Abstract

The pressing water concerns of tomorrow demand that we target our time and technology in order to improve the fluid mixtures applied in fracturing operations. This challenge is intensified by the concomitant need to make use of produced water. Compelled toward this alternative as we continue to extract our remaining resources from the ground, we must account for the fact that the water we use will invariably decrease the strength of the composite fluids. Therefore, new chemicals are required to ensure stable results when testing these fluids.

Fresh Water scarcity across much of the Permian Basin is particularly critical and necessitates the pumping of produced water, thereby conserving dwindling reserves. The major problem with this approach is the need to balance the fluid recipe with chemical additives. Produced water is highly ionized and as such becomes less stable at heated temperatures, giving a smaller window to adjust chemicals for a precise formula. Hence, an innovative chemical solution is indispensable. A scale inhibitor was found to prevent scale deposition by sequestering the cationic scale-forming ions, and distorting the crystalline lattice structure. What is more, this product exhibits good thermal stability and is also very effective ion stabilizations. Accordingly the novel scale inhibitor was implemented and successfully pumped for more than 200 stages in West Texas.

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