An optimum hydraulic fracturing treatment design is critical to achieve a successful well stimulation operation due to technical and economical limitations of hydraulic fracturing operations in unconventional reservoirs. Well stimulations methods through the conjunction of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have enhanced hydrocarbon production in unconventional reservoirs making shale oil and gas production technically and economically possible. The primary function of a fracturing treatment is to increase reservoir contact area by inducing long fracture half-length and higher fractured propped area with greater fluid volume injection and better transportation of proppants. The success of a fracture treatment depends greatly on selecting a suitable fracturing fluid that has capability to create long fracture half-length and carry the proppants deep enough into the fractures. In oil and gas industry, high viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) have recently been successfully applied across all leading shale plays in North America including Bakken, Permian, and Eagle Ford. This study is aimed at examining the influence of application of HVFRs on effective fracture half-length compared to a traditional linear gel. The results of the study were examined to determine how HVFRs can be an effective fracture fluid system in shale reservoirs. The results show that using produced water with HVFRs can lead to improved proppant transport and higher fracture-half-length compared to conventional linear gel fluids. Compared to the traditional hydraulic fracturing fluids, the study shows the many potential advantages that HVFRs offers including greater proppant transport ability, larger fractured propped area, chemical cost reduction and the ability to reduce operation equipment on site. Reusing produced water can be an intelligent decision to lessen environmental footprint and decrease operational expenses. The conclusions from this research can be applied to other unconventional shale plays, such as Eagle Ford and Permian Basin for optimization ideas.
Energy is essential for human development and as global oil and gas demand has been increasing with strict environmental regulations while extracting the hydrocarbons, a lot of challenges for the oil and gas exploration and production companies have been increased as well. Exploring more hydrocarbons to keep a balance between supply and demand, discovering new unconventional prospects to substitute the depleting oil and gas reserves are some of key challenges faced by the oil and gas sector.