June 20th - 22nd 2017

2017 DUG EAST Conference


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January 24th -26th 2017

2017 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference - The Woodlands, TX


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October 9th -11th 2017

2017 ATCE, SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition - San Antonio, TX


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the 20th of September 2011

Imerys announces the inauguration of a lightweight ceramic proppant production unit in Andersonville, GA, USA


2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report


the 21st of September 2010


SPE 135360


Changing the Shape of Fracturing: New Proppant Improves Fracture Conducivity


Greg McDaniel, SPE, Apache Corporation; Jonathan Abbott, Fred Mueller, Ahmed Mokhtar, Svetlana Pavlova, and Olga Nevvonen, SPE, Schlumberger; and Thomas Parias and Jean André Alary, Imerys


SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 19-22 September 2010, Florence, Italy


2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers

Hydraulic fracturing is used extensively to increase hydrocarbon production from oil and gas formations. Hydraulic fracture conductivity is a key parameter in optimizing the productivity of a well after the fracture treatment. The American Petroleum Institute (API) proppant permeability / fracture conductivity testing results are frequently used in industry fracturing models when selecting the proppant that provides the optimum fracture conductivity for a well’s particular reservoir properties. This design methodology invariably results in a lower than expected fracture conductivity and in many cases, lower than optimum well performance. The industry has recognized that actual fracture conductivity is often a small fraction of what would be expected by using API test results. Non-Darcy flow, multiphase flow, gel damage, stress cycling, fines migration, proppant embedment, proppant flowback, and fracture cleanup are some of the parameters that result in fracture conductivities significantly lower than those measured in an API conductivity test.

A new proppant was developed to improve the final fracture conductivity achievable with high-strength spherical proppants currently available in the market place. This new product is an elongated rod-shaped, high-strength particle with integrated proppant flow back control.

Initial field testing of the product was conducted in moderate permeability formations where production from prior fracture treatments indicated lower than optimum fracture conductivity. Production results from these field tests confirmed that substantial increases in fracture conductivity can be achieved. The large improvement seen in fracture conductivity can be attributed to increased porosity of the proppant pack and reduced fracture conductivity losses due to non-Darcy and multiphase flow effects.

Completely changing the typical geometry of proppants used in hydraulic fracturing is a viable option for improving the conductivity of hydraulic fractures to a point not currently obtainable with spherical proppants.

Click here to access the full paper via the SPE eLibrary





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