Extended Lateral Development
We have successfully minimized our surface impact through measures within our drilling operations. For example, our extended lateral development has resulted in a reduction in land disturbance.
Multi-Well Project Development
Where possible, Concho has shifted to project development, which involves drilling multiple wells from a single surface site. With this style of development, we can build modular facilities to operate well sites. Project development further minimizes our footprint by reducing construction of repetitive infrastructure and vehicular traffic.
Pre Drilling On-Site Inspections
For every well we drill, we use detailed surface use drawings to plan the exact location of all facilities on a site. When drafting these drawings, we assess topography changes, roads, pipelines, and manmade obstacles to avoid potential operational delays and—above all—surface disturbances. While required by the Bureau of Land Management, we perform this pre-drilling on-site inspection on all potential drilling locations in New Mexico and Texas as a best practice.
Hydraulic Fracturing: What It Is, How We Use It
Hydraulic fracturing is a valuable technique that enables exploration and production companies to access resources of oil and natural gas that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. This technique uses a mixture of water, chemical additives and sand that is pumped into a well under extreme pressure, creating pathways in rock formations underground. The fluids utilized in this process are typically more than 99% water and sand. Less than 1% is composed of chemical additives that are highly diluted and typically found in common household products, such as laundry detergents. The pathways in the rock formed by hydraulic fracturing allow oil and natural gas to flow more freely, increasing resource production. Hydraulic fracturing, which has been in use in the U.S. since the 1940s, has significantly boosted oil and natural gas production and enhanced our country’s competitiveness on a global scale.
When using hydraulic fracturing, we take great care to protect groundwater. The process occurs thousands of feet beneath the surface, well below drinking water aquifers. Additionally, when a well is drilled, steel casing and surrounding layers of concrete are installed to provide a safe barrier to protect the drinking water aquifers.
At Concho, hydraulic fracturing is integral to our business and allows us to create jobs right here in America. Because we want our hydraulic fracturing work to be as transparent as possible, we publicly report all chemicals on our hydraulic fracturing jobs. We are a member of FracFocus, the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry. FracFocus is managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, two organizations whose missions revolve around conservation and environmental protection. The FracFocus website makes it possible for anyone to search for well sites across the U.S. that have been hydraulically fractured to see what chemicals were used at a given well.
Going forward, we will continue to disclose our use of hydraulic fracturing in our sustainability communications and to FracFocus.