Abstract

CO2 has been a significant part of the advancement and development of hydraulic fracturing. This technology was proven in the 1970s as an energy source to help recovery of well stimulation fluids and is predominantly used to stimulate tight sandstone reservoirs because it is both clean and effective. The first application of CO2 in Saudi Arabia is discussed, highlighting its success in terms of 50% increased productivity, quick cleanup, and reduced water volume.

Classically, conventional hydraulic fracturing (acid or proppant) has been used to maximize long-term production and minimize near wellbore (NWB) damage. This paper discusses how CO2 fracturing can offer more advantages by reducing or eliminating the use of the underground water. It also provides a gas drive solution for effective cleanup. CO2 can be used to significantly reduce interfacial tension and resultant capillary forces, thus helping remove fracturing fluid, connate water, and emulsion blocks, which are among the primary damage mechanisms when fracturing gas wells.

CO2 has been a significant part of the advancement and development of hydraulic fracturing since the 1970s, but mostly just in the US during those early days. This paper discusses in detail the first application in Saudi Arabia using CO2 to foam a proppant fracturing treatment. The implementation of this technology was successful. This was demonstrated by the resultant 50% productivity increase in the study well. Using this method allowed a very fast and effective cleanup compared to other wells fractured using conventional crosslinked fluid methods. Additionally, using this method provided the added benefit of reducing water volume, which is a critical factor in this area because of limited water availability.

The first CO2 application in Saudi Arabia is discussed, highlighting its success in a resultant 50% productivity increase. The method allowed fast and effective cleanup compared to wells fractured using conventional crosslinked fluids. Additional benefits included reduced water volume, which was critical in this area because of limited resources.

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