During a hydraulic fracturing treatment, it is imperative that adequate perforation channels link the wellbore to the formation. Bottomhole friction is a critical issue that can worsen as the result of poor perforation channels. Excessive bottomhole friction begets high treating pressures, which in turn can lead to premature screenouts when a well is hydraulically fractured.

The traditional method of perforating using through-tubing explosives has inherent disadvantages. These disadvantages can contribute to bottomhole friction in a multitude of ways. Drawbacks include the damage done to the near-wellbore area by the compaction force of the explosives and the debris left behind in the perforation channel. The small entry-hole diameter (EHD) made by through-tubing guns contributes to bottomhole friction by creating a large pressure drop across the perforations.

Hydraulically jetting with proppant (HJP) to create perforations entails pumping a combination of fluid and either proppant or sand down a string of jointed tubing or coiled tubing to create perforations. The slurry exits the jetting nozzle at a high velocity and creates a channel through the casing and cement and into the formation, in turn connecting the wellbore to the formation. The perforation depth is determined by the time the slurry is allowed to act in one area. Details such as perforation diameter, shot density, and phasing are determined by the specifications of the jetting tool.

This technical paper presents field data from a hydraulic fracturing treatment in which HJP was used to reduce bottomhole friction by 70%. This procedure creates superior connectivity between the wellbore and formation and leaves less near-wellbore damage. This benefit is significant in that it reduces the risk of premature screenouts when fracturing, as can often happen when perforating using through-tubing explosives.

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