ABSTRACT of Presentation
Operational practice with hydraulic fracturing has evolved from using conventional linear gels (mostly guar and derivatives) to polyacrylamides (slickwater). The latter is currently the dominant trend, providing low cost friction reduction, low viscosity and simpler chemistry needed for high pump rates, opposite to guar systems. Only drawback: poor proppant suspension. The physical structure of rocks within so called Low Mobility Plays make proppant placement a major issue due to very small fracture widths limiting access to proppant sizes commonly used.
A novel fluid additive that shows lower viscosity and similar friction reduction as polyacrylamides has been tested to evaluate its suspension properties. API 13 rheology was measured and settling tests were conducted using Multiple Light Scattering technology, which makes simpler and more accurate follow up of settling processes in transparent, translucent, and opaque media, providing data on average particle size and hydrodynamic parameters such as velocity of a moving front of decanting particles.
It has been established that proppant size and load suspension is directly related to the novel additive concentration, but no direct relationship with viscosity. This means that lower additive concentration can suspend smaller size proppants. Results show that suspension of proppants from this study is a time dependent process, it could be very short lived as in the case of conventional FR’s and some HVFR’s, or it can be extended from minutes to several hours or even days, after using the appropriate dosage.
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