March 2015
ShaleTech Report

What’s new in Shale technology

What’s new in Shale technology
Steven McGinn / World Oil

Improved fluid system uses up to 100% produced water for fracing 

The Weatherford WaterSure fluid system, which enables fracturing with 100%-produced, or flowback water from the well, is an environmentally friendly and cost-saving alternative to conventional methods. This fluid system eliminates the need for fresh water, as well as the downtime, costs, logistics, fuel consumption, and emissions associated with delivering, and transporting, fresh water. The system uses filtered, or unfiltered, water with minimal to no chemical treatment. The water is oxidized and treated with chloride dioxide to kill well-souring bacteria, help decrease reservoir pressure, and improve the permeability, wetness and porosity of the formation. The prepped water is combined with an environmentally friendly gelling agent, and cross-linked to create fluids with excellent proppant transport and conductivity. The resulting fluids can then maintain high, closely controlled viscosity levels, sufficient to carry proppant during long periods of exposure to high temperatures and bottomhole pressures.

Improved frac fluid aims to reduce pumping time, lower volumes

Fairmount Santrol has introduced Propel SSP proppant technology, which resists settling in low-viscosity fluid. Pumping time is reduced through higher capacity, and less fluid additive is required, because fluid volume is lowered. A clean break of the Propel SSP polymer transport system prevents proppant pack and formation damage, resulting in total regain conductivity. By eliminating fluid sweeps, viscous proppant transport is maintained in a thin fluid.

Fully dissolvable plug-and-perf system degrades completely

Schlumberger has released its Infinity dissolvable plug-and-perf system, using fully degradable fracture balls, and fully degradable seats instead of plugs, to isolate zones during well stimulation. The first-ever fullbore intervention-less plug-and-perf system eliminates the need for milling operations, and leaves nothing behind in the wellbore. As a result, no plug debris is produced to surface, where it can potentially interfere with surface equipment. The technique eliminates lateral length restrictions, which maximizes reservoir contact and estimated ultimate recovery, reducing intervention-related risks and costs. The Infinity system underwent extensive material science and laboratory validation and has been field tested in multiple unconventional reservoirs across the U.S. Numerous wells were stimulated across five of the major plays in North America without any type of mechanical intervention required.

Hydraulic system pumps large volumes of proppant

Energy Recovery’s VorTeq hydraulic-pumping system re-routes abrasive frac fluid away from hydraulic fracturing pumps, increasing run time and reducing maintenance by allowing those pumps to move only fresh water. The system, made of tungsten carbide, uses one moving part, and can handle volume up to 110 bbl/min, with pressure up to 15,000 psi.

Well remediation and re-stimulation through chemistry

Flotek Industries has introduced its Complex nano-Fluid (CnF) chemistries, aimed at remediation and re-stimulation of existing, unconventional wells. The company says its tailored CnF chemistry design can reinvigorate production by as much as 30–70%. In some cases, the well can return to its original production profile. Total well completion and re-fracturing will likely be unnecessary; instead, a basic pump and pressure treatment with a coiled tubing unit, in a fluid system, will penetrate existing fractures in the formation, and mitigate wellbore blockages, caused by paraffins, asphaltenes and other clogging particles. CnF can be combined with Flotek’s other products for advanced reservoir modeling.

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Steven McGinn
World Oil
Steven McGinn
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