Fluid and proppant tracers and other simple measurements in returning load water flow back can be very useful in helping to describe fracture development in shales; including such parameters as fracture complexity, frac conductivity, height growth, frac barrier effectiveness, well-to-well and frac-to-frac interference, water entry points and general fracturing execution. For most engineers, flow back ion charts have often had little relevance beyond estimating frac stage flow back activity; however, combining fluid tracer information with low-level gamma emitting proppant tracers, microseismic, simple salinity measurements and water return rate can help describe fracture and formation behaviors that lead to faster optimization of fracturing design and application. This paper will use fluid and proppant tracer results from over a hundred shale frac stages in horizontal wells along with other measurements of frac flow back and blend them with microseismic, frac pumping records, production logging and production results to build a framework for better analysis of frac flow back.

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