Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing has increased immensely in recent years. An accurate prediction of frictional pressure losses of fracturing slurries is crucial for successful treatment and to avoid premature screen-out or even treatment failure. Scarce data and lack of theoretical basis of slurry flow, especially in coiled tubing has led to very limited number of correlations that are available to predict slurry frictional pressure losses. Yet, the accuracy of the available correlations is still questionable.

The current paper presents a statistical comparative analysis of the available frictional pressure losses correlations for slurry flow in straight and coiled tubing employing the recently introduced math modeling technique that gives weight for the models known as Akaike information criterion, AIC. With the help of AIC, the authors evaluated the available correlations to examine their accuracy. The results show that none of the available correlations can accurately predict friction pressure losses of slurries. The correlations show some reasonable accuracy within a very limited data range. However, they fail outside this range indicative of their poor applicability. AIC shows how much information is lost when using these correlations which can lead to erroneous results, and even job failure. This fact keeps the gates widely opened for more in-depth experimental, analytical, and theoretical analysis for better understanding of flow behavior of fracturing slurries aiming at developing a more realistic correlation to predict their frictional pressure losses. This paper represents the authors' first step toward developing such correlation, with the application of information theory and AIC.

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