Will Water Shortages And Restrictions In Western Canada Move The Needle On Operators’ Use Of CO2 And N2 For Fracking?


As operators look to minimize the use of fresh water in fracking operations there is a focus on produced water and water recycling. There is also a potential to displace a portion of the water volume with N2 and CO2.

Using energizing agents for frac operations has fluctuated over the years as it has been impacted by changes in commodity prices, availability of energizing agents, as well as reservoir condition completion types and flowback techniques. Many of the energized fracs are focused in the Deep Basin area (as seen on the map above) where operators may encounter pressure depletion and/or water sensitivity.   

Energized fracs accounted for nearly half of the fracs completed in the WCSB a decade ago but has continued to decrease with the shifting focus to unconventional plays. That number has stabilized at less than 10% for the last few years, and in 2023 only 4% of wells were energized.

While the use of energizers is still common, few operators are currently employing the very low water frac systems of N2 foam fracs or CO2 fracs that were once a common occurrence. Explore N2 and CO2 use in the Well Completions and Frac Database in gDC Cloud to understand the impact of energizers to well performance and see where potential may exist to alleviate some water requirements.

Click here to view this data in an advanced geospatial platform — this visualized data is instantly available free of charge to guest users of geoLOGIC’s gDC Cloud. To gain unlimited access and time to view this insight and previous insights at your leisure, register for a free account.

If you have questions about how you can use gDC Cloud to enable your OFS workflows, drop us a line at Sales@geologic.com or call us at 1 855-870-1700.

Rhonda Gravel is a Senior Technical Advisor, Drilling and Completions at geoLOGIC systems ltd.

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