Resin coated proppants (RCP's) have been used to prevent proppant flowback for several years in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. Proppant flowback problems, however, still exist with the commercially available RCP's and several operators report failures around the world under a variety of well conditions. To date, a clear explanation of the RCP failure mechanisms and the conditions under which failure occurs has not been presented in the industry.

A correlation between the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of RCP materials and the proppant flowback potential has been previously presented by Vreeburg, et al11 . This paper will present the results of a study on a variety of factors which effect the proppant flowback of a number of commercially available RCP materials. These factors include 1) the effect of fluid pH (7 to 12) and fluid type (KCL, seawater and a HPG/Borate fracturing fluid), 2) the effect of fluid/proppant slurry shear, 3) the effect of closure pressure during RCP curing, 4) the effect of stress cycling and 5) the effect of downhole flow conditions on proppant flowback.

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