Many shale formations are treated at sufficiently high pumping rates that the surface treating pressures are near the maximum allowable pressure limits for surface or downhole equipment. Treating a well near its maximum allowable pressure limits can intensify the overpressure risk from a water-hammer pressure wave. The maximum pressure measured at the wellhead, from a water-hammer pressure wave, can be reached seconds after the high-pressure pumps are stopped following a rapid pressure increase during a screenout or other sudden flow stoppage. This paper provides a method to calculate the water-hammer pressure. Methods to help minimize the pressure surge are presented. Use of these methods can minimize the risk to personnel, the environment, and equipment caused by the potential water-hammer pressure surge often overlooked in well treatment designs.

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