This explains so much -- an incredible note and much appreciated.
The reader wrote:
There is a major distinction regarding the flowback/produced water situation.
Prior to the introduction of HVFRs (high viscosity friction reducers) about three (3) years ago, operators "opened the chokes" in the early week or two after fracturing to remove the bulk of the frac fluid.One big reason for doing so was to minimize the 'skin', aka the 'gumming up' of the fractures due to the guar - or other thickening agents - which was needed to transport the proppant.
When these polymers - HVFRs - were introduced, proppant transport was enhanced with several other follow on consequences (re-using frac fluid being one).One big effect was no 'skin/gumming' occurred and higher formation pressure (via injection of millions of gallons of water) could be sustained indefinitely.
This is one reason early hydrocarbon production is so high and stays - relatively - high ... along with the now labelled produced water.Historically, produced water increases each month. The observed decrease in recent wells produced water is further indication that this is almost all frac fluid.
This pertains to the "water" mentioned at this post.