Essentials of Hydraulic Fracturing: Vertical and Horizontal Wellbores - electronic book

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Hydraulic fracturing was first developed in the United States during the 1940s and has since spread internationally. A proven technology that is reaching deeper and tighter formations, hydraulic fracturing now delivers hydrocarbons from fields previously considered economically unviable. 

Essentials of Hydraulic Fracturing focuses on consolidating the fundamental basics of fracturing technology with advances in extended horizontal wellbores and fracturing applications. It provides the essentials required to understand fracturing behavior and offers advice for applying that knowledge to fracturing treatment design and application. It is beyond the scope of this book to extensively cover the entire gamut of fracturing intricacies; rather, the purpose is to provide [1] a basic understanding of (a) fracture propagation behavior, (b) the effects of fracturing on post-treatment well production, and (c) the important aspects pertinent to fracture treatment design application and [2] insight and methods for applying that knowledge to achieve maximum economic returns from a fracturing treatment. Essentials of Hydraulic Fracturing is a long-awaited text for petroleum engineering students, industry-wide hydraulic fracturing training courses or seminars, and practicing fracturing treatment engineers.

Features & Benefits

  • Understanding of fracture propagation geometry and fracture conductivity and how it affects treatment results
  • A focus on safety and environmental prudence
  • Economic optimization of fracturing treatments
  • Fracturing fluid system and propping agent performance
  • Important considerations in designing the fracture treatment for both vertical and horizontal wellbores
  • Algorithms and examples pertinent to treatment design and analysis
  • Pre- and post-fracturing approaches and diagnostics for evaluating treatment performance
  • Hydraulic fracturing model construction and applicability
  • Comparative design examples
  • Construction of spreadsheet calculations key to treatment designs


  • Design engineers currently involved in fracturing applications
  • University engineering students
  • Engineers designated for future fracturing involvement
  • Line managers responsible for economic returns from fracturing

About the Author

Ralph W. Veatch Jr. is currently president of Software Enterprises, Incorporated (SEI) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, practicing consulting in fracturing, well completions, production operations, and oilfield economics. He holds petroleum engineering BSc and MSc degrees and a PhD from the University of Tulsa and is a licensed professional engineer. His career started in 1960 with Amoco Production Company as a petroleum engineer working in drilling, production, reservoir engineering, and operations. In 1970 he transferred to Amoco's Tulsa Research Center drilling and production operations section. There he had the good fortune to work directly under the supervision of C. Robert Fast, who reported directly to R. Floyd Farris. These two gentlemen conceived and developed the hydraulic fracturing process. Between 1974 and 1975 Veatch served as associate professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. He then returned to Amoco Research as research supervisor of fracturing, well completions, and production operations until retiring in 1993 to practice consulting with SEI.

Ralph is a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Legion of Honor member. He has served on the SPE board of directors and held every office in the SPE Mid-Continent Section. He is an SPE Distinguished Author, an SPE Distinguished Member, an SPE Distinguished Lecturer, and an Emeritus SPE Distinguished Lecturer. Ralph is a recipient of the American Petroleum Institute Citation for Service Award, the SPE Mid-Continent Regional Service Award, the SPE Distinguished Service Award, the SPE Legends of Hydraulic Fracturing Award, and the SPE John Franklin Carll Award. He has actively served on or chaired numerous advisory and technical committees of the American Petroleum Institute, Completion Engineering Association, Department of Energy, Gas Research Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and the National Petroleum Council. Ralph has authored or coauthored some 50 publications and patents. He is coauthor of the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Reprint and the SPE Monograph Recent Advances in Hydraulic Fracturing.

George E. King is a registered professional engineer with more than 43 years of oilfield experience since starting with Amoco Production Research in 1971. Other continuous work assignments have included BP and currently Apache Corporation, where he is a Distinguished Engineering Advisor. His technical background includes basic research on energized fracturing, workovers, chemicals, acidizing, well integrity, horizontal well completions, and unconventional formations.

Technical accomplishments include writing 70 technical papers and serving as distinguished lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Completions Course lecturer on horizontal wells for the SPE Short Course series in 1999. Industry positions include technical chairman of the 1992 SPE Annual Fall Meeting, past API subcommittee chair on perforating, 11 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa, and numerous SPE committees on forums, paper selection committees, and applied technology workshops. Awards include the Amoco Vice President's Award for technology from Amoco in 1997, the 2004 SPE Production Operations Award, and 2012 Engineer of the Year award for the Houston Region of Society of Professional Engineers. His education includes a BS in chemistry at Oklahoma State University (1972), a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa (1976), and a MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa (1982).

Dr. Stephen A. Holditch joined the faculty at Texas A&M University in 1976 and retired in January 2013. From January 2004-January 2012, Dr. Holditch was the head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering. Dr. Holditch started S.A. Holditch & Associates Inc. in 1977, which was a full-service petroleum engineering and geologic consulting company. The company specialized in tight gas reservoirs, coalbed methane, and shale gas reservoirs. Schlumberger Ltd. purchased the company in 1997, and Dr. Holditch became a Schlumberger Fellow. As a Fellow, Dr. Holditch was an advisor to the top executives in Schlumberger and represented the company in numerous technical meetings from 1997 to 2004.

Dr. Holditch was the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International president in 2002, SPE vice-president-finance, and a member of the SPE board of directors from 1998-2003. He was elected as an SPE and AIME Honorary Member in 2006. In 1995, Holditch was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Dr. Holditch was named a 2014 Distinguished Alumnus from Texas A&M University.


Type: eBook
Pages: 812
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9781593706739

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Ralph Veatch | George King | Stephen Holditch
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