Video: The Effect of Changes in Hydraulic Fracking Fluid Chemistries on the Dissolution Rate of Dissolvable Magnesium Frack Plug Components
- Matthew Murphy (Luxfer MEL Technologies) | Mark Turski (Luxfer MEL Technologies) | William Warfield (Luxfer MEL Technologies) | Paul Lyon (Luxfer MEL Technologies)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- 2019. Copyright is retained by the author. This presentation is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this video.
- dissolution rate, magnesium, dissolvable metals, recycled frack water, fracking
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Objectives/Scope: The use of dissolvable metal technologies for use in downhole tools for the hydraulic fracking industry has expanded rapidly over the last few years. The dissolution rate of these alloys is known to be sensitive to the chemistry of the fracking fluids used. Recently, there has been a drive to increase the use of recycled fracking fluid, resulting in unintended changes to the fluid chemistry. This work will review the effect of such changes in frac fluid chemistries on the dissolution rate of commercially available magnesium based dissolvable alloys. These results are compared to the published dissolution rate for the same alloys.
Methods, Procedures, Process: The published rate of dissolution is based on tightly controlled temperatures, utilising KCl solutions typically up to 3 % KCl. In this work, the dissolution rate was measured for a range of simulated frac fluid chemistries. Tests were carried out in tightly controlled laboratory conditions at ambient pressures and at temperatures up to 200 F. A range of brine solutions were investigated, applying systematic changes to the compositions of each solution. This approach provided reproducible conditions, allowing the effect of specific species typically found in downhole frac fluids to be isolated and evaluated.
Results, Observations, Conclusions: The results show clear trends on the dissolution rate of dissolvable magnesium alloys with changes in frac fluid chemistry. In particular, the presence of certain salts have shown to significantly reduce the material dissolution rate.
Novel/Additive Information: While the general trend for increased dissolution rate with increasing brine concentration is well understood it was surprising to find a decrease in corrosion rate where certain salts are present. These results are invaluable in providing the operator a greater understanding on the expected dissolution rate of dissolvable magnesium technologies within the field for a given chemistry of frac fluid. These results are of particular importance given the trend towards reuse of frac fluids in the field.