Logistic and Operational Considerations for Massive Hydraulic Fracturing
- Cecil D. Parker (The Western Co. of North America)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1981
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,189 - 1,195
- 1981. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.1 Hydrates, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 3.4.5 Bacterial Contamination and Control, 1.1.1 Wellsite Preparation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 2.2.2 Perforating, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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Problems associated with massive hydraulic Problems associated with massive hydraulic fracturing (MHF) jobs seem varied and infinite. However, they may be grouped into two large categories--logistical and operational. Logistical problems involve the physical preparation of the well problems involve the physical preparation of the well and wellsite to accommodate the proposed treatment in an efficient and safe manner. Some jobs are destined for failure or at least a compromise of what is desired because requirements were not defined thoroughly and planned accordingly. Operational problems are those which occur during the actual problems are those which occur during the actual performance of the MHF treatment. Most performance of the MHF treatment. Most commonly, these include such things as pressure variations and equipment failures or malfunctions. Proper identification of the causative agent will allow Proper identification of the causative agent will allow a determination of the severity of the situation as well as the best alternatives for action. Early detection of the problems allow more flexibility for corrective action and possibly the difference in success or failure of the job.
Many problems are encountered when planning and performing an MHF treatment. No one paper can performing an MHF treatment. No one paper can deal with all the possibilities, and that is not attempted here. With ever increasing complexity, the need for careful and detailed planning is vital. The intent of this paper is to identify some major areas of difficulty and some possible alternatives for avoiding them or at least minimizing their effect. Some topics are dealt with in a cursory manner, not because they are to be considered lightly but as a reminder for them to be a consideration in the overall process. Other areas are discussed in more detail because often they are less familiar and more subjective. The intent of this paper is to share what has been helpful in preparing for and performing MHF treatments in hopes that it will be useful to others who have this responsibility.
Many times this area receives little attention. The key consideration is adequate size and accessibility. A location should be large enough to accommodate comfortably the required equipment and fracture tanks. Crowded conditions slow the preparation process by allowing only one phase of the job to process by allowing only one phase of the job to performed at a time. When time is being lost, the performed at a time. When time is being lost, the natural tendency is to hurry and take short cuts to get back on schedule. However, this usually leads to additional problems, time delays, and often a sacrifice in job quality. The best method is to resist the time pressure and do the preparation as correctly as possible because the investment is substantial and the consequences too important to be jeopardized even by a loss of several days. Sometimes equipment placement and material handling are made awkward or impractical by items left on location from the drilling operation or the premature installation of product equipment such as premature installation of product equipment such as tank batteries, separators, flare pits, etc. These often become obstacles that result in improper placement of equipment and materials and/or limit the size of the job. It also may create an unsafe condition by crowding the pumping equipment too close to the wellhead. An effort should be made to keep the location as unobstructed as possible until MHF operations are complete. While preparing the location, it is beneficial to raise the portion of the pad that will accommodate the fracture tanks (Fig. 1).
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