Here is Schlumberger admitting that "We the People of the United States…" are the guinea pigs for hydraulic fracturing.
By Ryan Dezember, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) Chief Operating Officer Paal Kibsgaard said Wednesday that refinements must be made in shale drilling before the underground oil-and-gas-filled rocks can be exploited beyond North America.
"We are convinced that the brute force approach established in North America will not be practical overseas, either from a financial or an operational standpoint," Kibsgaard, who is widely believed to be in line to become the next chief executive officer of the world's largest oilfield services company, said in a webcast of a speech made during the company's two-day analyst meeting at Schlumberger's Cambridge, Mass., research facility.
Schlumberger is among the companies that have helped develop North American shale exploration, which involves complex techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. On Tuesday, Petrohawk Energy Corp. (HK) said that Schlumberger's new hydraulic fracturing technology, called HiWAY, boosted output from its Eagle Ford shale wells in south Texas by as much as 37% and lifted estimated ultimate recovery as much as 90% in some reservoirs.
Energy companies are now aiming to export the techniques they're using to produce vast amounts of natural gas and oil from North America to international markets. Producers have identified and are studying energy-bearing shale formations in countries including Poland, Argentina, China and France.
Shale drilling requires large amounts of water, ceramic material or fine sand called proppant as well as pumping equipment that can often be in short supply. And before shale exploration can take root internationally, the process needs to be come more efficient, Kibsgaard said.
"We need to establish a workflow and corresponding technology offering built around a better evaluation of shale gas reservoirs," he said. "The goal will be to only drill the best wells, and only stimulate the best intervals, while we continue to look for [fracturing] solutions that further minimize the usage of both water and proppant."
Shares of Schlumberger traded 0.43% higher at $93.31 on Wednesday.
-By Ryan Dezember, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208; Ryan.Dezember@ dowjones.com
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