During 2016 - 2017, the stimulation of several Wolfcamp and Bone Springs targeted wells in the northern Delaware Basin using fracturing treatments and a new method employing relatively small pre-pad pill volumes of nanoparticle dispersions ahead of each stage of treatment have been successfully performed. The liquid nanoparticle dispersion pre-pad pills used in each stage consist of highly surface modified, neutral wet nanoparticles dispersed in small water volumes which penetrate the reservoir's natural fracture and secondary induced fracture network via accelerated diffusion into the reservoir beyond the primary induced fracture network, producing a Brownian motion activated, mechanical advantage process known as disjoining pressure. These neutral wet, solid nanoparticles aid in delivering improved efficacy in the recovery of hydrocarbons via counter-current imbibition by fragmenting the disjoined oil into smaller oil droplets, enabling a more efficient backflow to the propped fracture network and back to the wellbore. The nanoparticle dispersion pre-pad pills are used to introduce the nanoparticle dispersion farther into the reservoir's naturally fractured/permeable matrix network and employ the mechanisms described above to enhance and sustain the mobility of hydrocarbons (overcome confining capillary pressures) back to the propped facture network and subsequently to the wellbore.

Advantages of this method and mechanical process are the ability to access the reservoir beyond where proppants can be placed thereby improving the effective stimulated reservoir volume. The evaluation of results in these zones has shown that utilizing the nanoparticle pre-pad pills has resulted in significantly improved performance (20-30 percent higher than the best available technology) compared to over 15 offset wells when normalized with respect to stimulation and production techniques and procedures. The results include significantly higher oil cuts for a longer sustained time periods as well as providing earlier oil to surface after treatment flowback and continued flowing production before requiring artificial lift implementation. While the number of offset wells is greater than nanoparticle dispersion treated wells, the results clearly demonstrate that there is a positive impact as well as persistent improvement factor (EUR) from using the pre-pad nanoparticle dispersion pills ahead of each stage. The liquid nanoparticle dispersion pre-pad pills used in each stage consist of highly surface modified, neutral wet nanoparticles dispersed in small water volumes which penetrates via accelerated diffusion into the reservoir beyond the induced fracture network, producing a Brownian motion activated, mechanical process known as disjoining pressure. These neutral wet, solid nanoparticles aid in delivering improved efficacy in the recovery of hydrocarbons via counter-current imbibition by fragmenting the disjoined oil into smaller oil droplets, enabling a more efficient backflow to the propped fracture network and back to the wellbore.

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