This study will demonstrate a comparison of completion fluid designs in operations and production across several pads in Gonzales and Lavaca counties in the Eagle Ford Basin. The use of tunable friction reducers (FRs) significantly improves completion efficiency and production. The paper also illustrates how tunable FRs provide greater versatility at the wellhead by replacing multiple fracturing fluid systems such as conventional friction reducer and linear gel with a single additive.

When conventional FRs prove inadequate in slickwater designs, subsequent HVFR and linear gel designs are utilized. This study demonstrates that tunable FRs provide the flexibility to be run at lower concentrations as an effective and efficient friction reducer. Should the slickwater treatment be insufficient, the FR concentration can easily be increased to achieve improved results for pressure reduction and sand placement while minimizing chemical additives and equipment on location. In addition, this tunable FR is engineered with breakable linkages that minimize formation damage to help improving production.

Tunable FRs can be run at less concentration compared to conventional FRs while delivering the same friction reduction as slickwater. Increasing the concentration produces a higher viscosity similar to that seen in linear gel. This flexibility is achieved with less equipment and additives and can be executed on- the-fly while pumping. This design has enabled an operator in the Eagle Ford to complete more stages with less shutdowns and screenouts. Eliminating equipment and extra additives simiplified logistics, reduced the footprint and equipment-related non-produtive time (NPT). Overall, production results taken over the first 12 months show that wells completed with the tunable FR had noticeably superior performance in cumulative production, which is normalized by lateral length. These improvements can be attributed to the proppant transport capabilities and the breakability of the tunable FR, which minimizes residue left in the formation and, in turn, provides greater regain conductivity.

Additional benefits include simplified delivery and smaller jobsite footprint requirements, which lead to significant cost savings. The tunability of the FR allows it to be administered on the fly while pumping, giving design change flexibility, enhancing overall operational efficiency. Since there is no need of hydration unit or dry-on-the-fly (DOTF) unit used for hybrid linear gel design, fewer NPT hours due to equipment breakdown was seen on location.

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