Industry Article: Degradable Frac Ball Holds Solution to Persistent Problem in Fracturing

Publication: Journal of Petroleum Technology
Publication Date: 11/01/2013

An efficient technique for multistage fracturing involves placing a completion string in the open hole with a series of ball-actuated stages isolated by hydraulically set or swellable packers. Once stages have been treated the well is allowed to flow back, flushing the balls back to surface. However, operators have experienced suboptimal production from wells where logs and tests indicated high productivity. In some cases not all balls are recovered, or the balls have deformed and jammed in their seats, plugging all production. The only solution is to trip into the well and mill out the seats. To address this issue, balls made with ELEMENTAL degradable technology have been introduced. When deployed, the ELEMENTAL technology frac balls degrade predictably within hours or days after making contact with well fluid. The ball goes through a controlled degradation, leaving a fine powder that does not interfere with production.

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Patented Material Degrades Fully and Predictably

Degradable alloy
Frac balls made of high-strength, impact-resistant material using ELEMENTAL degradable technology disintegrate into a fine powder that does not interfere with production.
Visit ELEMENTAL Degradable Technology page