Flow Loop Evaluation of Friction Reducer PerformancePost by: Vincent B. Conrad, Ph.D.
A properly designed friction reducer (FR) system provides technical and economic performance that exceeds conventional FR systems in the oil and gas industry, particularly when using recycled produced water. RJ Lee Group provides flow loop evaluations of friction reducer performance that are free of conflict of interest issues associated with of chemical or completion service contracts.
Controlled evaluation of friction reducers by a single, independent laboratory enables valid and accurate comparison of FR performance that is not possible when tests are completed by multiple labs whose flow loops are not designed and operated equivalently.
Flow loop data provides a means of:
- Comparing FRs from the same or different vendors
- Evaluating FR performance in different water matrices
- Evaluating the effect of other additives on FR performance
- Minimizing FR dosage required for a specified friction reduction
- Maximizing the volume of produced water in produced water/fresh water blended fluids
The RJ Lee Group flow loop is constructed of a progressive cavity pump and speed controller that produces flow rates ranging from 5 to 50 gpm. The pressure drop across a section of polished stainless steel tubing in the presence and in the absence of a FR is measured to assess the magnitude of friction reduction. The flow loop system is capable of achieving Reynold’s Numbers from approximately 25,000 to 300,000. The ability to provide FR measurements at Reynold’s Numbers exceeding 125,000 provides a more accurate simulation of field conditions than can be provided by many competitors. Both instrument control and data logging are executed through a microcontroller and custom-developed software. Reports include the friction reduction data and profile for each test (Figure 1) and a comparison of friction reduction for multiple test conditions (Figure 2).
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