Development of graphical user interface tools for optimal fluid management in shale oil and gas operations

Shoaei, Farnaz, author
Catton, Kimberly B., advisor
Carlson, Kenneth H., advisor
Bradley, Thomas H., committee member
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Oil and gas extraction is increasing in many parts of the country due to the use of hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a technique to extract oil and gas from shale rock formations that is characterized by the input of large quantities of pressurized water into horizontal wells. The high pressure fluid generates cracks in the shale formation that release the gas, oil, and other constituents into the fluid. The fluid that returns to the surface is characterized as flowback or produced water. Flowback is defined as the water that returns to the surface prior to the initiation of oil or gas production and produced water refers to the post-production return water. There is widespread public and government agency interest in assessing the quantity and quality of water used in hydraulic fracturing to ensure environmental protection and public health. Optimal water management in hydraulic fracturing has the potential to (1) reduce freshwater use, (2) increase produced water recycle, (3) reduce energy expenditures from water transport, and (4) enhance safety and environmental protection in the development of natural gas and other petroleum resources. Improved management of water can enhance safety and environmental protection by minimizing impacts such as road damage, truck traffic, noise, air pollution, water pollution and landscape disturbance. Interactive management tools allow operators to increase water reuse and minimize the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing. This research entails developing graphical user tools to optimize water management in shale oil and gas operations. The tools that were developed include (1) a Water Production Modeling Tool, (2) a Water Use Calculator, and (3) a Water Quality Tool. The tools are MATLAB executable files that can run without a MATLAB license. The output of these tools will provide information for users to predict wastewater production, water demand needed for treatment, and analyze water quality components such as contaminant concentrations.
Includes bibliographical references.
2015 Fall.
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