Friction Reducers

Tomson Technologies has performed extensive research and testing on friction reducer performance under realistic unconventional production conditions. Friction reducers (FRs) performance is continuously studied at Tomson Technologies on our custom low shear, high rate flow loops that use progressive cavity pumps to flow the solution through 1” and ½” pipe diameter.

Slickwater fracs are becoming increasingly important in shale production where the FR is added to water and proppant to fracture the formation. Increasing water disposal regulations, limited freshwater availability, and high water treatment costs have increased the need for reuse of produced water for hydraulic fracturing. The main challenge has been limited chemical compatibility with the fracturing chemicals, particularly the friction reducers. It is well known that their performance decreases significantly in high salinity brines, especially in the presence of multivalent cations. Understanding the specific ionic interactions between friction reducers and ions in solution is needed for the design of water treatment processes, FR selection, fluids selection, and others. Little research is published on the effect of complex brines such as recycles produced water mixes on FR performance.

Tomson Technologies routinely performs journal publication level research and expert testing on various topics related to friction reducers in the oil and gas industry, including:

  • Polymer concentration effects in field applicable dosages in realistic field waters
  • Produced water TDS effect on friction reduced performance
  • Effect of monovalent cations
  • Effect of Fe2+ and Ca2+ on FR performance
  • Treated produced water mixing ratio effect on FR performance
  • Anionic, cationic, and non-ionic FR performance
  • Effect of FR inversion method and time on performance
  • Powder FR performance vs. inverse emulsions

Tomson Technologies has also produced an extensive friction reducer metrics for cross-platform ranking of FR performance.  The work has been published and is downloadable here.