Fracture-conductivity loss caused by geochemical interactions between man-made proppants and formations

J. D. Weaver, R. D. Rickman, H. Luo, D. Elsworth

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The selection of proppant to provide highly conductive pathways in hydraulically-generated fractures is typically based on the proppant crush strength, permeability, availability, and cost. Extensive laboratory data determined conductivity values, obtained using API standardized methods at a variety of simulated well conditions, are available for most proppants. However, post-fracture stimulation well testing indicates that these values are often one to two orders of magnitude too high. In many fields, the productivity of fractures declines rapidly, requiring frequent re-stimulation treatments to remain economically viable. Proppant crushing and embedment, fracturing-fluid damage, and fines invasion are proppant-pack permeability damage mechanisms that have been used to explain this loss of productivity. This paper reports on recent studies that have determined that alumina-based proppant materials may promote geochemical reactions that can occur at a surprisingly rapid rate, even at moderate temperatures, resulting in the loss of porosity and permeability and the creation of fines in the proppant pack. The compatibilities of several man-made proppants ranging from lightweight ceramics to high-strength bauxites with a variety of formations are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Nov 27 2009
Event43rd U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and 4th U.S.-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium - Asheville, NC, United States
Duration: Jun 28 2009Jul 1 2009

Other

Other43rd U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and 4th U.S.-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium
CountryUnited States
CityAsheville, NC
Period6/28/097/1/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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