Traditionally, friction reducer systems have been used to promote laminar flow in pipe to reduce friction pressure in pumping of low viscosity, slickwater-type fracture treatments. In these types of treatments, velocity is the key factor in proppant transport into the reservoir. Typical testing of these conventional friction reducer fluid systems focuses primarily on the chemical's ability to reduce treatment pressures and permit higher fluid velocities.
In an effort to reduce completions costs and improve operational efficiency while maintaining baseline well productivity, our Completions Team applied these conventional friction reducers in an unconventional way. The project used high concentrations of friction reducer (HCFR) as a direct replacement for a guar-based borate crosslinked system without modification to the standard treatment and proppant schedule. The team took steps to qualify the fluid for field implementation, including low shear rate viscosity testing, proppant settling testing, and regained conductivity testing.
Following qualification and operational planning, the team performed field trials. The data showed a reduction in footprint and overall horsepower requirements. The reduced volume and number of chemicals on location led to decreased exposure to hazardous chemicals and also simplified logistics, resulting in fewer truck movements on location. The reduction in chemicals impacted the economics of the well completion positively. The stimulation costs of the wells treated with HCFR when compared to the wells treated with the baseline fluid design showed a chemical cost reduction of approximately 22% per well.
In addition to the cost and operational efficiency benefits observed in the project, initial production data indicates that the wells are meeting or exceeding baseline productivity curves.