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Monitoring Fracturing Fluid Flowback With Chemical Tracers: A Field Case Study

Mahmoud Asadi, Robert W. Woodroof, William S. Malone, ProTechnics ; Donald R. Shaw, Patina Oil and Gas Corporation

Proper fluid and proppant placement is the key to a successful fracture simulation. Performance of fracturing fluids, as they are pumped into a fracture, is the key to effective proppant placement. Fracturing fluids are used to both prop open a fracture and to effectively carry the proppants and place them into a fracture and to successfully flowback to the surface. Productivity of a well, after proppant placement, greatly depends on the flowback efficiency. This paper presents a novel technique where fracturing fluid flowback can be effectively monitored in a complex multi-zone fracture system. A family of environmentally safe chemical frac tracers, with unique characteristics, is developed to assure distinction of each zonal frac fluid upon flowback. The paper also presents a case where the technique was implemented in a multi-stage-fracturing job. Various chemical frac tracers were injected during different stages, which included pad fluid and crosslinked fluid with various proppant concentrations and breaker loading. Results and fracture flowback diagnoses are presented.

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