Viscosity models for polymer free CO2 foam fracturing fluid with the effect of surfactant concentration, salinity and shear rate

Shehzad Ahmed, Khaled Abdalla Elraies, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Alvinda Sri Hanamertani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


High quality polymer free CO2 foam possesses unique properties that make it an ideal fluid for fracturing unconventional shales. In this paper, the viscosity of polymer free fracturing foam and its empirical correlations at high pressure high temperature (HPHT) as a function of surfactant concentration, salinity, and shear rate are presented. Foams were generated using a widely-used surfactant, i.e., alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS) in the presence of brine and a stabilizer at HPHT. Pressurize foam rheometer was used to find out the viscosity of CO2 foams at different surfactant concentration (0.25-1 wt %) and salinity (0.5-8 wt %) over a wide range of shear rate (10-500 s-1) at 1500 psi and 80 °C. Experimental results concluded that foam apparent viscosity increases noticeably until the surfactant concentration of 0.5 wt %, whereas, the increment in salinity provided a continuous increase in foam apparent viscosity. Nonlinear regression was performed on experimental data and empirical correlations were developed. Power law model for foam viscosity was modified to accommodate for the effect of shear rate, surfactant concentration, and salinity. Power law indices (K and n) were found to be a strong function of surfactant concentration and salinity. The new correlations accurately predict the foam apparent viscosity under various stimulation scenarios and these can be used for fracture simulation modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1970
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • CO foam
  • Foam apparent viscosity
  • Salinity
  • Surfactant concentration
  • Viscosity correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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