13 technical papers discuss proppant manufacturing best practices and selection criteria
SUGAR LAND, Texas, March 18, 2014—Santrol, a Fairmount Minerals company, announced today its Proppant Briefs archive now includes 13 technical papers that discuss manufacturing best practices and selection criteria. This information is based on Santrol’s 38 years experience since the company launched the resin-coated proppant industry in 1976.
The technical papers examine quality control, fracture closure stress, proppant flowback, and proppant pack conductivity. A reputable manufacturer follows quality control guidelines established by API RP 19C / ISO 13503-2, Recommended Practice for Measurement of Properties of Proppants Used in Hydraulic Fracturing and Gravel-packing Operations.
The technical papers discuss the five main standards for choosing the right supplier with the right proppant, including acid solubility, crush resistance, sieve analysis, sphericity and roundness, and turbidity. With this greater understanding, an operator can ensure a supplier is meeting the industry’s standards.
The technical papers also examine how fracture closure stress affects proppant selection. Fracture closure stress is the force applied on the proppant while the well is being produced; closure stress is required to keep the proppant in the fracture. Usually, a low closure stress well of 2,000 psi [13.8 MPa] to 4,000 psi [27.6 MPa] is the most challenging to control proppant flowback, which can cause substantial damage to production equipment.
The right curable resin-coated proppant with the correct resin bond strength or unconfined compressive strength (UCS) ultimately determines successful flowback control throughout the well life and, ultimately, workover expense. A typical workover averages $65,000 for a 10,000-foot vertical well and $100,000 for a 16,000-foot MD horizontal well producing from the same formation in south Texas, according to two operators.
Controlling flowback ensures conductivity or the measure of the fluid flow through the pack from the formation into the wellbore. This conductivity depends on several factors, such as grain size, sphericity, embedment, and strength at a certain closure stress. The wrong proppant can break under high stress leading to fines generation that blocks the pack. This situation can close the fracture, reducing conductivity and hydrocarbon flow.
“These technical papers further the Santrol tradition of offering information that supports better proppant choices for improved well net present value,” said Nick Johnson, vice president of Marketing.
Santrol, a Fairmount Minerals company, has a diversified proppant line for every conventional and unconventional reservoir application. World-class proppant technology—and one of the industry’s largest terminal networks—delivers proven solutions that respond to customers’ unique needs. Comprehensive R&D and a dedication to industry collaboration underscore a solid commitment to customer performance excellence. Vertical integration is supported by Fairmount Minerals, one of North America’s largest producers of industrial sand, with a global network of sand mining, mineral processing, manufacturing, and resin-coating plants. As part of Fairmount Minerals, Santrol has an uncompromising commitment to responsible business practices and sustainability. For more information, please visit Santrol.com.