Shake and Bake: the advent of the resting period

Chesapeake released some quite interesting news during their first quarter 2012 conference call. Apparently they discovered, entirely by accident, another factor impacting production numbers on their OH Utica completions. When the Buell Well was drilled in Harrison County, a minor problem prohibited them from immediately completing it. The unintended resting period allowed much of the water and frack fluid to dissipate prior to completion. Their Carroll County wells, drilled prior to or during this same time period, were completed as per their regular schedule. Suddenly, the resulting difference in production numbers was deemed to be not entirely geological. CHK thinks at least five of the wells in Carroll were "damaged".

Their policy now, which is certainly mimicked by competitors, is to allow a resting period between fracking and final completion of 30-60 days in the wet gas window and 60-90 days where they believe they will encounter volatile oil. Their belief is that this is beneficial due to the low water saturation of the shale and that the resting period allows permanent benefits. Fracking techniques in the Utica continue to be tweaked, not only as to this, but as to lateral lengths and number of fracking stages as well.