Core Lab—drill closer, frac more! (May 2014)

Core reports record first quarter and ‘robust’ demand for FlowProfiler oil tracer service.  

Core Laboratories has posted its most profitable first quarter in its history driven by improvements in all operating segments. First quarter net income increased 10% to $62,280,000 and operating income increased 7% to $84,427,000 (figures exclude foreign exchange adjustments). Core is benefitting from its position in the tight-oil plays of North America where secondary and tertiary recovery projects are being conducted to increase production from shale plays outside the proven sweet spots of the Eagle Ford and Wolfcamp.

Core reports ‘robust demand’ for its FlowProfiler service. Here an oil-soluble tracer is injected during fracking. When a well flows, oil is analyzed with a gas chromatograph allowing producing zones to be identified. The technique also pinpoints stages that do not flow, ‘providing valuable insights for future wells.’ The results mean that Core is now recommending closer well spacings, longer laterals with more and shorter stages, and pumping proppant to ‘screen-out’ for all stages. Core suggests that such an approach, while adding 20% to a well’s costs, are ‘clearly offset’ by the potential for a 40% to 60% increase in ultimate recovery. The approach, if widely adopted, would likely give Core a few more record quarters too. More from Core.

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