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The Barnett Shale of north central Texas is a sedimentary rock formation of organic-rich shale with components of sand and other sediments. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well technologies have made the Barnett shale economical in the thicker sections, but in some cases water production is so high it makes production uneconomical or shortens the life of the well and the ultimate recovery.

When fracturing into a shale, water can be introduced not only to the fracture stimulation, but also from the fracture network around the well in the formation, which occurred on a well in the Barnett shale that was producing only water and no gas. Due to the fracture communication among wells, some offset wells were also experiencing excessive water production. FracBlock™ gel systems probide deep penetration into the formation fracture system towards the source of the water, reducing not only the immediate path to the wellbore, but also the water source path to the rest of the fracture network in the immediate vicinity. The well consisted of nine separate intervals that were perforated and hydraulically fractured in the lateral section. The majority of the production was coming from the first three stages below 8,900-ft (2,712-m) measured depth.

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Challenges & Results


  • Target well produced only water at 360 BWPD and no hydrocarbons
  • Adjacent wells produced excessive water
  • Horizontal section extended 2,781 ft
  • Reservoir pressure was 800 psi
  • Well had nine stages of perforations with six perforated intervals in each stage
  • Adjacent wells had similar construction


  • Increased gas production from 0 to 250 MCFD
  • Reduced water production by approximately 72%, from 360 to 100 BWPD
  • Increased gas production and reduced water production on two offset wells
  • Reduced HSE risks by minimizing equipment needed for the operation
  • Placed well back in production three days after treatment