EOG Resources Inc., a Houston-based crude oil and natural gas company, is testing the use of different types, quantities and mixtures of hydraulic fracturing fluids, and are sharing their findings throughout EOG.
The company has engaged outside laboratories to assist in this effort. One of EOG’s ongoing goals is to further minimize the amount of chemicals required for hydraulic fracturing in the completion of its wells.
“EOG has captured premier positions in key U.S. onshore oil plays – the South Texas Eagle Ford, North Dakota Bakken and Delaware Basin, and we continue to enhance their profitability,” said Mark G. Papa, executive chairman of the board. “EOG's financial metrics reflect the superior quality of these assets, as well as our technical acumen in improving well completion design and our ongoing focus on reducing costs.”
EOG is also testing the use of newer and more environmentally compatible additives that are being developed by various oilfield service companies. Through this process, the company is generally using hydraulic fracturing fluids with fewer chemicals.
During 2012, EOG tested friction reducers and scale inhibitors promoted as being more environmentally compatible by the manufacturers. EOG is also testing an advanced, non-chemical oxidation process for controlling bacteria, algae and scale that would replace a chemical additive used in the hydraulic fracturing fluids.
All chemicals used in EOG’s hydraulic fracturing operations are highly diluted, resulting in fluids that are typically more than 99 percent sand and water and less than 1 percent highly diluted chemical additives. While EOG will continue to find ways to optimize chemical additives and minimize any impact of these additives, government and independently conducted studies have shown there are minimal risks to public health and the environment from the fluids that are currently utilized.
EOG also has increased the use of visualization technology, called microseismic, to monitor the hydraulic fracturing process. This technology allows the company to measure the size and placement of the fractures. The data confirms that the fractures are separated from drinking water aquifers by thousands of feet of impermeable rock and that the risk of migration of fluids to drinking water aquifers or the surface is not significant.