Industry Article: Proppants Open Production Pathways

From sand to ceramics and beyond, specially designed proppants provide economic advantages

Proppants Open Production Pathways
Publication: E&P
Publication Date: 01/24/2011

As operators tap tighter formations from sands to shales, improved proppant characteristics and techniques in placement help them reach vast quantities of oil and gas previously beyond the scope of oilpatch technology. Schlumberger, recognizing that hydrodynamic drag forces are intimately linked to the proppant pack pore structure, created the means to generate pore structures that are intrinsically more effective at conducting fluids. The HiWAY flow-channel hydraulic fracturing technique allows for the heterogeneous placement of proppants into the fracture, such that produced fluids flow through wide-open channels that traverse the fracture. The means of creating the fracture channels involved a sophisticated combination of geological modeling, perforation design, and engineering placement technique to correctly size and position proppant agglomerants and the resulting flow channels.

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