Field results show new proppant is better than guar-based fluids

Fracking diagram
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Propel SSP is a new type of synthetic proppant that – according to the field results presented by its maker, Fairmount Santrol – produces quantifiably better results than guar-based fracking fluids.

Propel SSP relies on a polymer coating applied to a proppant substrate. Upon contact with water, the coating hydrates and swells rapidly to create a hydrogel around the proppant substrate. The hydrogel layer, which is primarily water, is attached to the proppant particle and provides a nearly threefold increase in the hydrostatic radius of the proppant. This reduces the effective specific gravity to about 1.3, compared to 2.6 for a typical uncoated sand grain. Lab testing shows that original proppant substrate crush strength and conductivity are not affected by the coating process, transport through fractures, and chemical breakers. The technology is stable from 35°F (2°C) up to 380°F (193°C).

Propel SSP proppant transport technology
Propel SSP proppant transport technology swells upon contact with water to decrease a proppant’s effective specific gravity, allowing the proppant to go farther and higher into the formation. The increased stimulated reservoir volume reduces cost per barrel of oil equivalent.

Yesterday, the producer, Fairmount Santrol, presented the Propel SSP™ proppant transport technology field trial results at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. Collectively, these data document how this technology is reducing cost per BOE by increasing the stimulated reservoir volume.

In an Escondido formation rich-gas play, an operator compared a 46 per cent tail-in of Propel SSP technology coated on 30/50 Northern White sand with a slickwater design. The Propel SSP technology well boosted 60-day cumulative gas production by more than 55 per cent while decreasing stage pumping time, water consumption, and fluid-additive volume.

In a Mississippian Lime liquids-rich play, a well with Propel SSP technology coated on 20/40 Northern White sand increased 18-month cumulative BOE 45 per cent compared with the offset well’s conventional slickwater design.

In a Marcellus formation liquids-rich play, a 49 per cent tail-in of Propel SSP technology coated on 30/50 Northern White sand increased 60-day cumulative IP 26 per cent compared with the offset well’s hybrid completion.

In a Utica formation natural gas liquids play, a 71 per cent tail-in of Propel SSP technology coated on 30/50 Northern White sand increased 60-day cumulative IP 12 per cent compared with the offset’s hybrid completion.

“These field trials in various shale formations throughout the U.S. show, regardless of these reservoir conditions, how the Propel SSP shear-resistant polymer ensures greater drainage by traveling farther in a thin fluid for a substantially increased propped fracture area,” said Nick Johnson, vice president of Marketing.

“Our proppant transport technology solves the decades-old problem of uniformly distributing proppant throughout the full length of a created hydraulic fracture.”

Propel SSP technology resists settling in a low-viscosity fluid. A clean break of the Propel SSP polymer transport system prevents proppant pack and formation damage. The result is 100 per cent regain conductivity compared with a guar-based fluid that reduces conductivity by as much as 70 per cent because of relatively poor fracturing fluid cleanup.

Fluid sweeps are eliminated by maintaining viscous proppant transport in a thin fluid. Pumping time is reduced because of the higher capacity to carry proppant compared with slickwater. Less fluid additive is required because less fluid volume is needed. A better hydraulic fracturing treatment through enhanced efficiency is improving reservoir production.

Article continues below this message

Have your opinion heard with Shale Gas International

We accept interesting, well-written opinion and analysis articles of up to 1,500 words, that offer unique insights into the shale industry. The articles cannot be overtly promotional in nature and need to fit into at least one of our content categories.

If accepted, the article must be exclusive to Shale Gas International website and cannot appear on any other websites, publications, etc. Each article may contain up to three links to external websites relevant to the content discussed in the piece.

If you would like to contribute to Shale Gas International website, please contact us at: editor[at]mw-ep.com