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SPE-181851-MS

SPE-181851-MS Far-Field Diversion Agent Using a Combintion of a Soluble Particle Diverter with Specially Engineered

Far-Field Diversion Agent Using a Combintion of a Soluble Particle Diverter with Specially Engineered Proppant

Naima Spurr, Ahmed M. Gomaa, Alexander Pirogov, and Elizabeth McCartney, Baker Hughes

Copyright 2016, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Asia Pacific Hydraulic Fracturing Conference held in Beijing, China, 24-26 August 2016.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract The objective of this study is to introduce

Abstract

The objective of this study is to introduce a technique of far-field diversion using a mixture of soluble solid particles and an engineered proppant to ensure the temporarily bridged fractures re-open and remain propped for hydrocarbon flow after the soluble material has fully dissolved. Far-field diversion is required inside the fracture network to increase complexity by creating additional branch fractures through overcoming stresses holding the natural fractures closed. Usually, diverter particles temporarily bridge inside the fracture to create a low-permeability zone that increases the net pressure within the fracture and enables redirection of the next fluid stage to previously unstimulated intervals. However, if the diversion does not include proppant, the created fracture may close after particle dissolution. The tests performed in this study were: bridging tests to determine the optimal particle size and loadings for a fracture width of 0.04 in.; pack permeability tests to optimize the particle size distribution, temporarily reduce fracture conductivity and increase pressure; and full characterization testing of the proppant as it will remain in the fractures after the soluble particles disappear. Conductivity of the proppant pack was also determined. Two types of particle diverters (Diverter A and B) were tested. Diverter A is typically used for low- to medium-temperature application (less than 225°F) and Diverter B for high-temperature applications (greater than 225°F). The two diverters have nearly the same particle size and distribution, the only difference being a variance in particle shape. Results obtained highlighted reducing the proppant size to a larger mesh number to better place the proppant inside the far-field area with good vertical coverage. Therefore, the diverter particles were selected to be in the medium size range (10 to 50 mesh) while the proppant particles were selected to be in the fine size range (70 to 140 mesh). The crush stress at which the proppant generated less than 10 wt-% fines was 14,000 psi, while at 15,000 psi the proppant generated exactly 10 wt-% fines. The average acid solubility of this proppant in the mixture of HCl:HF was 3.4%, well below the 7% API requirements. A loading of 0.5 ppg of Diverter A was needed to bridge and plug the 0.04-in. slot width, while it needed only 0.25 ppga of Diverter B to plug the same width. Both diverters significantly reduced the conductivity of the test slot discs. After the soluble particles dissolved, conductivity was provided through the 100 mesh ceramic proppant pack that was not previously attainable because there was no proppant.

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Introduction

Well stimulation fluids have been shown to improve oil and gas well productivity in conventional and unconventional formations. Hydraulic fracturing is a common stimulation technique used to enhance production of hydrocarbon fluids from subterranean formations. Typically, a fracturing treatment fluid is injected into the formation at a pressure sufficiently high to fracture the formation, providing a pathway for hydrocarbons to flow from the reservoir to the wellbore. Proppant materials, carried into the fracture by the treatment fluid, remain after the treatment is completed. Proppants have a dual role: (1) they hold the fracture open and (2) create a porous and permeable bed that results from granules packing after the fracturing pressure is released and the fracturing fluid is flowed back. The resulting permeable proppant bed enhances the ability of fluids to migrate from the formation to the wellbore through the fracture, making fracture conductivity the most important parameter in determining the degree of success of a hydraulic fracturing treatment. Success of treatments is highly reliant on fracture conductivity. (Economides & Nolte, 2000; Brannon & Pearson, 2007). In North America, shale reservoirs such as the Barnett, Bakken, Woodford, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, and most recently the Eagle Ford, Niobrara and Utica shales, are drilled horizontally and then completed with multistage fracture treatments. These completion techniques can include pumping more than 40 stages into the horizontal section of a single well. Multistage fracturing has facilitated shale gas and light oil production from these unconventional formations. One of the key contributors to the success of the hydraulic fracture treatment is increased fracture surface area. An effective solution is to increase conductivity networks by diverting well stimulation fluids from high-permeability zones to low-permeability zones, allowing more paths to hydrocarbons from the formation to the wellbore, thereby leading to increased hydrocarbon productivity. This solution can be achieved using various types of materials and techniques such as forming a filter cake that blocks off the high-permeability zone so the fluid can be redirected to low-permeability zones. Another technique is to use diverting agents to force the flow to the high-resistance pathway. The fracture geometry is consequently enhanced by ensuring the fluid and proppant can access all available fracture networks and open perforations. This increase in the fracture surface area can be achieved by maximizing the created complex hydraulic fracturing network with far-field diversion. In addition, near-wellbore diversion is an important technique for ensuring uniform distribution of the treatment fluid across a full stage length (Solares et al. 2008; Allison et al. 2011; Quevedo et al. 2012; and Potapenko et al. 2009). During the life of the well, a fracture treatment may be considered to improve the well productivity economically from zones that were not initially produced (secondary or tertiary); this treatment known as a refracturing treatment or refrac. To properly refracture a well, timely isolation of certain existing perforations is critical. The isolation is used to restrict or deny certain perforations from receiving subsequent fracturing fluids. The isolation approach can use a rig to set physical barriers that redirect the fluid flow or use specialized particulates placed in the flow stream to divert the treatment. These specialized particles integrated into the flow stream are commonly called "diverting agents," "diverting materials," or "diverters". When used effectively, diverters can eliminate the need for a rig to provide temporary physical barriers, thus improving the economics of the workover operation (Coulter and Menzie 1973, Grieser et al. 2006). Many materials have been used as particulate diverting agents (see Table 1). Water-insoluble and oil- soluble calcium salt of a fatty acid was first described by Clason (1936) for use as a particulate diverting agent. Since then, many particulate diverting agents have been used commercially such as cellophane flakes, naphthalenes, crushed limestone, sodium tetraborate, oyster shells, gilsonite, paraformaldehyde, perlite, oil- soluble resins, rock salt, benzoic acid, and most recently phthalic anhydride, polylactic acid (PLA) and polyimides (Carpenter et al. 1962; Harrison 1972; Clason and Schroeck 1980; Nitters and Davies 1989; Glasbergen et al. 2006; Chang et al. 2007; Solares et al. 2008; Potapenko et al. 2009; Kalfayan and Martin 2009; Fuller and Still 2010; Allison et al. 2011; Quevedo et al. 2012).

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Table 1—Summary of Historical/Traditional Diverter Materials

 

Solid Particulate

 

No.

Diverting Agents

Drawbacks

1

Ball sealers

■  Applicable to cased and perforated wells only.

■  Must maintain ΔP across perforations to keep balls in place

■  Poor performance if perforations are eroded

■  Timing of degradation can adversely affect the sealing efficiency

2

Benzoic acid flakes

■  Flakes are brittle and break in surface equipment  Diverter pack retains relatively high permeability

3

Gilsonite

■  Oil-soluble resins are not large enough to bridge across near-wellbore widths

4

Rock Salt

■  Low-salinity fluid is needed for removal/dissolution

■  Need special storage tank at surface

■  Saturated brine as a carrier fluid

5

Wax beads

■  Limited only for low-temperature wells (<180°F)

Another type of diverting material is based on degradable ball sealer materials. However, in many cases, this type of material degrades at temperatures lower than the temperatures associated with downhole conditions in oil and gas reservoirs (Erbstoesser et al. 1979), making the materials inefficient. Another main drawback for multizone wells is the requirement of continuously applying pressure to keep the balls seated on the perforations. If at any point the treatment is interrupted, the balls can unseat (French et al. 2013). All these materials have experienced varying levels of success. A common belief is that diverter technology has peaked and the currently available materials' performance is reasonable for the cost. However, the diverter technology used to date has its origins in vertical wells, and some options can trace their roots to acid stimulations (Allison et al. 2011.) Therefore, they may not be efficient for multistage horizontal wells. This was confirmed by Allison (Allison et al. 2011) through a laboratory study. In general, diverters are commodity chemicals that are poured into the well with a minimum amount of engineering selection. Such chemicals are made of particles that are biodegradable and have a particle size distribution that enables them to tightly pack, decreasing permeability. The bigger particles bridge onto the formation, then the smaller particles fit in the pore throat determined by the coarser particles, decreasing porosity/permeability and diverting the flow to the next zone of least-resistant path. The significance of this work is introducing a technique of far-field diversion using a mixture of soluble solid particles and an engineered proppant to ensure the temporarily bridged fractures re-open and remain propped for hydrocarbon flow after the soluble material has fully dissolved thus producing conductivity that was not previously attainable (Gomaa et al. 2016c).

Advantages of the New Far-Field Particulates Technique

Fig. 1 describes the role of the new far-field particulates technique and enhancement of the fracture network/ complexity. In Fig. 1a, the initial portion of the scheduled fracturing fluid and proppant is pumped, creating the main fracture with minimal complexity. Thereafter, the new diverter particulates system is pumped as a far-field diverter to screen off the main fracture, as shown in Fig. 1b, redirecting the fracturing fluid toward the smaller fracture systems, creating a more complex fracture, Fig.1c. With time, temperature, brine or oil production, or by injecting a secondary fluid, the soluble part of the new diverter material dissolves. The remaining enhanced fracture geometry contains a conductive proppant pack, Fig. 1d, which maintains the open fractures, providing a porous bed where hydrocarbons can migrate to the wellbore. This porosity increases overall conductivity and potentially improves hydrocarbon production, Gomaa et al. 2016c.

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4 SPE-181851-MS Figure 1—Role of far-field (FF) diversion materials to enhance fracture network/complexity ( Gomaa et

Figure 1—Role of far-field (FF) diversion materials to enhance fracture network/complexity (Gomaa et al. 2016c)

In this study, two types of particle diverter systems (Diverter A and B, Fig. 2) were used. Diverter A is recommended for low- to medium-temperature applications (less than 225°F) while Diverter B targets high-temperature applications (above 225°F). Both diverter systems have nearly the same particle sizes and distribution, the main difference between them is the shape of the soluble particles. The soluble particles in Diverter A are flake-like, while they are more spherical in Diverter B (Gomaa et al. 2016c). Both Diverters are considered the next-generation of particulate diverters for fracturing and can meet the following criteria:

They are mechanically robust enough to survive the placement process.

The soluble particles dissolve without a secondary treatment, leaving behind a proppant pack that can withstand up to 14,000 psi closure stress and no limitation on application temperature.

They are cost-effective.

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SPE-181851-MS 5 Figure 2—Diverter A and B particles for far-field diversion applications Diverter Placement The new

Figure 2—Diverter A and B particles for far-field diversion applications

Diverter Placement

The new diverter systems are mixtures of soluble solid particles and proppant. While the soluble solid particles have a specific gravity of 1.5, the proppant specific gravity is 2.61. Due to this difference in the specific gravity, there is a risk of separation between the two types of particles, i.e., the soluble particles and proppant during placement inside the fracture at far-field location. It is known that higher specific gravity particles will settle faster than lighter particles (equation 1). The settling rate is also proportional to the average particle diameter. This means that at the same specific gravity, smaller particles will settle slower than bigger particles. Gomaa et al. (2016c) conducted a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) study to simulate the diverter flow inside full-fracture dimensions for far-field diversion applications. The simulator in this study predicted the horizontal placement of diverter inside the fracture and showed the segregation between the diverter mixture particles (the low-density soluble particles and the high-density proppant). The following factors were included in the model:

Particle size

Particle density

Proppant size

Proppant density

Carrier fluid density

Carrier fluid viscosity

Gravity effect

Bouncy effect

The soluble particle size was maintained constant at 20 mesh and the apparent density was 1.5 g/cm 3 for all simulations. The proppant apparent density was 2.61 g/cm 3 and the size was varied. For an example: the effect of proppant particle size on the flow of the new diverter mixture inside full fracture geometry was investigated at an injection rate of 10 bpm/cluster and a carrier viscosity of 10 cP (Fig. 3), Gomaa et al.

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2016c. In these runs, the segregation between the proppant (red area) and the soluble material (blue area) were noted for a proppant size of 20 and 30 mesh. However, for the 40 mesh proppant size the segregation was minimal, and for a finer proppant (> 50 mesh) there was almost no separation between the two types of particles. The conclusion was that a smaller proppant size (50 mesh or higher) provided the least separation between the proppant and the soluble particles, allowing the proppant and the soluble particles to flow through the surface equipment and downhole fracture with similar velocity, Gomaa et al. 2016c.

fracture with similar velocity, Gomaa et al. 2016c . Figure 3—Numerical results showing effect of proppant

Figure 3—Numerical results showing effect of proppant on the separation between the proppant (red area) and the soluble diverter material (blue area), injection rate of 10 bpm/cluster, carrier viscosity of 10 cP and fracture geometry of 100 ft (height) x 400 ft (length) x 0.2 in. (width) (Gomaa et al. 2016c)

In the remaining of this paper, the particles size distribution for the soluble particles was chosen to be in the size range of 10/50 mesh and the proppant size was chosen as 70/140 (commonly called 100 mesh). The proppant is a man-made ceramic proppant with well-controlled particles size distribution.

Experimental Setup and Results

To characterize and show the performance of Diverters A and B, a bridging test for a 0.04-in fracture and remaining conductivity was conducted. In addition, because the proppant remains in the fractures, it is fully characterized as a proppant. The following tests were performed:

Optical microscopy on the sphericity and roundness to determine the morphology of the proppant and any proppant angularity

Crush test to determine the maximum stress application of the proppant

Apparent density measurements to determine the transport ability of the proppant

Bulk density measurements to determine its packing density

Conductivity tests at a loading of 2, 1 and 0.5 lb/ft 2 and a temperature of 250°F were also performed. The soluble particles were characterized in a previous paper (Gomaa et al. 2016a) where the solubility characteristics of the soluble particles was tested under dynamic and static condtions. They discovered that at static and dynamic conditions the tested solid soluble diverter particulates will dissolve in an aqueous solution with temperature and time. However, temperature had a more significant effect than time on the dissolution rate. For Diverter A, increasing the water salinity reduced the dissolution. However, water salinity did not affect dissolution until a certain amount of solid was dissolved into solution. Dissolution

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was increased by reducing the particle size (and therefore increasing particle surface area). Live and spent HCl acid dissolved significantly less Diverter A than de-ionized water (DI water) or potassium chloride (KCl) solution (Gomaa et al. 2016a). For Diverter B, DI water dissolved 0.06 ppg (14.2% dissolution) of Diverter B after 24 hr. However, increasing the temperature to 225 and 250°F increased the dissolution to 28.7%, and 95.7%, respectively. Finally, at 300°F, 100% dissolution was noted for Diverter B after 8 hr. Diverter B dissolved in 3 wt% KCl solution very similarly to dissolution in DI water. This indicated that above 225°F, the dissolution of Diverter B is independent of water salinity. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) significantly increased the dissolution of Diverter B (10/30) and (20/70), taking only 4 hr for complete dissolution (100%). In addition, the dissolution rate in live 15wt% of HCl was independent of particle size, Gomaa et al. 2016a.

Proppant Morphology

Optical images were obtained using a Leica DFC 480 high-performance digital firewire camera. Fig. 4 shows the morphology of the particles. Sphericity and roundness were also used to determine the shape of the particles. These parameters were visual evaluations of the proppant grain shape. Sphericity is a measure of how close a particle approaches the shape of a sphere, while grain roundness is a measure of the relative sharpness of grain corners. The data were averaged on 20 particles representative of the sample being analyzed. For the proppant used, the sphericity and roundness averaged 0.75 and 0.72, respectively.

and roundness averaged 0.75 and 0.72, respectively. Figure 4—Morphology of the 100-mesh ceramic proppant

Figure 4—Morphology of the 100-mesh ceramic proppant

Apparent Density

The apparent densities of the prepared samples were determined using the International Standard ISO 13503-2, 2006 (ISO standard 13503-2). Isopar L was used as a test liquid. To determine the apparent density of a proppant material, the following masses were recorded: (1) The mass of the empty pycnometer (m f ), and (2) The mass of the pycnometer filled with Isopar L (m f+l ). Then 10 g of proppant were weighed out

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and put in the pycnometer that was half full with Isopar L. After the pycnometer was completely filled with Isopar L and all the bubbles removed, the total mass was measured (mf+l+p) and the apparent density was determined using equation (1).

the apparent density was determined using equation (1) . (1) Where ρ p is the density

(1)

Where ρ p is the density of IsoparL. The average measured apparent density of the proppant was 2.61 g/cm 3 . This apparent density is that of a lightweight ceramic and similar to the apparent density of sand proppant.

Bulk Density and Apparent Density

Bulk density is a measurement of the weight of proppant that fills a unit volume. In this case the proppant was poured into container having a known volume in a free flow action, using a funnel and without shaking and/or tapping the sand, filling the whole volume of the container. The ceramic proppant has a bulk density that averages 1.46 g/cm 3 .

Particle Size Distribution and Median Diameter

Sieve analysis was used to determine the grain size distribution of sand samples. The sieve analysis was performed according to API RP 56 procedure "Recommended Practices for Testing Sand Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations": a sample weight of approximately 35 grams passed through a sieve stack that contained six sieves specified by the submitted sample size, in addition to a collecting pan. The stack was placed on a Ro-Tap machine for 10 minutes. The weight of the sample retained on each sieve and in the pan was recorded. Per API requirement, a minimum of 90 percent of the tested sand sample should pass through the designated sieve sizes; no more than 0.1% of the sample should be retained in the first sieve specified by the procedure, and no more than 1.0% of the sample should be collected in the pan. The sieve analysis showed that more than 99% of the particles were within 70/140 mesh size, with 92.4% in the 70/100 mesh size shown a tight distribution (Table 2). The median diameter was 0.175 mm.

Table 2—Particle Size Distribution of the 100-mesh Ceramic Proppant

US Standard

     

Sieve Number

API RP 56 Standard

% Wt Retained

Cum % Wt Retained

50

≤0.1%

0.00

<0.1%

70

NA

0.72

 

80

 

43.70

 

100

≥ 90%

48.73

99.3%

120

6.84

140

0.00

200

NA

0.00

 

PAN

≤1.0%

0.00

<1.0%

Proppant Crush-Resistance Test

Crush tests were performed according to the procedure detailed in ISO standard 13503-2. The proppant materials were crushed at 14 kpsi and then 50 g of sieved, split proppant were loaded in the crush cell and crushed at a given stress level using an MTS hydraulic press (Model 561-324-01, with a capacity of 550

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kpsi). The stress was increased at a rate of 2,000 psi/min. When the desired stress was reached, the sample was maintained at stress for 2 min before release. The sample was then removed from the cell and sieved for 10 min. using the stack of sieves where the initial particles fell in size. Finally, the crushed particles were weighed out. The particles that fell below the lowest mesh size of the stack were considered "fines." For example, for 20/40 mesh sand, any particles that fell below 40 mesh were considered fines. The % crush mass was determined using equation (2)).

The % crush mass was determined using equation (2) ). (2) where: m'pan is the mass

(2)

where:

m'pan is the mass of fines generated in the test, in g; ms is the mass of proppant recovered from the cell, expressed in g The crush stress at which the proppant generated less than 10 wt-% fines was 14,000 psi, at 15,000 psi the proppant generated exactly 10 wt-% fines.

Acid Solubility

The solubility of sand in 12:3% HCl:HF was indicative of the amount of undesirable contaminants such as carbonates, feldspars, and iron oxides. A 5-gram sample was dried, weighed and placed in the acid. The mixture was then placed in a 150°F water bath for 30 minutes. The sample was washed, dried, and weighed again. The average acid solubility of this proppant in the mixture of HCl:HF was 3.4%, well below the 7% API requirements.

Solid Bridging and Conductivity-Reduction Tests of Diverter System

Preliminary work was performed to determine the bridging capabilities of the solid diverters systems A and

B and to determine the overall conductivity reduction on the fractures after bridging. An in-depth testing

was performed considering fractures from 0.04 to 0.08-in. and will be presented in a subsequent paper

at the SPE ATCE Conference (Gomaa et al. 2016c). In this testing the fluid was injected into a cylinder,

where it came in contact with a steel disk that had a slot to simulate a fracture width, or a hole to simulate

perforations, Fig. 5. Until the particles bridge across the disk, the fluid flowed out of the cylinder through

a 1-in. hole, which is much larger than any of the slotted discs. Carrier fluid with particles flowed out from

the cell into a beaker on a balance that was connected to a data acquisition system to record the mass rate as

a function of time. The experiment started with no pressure, only flow by gravity until bridging occurred.

If the material bridged the slot, pressure would be applied incrementally.

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10 SPE-181851-MS Figure 5—Bridging test experimental setup and slots They observed that for a loading of

Figure 5—Bridging test experimental setup and slots

They observed that for a loading of 0.5 ppga of Diverter A, the majority of the solids were located at the

inlet of the slot after the particles plugged the 0.04-in slot, Fig. 6. To confirm the bridging of the Diverter

A inside the 0.04 in. slot, a second stage of diverter was injected with same loading of 0.5 ppga, followed

by increasing the pressure to 80 psi/in., Fig. 7. After adding the 2 nd stage, leaked fluid increased by 155 gm

(from 265 gm until 420 gm). This increase in fluid was less than what was noted for the first stage (265 gm). By adding a pressure, fluid slightly increased to 440 gm. This confirmed the ability of Diverter A to bridge a 0.04-in. slot at a loading of 0.5 ppga. Similar results were obtained for Diverter B particles bridging a 0.04-in. slot with a loading of 0.0, and 0.25 ppga, Fig. 8. However, for Diverter B, a loading of 0.25 ppga was enough to bridge and plug the 0.25-in slot. This indicated that the spherical shape of Diverter B helped

to bridge inside that fracture more than the flack shape (Diverter A), Gomaa et al. 2016c.

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SPE-181851-MS 11 Figure 6—Effect of Diverter A concentration on fluid leaking through a 0.04-in. slot, as

Figure 6—Effect of Diverter A concentration on fluid leaking through a 0.04-in. slot, as function of time (Gomaa et al. 2016c)

a 0.04-in. slot, as function of time ( Gomaa et al. 2016c ) Figure 7—Effect of

Figure 7—Effect of increasing the fluid volume and add pressure on fluid leaking through a 0.04-in. slot, as function of time, 0.5 ppga Diverter A (Gomaa et al. 2016c)

function of time, 0.5 ppga Diverter A ( Gomaa et al. 2016c ) Figure 8—Effect of

Figure 8—Effect of Diverter B concentration on fluid leaking through a 0.04-in. slot, as function of time (Gomaa et al. 2016c).

In the case of the conductivity-reduction tests a slot disc was used to determine the flow rate due to the particle pack permeability. This setup was designed based on constant injection pressure condition (100 to 1,000 psi). The mass flow rate was measured by recording the mass of leaked fluid collected as a function of time. Initially, oil with viscosity of 500 cp was let through the disc free of particles to set-up a baseline

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flow rate. An aqueous solution containing 1 ppg solid particles was injected and bridged on the top of the ceramic disc. The measured flow rate showed a reduction in the flow rate representative of a reduction in conductivity and closed porosity, Gomaa et al. 2016c. Fig. 9 shows a comparison in the leaked flow as a function of time through a 0.04-in. slot width. In this test, a high-viscosity oil (that had a viscosity of 200 cP) was pumped twice: once without the diverter as base line and the second time with Diverter A (1 ppga). Because of the Newtonian behavior of the injected oil, in both injection case, a straight line was obtained between the leaked volume and the time. The slope of this line represented the conductivity of the slot. Therefore, the reduction in the slope from 320.19 (in the case of no diverter) to 4.608 (in the case of 1 ppga diverter), was an indication that the diverters were able to plug the fracture and reduce its conductivity. The reduction in conductivity in this case was 98.6%. Fig. 10 shows similar results were obtained data obtained for Diverter system B through 0.04-in slot, where the reduction in conductivity was 98.1%, showing the applicability of this system for diversion, Gomaa et al. 2016c.

of this system for diversion, Gomaa et al. 2016c . Figure 9—Comparison in the flow reduction

Figure 9—Comparison in the flow reduction through a 0.04-in.slot width for VES gel (50 gpt that develop to 200 cP at shear rate of 100 s 1 ), with and without Diverter A (1 ppga)(Gomaa et al. 2016c)

with and without Diverter A (1 ppga)( Gomaa et al. 2016c ) Figure 10—Comparison in the

Figure 10—Comparison in the flow reduction through a 0.04-in.slot width for VES gel (50 gpt that develop to 200 cP at shear rate of 100 s 1 ), with and without Diverter B (1 ppga) (Gomaa et al. 2016c)

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Conductivity of Proppant Pack

Conductivity tests were conducted according to the International Standard ISO 13503-5 "Procedures for measuring the long-term conductivity of proppants". A standard 10-in. 2 API conductivity cell was fitted with Ohio Sandstone wafers to simulate the formation. The test proppant was placed between the sealed sandstone wafers and fluid (de-ionized water) was then flowed through the proppant pack while maintaining Darcy flow with 300psi (2.07MPa) back pressure. The differential pressure was measured across a 5-in. (12.7-cm) section of the proppant pack using a Rosemount CD 3051 differential pressure transducer. The flow rate was measured using a Micromotion mass flow meter. An Isco 260D programmable pump applied and maintained the effective closure stress while heaters and thermocouples on the cell maintained the required temperature conditions. Three loading were used (2, 1 and 0.5 lb/ft 2 ) at a temperature of 250°F and stresses between 1,000 and 14,000 psi. The conductivity data are shown in Fig. 11. As expected decreases with the loading and increased stress. This ceramic proppant can be used at stresses as high as 14,000 psi with no limitations on the temperature because this a ceramic material. The particle size distribution is controlled and very tight with the majority of the particles in the 70/100 mesh size.

with the majority of the particles in the 70/100 mesh size. Figure 11—Conductivity data for the

Figure 11—Conductivity data for the ceramic 100-mesh proppant and comparison with un-propped fracture

Jensen et al. (Jensen et al. 2015) studied the relationship between propped and unpropped fracture conductivity of outcrop samples from the Eagle Ford shale and the Fayetteville shale using laboratory measurements. They found out that for unpropped fractures, the fracture topography is the main factor that determines fracture conductivity. While for propped fractures, the most influential factors in the conductivity are proppants characteristics. For example, they observed in the case of the Eagle Ford that at 4,000 psi the conductivity was below 2 md-ft and the fracture was closing back. Fig. 11 presents a comparison of data they published from the Eagle Ford for unpropped fractures and shows the benefits of having a propped fracture, where the conductivity is orders of magnitudes higher than that of an unpropped fracture, up to 14,000 psi. Consequently, if we mix proppant with the dissolvable particles as a diverter system when the soluble particles provided with their benefits for diversion and dissolved, more conductive networks are present with much higher surface area that is propped, providing with conductivity networks that were not previously available.

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Conclusions

This study was conducted to experimentally evaluate a new technique of far-field diversion using a mixture of soluble solid particles and an engineered proppant to ensure the temporarily bridged fractures re-open and remain propped for hydrocarbon flow after the soluble material has fully dissolved. Based on experimental results, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. Reducing the proppant size to a larger mesh number helps to better place the proppant inside the far- field area with good vertical coverage. Therefore, the diverter particles were selected to be in the medium size range (10 to 50 mesh) while the proppant particles were selected to be in the fine size range (70 to 140 mesh).

2. The crush stress at which the proppant generated less than 10 wt-% fines was 14,000 psi, while at 15,000 psi the proppant generated exactly 10 wt-% fines.

3. The average acid solubility of this proppant in the mixture of HCl:HF was 3.4% well below the 7% API requirements.

4. A loading of 0.5 ppg of Diverter A was need to bridge and plug the 0.04-in. slot width, while it need only 0.25 ppga of Diverter B to plug the same width.

5. Both diverters significantly reduced the conductivity of the test slot discs.

6. After the soluble particles are gone, conductivity is provided through the 100-mesh ceramic proppant pack that was not previously attainable.

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank Steve Sun, Johnny Chapman and Rolando Lew for their help with some of the testing presented in this paper.

Nomenclature

FF

Far-Field

gpt

Gallons Per Thousand Gallon

md

Millidarcy

ppga

Pound per Gallon Add

ppg

Pounds Per Gallon

lb/sqft

Pounds Per Square Foot

References

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Ellis, P. D., Kniffin, G. M., and Harkrider, J. D. 2000. Application of Hydraulic Fractures in Openhole Horizontal Wells. Paper SPE 65464 presented at SPE/Petroleum Society of CIM International Conference on Horizontal Well Technology, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 6-8 November. doi: 10.2118/65464-MS. Erbstoesser, S.R., Muecke, T.W., and Cooke, C.E. 1979. Ball sealer diversion of matrix rate treatments of a well. Fisher, E.W., Sterzel, H.J., and Wegner, G. 1973. Investigation of Structure of Solution Grown Crystals of Lactide Copolymers by Means of Chemical-Reactions. Polymer 251 (11): 980–990. doi: 10.1007/BF01498927. Fuller, M.J. and Still, J.W. 2010. Use of Polyimides in Treating Subterranean Formations. US Patent No. 7,841,411. Glasbergen, G., Todd, B., Van Domelen, M., and Glover, M. 2006. Design and Field Testing of a Truly Novel Diverting Agent. Paper SPE 102606 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 24–27 September. doi: 10.2118/102606-MS. Gomaa, A. M, Gomaa, A.M., Nino-Penaloza, A., Castillo, D., McCartney, E., and Mayor, J. 2016a. Experimental Investigation of Particulte Diverter Used to Enhace Fracture Complexity. Paper SPE 178983 presented at SPE International Conferecne and Exhibition on Formation Damage, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA February 24-26. Gomaa, A.M., Nino-Penaloza, A., McCartney, E., and Mayor, J. 2016b. Engineering Solid Particulate Diverter to Control Fracture Complexity: Experimental Study. Paper SPE 179144 presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, February 9–11. Gomaa, A. M., Spurr, N., Pirogov, Al, McCartney, E., 2016c. Combining Soluble Particle Diverter with Specially Engineered Proppant to Enhance Fracture Complexity and Post-Fracture Conductivity. Paper SPE-181486-MS to be presented at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Dubai, UAE, 26-28 September 2016. Gomaa, A.M., Sun, H., Nelson, S., Qu, Q., and Go-Boncan, V. 2015. Using Swelling Materials to Control Fracture Complexity: Experimental Study. Paper SPE 174783 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, USA, September 28–30. Grieser, B, Shelley, B, Johson, B.J., Fielder, E.O.,Heinze, J.R., andWerline, J.R. 2006. Data Analysis of Barnett Shale Completions. Paper SPE 100674 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 24–27 September. doi: 10.2118/100674-MS. Harrison, N.W. 1972. Diverting Agents—History and Application. JPT 24 (5): 593–598. doi: 10.2118/3653. ISO 13503-2, 2006. Petroleum and natural gas industries- Completion fluids and materials. Part 2: Measurement of properties of proppants used in hydraulic fracturing and gravel-packing operations ISO 13503-5, 2006. Petroleum and natural gas industries- Completion fluids and materials. Part 5: Procedures for measuring the long-term conductivity of proppants/ Janse, T., Zhu, D., Hill, A.D. 2016. The effect of Rock Mechanical Properties on Fracture Conductivity for Shale Formations. Paper SPE 173347 presented at SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, February 3-5. Kalfayan, L.J. and Martin, A.N. 2009. The Art and Practice of Acid Placement and Diversion: History, Present State and Future. Paper SPE 124141 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 4–7 October. doi: 10.2118/124141-MS. Nitters, G. and Davies, D.R. 1989. Granular Diverting Agents Selection, Design, and Performance. Paper SPE 18884 presented at SPE Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 13-14 March. Potapenko, D.I., Tinkham, S.K., Lecerf, B., Fredd, C.N., Samuelson, M.L., Gillard, M.R., Le Calvez, J.H., and Daniels, J.L. 2009. Barnett Shale Refracture Stimulations Using a Novel Diversion Technique. Paper SPE 119636 presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 19–21 January. doi:

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Solares, J.R., Al-Harbi, M., Al-Sagr, A., Amorocho, R., and Ramanathan, V. 2008. Successful Application of Innovative Fiber-Diverting Technology Achieved Effective Diversion in Acid Stimulation Treatments in Saudi Arabian Deep Gas Producers. Paper SPE 115528 presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Perth, Australia, 20–22 October. doi: 10.2118/115528-MS.

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