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Rethinking Proppant: From Liquid to Solid

Image courtesy of Oil Chem Technologies.
These balls were made using a liquid chemical mixture developed by Oil Chem Technologies that turns into strong spheres. This invention is being tested for use as proppant.

Propping open fractures to maximize production requires placing enough stout particles of sand or ceramic in a fracture to hold it open for years. The downside of bigger and stronger particles is that they are denser than the fluid used to deliver them, so some will settle in transit. It is also difficult to move proppant past the corners in networks of fractures. The end result is only a limited area gets well propped.

There has been a long line of methods offered to deliver more proppant deeper—lighter particles, viscous fluids, and coatings that limit settling. The SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference has become a showcase for new ideas.

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Rethinking Proppant: From Liquid to Solid

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 April 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 4

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