In 1997, a surface modification agent was introduced into the global stimulation market. The agent was designed to enhance and sustain fracture conductivity by making the proppant surface tacky. Several conductivity-enhancing mechanisms were suggested. Two important mechanisms resulting from increased surface tackiness are 1) increased proppant pack porosity resulting in increased pack permeability and 2) increased proppant pack stability that prevents encroachment of formation fines into the pack and migration of fines within the proppant pack. In terms of extended conductivity maintenance, the fines control aspect has proved to be the most valuable property developed from the product.

This paper presents a brief discussion on the theory of applying a tacky surface on proppants to mitigate conductivity loss from fines migration in the propped fracture. The paper then offers direct comparison case histories, which contain long-term production data that illustrate the benefits from lower operating expenses and increased production over the use of previous completion methods. Case histories are discussed in reservoirs that are known for fines migration, such as coal-bed methane (CBM) and high permeability-unconsolidated sandstones. The histories also include zones not widely known for fines migration problems, where the authors feel that this condition does exist.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.