Murray Hill and New Providence, N.J. — The value of using energized solutions for hydraulic fracturing in the extraction of hydrocarbons from unconventional reservoirs is the subject of a paper to be presented by Robin Watts, Oil Gas Technology manager of Linde LLC, at the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) conference.
The conference will be held from October 23 -26 2013 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado. The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), founded in 1963, is the largest association dedicated to promoting geology as a profession.
In her paper, Watts will show how energized solutions incorporating nitrogen or carbon dioxide can increase the overall productivity of wells while also reducing the water needed for the fracturing process. She discusses how the use of energized fluids in the production of hydrocarbons from unconventional reservoirs, such as tight gas formations and shale, may be advantageous in a variety of situations. These include depleted, or water sensitive formations, when producers encounter poor water flowback or blocking (high fluid retention), and for enhanced mobility of more viscous hydrocarbons around the wellbore.
"The addition of highly soluble carbon dioxide gas is ideal to provide energy to aqueous solutions to facilitate flowback," Watts says. "However, when nitrogen gas is more readily available, additional measures are available for engineers to use to ensure that the energized solutions adequately penetrate the invaded zone where extraction occurs."
Watts emphasizes that the variability inherent in unconventional reservoirs requires tailoring stimulation solutions to the unique circumstances of the site in order to optimize well productivity. Key factors include maximizing Expected Ultimate Recovery (EUR) and the lifetime potential recovery of the well; ensuring effective production occurs sooner rather than later; and minimizing reservoir damage, needed material and labor inputs, and total fracturing costs. She also recommends the use of mini-test fracturings, when possible, to allow calibration and optimization of the operational design.
Energized solutions can add value at every stage of treatment, but are essential for refracturing operations, where they can overcome low pressure and capillary forces and enhance the mobility of more viscous hydrocarbons. Energized refracturing has been successful in a wide variety of fields and basins.
"The huge increase in shale gas activity has brought many new operators into the field, and my goal in this presentation is to introduce our new colleagues to the expertise developed over the years on how and when use of energized solutions can provide excellent economic and environmental returns," adds Watts. "Energized solutions currently are estimated to comprise about one-third of all fracturing operations in North America, and we believe that the data clearly demonstrate the benefits of using energized fracturing in a variety of situations. Reported results indicate that well-managed energized fluid fracturing has the potential to achieve significantly more gas recovery than non-energized approaches, at the same time that it makes production in water-restricted locations more feasible."
Linde LLC is an affiliate of Linde North America, a member of The Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2012 financial year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.280 bn (USD 19.9 bn). The strategy of The Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com.
Linde Corporate Communications