The emergence of "accepted" proppant conductivity testing methods has led to much discussion about what is needed to regain high conductivity levels, and several marketing campaigns have been based on these findings. The industry has generally accepted the principle that delivering high conductivity levels in the fracture is key to achieving high production levels. This paper does not refute this point, but modifies it.

This paper presents theory, laboratory data, and case histories indicating that high initial conductivity levels can only gain high initial levels of potential or actual production. For sustained, high production levels, the proppant pack's integrity must be maintained. With time, most proppant packs are damaged by fines migration, gel clogging, and geochemical precipitation. These processes can be abated with various additives and techniques. This paper discusses these techniques in detail and shows case histories in which the techniques proved costeffective in sustaining higher levels of production than those found in comparable wells.

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