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The primary purpose of hydraulic fracturing is to enhance productivity. An unconventional gas reservoir will not produce unless long, conductive fractures are placed in the tight gas formation. A successful treatment will improve well production and sustainability; however, fracturing is never optimal, and the industry has been working on several fronts to obtain improved results. Some of these fronts include a complete change in the fluid system, such that the gel damage is reduced and the fluids pumped can be flowed back efficiently. The gel breaking agent is, therefore, an important ingredient, and the right amount and type are some of the key factors that help minimize proppant conductivity damage from gel residue. The proppant system and pump schedule have also been revised. These changes are intended to provide longer, more conductive fractures and reduce chances of premature screen-outs. This article focuses on best practices associated with gel and polymer systems, and the breaking agents. Examples from Saudi Arabia confirm the successes achieved through the identification of problems, and followed by remedial actions.
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