Abstract

Field use and test results of an HPHPS (High Pressure Horizontal Pumping System), and how it is integrated into a frac fleet of 20 PD (Positive Displacement) conventional frac pumpers to support fracs in the Horn River Basin.

This HPHPS was successfully tested on leases in the Horn River Basin of North Eastern British Columbia to pump Debolt source water (a saline, sour and gassy aquifer) during frac operations in 2010 and 2011. This provided an alternative solution to a $50mm+ water treatment plant for supplementing fresh water volumes used for frac operations.

Fresh water is being extensively used for fracturing operations to stimulate both oil & gas shale wells. Once used for this purpose, the water is either disposed of, or needs extensive treatment to recondition it for further fracture operations. Operators in the Horn River Basin have access to a non-potable aquifer that is available for both source water and disposal use, that is shallower than the shale gas wells requiring stimulation, but much deeper than the fresh water aquifers. Many tests were conducted by numerous operators on the Debolt aquifer to determine how this water source could be utilized to supplement fresh water requirements for fracture operations. Extensive aquifer testing revealed that this Debolt water remains stable if kept above the bubble point pressure, but existing PD frac pumps cannot pump this water at the high suction pressures required to keep the water stable. A high pressure multi stage centrifugal pump configured as an HPHPS for 500 psi suction and 10,000 psi discharge is capable of using raw Debolt water as a fracture fluid.

This paper will review how 3 HPHPS frac pumpers were integrated into a frac fleet of 20 PD frac pumps for evaluation of HPHPS pumping performance on a 10 well pad site during a 2013 frac campaign in the Horn River Basin. This multi-well pad site is scheduled for 252 fracs at 6.3 fracs per day.

The successful integration of HPHPS frac pumps into a standard PD frac fleet enables a Pressurized Frac On Demand (PFOD) system to be used. Untreated sour aquifer water can then be used to supplement fresh water in the large water demand requirement necessary to stimulate shale zones.

These concepts may be applicable in other shale exploitation areas to reduce the demands on the local fresh water resources in their areas too.

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