Enhanced recovery

Natural-Gas-Foam Fluid Reduces Water Needed for Fracture Stimulations

Using validated models, the authors provide a comparative analysis to determine the advantages of using natural gas foams relative to conventionally used slickwater, linear gel, and crosslinked fluid.

Sector model showing horizontal wells in the target formation.
Fig. 1—Sector model showing horizontal wells in the target formation.

Using natural-gas (NG) -foam fracturing fluids reduces the enormous water requirements for stimulation by as much as 60 to 80% and poses benefits for productivity in water-sensitive formations. The study outlined in the complete paper aims to characterize hydraulic-fracture geometry and quantify the expected production when using an NG-foam fracturing fluid. Using validated models, the authors provide a comparative analysis to determine the advantages of using NG foams relative to conventionally used slickwater, linear gel, and crosslinked fluid.

NG-Foam Fluids

Although foamed fluids were first used in the 1960s, the use of nitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) foams has not been widely practiced because of cost, complexity, and unproven production benefits. The use of NG-foam fracturing fluid is not widespread either, but this study attempts to identify specific regions and reservoirs where the use of these fluids may lead to economic and long-term production benefits.

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