Nitrogen foam stimulation treatments using Ultra Light Weight Proppant (ULWP) have been successfully pumped in new gas wells located in the historic Big Sandy Field of Eastern Kentucky. The Devonian Shale play in the Big Sandy Field may be classified as extremely low pressure and low permeability. Straight nitrogen gas stimulation treatments are used in the extreme low pressure areas. Foam fracs, some rather large by Appalachian Basin standards, have been pumped frequently in the higher pressure areas of Pike County.

Ultra light weight proppant is a manufactured proppant consists of a chemically hardened walnut hull core with multiple layers of epoxy resin coating as the outer shell. ULWP has been used on more than 100 wells in the Appalachian Basin. In March of 2004 one large gas well operator decided to experiment with ULWP and replace the standard 2,000 sack – 2,500 sack 20/40 mesh sand foam frac with a similarly sized job using only about one-tenth of the mass of ULWP. Based on well treating pressures, post-frac clean-up and AOF, and short term production data, more jobs were pumped in the same field.

This paper will detail the engineering behind the decision to select ULWP, the foam frac design, and look at post-frac production of both wells using ULWP and its offsets. Finally, the value of using ULWP will be evaluated by considering the production history and costs involved.

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