This paper provides a detailed evaluation of the impact that field source water chemistry has on the performance of friction reducers being used for hydraulic fracturing. In this research, correlations are established between friction reducer performance and source water chemical composition, allowing operators to shorten the learning curve within their fracturing operations, use the most appropriate fluid systems, and potentially mitigate job failures.

Extensive testing has been conducted to evaluate friction reducer performance in the presence of different ionic components such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chloride. Performance testing was determined by varying individual ions, as well as using source waters from multiple field locations having total dissolved solid (TDS) levels of well over 100,000 ppm. Testing parameters included friction reduction, hydration rate via viscosity, and rheological characterization for viscosifying-type friction reducers. Principal component analysis was used as statistical tool to characterize the variation in water chemistry and to establish its relationship with friction reducer performance.

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