HiWAY Technique Reduces Carbon Emissions | SLB

Flow-Channel Hydraulic Fracturing Technique Reduced >8,500 t of CO2 Emissions in 2020

Published: 07/16/2021

Blue hero texture

Overcoming challenges with traditional hydraulic fracturing

Traditional hydraulic fracturing operations rely on the continuous pumping of large volumes of proppant or sand pack, transported by engineered rheology fluids. As operators seek higher drainage and cost efficiency, completion strategies veer into longer lateral wells and increased stage counts per well. This translates to higher-volume jobs that require more proppant, water, and other services and equipment, as well as increased logistics and transportation needs. Products are trucked to location across distances of more than 500 km in some cases. For geographically remote locations, this poses challenges for both the operator and service company. In addition, during operations, the possibility of a screenout can be cost prohibitive if coiled tubing needs to be mobilized to a remote location for a cleanout job. Furthermore, as stimulation jobs have increased in size, the emissions footprint has also increased, so the ability to reduce proppant, chemicals, water, and equipment requirements while producing more sustainably is critical.

Diagram of open pathways created by the HiWAY technique
The HiWAY technique creates infinite fracture conductivity to optimize production while reducing proppant, water, and carbon emissions.

Creating infinite fracture conductivity to improve operations

The HiWAY technique fundamentally changes the way proppant fractures generate conductivity. It decouples fracture productivity from proppant permeability and creates flow channels. Instead of flowing through proppant in the pack, hydrocarbons flow through channels, while the proppant acts as pillars within the fracture. This enables better production compared with the traditional treatment while reducing up to 40% proppant, 30% water, and 25% carbon emissions. Operators minimize screenout risks as well as achieve higher cost efficiency per barrel of hydrocarbons produced. This is achieved by reducing the material required and subsequent time associated with handling, transportation, and pumping—simplifying logistics.

Reducing water, proppant, and carbon emissions

During the year 2020, Schlumberger completed more than 1,100 jobs using the HiWAY fracturing technique. Collectively, this saved 8,500 t of CO2 emissions, 63,000 t of proppant, and 125,000 m3 of water.

† The quantified emissions reduction does not include savings from water, proppant, and other products’ raw material sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation to the operating base.

Transition Technologies logo horizontal long version.
UN SDG icons 6, 12, and 13
Aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 6—Clean water and sanitation, 12—Responsible consumption and production and 13—Climate action.

During the year 2020, the unique HiWAY flow-channel fracturing technique enabled operators to optimize production while simultaneously reducing proppant, water usage, and carbon emissions. For carbon emissions, the reduction is equivalent to removing 674,885 passenger vehicles driven for one day or 1,849 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

Products Used