For an operator to predict well production after a fracturing treatment it is necessary to estimate the conductivity of the propped fracture. The validity of these predictions rests on the accuracy of the fracture conductivity estimates. This emphasizes the need to perform laboratory conductivity measurements which effectively simulate reservoir conditions.

Major advances have recently been made in laboratory attempts to measure realistic fracture conductivity values for proppants at reservoir conditions. However, even the most realistic laboratory simulations have used 2% KC1 brines as the flowing medium instead of a gas or hydrocarbon fluid. In an attempt to better simulate fracture conditions in a gas well, the work presented here includes these nine important test parameters: (1) reservoir temperature, (2) extended test time, (3) core wafers, (4) gel residue in the proppant pack, (5) gel filter cakes from dynamic fluid loss tests, (6) frac fluid clean-up period, (7) wet gas as flowing medium, (8) varying closure stresses, (9) non-darcy flow effects.

Using these procedures, with a linear flow conductivity cell, tests have been performed with three different gel systems. These results will be compared to recent work using brine water as the flowing medium, and to other works using gas flow for proppant conductivity measurements.

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