Hydraulic fracturing has become a critical component in the successful development of unconventional reservoirs; it is well known that constructing an economic well in this type of formation is very challenging. In the last 15 years, exploration and development of unconventional reservoirs (tight gas) has been initiated. Over the past 5 years, the main target in Argentina has been located in the Vaca Muerta shale, which is one of the main source rocks in Argentina. Such a development challenge requires one to develop a fast learning curve to more quickly achieve economic wells. This type of completion and stimulation involves vast amounts of water, proppant, chemicals, and special equipment, coupled with continuous improvements in operations, quality, cost, time, and safety. Various alternatives in proppant management were explored and introduced. This paper describes several aspects related to stimulation of different tight formations and shales in Argentina, including proppant selection, supply chain, logistics, new storage systems, and laboratory studies performed on local white sand. The focus will be on these key aspects:

  • Stimulation: information about proppant type, amount, and size for hydraulic fracturing performed in several tight and shale formations in Argentina with more details of the Vaca Muerta formation.

  • Logistics and supply chain: improvements introduced from transportation, storage, and handling of proppant, including the evolution process over the last few years, from centralized storage sites to the wellsite.

  • Laboratory: several samples of white sand procured from different parts of Argentina were evaluated to be used in hydraulic fracturing. API and ISO standards were used for qualifying tests including specific gravity (SG), bulk density, acid solubility, turbidity, sphericity, roundness, sieve analysis, and crush strength.

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