Viscoelastic property of high-viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) was developed as an alternative fracturing fluid system because of advantages such as the ability to transport particles, higher fracture conductivity, and potential lower cost due to fewer chemicals and equipment on location. However, concerns remain about using HVFRs to transport proppant in DI water and harsh brine solution (e.g. 2wt% KCl and 10 lbs. brine). The primary objective of this study is to investigate the viscoelastic property that can help to understand the true proppant transporting capacity of fracturing fluids in high-TDS environment.
To address the evaluation performance of HVFRs, a comprehensive review of numerous papers associated to viscoelastic property of hydraulic fracturing fluids were investigated and summarized. This paper also provides a full comparison study of viscosity and elastic modulus between HVFRs and among fracturing fluids such as xanthan, polyacrylamide-based emulsion polymer, and guar. Moreover, viscosity profiles and elastic modulus were conducted at different temperatures. Better proppant transportation effect though higher viscosity through Stoke's law and the effect on proppant transportation from elastic modulus comparison were also investigated. Finally, HVFR Conductivity test and successful field test result were explained.
The results of the experimental work show that viscoelastic property HVFRs provides good behavior to transport proppant. Viscosity profile decreased slightly as the temperature increased from 75 to 150 when the DI water was used. While using 10 lbs. Brine the viscosity was reduced by 33%. The longer polymer chains of HVFR indicated better elastic modulus in DI water. The elastic modulus also indicated that the highest values at frequency 4.5 Hz from each amplitude, and lower values as amplitude was increased. Although high molecular weight HVFRs were utilized on the conductivity test, the results observed that the regained permeability was up to 110%. Finally, the promising results from the case study showed that using HVFRs could be performed economically and efficiently for the purpose of proppant transportation and pressure reduction in high TDS fluids.