Leading developer of oil & gas data services takes over operation of frac data sharing system developed by major Permian producer, enabling a rapidly expanding list of operators across North America to exchange frac schedules and prevent catastrophic events caused by high pressure buildup on nearby wells.
PDS Energy Information (PDS), the leading provider of secure data transfer exchange services for oil & gas drilling, completion, and production data, announces that it has assumed commercial operation of the Frac Interference Exchange (FracX), a reciprocal data sharing network previously developed and operated by one of the largest operators in the Permian Basin to coordinate hydraulic fracturing activity among producers. The FracX data exchange will become the latest addition to the PDS Well Data Exchange (“WDX”) platform to allow participating operators the benefit of the WDX platform’s leading-edge security and privacy to provide the entire industry a cost-free solution to securely store and distribute frac schedules from participating companies. This addresses the growing need across the oil & gas industry to share information between operators to mitigate the risk of blowouts and other catastrophic events that can be caused by hydraulic fracturing near other drilling or production operations. FracX participants include all major Permian producers and a rapidly growing list of operators in every North American basin.
Horizontal drilling has led to lateral wells extending outward a mile or more from a surface drilling location. Paired with close well spacing in many onshore producing regions, like the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford, hydraulic fracturing on a well adjacent to producing wells or drilling operations creates significant risks. These include a blow-out and water-out as high pressure from fracking forces gas and liquids through a shared subsurface producing zone and upward in nearby wells, also known as a “frac hit.” The FracX Exchange, now operated by PDS, mitigates these risks by enabling oil & gas producers to seamlessly share information about their frac operations. Operators upload their frac schedules to the cloud-based exchange where data for a region is aggregated, giving potentially affected participants access to critical information regarding planned fracking activity using a web browser. Producers can then share risk assessments and take appropriate action to prevent frac hits, including shutting-in nearby producing wells or modifying frac operations.
“Given the widespread use of horizontal drilling and with well spacing getting tighter, producers need to share information on their frac jobs with each other for a number of safety and economic drivers; and the FracX concept was born at one of the largest Permian producers, a PDS client, who took the initiative to tackle a growing frac hit crisis in the basin,” said Barry Barksdale, president and founder of PDS. He said, “when we were contacted by our client about taking over operation of the Exchange, it was immediately clear that given the closely related data PDS was already sharing among most of the operators in the US, we could not only easily assimilate the FracX Exchange with our existing platforms, we could immediately alleviate any potential concerns among participants that they may be exposing potentially proprietary information by incorporating our security protocols.” “By deploying the Frac Interference Exchange on our leading data sharing network, PDS is bringing transparency to all stakeholders while ensuring data privacy so that operators can rapidly identify potential drilling and fracking conflicts,” Barksdale concluded.
Development of the Frac Interference Exchange began as a proprietary system for exchanging frac schedules between a Permian major and a few other operators. The project was spearheaded by an internal development team focused on emerging technology and open innovation, who crowdsourced solution components from a global pool of developers. Although the sharing of planned fracking activity was limited to areas of mutual drilling and production operations, the producer along with PDS, who manages a partner data exchange for many of the companies involved, realized the potential benefits for the entire oil & gas industry. Building on this initial work, PDS has taken over operation of the Frac Interference Exchange and expanded service availability leveraging its commercial data sharing network. The PDS-operated exchange has rapidly expanded to include all major producers in the Permian Basin as well as a growing list of participants with operations across North American basins. Offered as a no cost service to the industry, PDS extends an open invitation for oil & gas producers to participate.
Oil & gas companies who are interested in joining the Frac Interference Exchange are encouraged to visit www.PDSEnergy.com/FracX to learn more about the free service and enroll.