Technology & Innovation

U.S. Well Services takes pride in developing new technologies and providing solutions to challenging problems. As government regulations become increasingly strict in the oil and gas industry, the development of new technologies prove immensely important. In that regard U.S. Well Services developed and deployed the industry’s first fully electric, fully mobile hydraulic fracturing fleet, Clean Fleet®, and was granted a patent for this technology in July, 2014. Clean Fleet® is the first, and only, fleet of its kind and is the industry’s most environmentally responsible fracturing solution. U.S. Well Services won the New Technology Development Award at the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards in March, 2015 for Clean Fleet®.

Other U.S. Well Services innovations:

  • The first to utilize SandBox® in the northeast U.S. as a “last mile” sand logistics solution.
  • Utilizes treating iron vibration diagnostics to mitigate fatigue and premature failures of our equipment.
 

The patent pending PowerPath® technology allows power generation to be centrally located among multiple hydraulic fracturing pads and to transmit power several miles away via overhead lines to on-site Clean Fleet® pumping equipment. Utilizing high voltage electricity allows the power to be sent multiple miles without power losses that come from low and medium voltage systems. The use of switchgear on both sides of the high voltage highline cables provides important safeguards.

PowerPath® can be utilized to create mobile, long distance micro-grids, to hydraulic pressure pump numerous pads. In addition, PowerPath® can be utilized to provide power for oilfield equipment such as drilling rigs and other oilfield equipment.

PowerPath Image
PowerPath® Remote Electric Frac 2.5 mile away from CLEAN FLEET® Power Generation offers the ultimate flexibility.
PowerPath Image
PowerPath® Remote Electric Frac providing power to fracturing operations for the first of sixteen wells located in an almost 2 mile loop centrally located among five hydraulic fracturing pads.
 

Reactive maintenance can be defined as a “run it until it breaks” method of maintenance. Fifty-five percent of maintenance resources and activities remain reactive in nature.

The Department of Energy defines preventative maintenance as actions preformed on a time-or machine-run-based schedule, using equipment hours and calendar scheduling to determine whether or not repairs are needed.

USWS is leading the way in predictive maintenance, which uses real-time data collected on how a machine is functioning to determine when repairs are needed.

USWS developed FRAC MD® to reduce Non-Productive Time (NPT) and increase safe stages per day by mitigating premature failures of our equipment and maximizing operating parameters. When we listen to what the machines are telling us, we greatly increase reliability, safety, and predictability which all reduces downtime. The real-time data we collect during operation helps determine root causes of failure as well as ways to improve on current methods.

In other industries, predictive maintenance:

  • Reduces breakdowns

    70% to 75%

  • Reduces downtime

    35% to 45%

  • Increases production

    20% to 25%

Frac MD Chart
 

USWS has developed SANDSHIELD® to mitigate silica emissions below OSHA PEL standards. SANDSHIELD® consists of specialized equipment, work processes, and engineering controls to mitigate exposure to silica.

Case Study

On November 17, 2015, USWS conducted a silica exposure sampling event on a well pad in Ohio. Three employees wore personal sampling monitors, and these monitors were then analyzed by a testing laboratory.

During the assessment, three (3) time-weighted average (“TWA”) samples were collected, one sample each from the breathing zone of three different employees performing different tasks in different areas of the well pad.

Air sampling activities at the site included testing for overall Respirable Silica Dust and for the components: Quartz, Cristobalit, Tridymite (in accordance with NIOSH Method 7500 / 0600.)

The following personal breathing zone air samples were collected within the well pad area and were representative of similar processes and procedures.

This sampling event was conducted to determine personal exposure levels associated with the hydraulic fracturing process on an active well pad. Based on the results of this sampling event, SANDSHIELD® provides excellent protection against exposure to silica.

Frac MD Chart
 

OPTI-FLEX® is designed to simplify and extend the capabilities of traditional fracturing fluid systems. Specifically, it is designed to replace slickwater, linear gel, and most crosslink systems.

OptiFlex Tubes
All three fluid systems can be achieved with this one chemical
Can reduce up to 90% of the chemicals disclosed on FracFocus
A desired viscosity can simply be reached by adjusting the application concentration of the product.
Viscosity linearly increases with product concentration

Purpose

OPTI-FLEX® can economically achieve target viscosities with a single chemistry by adjusting the application rate at the blender. OPTI-FLEX® works in a wide range of non-produced field waters, has excellent low shear rheology and excellent proppant carrying capacity.

Advantages

  • Designed to achieve viscosities from 4cP -100+cP in a wide range of field waters.
  • Cross-linkers are not required.
  • No known compatibility issues with anionic or non-ionic frac chemistries.
  • Rapid hydration (<1 minute).
  • Normally applied at the blender.
  • Hydration unit is not required for OPTI-FLEX® hydration.
  • Excellent hydration in ice water.
  • Excellent proppant carrying and suspension characteristics.
  • Regain permeability over 90%.
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With the increased restrictions on noise pollution, USWS is leading the way for our customers to have more flexibility on location and with operation schedules as well as making a safer environment for them and our employees.

CLEAN FLEET® WHISPERFRAC® Technology was designed to reduce noise pollution levels compared to conventional fleets. WHISPERFRAC® is the industry’s foremost solution for quiet, low noise impact hydraulic fracturing. WHISPERFRAC® well stimulation technology significantly reduces noise pollution, making the workplace safer and less disturbing to surrounding communities.

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This allows for the use of field gas, compressed natural gas ("CNG") or liquefied natural gas ("LNG") as a fuel source. F3 Fuel® technology offers the potential for significant cost savings relative to diesel-powered equipment. This technology also allows for tremendous flexibility by enabling the use of any combination of these fuel sources on the same frac pad at the same time. Our customers can still realize significant cost savings, even if their field gas infrastructure is not able to supply the gas volume needed to power the turbine alone, they can supplement with CNG or LNG to power the CLEAN FLEET®.

This innovative approach allows operators to realize significant cost savings as well as operational, safety, and environmental advantages when completing wells.

 

The key focus of AIM® is to improve standard operating procedures for rig-up in order to reduce equipment failure and elevate site safety. AIM® also works to collect and analyze real time data that allows USWS to optimize its high pressure iron equipment package to minimize cost, prevent failures and reduce our rig-up times. In connection with AIM®, USWS performs field safety inspections at predetermined intervals during operations and uses data from these audits to continuously monitor equipment conditions.