When fracturing, viscosity play a major role in providing sufficient fracture width to insure proppant entrance into the fracture, carrying the proppant from the wellbore to the fracture tip, generating a desired net pressure to control height growth and providing fluid loss control. The fluid used to generate the desired viscosity must be safe to handle, environmentally friendly, non-damaging to the fracture conductivity and to the reservoir permeability, easy to mix, inexpensive and able to control fluid loss. This is a very demanding list of requirements that has been recognized since the beginning of Hydraulic fracturing. This paper describes the history of fracturing fluids, the types of fracturing fluids used, the engineering requirement of a good fracturing fluid, how viscosity is measured and what the limitations of the engineering design parameters are.

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