Skip to main content
Experimental Study of Friction Reducer Flows in Microfracture during Slickwater Fracturing
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry (2013, The Woodlands, TX)
  • Yongpeng Sun
  • Hao Zhang
  • Qihua Wu
  • Mingzhen Wei, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Baojun Bai, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Yinfa Ma, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Tight formations with extremely low matrix permeabilities, such as gas shale, can produce at economical rates is due to inborn fissures and fractures introduced during hydraulic stimulation. Hydraulic fracturing in gas shale can connect/generate these microfractures, causing them to become much more complex fracture networks. These microfractures have much more contact area with the matrix and therefore hold the majority of the productivity potential of gas shale. Slickwater fracturing has been proved to be an effective method by which to increase the recovery of shale gas reservoirs. Friction reducer is the primary component of this fluid. It can decrease the flowing friction in macro tubing. Lab tests and field applications have addressed this issue thoroughly. However, the flow characteristics of this solution in microfractures are not clear. The present study will show how this solution flows in microfractures by employing micro-sized fracture model. FR solution is a shear thinning fluid. Rather than reducing flow friction, with the FR fluid in a 1000 μm height, 50 width μm and 4.14 cm length microfracture, the injection pressure did not decrease but rather increased 36%. The impact of FR solution concentration was found to be more obvious at low velocities. At the same shear rate, the apparent viscosity is higher in large microfractures. At the same velocity, large microfractures have higher residual resistance factors. Through the analysis of fluid emulsion particle size and shale matrix pore size, this FR solution will not go into the matrix pores easily, but can block the pore entrance to prevent the fluid from leak off and to protect the formation from contamination during slickwater fracturing.

Meeting Name
International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry (2013: Apr. 8-10, The Woodlands, TX)
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Second Department
Ashland Specialty Ingredients
Champion Technologies
BWA Water Additives
Keywords and Phrases
  • Flow charac-teristics,
  • Hydraulic stimulations,
  • Low matrix permeability,
  • Residual resistance factor,
  • Shale gas reservoirs,
  • Shear thinning fluids,
  • Slickwater fracturing,
  • Solution concentration,
  • Complex networks,
  • Emulsification,
  • Fracture,
  • Hydraulic fracturing,
  • Oil fields,
  • Tribology,
  • Friction
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
Document Type
Article - Conference proceedings
Document Version
File Type
© 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.
Publication Date
Publication Date
01 Apr 2013
Citation Information
Yongpeng Sun, Hao Zhang, Qihua Wu, Mingzhen Wei, et al.. "Experimental Study of Friction Reducer Flows in Microfracture during Slickwater Fracturing" Proceedings of the International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry (2013, The Woodlands, TX) Vol. 1 (2013) p. 144 - 155 ISSN: 1046-1779
Available at: