(298a) Novel Fracturing Process Utilizing Natural Gas
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 8:30am to 8:55am
In the past year, under a Department of Energy (DOE) program, a novel process has been developed that utilizes natural gas as the fracturing fluid. Using natural gas requires minimal water consumption because the fracturing fluid is composed mostly of produced natural gas from adjoining wells. One challenge associated with using produced natural gas is designing and optimizing a mobile process to produce the flow rate and pressure required for fracturing. As a part of the DOE program, several different thermodynamic cycles were considered for processing the natural gas. Options included direct compression and various refrigeration cycles to produce liquefied natural gas, which was then pumped to high pressure before vaporization. Each of these cycles was evaluated and the optimal cycle was then designed in detail. Some of the factors considered in the selection included specific power, cost, size, weight, and mobility. This presentation reviews the various designs that were considered and outlines the method used to select the optimal process. A description of the final detailed design is presented.