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A Lighter UltraStrong Proppant

Photo courtesy of Oxane Materials.
An ultrastrong proppant for extreme well conditions has been introduced by Oxane Materials.

Oxane Materials has joined the 20,000 club—joining the two makers who have announced they are selling proppant capable of standing up to high pressures.

The new offering, called OxThor, meets the standard set for use in frontier fields, such as those in the Lower Tertiary trend in the US Gulf of Mexico, where the grain-sized spheres will be called on to prop open fractures in wells drilled in ultradeep water that are around 30,000 ft deep.

What is different is the weight of the Oxane offering. It is said to have a specific gravity of 3, compared to 3.9 for the new 20,000 psi offerings from Carbo Ceramics and Saint-Gobain. The current standard for extreme conditions is sintered bauxite, which goes up to 15,000 psi, which has a specific gravity of about 3.6. The new offering from Oxane is expected to be able to perform at temperatures up to 450°C, comparable to sintered bauxite and other proppant high in alumina.

The lower weight is an advantage in extremely hot reservoirs that break down gels used to thicken fracturing fluids, allowing it to carry proppant further, increasing its effectiveness, Oxane President Chris Coker said.

The three companies making 20,000 psi proppant are ramping up production to allow testing. Oxane is increasing the production of OxThor, with a goal of supplying enough for laboratory testing by customers in May, and a field test late in the year, he said.

A Lighter UltraStrong Proppant

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 May 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 5

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