Coating proppant with a surface modification agent (SMA) provides cohesion between grains resulting in the formation of proppant aggregates. This paper presents the development of a new SMA that is aqueous-based and includes results obtained from a laboratory study. The new, aqueous-based SMA material (ASMA) provides significant improvements in health and safety, ease of operation for the treatment of proppant and formation surfaces to control proppant and fines production, and moderation of diagenetic reactions that reduce proppant strength and permeability. Potentially volatile, combustible solvents used in the delivery of conventional SMA are not required with this new agent. This results in reduced flammability and volatile organic compounds and is easy to cleanup with water, eliminating the need for harsh solvents.
ASMA can be directly substituted for SMA in all normal applications and laboratory results indicate similar performance. A unique property of ASMA is that the rate of release of the active SMA ingredient can be controlled. This permits applications where it can be added directly to aqueous frac fluid during a treatment to treat proppant rapidly, or to the prepad to treat the formation face as it is created in a delayed fashion. It can be injected into an existing proppant-packed fracture to treat proppant and formation faces in a remedial type treatment, particularly following an acid stimulation to remove fines damage.