Abstract

The paper provides details of two experimental methods that were developed during the study and performance characterization of fiber-assisted stimulation services. The first method is focused on measuring the change in terminal settling velocities of proppant, which changes are caused by fiber material loading to fracturing fluid. The experimental approach allows us to calculate hindered-settling functions and to predict fiber-assisted proppant settling control for some type of fracturing fluids (linear gels). The second method is focused on analysis of thermal stability of degradable fibers. The thermal stability is estimated by direct fiber performance examination immediately after exposure of material to fluid media under specific conditions. A static proppant settling test was applied here as a criterion of the fiber additive's ability to perform. The key output of the fiber stability test is the critical time, which is the limit of material stability time under given conditions. Mathematical processing was based on degradation rate calculations for set temperatures and calculation of critical time at varied temperature as a sum of fixed time stability functions. Validation was done by repeating calculated varied step temperature conditions experimentally and comparing actual fiber stability versus calculated stability.

Based on the obtained experimental data, it was possible to develop an empirical model suitable for integration into hydraulic fracture simulator. As a result, there is reliable tool for estimation of commercial fiber performance in hydraulic fracturing jobs.

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