Victory Elements has commercially released its water dissolvable ceramic tooling for hydraulic fracturing and maintenance of oil and gas wells, the company said on Jan. 5.

The novel system, featuring solid frac balls and hollow delivery balls, fully dissolves in water and brine solutions without acidification and eliminates mechanical processes to remove or retrieve standard frac balls. The system provides performance and cost advantages compared to conventional practices including faster completion times, reduced completion costs, enhanced well performance, and less environmental impact.

(Source: Victory Elements)

Manufactured from nonhazardous materials, the ceramic balls gradually dissolve into their constituent materials, release from tooling seats, and become dilute in surrounding frac fluids. Following stimulation procedures, the dilute materials are conveyed to the surface with brine backflow for collection and disposal.

Another development is Victory’s water dissolvable hollow ball that can deliver additives, such as paraffin breakers, acids, and antimicrobials, to targeted well locations for timed release and activation. This targeted delivery capability can minimize the volume and cost of additives rather than saturating wells with costly materials to meet performance objectives.

The dissolvable hollow ball is also being evaluated for restimulation processes whereby existing fissures in surrounding geologic formations can be temporarily closed for refracturing. The ceramic hollow balls naturally dissolve in surrounding frac fluid and are removed in dilute concentrations with brine flowback as oil and gas flow are reestablished.

“Our novel formulations and fabrication techniques enable Victory to customize dissolution times to meet each client’s targeted stimulation and release times,” Robert Howard, Victory Elements technology director, said. “End users can now adjust frac ball performance to meet geological conditions and duty cycles. Our dissolvable ceramic balls have been extensively tested for hardness, durability, pressure resistance, and dissolve times. Third party testing by independent laboratories have confirmed that the Victory solid ball meets industry standard pressure metrics of 10,000 psi and residence time of 6 hours on seat.”