Application of a Novel Green and Biocompatible Clay Swelling Inhibitor in Fracturing Fluid Design

Mobeen Murtaza, Zeeshan Tariq, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal, Azeem Rana, Shirish Patil, Mohamed Mahmoud, Dhafer Al-Shehri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Clay swelling and dispersion in tight sandstones can have an influence on the formation's mechanical properties and productivity. Hydraulic fracturing is a typical stimulation technique used to increase the production of sandstone formations that are too compact. The interaction of clay in sandstone with a water-based fracturing fluid causes the clays to disperse and swell, which weakens the rock and reduces its productivity. Several swelling inhibitors, including inorganic salts, silicates, and polymers, are regularly added to fracturing fluids. Concerns linked with these additions include a decrease in production owing to formation damage and environmental concerns associated with their disposal. In this study, we introduced naturally existing material as a novel green swelling inhibitor. The performance of the novel green inhibitor was examined by its impact on the mechanical properties of the rock. Acoustic strength and scratch tests were conducted to evaluate rock mechanical parameters such as unconfined compressive strength. Further inhibition potential was evaluated by conducting linear swell and capillary suction timer tests. The contact angle was measured on a sandstone surface for wettability change. The results showed the novel green additive provided strong inhibition to clays. The reduction in linear swelling and rise in capillary suction time showed the inhibition potential and water control potential of the biomaterial. Furthermore, mechanical properties were lower than DI-treated rock sample tested under dry conditions. With all these benefits, using green novel additive makes rock more stable and reduces damage to the formation. The green additive is economical and an environment-friendly solution to clay swelling. It is an effective recipe for reducing the formation damage caused by clay swelling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Western Regional Meeting, WRM 2023
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613999585
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 SPE Western Regional Meeting, WRM 2023 - Anchorage, United States
Duration: 22 May 202325 May 2023

Publication series

NameSPE Western Regional Meeting Proceedings


Conference2023 SPE Western Regional Meeting, WRM 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


  • Fracturing fluids
  • Swelling inhibitors
  • biodegradable material
  • environment-friendly
  • gum Arabic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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