Correlated Friction Reduction and Viscoelastic Characterization of Utilizing the Permian Produced Water with HVFRS during Hydraulic Fracturing


Hydraulic fracturing operation requires securing sufficient water resources to access unlocked formations. Successful treatment depends on the fracture fluids that mainly consists of water-based fluid with a low percentage of chemical additives around 1%. Therefore, the oil and gas industry are considered as the largest freshwater consumers by 3 to 6 million gallons of water per well based on a number of fracturing stages. As a result, the traditional water resources from subsurface and surface are getting depleted, and availability of freshwater is becoming more difficult with high cost due to continued demand. For example, operator companies in West Texas face many challenges, including a recent increase from USD 3 to 10 per m3 of freshwater. In addition, transporting process of the raw water to the fracture sites, such as Bakken has an environmental impact, and expensive costs up to USD 5/bbl, while costs of water disposal in range of USD 9/bbl.

This paper aims to study the produced water as alternative water-based fluid with high viscosity friction reducers (HVFR) to reduce environmental footprints and economic costs. To address utilizing produced water as an alternative capable water resource that may use during fracturing treatment, this research presents an experimental investigation associated with using the Permian high-TDS brine water with HVFRs. This work includes experimental research, case studies, and guidelines work on recent improvements on using HVFR to carry proppant and capture the optimum design in fracturing operations. Moreover, the research conducted scaled lab friction measurements that can in turn to be used to improve forecasting of frictions in the field, and therefore of expected surface treating pressures during fracture treatments. Evaluating pipe friction as a function of time to compare HVFRs efficacy in lab and field conditions as well as to predict maximum injection rate during a frac job is investigated.

The outcomes show that high-TDS Permian water with highest dosage of HVFRs had instantaneous pressure reduction effect in 10 seconds while low dosage of HVFRs had lost the effect slowly after 4 min. 30 sec. Also, the results of this study show that the variation of viscosity and pressure reduction at higher shear rate is small. The warm temperature helped rapid polymer dispersion and provided better environment to polymer hydration leads to rapid pressure reduction. Finally, successful implementation in Wlofcamp formation shows that the operation treating pressure reduced from 11,000 to 8,000 psi. The general guidelines obtained can promote the sustainability of using hydraulic fracturing treatment to produce more oil and gas from unconventional resources without considering environmental issues.

Meeting Name

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, 2019, ADIP 2019 (2019: Nov. 11-14, Abu Dhabi, UAE),


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Additives; Costs; Environmental impact; Fracture; Friction; Gas industry; Gasoline; Hydraulic fracturing; Produced Water; Resource valuation; Sustainable development; Viscoelasticity; Viscosity, Environmental footprints; Experimental investigations; Fracturing treatments; Friction measurements; Hydraulic fracturing treatments; Instantaneous pressures; Unconventional resources; Viscoelastic characterization, Water resources

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2019