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Brookfield AMETEK

Oil/Gas Field Service

Process Viscometer Application Data Sheet

Application

The Brookfield TT-100® and TT-200 in-line process viscometers have a worldwide reputation in the oil and gas well fracturing market. Well fracturing operations, which increase the yield from existing and new wells, require in-line viscosity control to ensure the proper rheology of the fracturing fluid which is introduced “down the hole” at pressures up to 20,000 psi. Under this pressure, the fracturing fluid, or gel suspension, ruptures the surrounding strata. The suspended sand, or proppant, is released in these small cracks and fissures, increasing porosity and oil flow in both land and sea-based drilling operations.

The oil field service industry is increasingly turning to Brookfield for in-line viscosity measurement. A very small portion of the world market is currently equipped with in-line instrumentation.

Problem Description

To enhance oil and gas well flow rates by optimizing fracturing operations that increase porosity in the underground strata around the well. The viscosity must be high enough under low shear conditions to suspend and carry proppant to the smallest crevices in the fractured rock. In addition, the viscosity must be low enough under high shear rates so that adequate flow to these newly fractured strata is obtained, and the proppant is released.

In most drilling operations, the field engineers at the well site use a bench-top lab viscometer with coaxial cylinder geometry to test grab samples of the fracturing fluid. This may fail to detect variations in viscosity real time as the fluid is blended and pumped into the well.

Solution

The Brookfield TT-100® and TT-200 provide the information required at the well site to verify that the rheology of the fracturing fluid meets established specifications:

  • These instruments obtain real-time, in-line measurements for gels moving in pressurized lines from blenders before being pumped down hole
  • These instruments provide accurate in-line viscosity measurement of fracturing fluid under defined shear conditions, specifically the 511 sec-1 standard defined by the American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • Brookfield also provides a HTHP benchtop rheometer for duplicating down hole performance of fracturing fluids
  • The TT-100®, a flow through instrument, allows mounting in a remote location
  • The TT-200, a flange-mounted instrument, allows mounting directly on a larger pipe or header

Qualifying Your Application

  • If you use Fann viscometers in the field, the Brookfield TT-100® and TT-200 are ideal because Fann viscometers are benchtop only and cannot be put into a flowing stream
  • The real-time measurement of blended fluid assures you and your customer that properly blended fluid has been pumped down hole at all times during the job, and allows immediate correction of errors

Benefits

  • Helps assure increased yield from oil and gas wells
  • Better characterizes the fluid rheology and improves the fracturing job, correlates to standard measurements
  • Assures that fluid is viscous enough to suspend sand to “prop” fractures open
  • Continuous readout eliminates the need for “grab” samples and the consequent time delays
  • Easy to maintain; can redo calibrations in the field
  • Provides a real-time record of fracturing fluid as it is pumped down-hole

Viscometer Specifications

  • Viscosity Range:°-35 cP or higher for special cross-linked fluids
  • Shear Rate Range: 511 sec-1 and/or 170 sec-1
  • Temperature Range: Up to 300°F
  • Pressure Range:°-200 psi
  • Electrical Code: Nema 4 (water and dust-tight)
  • Signal Output: 4-20 mA
  • Power Requirement: 115 or 230 VAC, 50 or 60 Hz, or 24VDC
  • Connections (TT-100®): 1”, 1.5”, 2” or 4”, flanged or threaded (usually 1” NPT)
  • Connections (TT-200): 4” or 6”, 150# flanged
  • Material of Construction: 300 series ss at liquid contact points

References

Detailed information on well fracturing is available from many well service companies: Contact information will be supplied on request. For more details, contact Brookfield or your local representative.

Several important references from the American Petroleum Institute also contain useful information on viscosity test specifications:

  • Recommended Practice on the Rheology and Hydraulics of Oil-Well Drilling Fluids. API Recommended Practice 13D, 3rd Edition, June 1, 1995
  • Recommended Practice Standard for Laboratory Testing Drilling Fluids. API Recommended Practice 13I, 5th Edition, June 1, 1995
  • Recommended Practice Standard Procedure for Field Testing Oil-Based Drilling Fluids. API Recommended Practice 13B-2 (RP 13B-2), 2nd Edition, December 1, 1991
  • Recommended Practice Standard Procedure for Field Testing Water-Based Drilling Fluids. API Recommended Practice 13B-1 (RP 13B-1), 1st Edition, June 1, 1990

Return On Investment

The cost for a single fracturing job can approach $500,000. Purchasing a Brookfield TT-100® in-line process viscometer, ensures the proper rheology of the fracturing fluid introduced down the hole. This maximizes the penetration of proppant into the cracks and fissures of the well which in turn minimizes the risk against losing the fracturing investment.