Neutral-Wettability Proppant

Baker Hughes’ NeutraProp neutral-­wettability proppant is a surface-­modified material that enables fluids to flow freely through the pore spaces in a proppant pack. It is neither oil-wet nor water-wet, and it can be applied to various substrates from lightweight ceramic to high-strength proppant. The proppant reduces pressure drop in multi­phase flow and eliminates the buildup of fluid residues, letting more hydrocarbons flow out of the reservoir at higher rates for longer periods of time. The solution also improves cleanup by reducing capillary pressure and accelerates the time to first oil while reducing nonproductive time. An operator working in deepwater Gulf of Mexico needed a frac pack to complete a new well to enable production quickly. The well had very low bottomhole pressure, low reservoir energy, and no gas lift. The Neutra­Prop was selected and applied, and all of the flowback fluids were recovered in approximately 14 hours. This represents a 43% reduction in rig time compared with an average of 24.5 hours on three previous wells in which conventional proppant was used. The operator eliminated 10 hours of rig time and saved more than USD 438,000 by using the proppant.

Baker Hughes’ NeutraProp neutral-wettability proppant. Top image shows unmodified ceramic proppant;
bottom image shows NeutraProp proppant.