Investigate The Rheological Behavior of High Viscosity Friction Reducer Fracture Fluid and Its Impact on Proppant Static Settling Velocity

Ba Geri, Mohammed (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Imqam, Abdulmohsin (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Bogdan, Andrey (BJ services) | Shen, Lingjuan (BJ services)

OnePetro 

Abstract

The recent and rapid success of using high viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) in hydraulic fracturing treatments is due to several advantages over other fracture fluids (e.g. linear gel), which include better proppant carrying capability, induce more complex fracture system network with higher fracture length, and overall lower costs due to fewer chemicals and less equipment on location. However, some concerns remain, like how HVFRs rheological properties can have impact on proppant transport into fractures. The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the influence the rheological characterization of HVFRs have on proppant static settling velocity within hydraulic fracturing process. To address these concerns, comprehensive rheological tests including viscosity profile, elasticity profile, and thermal stability were conducted for both HVFR and linear gel. In the steady shear-viscosity measurement, viscosity behavior versus a wide range of shear rates was studied. Moreover, the influence of elasticity was examined by performing oscillatory-shear tests over the range of frequencies. Normal stress was the other elasticity factor examined to evaluate elastic properties. Also, the Weissenberg number was calculated to determine the elastic to viscous forces. Lastly, quantitative and qualitative measurements were carried out to study proppant settling velocity in the fluids made from HVFRs and linear gel. The results of rheological measurement reveal that a lower concentration of HVFR-2 loading at 2gpt has approximately more than 8 times the viscosity of linear gel loading at 20ppt. Elastic measurement exposes that generally HVFRs have a much higher relaxation time compared to linear gel. Interestingly, the normal stress N1 of HVFR-2, 2gpt was over 3 times that of linear gel loading 20ppt. This could conclude that linear gel fracture fluids have weak elastic characterization compared to HVFR. The results also concluded that at 80 C° linear gel has a weak thermal stability while HVFR-2 loses its properties only slightly with increasing temperature. HVFR-2 showed better proppant settling velocity relative to guar-based fluids. The reduction on proppant settling velocity exceed 75% when HVFR-2 loading at 2gpt was used compared to 20ppt of linear gel. Even though much work was performed to understand the proppant settling velocity, not much experimental work has investigated the HVFR behavior on the static proppant settling velocity measurements. This paper will provide a better understanding of the distinct changes of the mechanical characterization on the HVFRs which could be used as guidance for fracture engineers to design and select better high viscous friction reducers.