Halliburton Co. on Thursday disclosed details on the performance of its new hydraulic fracturing (fracking) service, which uses a fluid based on a derivatized natural polymer rather than guar gum.

India supplies about 70% of the global guar market, and the key ingredient in traditional fracking stimulation fluids has been in short supply for months (see Shale Daily, June 8). In July Halliburton reported that 2Q2012 operating income fell 19% from the first three months of 2012, which it blamed in part on guar cost inflation (see Shale Daily, July 24).

The Houston oilfield services giant procured a “large reserve of guar based on the demand we saw in the market coming out of the first quarter,” CEO Dave Lesar said at the time. However, guar supply concerns eased as spot prices declined, leaving Halliburton with a “large reserve of extra guar inventory.”

According to Halliburton, the PermStim fluid system, unlike the guar-based system, contains no insoluble residue, “making it a more robust system that will result in improved well performance.” It has been used in more than 102 wells, mostly in the Denver-Julesburg, Williston and Green River basins at up to 300 degrees F bottomhold static temperature, the company said.

The fluid system recently was tested in Lavaca County, TX, in the Eagle Ford Shale at Magnum Hunter Resources’ Moose Hunter 1H well. The frack treatment was performed in a 6,050-foot horizontal section at 10,897 feet in vertical depth, with a bottomhole temperature of 280 degrees F and a bottomhole pressure of 6,500 pounds per square inch (psi). The treatment was pumped down a 5.5-inch casing, using a hybrid fluid system that interspersed linear fluid stages with cross-linked fluid stages using PermStim fluid, said the company.

“Proppant concentration ramped from 0.25-4 psi/gallon. The 24-hour initial production was 1,686 bbl of oil and 801 Mcf of gas on a 16/64-inch choke, which exceeds the average 24-hour initial production for Magnum Hunter’s operated wells in the Eagle Ford Shale area,” Halliburton said.

According to Magnum Hunter’s Kip Ferguson, who is executive vice president of exploration, the fluid “worked very well and was easily integrated into our current fracturing design. A clean fluid makes sense as we plan for closer offsets and begin our development program for the Magnum Hunter Eagle Ford shale area.

“The typical completion in the Eagle Ford Shale play does not recover a significant amount of load water from frack stages; therefore, we need to optimize the fluids we use throughout our development area, and we believe the use of clean fluids like the PermStim fluid system will result in maximum regained permeability and will reduce residue retained by the producing formation.”

Laboratory tests indicated that the system offered higher permeability than the guar-based fluids, Halliburton said. “In proppant pack flow measurements, the derivatized guar-based fluid exhibited 70% regained permeability and the native guar-based fluid only 40%, while the PermStim fluid exhibited 94% regained permeability.”