Fracture-Conductivity Loss Caused by Geochemical Interactions Between Man-Made Proppants and Formations
- Jim D. Weaver (Halliburton) | Richard D. Rickman (Halliburton) | Hongyu Luo (Halliburton)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- March 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 116 - 124
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.6 Natural Gas, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.4.3 Fines Migration, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.8 Formation Damage, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2.5.1 Fracture design and containment, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
- diagenesis; geochemical; conductivity damage; proppant degradation; proppant scaling
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 839 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
The selection of proppant to provide highly conductive pathways in hydraulically generated fractures is typically based on the proppant crush strength, permeability, availability, and cost. Extensive libraries of laboratory-determined conductivity values, obtained using API standardized methods at a variety of simulated well conditions, are available for most proppants. However, post-fracture-stimulation well testing indicates that these values are often one to two orders of magnitude too high. In many fields, the productivity of fractures declines rapidly, requiring frequent restimulation treatments to remain economically viable.
Proppant crushing and embedment, fracturing-fluid damage, and fines invasion are proppant-pack permeability-damage mechanisms that have been used to explain this loss of productivity. This paper reports on recent studies that have determined that alumina-based proppant materials may promote geochemical reactions that can occur at a surprisingly rapid rate, even at moderate temperatures, resulting in the loss of porosity and permeability and the creation of fines in the proppant pack.
The compatibilities of several man-made proppants, ranging from lightweight ceramics to high-strength bauxites, with a variety of formations are presented. These findings indicate that the formation mineralogy plays a heretofore unrecognized role in determining proppant suitability. Most proppants were found to lose 50-60% permeability before stabilizing, while others were shown to lose up to 90% in only a few days.
This paper describes the specialized methods that were developed to study these geochemical reactions and reports quantitative changes in permeability, proppant composition, and fluid changes. Surface analysis using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis provides dramatic visual confirmation of this damage mechanism.
Results of this study have a great potential economic significance, suggesting new, important fracture design parameters that need to be determined to enable choosing the appropriate proppant for maximized stimulation longevity.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||9|
ASTM C1239-07, StandardPractice for Reporting Uniaxial Strength Data and Estimating WeibullDistribution Parameters for Advanced Ceramics. 2007. West Conshohocken,PA: ASTM International. doi: 10.1520/C1239-07.
Brunauer, S., Emmett, P.H., and Teller, E. 1938. Adsorption of Gases inMultimolecular Layers. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 60 (2):309-319. doi:10.1021/ja01269a023.
ISO 13503-2:2006, Petroleum and natural gas industries--Completion fluidsand materials--Part 2: Measurement of properties of proppants used in hydraulicfracturing and gravel packing operations. 2006. Geneva, Switzerland:ISO.
Nguyen, P., Weaver, J., and Rickman, R. 2008. Prevention of Geochemical Scaling inHydraulically Created Fractures--Laboratory and Field Studies. Paper SPE118175 presented at the SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section JointMeeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 11-15 October. doi:10.2118/118175-MS.
Penny, G.S. 1987. An Evaluationof the Effects of Environmental Conditions and Fracturing Fluids Upon theLong-Term Conductivity of Proppants. Paper SPE 16900 presented at the SPEAnnual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 27-30 September. doi:10.2118/16900-MS.
RP 56, Recommended Practices for Testing Sand Used in HydraulicFracturing Operations. 1995. Washington, DC: API.
RP 60, Recommended Practices for Testing High-Strength Proppants Used inHydraulic Fracturing Operations. 1995. Dallas: API.
RP 61, Recommended Practices for Evaluating Short Term Proppant PackConductivity. 1989. Dallas: API.
Weaver, J., Parker, M., van Batenburg, D., and Nguyen, P. 2006. Sustaining Conductivity. PaperSPE 98236 presented at the International Symposium and Exhibition on FormationDamage Control, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, 15-17 February. doi:10.2118/98236-MS.
Weaver, J., Parker, M., van Batenburg, D., and Nguyen, P. 2007. Fracture-Related Diagenesis MayImpact Conductivity. SPE J. 12 (3): 272-281.SPE-98236-PA. doi: 10.2118/98236-PA.
Weaver, J.D., Nguyen, P.D., Parker, M.A., and van Batenburg, D. 2005. Sustaining Fracture Conductivity.Paper SPE 94666 presented at the SPE European Formation Damage Conference,Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 25-27 May. doi: 10.2118/94666-MS.
Yasuhara, H., Elsworth, D., and Polak, A. 2003. A mechanistic model forcompaction of granular aggregates moderated by pressure solution. J.Geophys. Res. 108 (B11): 2530. doi:10.1029/2003JB002536.