An analysis is made to determine the effectiveness of new manufactured proppants as compared to sand in a variety of moderately permeable oil reservoirs. Results of laboratory tests on permeability, conductivity, crush resistance and physical properties of sand and manufactured proppants are presented. The technical and economic aspects concerning the application of these proppants in oil well fracturing is explored. This is accomplished through the use of a reservoir simulator and a fracture design program. Oil producing formations between 4,000 feet and 10,000 feet having effective permeabilities between 0.10 md and 10 md are simulated. The simulations indicate that production and optimal hydraulic fracture design can be substantially improved in the higher permeability cases by using high performance manufactured proppants. Economic analysis indicates that the incremental present value obtained by fracturing can be increased by using a high performance proppant, even though proppant costs are increased.

The impact of conductivity damage and embedment are also studied with the simulator. It is shown that the affect of these factors on fractured well performance is reduced through the use of high performance manufactured proppants.

The combined results of the simulations indicate that some of the new proppants can be technically and economically effective in improving well productivity in a variety of oil well applications.

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