In recent years numerous case studies documenting the use of microemulsions in hydraulic fracturing of tight gas formations have appeared in the literature. Field case studies and supplemental laboratory data have illustrated that microemulsions enhance core permeability to gas and enhance fluid flowback mainly due to lowering capillary pressure and altering wettability in reservoirs and propped fractures. Although proven successful for enhancing gas production, many aspects of the microemulsion behavior in propped fractures are still poorly understood. In the present study we have performed numerous experiments on microemulsion-assisted fluid recovery from columns packed with sand proppant and shale, using microemulsions of different chemical composition. Our results indicate that the extent to which microemulsion additives promote foaming is an important factor in achieving highest possible levels of fluid recovery. By using properly formulated microemulsion compositions one can achieve significant improvement in fluid recovery at commercially viable doses of treatment.

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