A new, integrated drilling and fracturing site which could cut down on the amount of equipment used for shale gas exploration has been launched by Chinese rig manufacturers, Honghua Group Limited at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Compared to a conventional fracturing site, the shale gas solution has three main advantages, believes the company. Firstly it requires less equipment, allowing for a significantly smaller footprint and quick deployment.
The set of new, highly automated rigs includes three types, operating simultaneously to drill vertical and horizontal sections. Honghua's system provides a 6000 horsepower fracturing pump; three dual-pump fracturing trucks can reach the same capacity generated by 20 trucks in a conventional operation. Additionally, only six of Honghua's flexible water tanks can satisfy fracturing operations that would generally require 30 tanks.
It also allows for a cost savings of at least 10 per cent as compared to conventional solutions. In addition to the obvious cost advantages associated with a reduction in equipment, Honghua replaces the conventional diesel generator with a gas generator, allowing the use of self-produced shale gas for power generation. With Honghua's solution, about 178 tons of diesel fuel per well can be saved.
In addition the system could save up to 226 tons of carbon emissions per well. After completion, it is estimated that 60 per cent of the land occupied can be reutilised, according to Honghua.
"We are very pleased to launch this new solution at OTC 2012. This represents a significant step in land drilling and fracturing and we are excited to bring this innovative technology to the US," said Zhang Mi, Honghua Group, Chairman & President.
The integrated solution is scheduled to be commercially implemented in a large scale within two years.