In this study of the Viking formation, fracturing treatment design was optimized for the Red Water, Plato, and Dodsland areas. Fracturing treatment design for the Viking formation has evolved greatly over the last three years, with stair-step changes in production and associated economics. Some areas that lagged in production have now become the best producing Viking assets. The primary design changes that have led to these improvements in production include the following:
Control of clay fines migration, given that clay content in the Viking formation can exceed 50 vol%.
Control of clay swelling.
Prevention of paraffin precipitation caused by injected fracturing fluids having a temperature below the cloud point of the wax in the crude.
Paraffin crystal structure modification to help mitigate production issues associated with any precipitated paraffin.
Use of larger proppant sizes, higher proppant concentrations, and more aggressive proppant schedules.
Optimization of fracture size and spacing. Because this has been the basis of much of the success in the Viking formation in recent years, a detailed discussion follows.