“Nanoparticle Dispersion Technology Enhances Stimulation Efficiency in Permian Basin Reservoirs”
David L. Holcomb, Ph.D., Pentagon Technical Services, Inc./ Nissan Chemical America Corp./ Rhino Chemical
Aqueous nanoparticle dispersion pre-pad pills used ahead of fracturing stages consist of highly surface modified, neutral wet nanoparticles dispersed in small water volumes which penetrate via accelerated diffusion into the reservoir beyond the induced fracture network, producing a Brownian motion activated, mechanical process known as disjoining pressure. These neutral wet, solid nanoparticles aid in delivering improved efficacy in the recovery of hydrocarbons via counter-current imbibition by fragmenting the disjoined oil into smaller oil droplets, enabling a more efficient backflow to the propped fracture network. It is proposed that the nanoparticle dispersion pre-pad/pills are introduced farther into the reservoir’s naturally fractured/ permeable matrix network and uses the mechanisms described above to enhance and sustain the mobility of hydrocarbons back to the propped facture network and subsequently to the wellbore. Advantages of this method and mechanical process are the ability to access the reservoir beyond where proppants can be placed thereby improving the effective stimulated reservoir volume.
During 2016 -2017 the stimulation of several Wolfberry, Wolfcamp Sand, Woodford, and Bone Springs targeted wells in the Midland Basin and northern Delaware Basin using fracturing treatments preceded by a new method employing relatively small pre-pad pill volumes of nano-particle dispersions ahead of each stage of treatment have been successfully performed. The evaluation of results in these zones has shown that utilizing the nanoparticle pre-pad and intermittent pills has resulted in significantly improved performance (between 30 and 200 percent higher than the best available technology) compared to numerous offset wells when normalized with respect to stimulation and production techniques and procedures. The results include significantly higher oil cuts for a longer time periods as well as earlier oil to surface after treatment flowback and continued flowing production before requiring artificial lift implementation. While the number of offset wells is greater than nanoparticle dispersion treated wells, the results clearly demonstrate that there is a positive impact as well as persistent improvement factor and reduced decline curves from using the pre-pad nanoparticle dispersion pills ahead of each stage. Biographical Summary:
David is the president of Pentagon Technical Services, Inc an oil & gas related consulting company based in Florence, Arizona. He is currently retained by Nissan Chemical America, Houston, Texas to develop and develop marketing strategy for unique colloidal chemistry applications for the oil and gas upstream sector as well as associated water treatment industries. His oil and gas industry experience covers 46 years of continuous effort in research, development, technical training and technical marketing for well stimulation, oilfield chemistry and fracture diagnostics technologies. He has worked for Cardinal Chemical, Inc., Smith International Inc.’s Energy Division, Protechnics, a Division of Core Laboratories, FTS International, Inc., Flotek Industries, Inc. and Pentagon Technical Services, Inc. He has held various technical and technology management positions and has developed numerous products and methods for well intervention, most of which are in use today.
His educational background includes receiving his B.S. from Texas State University in biology and chemistry and his M.S., and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas. He has written and published over 40 technical and professional papers for SPE, SPEJ, AIChE, AGA, and SWPSC. He has been a distinguished lecturer for SPE (1984-85) on the topic of formation damage, and is an active member of SPE, ACS, and AIChE. He is on the SPE Young Professionals lecture circuit. He is the past chairman of the SPE International Oilfield Chemistry Symposium and the Texas Tech University Southwestern Petroleum Short Course as well as a retired board member for them. He was elected a Distinguished Member of the Denver Section of SPE in 1985. He holds three patents and has three pending in the areas of oilfield chemistry, fracture placement diagnostics, acid fracturing and nanotechnology. He has worked on assignments around the world including the USA, Canada, North Sea (Scotland and Norway), Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Australia and Algeria.
David is married to Janis Holcomb and for the past 25 years they have made their home together in the Sonoran Desert near Florence, Arizona where they enjoy hiking, traveling, and golf.