Hydraulic fracturing fluid systems are used to create the required fracture geometry and transport proppant into the fracture with a distribution that allows for the optimum performance of the well. Most systems currently use water-soluble polymers composed of guar or guar derivatives. Additional materials are used to optimize the fluid characteristics for the application and also to degrade the water-soluble polymer to make it easier to recover from the well prior to production. The recovered, degraded fluids cannot be used again and must be disposed of in a proper manner.
A new hydraulic fracturing fluid system has been developed that provides excellent performance during the fracturing process with post-fracture treatment fluid recovery approaching 100%. This fluid has the added benefit of being reusable after it is recovered following the treatment and prior to production. The benefits of reuse include the cost savings associated with capturing and reusing chemicals, the cost savings because of reduced water volume requirements for subsequent treatments, and the elimination of disposal costs. In addition, the total volume of chemicals required for fracturing operations is significantly less, thus reducing the demand on our environment.
Field analyses of the returned fluid determine parameters of maintenance and reconstitution for use in subsequent fracturing. This paper will outline the application of this fluid system, the concept for recycling and reuse, and the procedures necessary to properly use the recovered fluid in subsequent treatments.