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Abstract

The Antrim shale in the Michigan Basin has been a horizon of much interest to operators in recent years. However, sand flow back into tubing and casing sometimes impedes well production by plugging artificial lift pumps used to unload water from the Antrim plugging artificial lift pumps used to unload water from the Antrim formation. This paper explores a way to control sand flowback in a well during production by placing epoxy-coated sand in the fracture. A stream of catalyzed liquid epoxy resin is added to the blending tub containing surfactant, fracturing sand, and fracturing gel to achieve the processes.

Introduction

In Antrim shale, a conventional completion and production technique involves fracture stimulating the Antrim and then producing Antrim shale gas and water naturally through tubing producing Antrim shale gas and water naturally through tubing placed in the well before or after stimulation. placed in the well before or after stimulation. Some operators have used artificial lifting techniques to produce water in Antrim wells. Sometimes artificially lifting produce water in Antrim wells. Sometimes artificially lifting water from the Antrim formation can enhance gas production if sand does not flow back into the wellbore during lifting. (For example, if a well being produced at 50 mcf/d under 300 psi (700 ft water) hydrostatic backpressure has the deliverability to produce gas from natural fractures and desorption processes, the production at 15 psi will be near 1000 mcf/d.) Producing at the lowest production at 15 psi will be near 1000 mcf/d.) Producing at the lowest possible pressure enhances desorption production. possible pressure enhances desorption production. If sand does flow back into tubing and casing, it may plug the pumps used to lift the water from the formation and cause serious pumps used to lift the water from the formation and cause serious problems. Sand flowback during production can be controlled by problems. Sand flowback during production can be controlled by placing a high-strength epoxy consolidated sand pack in the placing a high-strength epoxy consolidated sand pack in the formation. Liquid epoxy resin is added to the gel stream to coat proppant without disturbing the in-progress fracturing treatment proppant without disturbing the in-progress fracturing treatment The resin attaches itself to the sand grains and hardens to form a highly-permeable, consolidated fracture bed. This consolidate fracture bad helps minimize sand flowback into a wellbore during flowback and production.

This paper presents techniques for using resin-coated sand to help prevent proppant flowback and describes the results in case histories.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This section describes some of the general characteristics of Devonian shale, particularly the Antrim shale, and reviews briefly the history of production from the Antrim formation.

Devonian Shale Characteristics

The Devonian shale in the eastern United States includes the Chattanooga shale in Alabama and northern Kentucky; the New Albany shale in Indiana, northwestern Kentucky, and Illinois; the Ohio shale in Ohio; the Antrim shale in Michigan; and the Kettle Point shale of southern Ontario, Canada (Figure 1). These shales Point shale of southern Ontario, Canada (Figure 1). These shales consist of thick, interbedded, light gray-green silty shales, and black organic-rich shales. Typical Devonian shale characteristics are listed in Table 1.

Production is characterized by two flow regimes. Initial production is controlled by depletion of natural fractures; later production is controlled by depletion of natural fractures; later production is controlled by desorption and diffusion out of the production is controlled by desorption and diffusion out of the matrix. Thus the dual flow regime typically has initial flush production followed by low-rate, long-life production. production followed by low-rate, long-life production. The Antrim shale of Michigan is correlated with the Chattanooga shale of Alabama and northern Kentucky; the New Albany shale of Indiana, northwestern Kentucky, and its stratigraphic equivalent in Illinois; the Ohio shale is described as a dark gray shale in the lower part.

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