A Simple, Cost Effective Alternative to Crosslinked Guar Systems that Allows for the Use of Produced Water

Presenters

Carl Harman, Satanta Oil
Mike McDonald, PQ Corporation

Environmental concerns and increasing costs are creating a need for a polymer that will allow the use of a high salt, high hardness water in the making of a viscosified frac fluid. Any new polymer would also need to tick the boxes for cost, rheology, HS&E characteristics as well as breaking in the reservoir. Past development efforts have focused on improving organic-based polymers. A new approach was taken and a shift was made to the use of silica-based polymer. This paper will review silica chemistry but the focus will be on West Texas field trials where the silica gel was used as an alternative to 20 lb/Mgal crosslinked-guar. Covered topics will include; chemistry of produced water, making the silica gel on-location, pumping characteristics, cost and impact on production.