Solving Produced-Water Challenges With a Novel Guar-Based System

Topics: Hydraulic fracturing Water treatment and management
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This paper summarizes the benefits of using a bipolymer crosslinking system in environments where water quality cannot be guaranteed. In addition to the cost advantages of using a crosslinking system that uses a conventional gelling agent, this paper also demonstrates the yielded cost savings per well that are achievable when reusing 100% produced or flowback water for hydraulic fracturing. The new fluid system consists of a specially formulated biopolymer crosslinking system that is not affected by the inconsistent quality of produced/flowback water typically associated with fracturing applications.


Water management is an environmental and logistical challenge to many operators across the United States. With the typical unconventional horizontal well requiring, on average, more than 8 million gal of water in a standard stimulation design, the need for an alternative to fresh water is a growing concern. A common approach to help mitigate freshwater use is on-site or centralized filtration to return produced or flowback water to a usable base fluid and even to fresh water in some cases, depending on the chemistry used and application. Filtration methods are considered a standard approach that lowers completion costs in terms of disposal reduction and freshwater conservation. However, many fracturing chemistries require increased filtration methods that create not only increased solid waste but also an associated cost burden because the cost of recycled produced water is more than double that of fresh water.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 177678, “Solving Field Produced-Water Challenges With a Novel Guar-Based System: A Comprehensive Review of Actual Field Examples and Cost-Savings Analysis,” by Branden Ruyle, SPE, and Francisco E. Fragachan, SPE, Weatherford, prepared for the 2015 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 9–12 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Solving Produced-Water Challenges With a Novel Guar-Based System

13 November 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 12