Chemical Characterization of a Hydraulically Fractured Well Over a One Year Period: From Fracturing Fluid to Produced Water

Topics in Shale Gas
Oral Presentation

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Contact Information: [email protected]; 248-939-3216


A long-term field study (>400 days) of a hydraulically fractured well from the Niobrara Formation in the Denver-Julesburg Basin was completed. Our purpose was to characterize the organic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and their changes through time, from the pre-injected fracturing fluid to the produced water. The characterization consisted of general water quality, metals/ions, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), DOC fractionation, GC-MS, and LC-MS. The results illustrate the substantial impacts of time since flowback, on DOC and other organic constituents, such as hydrocarbons and surfactants; while, metals and ions remain relatively stable after the 15th day of flowback. The talk will also present results for non-targeted and unknown compound identifications, and briefly detail measured concentrations over the course of the study. Implications of the findings for the oil and gas industry and future research directions will be discussed.