The evaluation of waterfrac technology in low-permeability gas sands in the East Texas basin
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The petroleum engineering literature clearly shows that large proppant volumes and concentrations are required to effectively stimulate low-permeability gas sands. To pump large proppant concentrations, one must use a viscous fluid. However, many operators believe that low-viscosity, low-proppant concentration fracture stimulation treatments known as ??waterfracs?? produce comparable stimulation results in low-permeability gas sands and are preferred because they are less expensive than gelled fracture treatments. This study evaluates fracture stimulation technology in tight gas sands by using case histories found in the petroleum engineering literature and by using a comparison of the performance of wells stimulated with different treatment sizes in the Cotton Valley sands of the East Texas basin. This study shows that large proppant volumes and viscous fluids are necessary to optimally stimulate tight gas sand reservoirs. When large proppant volumes and viscous fluids are not successful in stimulating tight sands, it is typically because the fracture fluids have not been optimal for the reservoir conditions. This study shows that waterfracs do produce comparable results to conventional large treatments in the Cotton Valley sands of the East Texas basin, but we believe it is because the conventional treatments have not been optimized. This is most likely because the fluids used in conventional treatments are not appropriate or have not been used appropriately for Cotton Valley conditions.
Tschirhart, Nicholas Ray (2005). The evaluation of waterfrac technology in low-permeability gas sands in the East Texas basin. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from