Descriptive Data Analytics to Investigate Stimulation and Completion Trends in the United States: How Proppant and Water Utilization Have Changed over Time?


The United States hydraulic fracturing and completion activities have seen a paradigm shift in the pumped water and proppant volumes along the increasing completed lateral over time. Hydraulic fracturing has become the most dominant treatment in North America to tap the unconventional resources. Large scale analysis of the completion size in terms of the amount of proppant, water, and lateral length trends over the period of 2011 and 2018 is presented in this paper. The objective of this study is to elucidate the completion trends over time and to summarize the average values of the completion and stimulation parameters. It will put the readers' mind in perspective of how much proppant and water have been utilized over the years and shine a light on the progression of the industry growing demand on water and proppant. Data from FracFocus website, which serves as an official chemical disclosure registry for many of the oil and gas states, were utilized in this study. For each stimulated well, it reports water volume and mass percentage of proppant and all other chemical ingredients. The raw data were scraped, parsed, and cleaned using advanced statistical and validation approaches to extract useful information out of the noisy data. A database of more than 80,000 wells was built and integrated into this study. Proppant total mass and the concentration of other chemical ingredients were calculated. The obtained new variables were coupled with other completion parameters such as the horizontal length, perforated lateral length, and well types. The data of each parameter were subjected to rigorous quality control and inspected for outliers. After passing all the data quality and validation procedures, an advanced data visualization technique was selected to reflect the trends over time. The overall trends of the whole aggregated United States are presented in this paper. Investigating the created visualizations showed that there is an undeniable increasing trend in the amount of the proppant and water being consumed over the investigated period. This paper exploits a large number of wells and their associated parameters. Such a large dataset will provide a comprehensive and practical representation of the completion and stimulation trends. It will also establish a baseline and reference values for the investigated parameters by benchmarking the mean, median, and other statistical expressions for each time period.

Meeting Name

SPE Liquids-Rich Basins Conference - North America 2019, LRBC 2019 (2019: Nov. 7-8, Odessa, TX)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Data Analytics; Horizontal wells; Large dataset; Proppants; Quality control; Resource valuation; Visualization, Chemical ingredients; Large-scale analysis; Statistical expression; Stimulation parameters; Unconventional resources; Validation approach; Visualization technique; Water utilization, Data visualization

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2019