Proppants play an important role in hydraulic fracturing by keeping the fractures open and permeable for reservoir fluid to flow through to the wellbore. Proppants are solid materials, which are pumped in the well along with fracturing fluids that facilitate uniform distribution and placement of the proppants in the open fracture. This forms a mesh-like structure with pores forming flow paths that conduct flow of fluid from the reservoir to the well. With increasing need to optimize hydraulic fracking operations, operators are forced to ensure that the choice of proppant is a best-fit solution to withstand reservoir conditions, enhance conductivity, and improve overall well performance.
Traditional proppants have faced various concerns with regard to high proppant density, inaccurate placement, and consolidation to form a stable proppant pack capable of maintaining the flow conductivity at all operating reservoir conditions. In this issue of the Oil and Gas TOE, we profile advances in proppant technology that have enabled operators to realize significant productivity improvement and cost reduction.
The Oil and Gas TechVision Opportunity Engine (TOE) provides intelligence on innovations pertaining to technologies, products, and processes, along with strategic insights, in the upstream and downstream processes in the oil and gas industry.
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Keywords: Proppant, traceable proppant, scale inhibitor, ceramic proppant, resin-coated proppant, nanocomposite proppant, hydraulic fracking