Development and evaluation of a novel seawater-based viscoelastic fracturing fluid system

Xin Sun, Zhibin Gao, Mingwei Zhao, Mingwei Gao, Mingyong Du, Caili Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the situation of the freshwater shortage during the large scale hydraulic fracturing on offshore-platform, a novel seawater-based viscoelastic fracturing fluid system was developed. The system was composed with a commercial anionic – nonionic viscoelastic surfactant named Fatty Methyl Ester Sulfonates (FMES) with the concentration of 60 mmol/L, the South China Sea simulated seawater with the TDS of 32500 mg/L and Na+ with the concentration of 1320 mmol/L. On the basis of this fracturing fluid system, a series of performances have been evaluated through extensive experiments. Analysis of laboratory tests indicated that the new fluid has good viscosity stability, low fluid loss and high proppant suspending ability under 75 °C. This fluid always appeared as a pseudoplastic fluid at various shearing speeds. After high speed shearing, the viscosity recovered quickly which means the fluid has remarkable self-repairability. This fluid breaks rapidly once oil injected. The observed permeability return rate achieved through core flooding experiment was over 70%, which indicated low formation damage after fracturing. Furthermore, the vermicular micelle and microstructure of fluid system has been discovered through Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscope (cryo-TEM), which well explained the mechanism of excellent performances of fluid system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106408
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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