Eagle Ford Fracture Fluid Optimization Using Available Non-potable Waters
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Water shortage has been a challenge in developing hydraulic fracturing in drought-affected areas such as South (Eagle Ford) and West (Permian Basin) Texas. Non-potable groundwater is a potential alternative to fresh water in making hydraulic fracture fluids. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the technical feasibility of using non-potable waters from the Southern Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer to make hydraulic fracturing fluids in the Eagle Ford play. The first phase of the research is to compare fracture fluid compositional requirements with the water compositions of the Southern Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer by searching through literature, manufacturer’s, and service company’s specifications. The second phase of the research is to evaluate the performance of two different types of fracture fluids using synthetic saline water in the laboratory. Two major lab experiments will be conducted: (1) using a flow loop system to test for friction reducer performance in slickwater and (2) performing viscosity measurements and “lipping gel” experiments for crosslinked gel performance. After completing literature reviews and laboratory evaluations, a conclusion of the technical feasibility of using non-potable groundwater to make these fracture fluids can be derived. This research will demonstrate the possibility of eliminating the use of fresh water by utilizing the available abundant non-potable groundwater from the Southern Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in hydraulic fracturing.
Subjectfracture fluid, hydraulic fracturing, non-potable water, Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer, hybrid frac, slickwater, crosslinked gel, borate-crosslinked guar gel, zirconate-crosslinked guar gel, Eagle Ford, friction reducer
Nguyen, Nguyen T (2015). Eagle Ford Fracture Fluid Optimization Using Available Non-potable Waters. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from