By Vishal Patel, Edited by Brian Heinzl
More than 50 ASCE members and guests gathered at the Gaetano’s Restaurant on Thursday, December 8th for an ASCE Pittsburgh Section Geo-Institute Chapter meeting. As part of the meeting, Dr. Andrew Bunger, professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, presented the lecture “How Hydraulic Fracturing Changed an Industry and How Research is Changing Hydraulic Fracturing.” The presentation focused on hydraulic fracturing technology for stimulation of oil and gas recovery over the past seven decades and its current on-going research.
Technology for hydraulic fracturing has evolved over nearly seven decades. Most recently it has been credited with unlocking vast resources that were previously uneconomical to produce. In doing so, hydraulic fracturing has revolutionized the industry and become one of the most influential innovations of our current century.
The engineering and innovation involved in today’s approach to hydraulic fracturing is intertwined with the decade old origins. Dr. Bunger talked briefly talked about the historical strives and advancement made in hydraulic fracturing technology. He also talked about the on-going research at the University of Pittsburgh regarding how to effectively stimulate a 5,000 to 10,000 feet of horizontally-drilled wellbore that are in many cases 40% ineffectively stimulated.
The presentation illustrated how an understanding of hydraulic fracturing mechanics, developed through the use of hydraulic fracturing models, has led to a proposed way forward with the potential to drastically reduce unstimulated sections of wellbore with a subtle, no-cost modification of standard practice.
The Geo-Institute Chapter was happy to be able to provide free drinks in a great venue, and of course, one (1) PDH for the presentation. Be sure to check the ASCE Pittsburgh website for more fun and informative Geotechnical Institute events in the future at: http://www.asce-pgh.org