This paper details the development of a laboratory testing procedure that simulates the shear and temperature environment that a fracturing fluid is subjected to throughout a fracturing treatment, including the low shear rates (30-100 sec−1) experienced in the fracture. Building on previous parametric studies of fluid responses to differing test procedures, this new procedure appears to give results that are representative of the viscous properties of the fluid rather than the procedure used to run the test.

The validity of our proposed procedure has been verified by testing gels from four suppliers with gel loadings of 40 and 60 lb/1000 gal at temperatures of 200 and 250° F. Acceptance of a procedure such as the one presented in this paper would allow for more accurate control in the design and execution of fracture treatments, and serve as a basis for meaningful, quantitative comparisons between available gel systems.

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