Cost-effective clay control alternative specifically targeted for fines migration management in disrupted reservoirs.

White Paper: Clay Control Evaluation and Shale Stabilization of New Biopolymer Based ClayStabilizer® CS Series for the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Biochemical engineering is new technology that is being introduced and applied in many different disciplines. These biochemically derived products are typically superior in performance, cost less and are environmentally preferred. HPPE’s functionalized polysaccharide ClayStabilizer® is specifically chemically engineered for both aggressive electronic interactions with clays and subsequent encapsulation to address migration, via its long-chained polymer characteristics, of the major clay types in unconventional reservoirs. Both of these varieties of clays must be addressed during primary stimulation in order to minimize reservoir damage and maximize production efficiency.

Clay poses challenges, as it is well known for swelling and migrating in the presence of water. Within its crystalline layers, clay contains cations, typically sodium, calcium and magnesium which occupy base-exchange sites. Upon contact with water, these cations are solubilized resulting in clay instability and often swelling and/or complete breakdown of the solid flowing freely within the reservoir. When clay swells with the absorption of water, there is surface swelling and/or osmotic swelling due to absorption. Sodium montmorillonite associates with water and is the dominant mineral in swelling clays. Swelling clays are intersected in Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks around the world. These rocks interact with water so readily that they are also called “reactive” clays.

In addition to swelling clays, other clays and colloids (<10μm diameter) from rock forming minerals can be liberated from the rock primarily in the form of migrating clays during the fracturing process and flow back operation. They can entrain in the flow back fluids and are carried as migrating fines that can plug pore throats, negatively affecting the reservoir performance.

HPPE’s ClayStabilizers® are superior in their chemical engineering, environmental preference, operational simplicity and cost. The specific chemical engineering couples the electronic interaction optimization specific to clays with the long-chained polymer to encapsulate migrating clays and fines. Typical clay control applications have to use two separate chemicals or approaches that address swelling and migrating clays differently. With HPPE’s ClayStabilizers®, it is accomplished with one superior, lower cost product. Because it is a liquid, it is dispersed throughout the reservoir and fracture system, providing the best of all possible approaches to address migrating as well as swelling clays.

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