Faces From The Latest Shale Trends

By Luke Geiver | May 05, 2017

To gain insight into the leading shale well completion trends happening throughout the North American shale scene, we reached out to an industry veteran who drives a truck with a vanity license plate that reads FRACN8R. We also checked in with the founder of a biodegradable plastics development and distribution company from Indiana that was so busy serving oil and gas clients during the downturn that he has since started a new oil and gas division. And, to ensure we were complete in our coverage on the advent of a new downhole material that has become popular in every shale play, we spoke with another oil industry veteran that has found success in Duncan, Oklahoma, testing and designing new biodegradable material for shale clients.

Monte Besler, a 35-year industry veteran turned completion consultant that operates mainly out of the Williston Basin using the trademarked name FRACN8R, highlighted the good that has come from a period of reduced well completion and drilling activity. The industry has been able to reexamine well completion designs and strategies—like slickwater jobs or high-intensity sand placements—to gain a more accurate sense of why, how or if approaches tried during the past two years have enhanced production. “For me, they can never do enough of that [analyze well completions and production results] because I’m a big believer that if you don’t know what actually made the well do better, you’re doing what I call ‘close-ology.’ In other words,” he told us, “they want to do something close to what some other guys did because they had a good well.” The full story on Besler, “Earning The Title FRACN8R,” written by Staff Writer Patrick C. Miller, can be found on page 12. Besler expounds on refracks, megafracks, differences he’s experienced between basins and the industry’s move to diverting materials.

Diverters, as the shale industry calls them, have been mentioned in multiple exploration and production investor updates in recent quarters. The biodegradable materials play a large role in enhancing completion designs to boost productivity while also reducing overall completion costs. John Moisson, founder of Jamplast Inc., remembers the first time he drove a flat-bed truck to Texas from Indiana to deliver pallets of his unique diverter material to an operator’s field operations facility. Since that trek, his team has been serving clients from Texas to Pennsylvania. His product has become so popular, Jamplast now has an oil and gas division and its own truck and trailer specifically for one-day diverter deliveries. Brad Todd, founder of Oklahoma-based Completion Science, has a similar success story with diverters. His team has grown—and is still growing—due to their unique know-how on designing and distributing biodegradable materials. For our piece into this emerging trend, “Inside The Business of Shale Diverters,” Todd even ran a special lab test for us that illustrates how the small diverter material works downhole.

The next time you hear an oil or gas producing company speak of enhanced completions or operational efficiencies in general terms, think of the people mentioned in this issue. Each helps to put a face to an important story happening in shale today, and each acts as a reminder of how strong the unconventional shale industry has become. For every cycle—from a downturn to an upturn—there will be advances in strategy and technology despite how good or bad things seem to be. You need look no further than the Jamplasts, Completion Sciences and FRACN8Rs of the world.