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Chesapeake Energy hydraulic fracturing method

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Published on May 24, 2012

In order to maximize the production potential for a natural gas well, the shale formation must be hydraulically fractured. This video outlines and demonstrates the hydraulic fracturing process in Chesapeake Energy natural gas operations. For more information on fracking, visit www.hydraulicfracturing.com.

In order to maximize the production potential of the well, the shale formation will be hydraulically fractured. In preparation for the fracturing process the casing will be perforated in the horizontal portion of the well using tubing conveyed perforating guns containing explosive charges. The perforated intervals are spaced approximately 50 to 80 feet a part and creating connection between the production casing and the shale formation.With the initial perforating complete the tubing and perforating guns are pulled to the surface and the work over rig is replaced by a hydraulic fracturing crew consisting of a number of high pressure pumps and blending equipment. This equipment will pump a mixture of water and proppant usually sand through the newly created perforations in the production casing and into the shale formation. First, water is passed from a water storage impoundment into the blue working tanks depicted on this location.The water is then pulled in to a hydration unit which provides the ability to gel the fluid before it is transferred to the blender. At the blender proppant and a small amount of chemicals that aid in the fracturing process are added. The blender transfers the fluid in proppant mixture to the pump trucks through low pressure side of the manifold. The fracturing pumps increase the pressure of the fluid sending it back through the high pressure side of the manifold to the factory where it enters the well. The entire fracturing process is controlled from the treatment monitoring van. When the fracturing fluid reaches the perforations, pressure builds until the shale formation fractures allowing fluid to enter into the formation.Additional fractures are created along natural zones of weakness in the shale. These fractures are contained within the shale formation well below the ground. After an initial stage of fluid called the pad is bumped to create a fracture area proppant is added to the fluid and is distributed throughout the newly created facture network. At the conclusion of the fracturing treatment the proppant allows the fractures to remain open so that the natural gas can flow into the production casing and to the surface. This completes the first of several stages in the fracturing process.This process is repeated by lowering and pumping down an isolation plug and perforating guns into the well bore to complete the next stage of fracturing. This time the tools are conveyed into the well by a wire line unit which allows the fracturing process to proceed much faster and more efficiently. A lubricator is used to control the pressure of the well while the operation is taking place. On the bottom of the perforating gun a composite bridge plug is placed to isolate the newly fractured zone. This insures that the subsequent fracturing treatment is contained in the current zone. The perforating gun is again fired at roughly 50 to 80 foot intervals creating a connection between the production casing in the shale formation.The fracturing process is then repeated until all of the stages are completed. A typical shale well has approximately 8 to 12 stages of fracturing. At the conclusion of the fracturing operations the isolation plugs are removed from the well and production can start. The produce fluids are diverted through a flow back manifold into storage tanks. The fluids are then recycled or disposed of according to state and federal regulations.

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