Abstract

High-strength disintegrable frac balls have provided successful isolation in multi-stage completion systems during hydraulic fracturing treatments in thousands of wells throughout North America. The multi-stage hydraulic fracturing is enabled through one avenue with the utilization of a ball-activated frac sleeves to fracture each stage. Advancements in technology permit over 40 individual stages in one wellbore. This puts a critical emphasis in the reliability of the frac ball as an integral part to the success of each treatment. The High-Strength Disintegrable (HSD) frac balls must exceed the pressures required in hydraulic fracturing, while avoiding the risk of remaining stuck on seat or collecting in the lateral. This break-thru-material is engineered to disintegrate in typical downhole brines. The combination of this unique characteristic and its high strength enables the material to actuate frac sleeves and provide flow assurance by optimizing the flow area after fracturing a stage. More than 30, 000 HSD tripping balls have been deployed downhole. This paper presents a case study on fracturing pressure requirements using this new, innovative technology, and the reliability of the tripping balls' ability to disintegrate while being exposed to downhole brines.

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