On OPEC Day, US Operators Focused On Making Better Wells Instead

While the rest of the world focused on OPEC on November 30, US operators were focused on making their tight oil wells more effective with cutting edge innovation.

I spent OPEC day in Houston with 35 senior US completions executives at the Darcy Completions Forum, squarely focused on emerging technologies to optimize unconventional completions. In the room last week were completions managers and specialists from companies ranging in size from majors to large independents to smaller independents.

The Permian and Eagle Ford were the primary targets for these operators, and the day was spent reviewing new technologies that may be able to help unlock hidden potential in these plays. 11 shale tech start-ups hand-picked from across the globe presented new completions concepts to a room full of majors and independents, who then discussed and analyzed use cases and potential.

Part science fair, part Shark Tank, the forum hosted by Darcy Partners was a powerful intersection of innovators and end users. Many of the presenters were too small to be able to take out booths at big conferences like OTC, yet they are too commerical for other science events to highlight. So for some, this was their first shot at presenting new solutions to their biggest potential customers.


The cutting edge technologies we saw fell across various stages of commercialization. Ideas included pre-design data sourcing, new ways to sense fracture effectiveness, and tools to create better and more predictive analytical models.

While the individual solutions were quite impressive, we were more taken with some big picture implications for the industry that were on display during the day. And that's what we want to share with OilVoice readers, because we believe some developing trends we picked up on will help shape the way future tight oil wells are constructed. Here are a few trends to keep an eye on over the next year or two:

  • Promising new science is being introduced at price points low enough to allow application to larger well populations by operators instead of just every 100th experimental well.
  • Scalable science is likely to drive future step changes in unconventional completions optimization.
  • Because of low costs and modular design, combinations of new solutions in a portfolio approach by operators could generate a multiplicative uplift in well design.
  • The importance of collaboration between operators and vendors to effect technological change was on display.
  • Also on display was an intense operator thirst for good new ideas and emerging technologies.
We will be writing more in-depth stories about the day in the weeks ahead over at InfillThinking.com

About the source of this post: Joseph Triepke created Infill Thinking in 2016 to deliver high-caliber oilfield research updates to O&G decision makers. No clutter. No noise. Just research on the trends that matter most delivered to subscriber inboxes. Learn more about this new resource or try it free for 30 days.

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