Microproppants Deliver Macro Returns
Better transport with no mixing
Individual Deeprop® 1000 particles settle much slower than 100 mesh (see Table 3), which means that the material is transported much deeper into a fracture simply due to better proppant transport. A physical slot flow test conducted by FracTech Laboratories (www.fractech.com) in the UK helped ease operator concerns about mixing Deeprop® 1000 into larger mesh proppant packs during placement. The Deeprop® 1000 immediately separated from the 30/50 sand to form a fluidized bed ahead of the sand. The two materials did not mix and there was little, if any, settling of the Deeprop® 1000.
Table 3 – Stoke’s Law settling velocity for various proppants.
Reducing Frac Hits
Reservoir engineers from several operators have shared a common observation regarding Deeprop® 1000’s impact on surface treating pressure and its relationship with frac hits. The surface pressure initially drops when Deeprop® 1000 hits the formation, likely due to near wellbore rock abrasion. Pressure then increases due to bridging and diversion of the treatment fluids into several new clusters and finally drops as the new clusters open and accept fluid.
This diversion created by Deeprop® 1000 allows for better cluster efficiency and reduces the frequency of frac hits. For an operator, this translates to greater production compared to the offset wells, as the Deeprop® laden fluid is distributed more efficiently into clusters that are not normally treated by conventional frac fluid treatments. Better frac fluid distribution to expose more of the shale formation also minimizes the volume of treatment fluid entering the first few clusters. This reduces both the fracture length being generated from these clusters and the likelihood that they will hit the drainage area of an offset well.