Recent advances in guar and cross-linker technologies have resulted in the development of high viscosity cross-linked borate fracturing fluids without increasing polymer loadings. These Low Polymer borate fracturing fluids (LP) are successfully being utilized in various formations previously believed to be too hot and or too deep for low polymer fracturing fluids.

Historically, polymer loadings of 3.6 – 4.2 kg/m3 (30-35 lb/1000gal) were commonly pumped in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) for formations deeper than 2500 meters and bottom hole temperatures greater than 80°C. These same formations are now fracture stimulated using the Low Polymer fluids with loadings as low as 1.8 kg/m3 (15 lb/1000gal) with exceptional results.

This paper demonstrates that Low Polymer fracture fluids can be used in place of higher polymer fluids with minimal changes to the overall design of the fracture treatment. The new fluid can be pumped on-the-fly at conventional pump rates and proppant concentrations due to the fluid's improved shear and temperature stability.

The advantages of using a reduced polymer fracturing fluid include increased production, lower treatment costs, and lower friction pressures.

This paper illustrates these advantages as it compares the Low Polymer fracture fluid with High Polymer fracture fluids in over 200 wells in the WCSB. The formations where LP fluids were utilized have depths of up to 3250 meters and reservoir temperatures reaching over 100°C.

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