Definition - What does Frac Gel mean?
Frac Gel is a special type of fluid which is injected into a wellbore to induce more fractures so as to access oil and gas easily. This fluid is mainly used in hydraulic fracturing, which is a part of a stimulation operation in the petroleum industry. Besides being used as a fracturing fluid, it is also used as an additive.
Petropedia explains Frac Gel
During a hydraulic fracturing process, frac gels or fracturing fluids are pivotal in making sure that the fractures are extended by breaking them down to reach the oil and gas resource. The gel is injected into the wellbore with high pressure intensity to induce the fractures. It is through the use of the frac gel in the hydraulic fracturing process that the well workers can make the underground fractures more conducive for the easy flow of oil and gas.
A frac gel or fracturing fluids can be of three types which are widely used in the industry. They are:
- Water-based, also called water frac or the slick water
- Linear gel
- Cross-linked gel
The prime difference between these three types of frac gels is the different types of gelling agents used in them and their viscosity. Water-based frac gel has the viscosity of 2 - 3 centipoise (low viscosity), Linear gel has a viscosity of 10-30 centipoise (medium viscosity) while cross-linked gel has 100-1000 centipoise (high viscosity).