The history of hydraulic fracturing in the United States dates back to 1947 and has been used safely in more than 1.2 million wells. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping fluid into reservoirs to artificially induce fractures. This process increases pathways and exposure between the wellbore and the surrounding reservoir rock, enhancing the productivity and hydrocarbon recovery of each well.
Fracture stimulation fluid is typically comprised of over 99% water and sand. The remaining fluid consists of chemical additives that optimize placement and production from the reservoir. The fracture stimulation fluids used in all of our plays are analyzed for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX), and test results demonstrate that these constituents are not present at laboratory detection limits. Additionally, we do not use diesel fuel as an additive in any of our hydraulic fracture stimulation fluids. In conjunction with our service providers, we periodically review these chemical additives, switching to green additives (less toxic) and using other treatment processes, such as ultraviolet treatment for bacteria, whenever possible. Over the past four years, we have increased our use of green additives by approximately 33%.
QEP supports disclosure of the contents of hydraulic fracturing fluids, and submits or has its contractors submit information regarding its well stimulations and the fluids to the national online registry, FracFocus (www.fracfocus.org).
For more information about the process of hydraulic fracturing, please visit FracFocus, which describes many aspects of the technology and process, including well design and integrity, well pad equipment, resource depth and water management. As stated on the FracFocus website, “The listing of a chemical as proprietary on the fracturing record is based on the Trade Secret provisions provided for in state law for the state in which the well is located.”