Gone are the days when lateral lengths in unconventional wells measured in hundreds of meters (or feet) were considered long. While it is not uncommon to hear of lateral lengths measuring in miles in plays like the Bakken, those lengths are starting to crop up with more frequency in the Permian Basin, Utica and elsewhere.
According to Stratas Advisors, the trend to longer laterals and more intensely fractured wells is expected to continue. Lateral lengths are estimated to increase by another 10% this year, according to the analysts. Proppant intensity is a good proxy for the level of intensity on the completion, with Stratas estimating proppant intensity also to increase 10% this year.
The articles that follow feature the technologies, from 3,000-hp rigs to redesigned pressure pumping systems and more, making it possible for operators to get more oil and gas in the pipeline by going longer.
Read each of E&P magazine's July "shale technologies" cover stories: