Since their introduction, encapsulated breakers (EB) for water-based fracturing fluids have gained wide acceptance within the petroleum industry. Their use has improved the retained fracture permeabilities over those previously attained. The net results have been improved production and a greater return on investment for the operator.

While various laboratory experiments have confirmed the need for maximum breaker concentration1-4  a field test was desired to document the effect of the high breaker concentrations attainable with EB. Therefore, a case study of 23 wells, 13 of which contained EB, was undertaken in the Red Fork formation of the West Butler and Strong City fields in the Oklahoma counties of Custer and Roger Mills (Fig. 1). Post-fracture production performances were evaluated to confirm the effectiveness of the EB. These field tests show that increased breaker concentrations do indeed improve well performance.

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