Enhanced Proppant Suspension in a Fracturing Fluid Through Capillary Bridges
- H. J. Quintero (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | M. Mattucci (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | B. O'Neil (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | G. Folkes (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | K. Zhang (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | C. Z. Wang (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | W. Lu (Trican Well Service Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Western Regional Meeting, 22-26 April, Garden Grove, California, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 2.4 Hydraulic Fracturing, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8 Unconventional and Complex Reservoirs, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 2.4.1 Fracture design and containment, 2 Well completion, 1.8 Formation Damage, 3 Production and Well Operations
- Fracturing, Suspension, Proppant, Capillary
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- 150 since 2007
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The development of tight oil and gas shale relies heavily on multi-staged hydraulic fracturing, with the objective being to induce a complex network of interconnected fractures (artificial and natural), effectively created by water-like viscous fluids and sand laden slurries injected at very high pressures and rates.
Numerous methods have been employed to reduce sand settling and duning during hydraulic fracturing. Conventionally, frac designs have relied on injection rate, and viscoelasticity of the fluid to offset sand, or proppant settling. As of late, development in proppant technologies have focused on introducing alternative engineered materials for proppants that feature oil field brine pseudo specific gravity (S.G.), while maintaining mechanical strength, therefore relying on the buoyancy effect for proppant transport; despite all these efforts, proppant suspension remains a burden for the fracturing fluid.
Herein, we report a pioneering fracturing fluid where through inducing capillary bridges proppant sands become part of the fluid structure and are no longer the burden to be carried. This new fluid system offers a unique and superior proppant transport mechanism, under a wide range of shear stress and rate conditions, without the need for conventional polymers and/or cross-linkers.
This field-proven and cost-effective fracturing fluid features a non-damaging synthetic polymer. Field cases show successful placements of proppant where other conventional fracturing fluids have failed/screened-out.
Regained permeability analysis indicates ≥100% regained permeability when Bandera sandstone (~1 - 10 md permeability) core samples were tested. Proppant settling test analysis showed no proppant settling in a 5 hour period when 500 kg/m3 (4.17 lb/gal) of 30/50 U.S mesh size proppant laden slurry was tested, simulating a bottomhole temperature (BHT) of 70°C (158°F). Also, a more than 33% increase in sand pack volume in the slurry was observed during the aforementioned analysis when compared to a borate-crosslinked guar slurry counterpart.
This paper intends to detail the development, laboratory testing and field cases of this novel fracturing fluid, that has been successfully pumped in more than 150 frac stages in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB).
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