Primary barriers to fracturing the reservoir 24/7 have been identified as 1) the time between stages (this includes transition time and pressure tests), 2) downtime associated with gate valve maintenance and failures, 3) frac pump maintenance and 4) sand and water logistics.
Following a prescribed roadmap, a system has been developed with new subsystems and processes to eliminate these identified barriers through novel products and automated workflows resulting in fracturing the reservoir more hours per day with the goal of reaching 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (please note the difference between being on a frac site 24/7, which occurs today, and fracturing the reservoir 24/7).
The system eliminates the time between stages with rapid, automated transitions from one stage to the next enabling operators to continuously pump for the duration of the completion. Utilizing automated workflows, interlocks with wireline and frac systems, control systems, and RFID, the system eliminates NPT associated with stage-to-stage transitions. An addition to the system that enables the exchange of pumps during frac operations without stopping the frac has gone through initial field trials, with a second iteration soon to be deployed. Although the overall system does not directly solve logistic issues (i.e. sand and water shortages), the demonstrated consistency achieved using the system enables better planning of resources.
A summary of the system’s accomplishments, some previously disclosed, some new, will be presented. The system has broken multiple pumping records across US basins including hours pumped continuously and stages completed. In addition, the system has over a dozen industry "firsts" that have advanced completion practices, reduced NPT, and eliminated transition time. The paper highlights new additions to the system including the automated lubricator, automated greasing algorithms, and the ability to exchange a pump truck while fracturing. Utilizing the plentiful data provided by the system, specific case histories are documented highlighting the gains in operational efficiency, consistency and safety resulting from the new system.