For many years, the Travis Peak/Hosston formation of East Texas and North Louisiana has been hydraulically fractured with various treatment designs, ranging from low-viscosity water fracs using only linear gel or polyacrylamide friction reducers to crosslinked gels typically sourced from guar polymers or guar derivatives. While lower-viscosity fluids can minimize gel damage to the formation, the result is often that less fracture conductivity is achieved because of the inability to transport larger proppant concentrations and maintain width. In late 2010, a new milestone occurred for the East Texas/North Louisiana region as a newly developed crosslinked gel system, souced entirely from the food industry, was incorporated into the Travis Peak/Hosston fracture designs. The fluid system demonstrates both better proppant-transport capabilities and better conductivity-performance numbers than friction-reducer polyacrylamide systems and typical guar fluids. In addition to enhanced cleanup and proppant transport, all of the fluid system’s components, having been sourced from the food industry, demonstrate a health, safety, and environmental (HSE) quality that surpasses the previously used fluid systems. This paper will show laboratory test results for retained conductivity and proppant transport for the sourced-from-the-food-industry (SFI) fluid system in comparison to other fracturing gels, both of which should aid in flowback and production of a tight-gas sandstone formation.

Case histories for the Landon No. 6 well (a single-stage Travis Peak and Pettet completion in Rusk County, Texas) and the Shadowen 3-2 well (a four-stage Hosston completion of DeSoto Parish, Louisianna) will be examined. These two wells were the early pioneers for this SFI fluid system and have both shown benefits from its improved fluid cleanup and conductivity capabilities. Nearby offset comparisons of the production well show these wells to outperform wells with similarly completed frac stages using different fluid systems. Use of this SFI fluid in the tight-gas sandstones of East Texas and North Louisiana not only exemplifies the environmental stewardship of the oil-and-gas industry, but can also lead to improved estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of the wells.

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