Increasing demands on traditional supplies of frac sand have caused shortages of product in some areas. Alternate supplies of frac sand are available. The biggest concern with using these "non API" frac sands is possible negative impact on the well productivity.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has developed recommended practices for quality control testing of frac sand as well as other types of proppant. Looking at the results of the testing can provide indications about possible damage to the sand pack caused by frac sand of poorer quality than what was used in the past.

The concept of dimensionless conductivity and its relationship to well productivity is helpful in understanding the damage mechanism of resulting from poor quality frac sand. Hydraulic fracture and production simulators can predict the dimensionless conductivity and translate into well productivity.

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