This paper discusses research on how proppant selection affects fracturing treatment results in shale formations that produce high water volumes. Fracturing treatments, formation characteristics, proppant types, and post fracture treatment production results are examined in detail. A production case study that focuses on the impact of proppant selection in wells completed in formations that produce hydrocarbons with a high water cut will also be presented.

This paper analyzes laboratory tests that were performed to measure the water and oil flow rates of various commonly used proppants. A case study on how Decreased Water Flow Proppant (DWFP) performed in the Granite Wash in the Texas panhandle is also highlighted. Post fracture treatment production results are compared to traditional proppants used in direct offset wells.

Laboratory testing showed DWFP had much lower water flow and higher oil flow through the proppant pack compared to traditional proppants. The results of the laboratory tests will be used to explain and support the production case study. The field case study proves that DWFP reduced formation water production, while increasing hydrocarbon production compared to traditional proppants used in offset wells. This innovative proppant appears to decrease the relative permeability to water in the proppant pack, resulting in lower water production and higher hydrocarbon production compared to conventional proppants.

This paper introduces the first proppant specifically designed for fracturing treatments in high water cut reservoirs. A new laboratory test method of measuring water flow rate through a proppant pack was specifically developed for this type of proppant. The proppant’s wettability is introduced as a new proppant selection factor for fracturing treatments in high water cut reservoirs.

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