Gas Well Drilling Process

In order of occurrence:

Site Development

Includes; clearing the site, erosion control, excavation of the frac pond, marking the well location, installation of security fencing, installation of sound walls and equipment mobilization.

Typical time: 1-3 weeks

Pre Drilling

Setting of the conductor and cellar which provide the initial starting point for drilling the well bore. Work is done with various drilling apparatus – drilling rigs or work over rigs.

Typical time: 1-3 weeks

Drilling

The process of using a rig to advance a bore-hole to a pre-determined depth to extract oil and gas from a desired formation.

Typical time: Each well can be drilled in 14 to 25 days. Rig mobilization in and out takes approximately 2-3 days. A rig may be on site to drill multiple wells extending the time by 14 to 25 days per well.

Post Drilling

The drilling rig is removed and subsequent work-over procedures are implemented with the purpose of preparing the wells for the fracturing process. Setting plugs and perforating the well bore can begin to occur during this time.

Typical time: 1 week

Fracturing

A stimulation treatment routinely performed on oil and gas wells in low permeability reservoirs. Specially engineered fluids are pumped at high pressure and rate into the reservoir interval to be treated, causing a vertical fracture to open. The wings of the fracture extend away from the wellbore in opposing directions according to the natural stresses within the formation.  Proppant, such as grains of sand of a particular size, is mixed with the treatment fluid to keep the fracture open when the treatment is complete.

Typical time: 10 days per well based on stage segments in the well bore lateral.

Post Fracturing Drill-out

Production tubing is added at this point to prepare the well for flowback.

Typical time: 1 week

Flowback

The process of allowing fluids to flow from the well following a treatment, either in preparation for a subsequent phase of treatment or in preparation for cleanup and returning the well to production.

Time 2-3 weeks

Production

The well is moved to its long-term operating state with associated surface equipment to pipe the gas to market and end users.

Misc statuses

Work-over

The process of performing maintenance or remedial treatments on an oil or gaswell. In many cases, workover implies the removal and replacement of the production tubing string after the well has been killed and a workover rig has been placed on location. Through-tubing workover operations, using coiled tubing, snubbing or slickline equipment, are routinely conducted to complete treatments or well service activities that avoid a full workover where the tubing is removed.

Time 2-3 days

Shut-in

A time when an active producing well in turned off and the flow of natural gas is temporarily stopped.

Abandoned

Wells are plugged and the land around the well site is returned to its pre-drilled condition.