Oil in Paradise and Florida’s Debate on Formation Stimula

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Perspective. By:. Thomas A. Herbert, Ph.D, P.G.. Lampl Herbert Consultants. Tallahassee . Florida.  . Discussion Topics . Comment on Professional Geology in Florida. Review of Florida petroleum regulatory/political framework. ID: 552664 Download Presentation

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Oil in Paradise and Florida’s Debate on Formation Stimula

Perspective. By:. Thomas A. Herbert, Ph.D, P.G.. Lampl Herbert Consultants. Tallahassee . Florida.  . Discussion Topics . Comment on Professional Geology in Florida. Review of Florida petroleum regulatory/political framework.

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Oil in Paradise and Florida’s Debate on Formation Stimulation: the Professional Geology Perspective


Thomas A. Herbert, Ph.D, P.G.

Lampl Herbert Consultants





Discussion Topics

Comment on Professional Geology in FloridaReview of Florida petroleum regulatory/political frameworkComments on statutory and administrative rule changes and review panel from recent legislationReview several points on hydraulic fracturing of rock “fracking” in the context of Florida oil production history and geologyTomorrow‘s Panel will discuss technical topics in more detail



LHC Professional Background

Lampl Herbert Consultants formed in 1978

Principals (3) have over 100 years of geology and regulatory experience

Geologic consultants for

oil and gas basin studies

Involved in regulatory and policy matters for oil exploration since 1973 in Florida

Permitting consultant for major drilling and seismic projects

Consultants for corporate social responsibility


Florida Oil and Gas Regulation

State Geologist was in charge of program 1943-2002

Majority of E&P was under Dr. R.O. Vernon, CPG (through 1975


O&G program was

directed out of “bare bones” statutes in Chapter 377

FS for many years (no O&G rules per se)

Florida’s statutory law governed until 1981

From 1981 to present the statutes supplemented by O&G Rules

Majority of Florida development drilling completed by 1985


Well Workover Rule from 1981 Allows Hydraulic Fracturing and Acidizing

62C-25.002 “Definitions”


) WORKOVER shall mean an operation involving a deepening, plug back, repair, cement squeeze, perforation,

hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, or other chemical treatment

which is performed in a production, disposal, or injection well in order to restore, sustain, or increase production, disposal, or injection rates


Precedent for Workover Procedures

Until the Hughes Well in Collier County in 2013, workover’s were handled by a simple “notice” to the department representative that the operator intended to workover and/or fix a problem

In 2013 Hughes notified FDEP 30+ days before start of work with a detailed plan prepared by Baker-Hughes


Debate on Hydraulic Fracturing in Florida

The common statements involving some geologic clarification include:Florida’s geology is unique Rock are very fragileInjected fluids under pressure at depth of 11,400 feet will pollute surface aquifers through “poorly” plugged wellsDrinking water aquifers at riskInjection zones for oilfield waste water are not safeEarthquakes are a risk Karst chasms will open underground Karst / limestone beds beneath our feet could not withstand high pressure and chemicalsFlorida’s geology would prevent safe use of hydraulic fracturingExcessive amounts of water are used in drillingMystery chemicals are used that cause cancer Naturally occurring radiation present (NORMS)Environmental health (cancer) issues from escaping methane



Florida Oil Production

In Florida we live in “conventional formation” basins with the short answer being “we don’t need to hydraulically stimulate”741 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) all produced by conventional methods ... No hydraulic stimulation used460 total producing wells 1943 to dateOne failed fracking attempt in Florida has created a furor over the methodOil is produced from below 11,000 feet in two basin areas and massive anhydrite thickness separates surface from hydrocarbon zones






Sunniland Trend


Discovery 1943


Oil/Gas Fields≈ 450 wells drilled121 Million Bbls Oil10 Billion CF Gas

Jay – Blackjack Trend

:Discovery 19708 Oil/Gas Fields≈ 300 wells drilled500 Million Bbls Oil700 Billion CF Gas



Florida’s Drilling / Production


Crude Oil: 612 Million Bbls

Natural Gas: 700 Billion CF

≈ 1100 wells drilled≈ 1500 Drilling Applications≈11,000 to 17,000 feet depth


Production 197848 Million Barrels8th in U.S.






Formation Stimulation

Conventional formations are sandstones and carbonates e.g. limestone and dolomite, that have inherent porosity and permeabilityFluids flow freely to the well bore with help from flushing and cleanupUnconventional formations are carbon-rich shales and similar laminated, tight rock types West Florida is Smackover LS and Norphlet SS do not need stimulationSouth Florida is vuggy, karstic shoals in carbonate ramp system with evidence for hypogene speleogenesis



Well Cleanup/Conditioning with Acid versus Hydraulic Pressure Stimulation in Florida Wells – Often Confused

Wells drilled in carbonate rocks create lime mud that forms a wall cake in the well bore and most critical in the producing zone (often referred to as the matrix)Fluids and detritus are removed from the well and placed down Class II Underground Injection Control wells permitted by EPA and the FDEP



Comment #1Excessive Water Used for Drilling Oil Wells

Surficial Aquifer System (SAS) zone is the source and the WMDs issue consumptive use permits Usually two water supply wells are drilled at oil well sitesA typical conventional oil well uses a total of 5-6 million gallons to drill and operate the well – a nominal consumptive industrial use



Comment #2: Aquifer Systems Will Be Contaminated by Formation Stimulation Fluids

Water of drinking quality is from the upper few hundred feet in the Surficial Aquifer System and protected by three casing strings from drilling fluids – there is no interaction between the zonesThe lower Floridan is the receiving zone for UIC wells with Total Dissolved Solid levels greater than seawater





Comment #3:Mystery Chemicals Are Used for Well Stimulation

Hydraulic fracturing has been discussed in a recent EPA review and chemicals are discussedChemicals used are listed in “Frack Focus” an online source of information with the majority by volume being --99.2% fresh water



Comment #4: Aquifer Contamination by Injection of Formation Fluids

Injection of oilfield waste fluids is in to Class II UIC wells regulated by EPA and FDEP (43 total are permitted in Florida)Receiving zone is the Lower Floridan Aquifer which is a vuggy, karstic interval (2,300-3,600 feet bls in South Florida) Boulder Zone >34,000 TDS is beneath a thick anhydrite confining layer





Oil Well Fluids Production

Producing oil wells in Florida and in most other geographic areas also bring up “formation water”In the Sunniland Trend of South Florida wells are pumped at a rate of 1,500-3,000 barrels of fluids per day and 90-95% of the fluids are concentrated saltwater at 180,000+ parts TDS



Comment #5: Radiation from Oil Wells

The geologic formations contain naturally-occurring radionuclides, which are referred to as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs) and include:NORMs often occur as mineral scale inside pipes



Pipe Scale with

Possible TENORMs in Production Tubing



Comment #6: Earthquakes

Florida is not earthquake active and in fact, along with North Dakota, the state has the lowest occurrence in the US