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The technology promises to make production safer, easier and more profitable, and to change the way in which the oil and gas industry does business.
Aug. 3, 2012—Thanks to advancements in technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the United States has begun tapping into unconventional natural gas reserves that, several years ago, were not economically viable. Fracking is used to release natural gas trapped in shale, a type of sedimentary rock. Annual gas production from these deposits is projected to increase to 4.8 trillion cubic feet (TCF) by 2020—more than triple the nation’s current annual production of shale gas, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association that represents the nation’s oil and natural gas industry. Thanks to this flourishing industry, such production growth is expected to create more than 400,000 jobs over the next few years, according to an API report.
Having worked with organizations at the Barnett Shale in Texas, the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, the Marcellus Shale deposit in Pennsylvania and several others, I find it abundantly clear that these gas fields, and others like them, are prime candidates for RFID technology.
The hydraulic fracturing process, in and of itself, is a rather complex logistical undertaking. It involves the delivery of sand and chemicals, the transportation and servicing of equipment and frac-iron (iron pipes and valves used for the fracking process), and the movements of personnel. Wells in production also require ongoing inspections and servicing, as do pipelines connected to these wells.
With every new well location, there is a need to support fracking services, to deliver equipment and supplies—and, in the long-term, to maintain that location.
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