Proprietary proppant transport technology increasing oil and gas production
SAN ANTONIO, TX, July 23, 2015—Fairmount Santrol presented a technical paper Wednesday, July 22, confirming self-suspending proppant increases oil and gas production by not harming the formation. The company presented the paper at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC).
The paper—Improve Well Performance by Reducing Formation Damage—verifies better production in the absence of traditional hydraulic fracturing fluids. In 2 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.”
URTeC technical paper 2151737 will be available on onepetro.org.
About Fairmount Santrol
Fairmount Santrol is a leading provider of high-performance sand and sand-based products used by oil and gas exploration and production companies to enhance the productivity of their wells. The company also provides high-quality products, strong technical leadership, and applications knowledge to end users in the foundry, building products, water filtration, glass, and sports and recreation markets. Its global logistics capabilities include a wide-ranging network of distribution terminals and thousands of railcars that allow the company to effectively serve customers wherever they operate. As one of the nation’s longest continuously operating mining organizations, Fairmount Santrol has developed a strong commitment to sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and operational safety. Correspondingly, the company’s motto and action orientation is: “Do good. Do well.”