How many years of reserves do you have?
On a proved plus probable basis, our reserve life index as of December 31, 2015 was 25.2 years.
What is your production mix?
As at Q1, 2016, our production mix is balanced approximately 61% oil and liquids and 39% natural gas.
Why is horizontal drilling an improvement on previous drilling technology?
Horizontal drilling allows a well to be drilled vertically until, at a predetermined depth, the drilling direction can be changed up to 90 degrees, to make the drill bit travel horizontally. Horizontal drilling is efficient because it exposes more surface area of the targeted formation to the well bore than does a vertical well.
Horizontal wells also reduce the environmental footprint by requiring fewer surface locations, roads and pipelines. Drilling one horizontal well can be equivalent to drilling between five to ten vertical wells, so our surface impact and footprint by using horizontal wells is much smaller. Multi-well pads, depending on the location and the underlying resource, helps us to further reduce the surface footprint of our operations. We are currently drilling two to four horizontal wells per pad in most areas.
Why is hydraulic fracturing (fracing) necessary?
Oil and gas will not flow naturally (or will flow at very low rates) from some underground rock formations due to what is considered very dense, low permeability or “tight” rocks in those formations. In order to recover the oil and gas found in these very tight formations, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are required. The hydraulic fracturing process creates small cracks, or fractures, in the target formations deep in the earth, allowing the natural gas and oil trapped within this rock to flow into the well bore and to the surface.
Fracing wells helps reduce the number of wells needed to be drilled to recover the oil and gas in these tight formations and can also economically extract oil and gas from rock formations that is not possible with conventional drilling.
How does a sand frac work?
During the hydraulic fracturing process, fluid is pumped under high pressure into the formation to create small fractures. For most wells, the fluid used is approximately 99 percent water, nitrogen and sand. A small amount of special-purpose chemical additives make up the remaining one percent. These additives in the fluid mixture can vary for different applications and are described in more detail below.
Fresh water, brackish or saline water, recycled water or water produced from our other oil and gas operations may be used, depending on local availability. Nitrogen, which makes up approximately 78 percent of the atmosphere, is used to energize the water in the fracturing process so it flows back to the surface more easily, not unlike opening a can of shaken pop. Sand is used to fill the small fractures and hold them open so the oil and gas can flow to the well.
How many times are your wells typically fraced?
Generally, one fracing operation is carried out on a well at the beginning of its life. During that initial fracing operation, the well may have multiple fracing stages in order to ensure sufficient stimulation to the entire horizontal well length. There can be as many as 10-20 stages per well.
How will you ensure that the groundwater is not contaminated by your surface activities?
Spills at the wellhead during hydraulic fracturing activities are extremely rare. We inspect and test the piping and hydraulic fracturing equipment used to transport fluids to the wellhead prior to the start of each hydraulic fracturing operations. The equipment is continually monitored during operations to ensure that pressures remain below safety-rated pressure levels. Any additives used are required to be maintained inside lined, secondary containment areas to ensure any unlikely releases are contained. The well sites are also specifically constructed to contain any releases from a well or associated operations.
In addition, we continually utilize preventative maintenance in order to ensure that our production equipment is functioning properly and performing as intended.
Should a spill ever occur from on-going operations at our well or facility sites, clean-up operations are conducted immediately and are over-seen by the regulators.
How is fracing fluid disposed of?
Frac fluids requiring disposal are treated and disposed of at regulated facilities.
Can hydraulic fracturing create/trigger seismic activity (earthquakes)?
Because of the depth at which they occur, our fracing activities are not noticeable on the surface. The industry sometimes uses a technology called micro-seismic to measure the height, length and orientation of the fractures created. Micro-seismic technology and surface measurements confirm that fracing done at great depth underground is not discernible at the surface.