Engineered Friction Reducers Enhance Proppant Transport

January 12, 2018

Friction is the conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments or opinions. In the case of hydraulic fracturing operations, it impedes the ability of fluids carrying proppant farther out from the wellbore and deep into a complex fracturing network.

Reducing friction is a long-established challenge that operators must overcome to decrease fluid flow friction and enable high-rate pumping without requiring more pressure generation at the surface. The ability to precisely drill ultralong laterals and a desire to create
highly complex fracture networks has encouraged adoption of friction reducers. The use of friction reducers together with linear or crosslinked guar has traditionally introduced increased treatment cost and operational complexity to both achieve friction reduction and
maximize proppant transport.

Recent advances in polymer chemistry have led to the creation of polyacrylamide-based technologies that can provide a greater reduction in pipe friction at lower loading because of its high molecular weight, providing improved proppant transport at higher loading during fracturing over conventional slickwater fluids.

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