Enhancing production from unconventional reservoirs with micro-proppant ///

Low-viscosity fluids have become a common carrier fluid during hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs, especially for brittle shales. Even when hybrid treatments are pumped, slickwater is generally used for most of the pad-stage volume. Proppant particulates have the tendency to settle quickly, to the bottom part of the fracture, in low-viscosity fluid while pumping, and even more so when pumping is ceased. This allows most of the created fracture to close without any proppant present. Woodworth and Miskimins demonstrate that proppant settles quickly and forms a dune at the bottom of the fracture, when a sand-laden, low-viscosity fluid is injected into a fracture.24 The subsequent clean fluid stages erode the proppant and carry it further out into the fracture, thus allowing longer propped fracture half-lengths to be generated.

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