economic potential to sustain select operators through this period of distressed oil prices. However, IHS says that like most adolescents, the play…


Water used for fracking varies widely across the US

The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new USGS study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The research found that water…


US shale drillers’ safety net is vanishing – analysts

The insurance protecting shale drillers against plummeting prices has become so crucial that for one company, SandRidge Energy, payments from the hedges accounted for a stunning 64% of first-quarter revenue, according to a report by Bloomberg. Now the safety net is going away, news agency says. The insurance that producers bought before the collapse in…