Does anyone have any idea as to what is the rate of outflow of frac water from a well?  I.e, how many gallons over what period of time?  is that too measured in terms of choke or barrels?

 

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Hi Josephine
Although it varies from well to well, our company estimates that the average flowback is approximately 40,000 barrels per well (42 gallons per barrel). This flowback usually occurs over a 3-4 week period. After that the water is considered produced water and can flow back another 10-30K barrels over a couple year period. I hope this helps.

Mike
Mike,

THanks so much for your timely response, you literally saved me in the nick of time, 40 minutes before I had to walk into a meeting with this information. Funny how i've been trying to obtian this info for weeks and it seemed like a trade secret. I look forward to learning more about your company and its role within the Marcellus. Hopefully I will see you at the Midstream.
Glad that I could help... going to miss Midstream but we will be at the Marcellus Shale Policy Conference in Pittsburgh in May. It should be very informative!
Josephine,

The typical frac load recovery seen in the Marcellus varies from about 20-40%. So if 100,000 barrels (bbl) of frac fluid were pumped you would typically get 20,000 - 40,000 bbl of fluid back. Most of the frac water will remain in formation. As Mike mentioned there is a point where you go from recovering frac fluid to producing the water that is naturally in the formation. In the Marcellus this is a rather difficult point to discern. Supposing that you pump fresh water as your base fluid during the fracture treatment you will most likely never get fresh water back.

Millions of years ago most of PA was under a very saline sea. The critters in this sea died and were covered with deposits from the nearby mountains. These critters eventually will become the hydrocarbons. Over time more and more sediments deposited over these critters, along with plate collisions, ice ages, etc. to transform the land scape into what it is today. The salt from the sea was left behind as the water was evaporated. When fresh water is introduced by hydraulic fracturing to this system, it dissolves and carries the salt back as the wells are flowed. By comparing the different chemical signatures of the water we can determine how much of the water is frac flowback and how much is formation water.

To answer your question about choke sizes and bbl, volume is measured in bbl. One oilfield barrel is 42 gallons. Choke size is the restriction placed on flow by an orifice at the well head. The choke size is give as a 64th of an inch. So if they are running a 20 choke that means that they put in a restriction of 20/64ths of and inch for the well to flow through. There are several reasons for choking back a well. One of the main ones in this area is that if they flow the well too fast they will suck the sand back out of the frac that was just placed. This ultimately leads to less gas.

Some of this is a bit off topic, but I hope that it helps.

Cheers,
Brendan
As a flowback hand i couldn't have said it any better.
Nick,

Can 't thank you enough for such a comprehensive response!! Between you and the previous gentlemen I was more than prepared for the meeting I was to have with a company that believes they may have the technology to lend towards eventually solving the frac water remediation problem. I was at stage critical and just couldn't find any answers until I found out about this site on monday. You are clearly a tremendous resource and a bonus to this group. Looking forward to furture contributions!
Brendan,


Can 't thank you enough for such a comprehensive response!! Between you and the previous gentlemen I was more than prepared for the meeting I was to have with a company that believes they may have the technology to lend towards eventually solving the frac water remediation problem. I was at stage critical and just couldn't find any answers until I found out about this site on monday. You are clearly a tremendous resource and a bonus to this group. Looking forward to furture contributions!

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