URTeC '15: Self-suspending proppant reduces formation damage, Fairmount Santrol says


SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Self-suspending proppant increases oil and gas production by not harming the formation, according to a technical paper presented by Fairmount Santrol at URTeC.

The paper—Improve Well Performance by Reducing Formation Damage—verifies better production in the absence of traditional hydraulic fracturing fluids.

In two formations, one after 18 months and the other after 5 months, hydrocarbon production in the wells with self-suspending proppant technology increased 45% and 43%, respectively, compared with their offset test wells completed with traditional slickwater and guar-based gel fluids.

Slickwater and guar-based gel fluids decrease formation permeability and proppant pack conductivity because those completions designs deposit damaging chemical residue during hydraulic fracturing and fluid flowback. The technical paper describes detailed laboratory tests and results documenting these situations.

The paper's authors compared these traditional hydraulic fracturing fluids with the advanced self-suspending proppant—a proppant and fluid system in one—that does not deposit harmful residue downhole.

The technology's hydrogel polymer coating rapidly hydrates in water, which allows proppant to resist settling and to stack higher within the fracture. In this thin fluid, proppant transport improves to maximize the propped length and height without polymer damage to the formation and proppant pack, as with traditional hydraulic fracturing fluids.

"With better proppant transport, completions designs with self-suspending proppant technology are recording significant production increases," said Brian Goldstein, product director for Fairmount Santrol and technical paper lead author. "The technology eliminates the negative effects of slickwater and guar-based gel fluids."

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