Using Tunable Technology to Adjust to Different Shale Play Characteristics

January 08, 2019

Author: BJ Services Technology Team

Each shale play has its own set of characteristics and presents different challenges for operators, resulting in a need for unique approaches to producing oil and natural gas. BJ Services recognizes our clients’ needs for highly efficient and cost-effective production, which we are able to meet through our innovative products such as ThinFrac™ MP — one of several products in our ThinFrac™ friction reducer family.

How Does ThinFrac MP Work?

One of the most important aspects in the development of hydraulic fracturing processes has been the evolution of highly effective fracturing fluids. BJ’s family of friction reducers are water-based and contain gelling agents or polymers to improve proppant transport capabilities and reduce friction pressure when pumped, resulting in lower hydraulic horsepower requirements.

Specifically, our ThinFrac MP friction reducer has been a true pioneer in this category. It is proven to increase productivity for slickwater fracturing operations in North America shale plays by up to 70 percent and lower operational costs by up to 30 percent. These results are achieved by offering a single-fluid solution that provides rapid hydration, enhances proppant transport and breaks precisely and cleanly with less proppant pack or formation damage. This is what defines tunable technology — a solution that can be adapted to the unique challenges of each well.

The Proof

Most recently, an operator used ThinFrac MP in the Eagle Ford shale play, which has unique and challenging characteristics. In addition to increased logistical management and costs related to the region’s infrastructure, the Eagle Ford produces both natural gas and oil and requires some of the highest treatment pressures during fracturing operations.

This operator was also faced with fast-declining production rates because of the ultra-low-permeability rock formation and needed a fluid system that would achieve maximum friction reduction and proppant transport, while accommodating the remaining complexities related to cost.

After witnessing the challenges with the operator’s conventional slickwater system, our engineers recommended using ThinFrac MP for the next 15 stages to better maintain the desired production rates given the type of formation.  The switch resulted in the operator seeing a 10 percent reduction in pressures and 20 percent reduction in product consumption—leading to a significant production gain with increased efficiency through less NPT. After seeing these results, the operator began exclusively using ThinFrac MP on all wells.

Click here to learn more about the innovative technology behind ThinFrac MP.