Reducing Well Pad Construction and Maintenance Costs

By John D. Herrmann; Bruce A. Lacina, P.E.; and Monte Madsen – Oil and gas producers have uncovered many challenges when constructing well pads and access roads. Drill rigs have to set up in optimal locations related to where the shale oil and gas reserves are located, anywhere from 1,524 m (5,000 ft) to over 3,048 m (10,000 ft) below the surface. Energy producers must work with land owners to minimize disturbances to the land owner’s property. Poor subgrade conditions must be overcome, not bypassed in lieu of more ideal surface conditions for locating well pads. Subgrade improvement may include several millimeters of aggregate, chemical stabilization or the use of geosynthetics. Geosynthetics allow energy producers to either reduce the initial...

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