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Eastern Section Meeting

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Using Hydraulic Fracturing Characteristics to Anticipate Environmental and Regulatory Change

Abstract

Characterization of high volume hydraulic fracturing of long-length horizontal wells can be accomplished through the use of public disclosure submittals made to FracFocus for much of North America. Not only can the volumes of water, sand and chemicals associated with fracture stimulation be characterized in various shale plays, this data combined with other data sets can be used for benchmarking. Benchmarking analysis has utility for a broad variety of purposes that range from assessing water use among drillers and service companies to understanding well density and cumulative environmental impacts. By expanding this sort of analysis even further, projections can be made for future activity, resource demands, and environmental impacts. Considering the near continuous expansion of new regulations, political action (e.g., taxes, RUMAs, etc.), and an expanding number of public concerns (e.g., induced seismicity), forward-looking analysis affords the ability to anticipate technical, economic, and other impacts. Understanding these forecasts can be critical for achieving development goals and maintaining a social license to operate. This paper will present characteristics of hydraulic fracturing activity, comparative data analysis, and provide insights to future challenges.