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With fracking and horizontal drilling, recovery from a deposit can be much higher than previously possible. Even more recent technological changes have increased both the efficiency and the reward from extraction of hydrocarbons from deep shale deposits. One example is octopus drilling.

Octopus drilling

Octopus drilling (see Figure 15-5) combines horizontal drilling and fracking with multiple wells on a single pad, or platform, to tap multiple deposits. This has made drilling faster and more efficient and has bolstered recovery rates even further. With octopus drilling, there can be as many as 18 wells emanating from one pad, enabling oil firms to secure even larger columns of oil or gas from shale deposits.

By 2014, the Eagle Ford formations in South Texas were producing nearly 2 million barrels per day, double that of the rich Bakken shale formations centered in North Dakota. Under the methods presented above, Texas will likely produce 4 million bbls per day by 2020, or double that of Nigeria in 2013.

In tight shale formations, decline curves have tended to be very steep. That is, initially the volume of oil (and/or gas) comes in strong, but then drops off. The decline rate in a single shale well can be as high as 60% in the first year, continuing on into the second and third years increasing rate each year.

To see the significance of this, consider a typical type of well drilled in the Texas Eagle Ford Shale (a formation, not a location) where the northern portion of the formation yields primarily crude oil, while the southern portion yields mainly natural gas. Marcellus shale formations in the U.S. North East produces mostly gas. Compare this with a “noble” oil well in Angola or the huge Saudi Sheba Field, located near Bahrain.

These “noble” wells in the mid-east have produced 15,000 to 20,000 bbls oil a day in the first year of production. After that output falls by about 20% in the first four years of operations (about 4.5% decline per year).

But in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas a well might produce only a few hundred bbls per day in the first year, with a decline rate of about 7.5% per year thereafter. This is why over 12,000 wells have been drilled in just 3 Texas locations since 1999 with perhaps 100,000 new wells nationwide.

Decline rates differ significantly in different shale deposits. In the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, a typical well loses 44% of its production after a year. To counter the rapid decline rates, drillers have resorted to “octopus” drilling illustrated earlier

It is for this reason (rapid decline rates) that U.S. production of crude oil is expected to increase from 5.82 million bbls per day to a peak of about 7.54 million bbls per day in 2019. Then, as shale fields mature, crude production is expected to fall to 6.13 million bbls per day within a few years. Some oil industry leaders say that while very welcome, shale oil is a temporary bonanza for the U.S. So even if U.S. becomes the world’s largest oil producer and a leading natural gas producer by 2019, this will not mean U.S. energy independence forever (as some think).

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Economic development for the 21st century. OpenStax CNX. Jun 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11747/1.12
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