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Proppant Selection

In Unconventional
Reservoirs
Terry Palisch
Director of Petroleum Engineering
November 8, 2012

Terry Palisch

Director of Petroleum Engineering

Outline
• Introduction
– Proppants

• Proppant Selection Drivers
– Importance of Conductivity

• Field Examples
– Unconventional Reservoirs

• Summary

Two primary papers are the basis for this talk….
=> SPE 106301 & 160206

“Cracking the Code” in UCRs
• The Challenge of Tight / Unconventional Reservoirs
 Extremely low permeability formations

• Key technologies driving UCR development
 Drilling and Completion advancements in HZ wells
HZ Operations - Perfs, plugs, completion designs
 Multistage hydraulic fracturing

Do we understand our fractures as well as we
understand our completions?

packers. . pressure service/rating.Why is this Important? Sales Meter Wellbore Frac Hydrocarbons • Wellbore Specifications – Wellhead.e. etc – Specify grade. fluid service. proppant type and size. tubing. etc. testing requirements. casing. etc • Fracture Stimulation – What are you specifying for your proppant? • i.

The Proppant Conductivity Pyramid Highest Production. Manufactured Product Medium strength Irregular size and shape Low strength Irregular size and shape Tier 2 .Low Conductivity Sand Naturally Occurring Product 99% of all proppants used today fit somewhere in this pyramid . IRR Highest Conductivity High strength (minimizes crush) Uniform size and shape (maximizes frac porosity and permeability) Thermal resistant (durable. minimizes degradation) Tier 1 .Medium Conductivity Resin Coated Sand Tier 3 . EUR.High Conductivity Ceramic Engineered.

175 CARBOTag CARBONRT ScaleProp Oxball. Prime Plus XRTGold Lightweight Ceramic Int. some historical Other LiteProp 105. Density Ceramic CARBOProp CARBOLite ISP. Some names are registered trademarks. Brady Colorado Silica Arizona White/Brown “River” sand AcFrac CR. Black. PR. CARBOBond. InterProp ECONOProp SinterLite HYDROProp VersaProp ValueProp BoroProp NapLite MGLight ForeProp Bauxlite CARBOBond Ceramax E MagnaProp Dynaprop CARBOBond Ceramax V High Density Ceramic CARBOHSP Sintered Bauxite SinterBall UltraProp Ceramax P HyperProp . 125. Jordan Badger Hickory. Oxfrac With Resins: PR = pre-cured CR = curable LC = low cost DC = dual coat Sand Ottawa. Tempered/Super TF OptiProp.Proppant Selection…can seem difficult List not complete. PowerProp Super HS.

Proppant Selection Drivers in Shale Plays • Availability .

Availability Challenges • “Bring us what you have” – Since 2004. and is currently estimated at 60-70 billion lbs per year – Demand has outstripped the pace of expansion in all Tiers • Ceramic Plants. Resin Coating Plants. global proppant utilization has increased 15-fold. 101821. Sand Mines – Driven proppant costs up • Proppant Quality Can Suffer When Demand is High – SPE 84304. 119242 .

Shape Sieve Distribution Influx of “River” Sand Resin Coated Sand Substrate Quality Resin/Coating Technology - High Quality LWC Low Quality River Sand Ceramics Tight/Broad Sieve Raw Material Quality Process Controls Shape/Strength Supply Chain QA Low Quality IDC .Quality Control & Assurance - - Uncoated Sand Strength.

Availability Challenges • Challenges to Logistics / Distribution – Larger volumes per well / pad drilling – Tremendous rig counts in a basin (200+) • It is estimated that the Eagle Ford alone is using 10-15 billion lbs proppant annually .

Proppant Selection Drivers in Shale Plays • Availability • Fluid system .

50 4.50 3. Various proppant types and sizes necessary to tailor to each individual application (SPE 115766) Lightweight/ RCS/Sand 30 High Strength 20/40 Proppant 25 Intermediate Strength 30/50 Proppant 40/70 Proppant 20 2.00 ASG.00 1.Fluid System Impacts • Fluid Selection Slickwater systems => 40/70 (& 100 Mesh) Crosslinked (Hybrid) Fluids => 30/50. etc.25 10 40/70 LWC/RCS/Sand 5 0 0.50 1.00 3.0 Settling Rate – – – – 15 1. cost.00 0. rock fabric.50 2. 20/40 and larger Conductivity needs. g/cc 2.00 .

Proppant Selection Drivers in Shale Plays • Availability • Fluid system • Conductivity requirements .

Fracture Conductivity cf = kf * wf wf kf How wide is the road and how good is the pavement? .

How much Conductivity do I need? cf = kf * wf kform wf kf xf FCD = kf * wf kform * xf Dimensionless Fracture Conductivity (FCD) is a measure of the contrast between the flow capacity of the fracture and the formation .

” However.so I don’t need much conductivity”  “Proppant A is ‘good enough’ at ___ conditions…….Common Misperceptions FCD = kf * wf kform * xf Misunderstanding the need for conductivity  “My reservoir has very low permeability…. the big issue is whether the Fracture Conductivity is correctly estimated at realistic (downhole) conditions. .

How is Conductivity Measured? ISO 13503-5 Conductivity Test • Ohio Sandstone • 2 lb/ft2 Proppant Loading Ports for Measuring Differential Pressure Temperature Port • Stress maintained for 50 hours • 150 or 250° F • Extremely low water (2% KCl) velocity (2 ml/min) Proppant Bed Sandstone Cores Reference: API RP 19C Flow Through Proppant Bed .

Pro’s & Con’s of Conductivity Testing Accounts for: • Proppant Size • Proppant Strength & Crush “Profile” • “Wet” system • Some temperature effects • Some embedment Does NOT Account for: • Non-Darcy Flow • Multiphase Flow • Reduced Proppant Concentration • Gel Damage • Fines Migration/Cyclic Stress • Others Reference: ISO 13503-5 .

Fines Migration / Cyclic Stress 6. Gel Damage 5. Multiphase Flow 3.Problem To obtain a realistic proppant conductivity for design. Non-Darcy Flow 2. the API/ISO test results must be reduced to account for: 1. Other SPE 106301 . Reduced Proppant Concentration 4.

ND Flow Through a Proppant Pack ISOTest .2 ml/min 100 bopd with 50% Sg Or 120 MSCFD at 1500 psi BHFP  P/L =  v / k +   v2 Inertia Dominated .

occupying porosity that is now unavailable for gas flow • Phase interaction: The fast-moving gas “wastes” energy accelerating the droplets of liquid. only to be re-accelerated. But the liquid often stops at each pore throat. Very inefficient flow regime! .Multiphase Flow • Relative permeability: Proppant saturated with liquid is less conducive to flowing gas • Saturation changes: Liquid will tend to accumulate in the frac.

Inc.Other Conductivity Reductions • Lower Proppant Concentrations – Typically <1 lb/ft2 – Exacerbates ND/MP flow effects • Gel Damage Sand – Residual. the proppant pack rearranges and loses conductivity • Durability – Fracture conductivity degrades over time Courtesy Stim-Lab. Proppant Consortium . Tip Plugging • Fines Migration – Fines of different proppant types – Each proppant type handles fines differently • Cyclic Stress RCS Ceramic – Each time the bottom hole flowing pressure changes. Filter Cake.

2 blpd References: PredictK & SPE 106301 120 .0001 D-m 685 1000 547 85 225 25 167 7 0 Lab Conditions High Velocity Multiple Fluids Conditions: Less Proppant Gel Damage Fines/Cyclic Stress YM=5e6 psi. 50 ft H. 500 mcfd. the Tier 1 proppant is 4x the Tier 3.029 D-m 98% 3000 2000 reduction 1540 99% reduction 1410 0. 1000 psi bhfp. 1 lb/ft2. 250°F.. but jumps to over 15x at realistic conditions Effective Conductivity (md-ft) 5000 4310 4000 0.Conductivity at Realistic Conditions Jordan Sand 6000 Lightweight Ceramic 5720 At baseline conditions. 6000 psi.

1 lb/ft2. 1000 psi bhfp. 6000 psi. 500 mcfd. Conditions: YM=5e6 psi..Impact of Realistic Conditions 140 6000 Jordan Sand Lightweight Ceramic Lightweight Ceramic 120 4000 4x 3000 2000 Effective Conductivity (md-ft) Conductivity (md-ft) 5000 Jordan Sand 100 80 15x 60 40 1000 20 0 0 Realistic Conditions Lab Conditions At baseline conditions the Tier 1 proppant performs 4x the Tier 3. 2 blpd . the Tier 1 proppant performs 15x the Tier 3. References: PredictK & SPE 106301 At realistic conditions. 250°F. 50 ft H.

etc Conductivity Correction from 150 deg F.8 0.6 0.Additional Conductivity Considerations in UCRs • Elevated Temperatures – Sand-based proppants lose conductivity at >200 F – Ceramic proppants unaffected by temperature – Eagle Ford. Haynesville. factor 20/40 Premium White Sand 1 0.4 150 deg F 200 degF 0.2 250 deg F 300 deg F 350 deg F 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 .

Haynesville.Additional Conductivity Considerations in UCRs • Elevated Temperatures – Impact on natural proppants at >200 F – Eagle Ford. etc • Soft Formations – Increased proppant embedment – Many shale plays • Flow Convergence – Transverse fracs in horizontal wells Tremendous pressure drop! => Higher conductivity imperative .

 Increasing conductivity typically increases the investment  It is a Cost – Benefit decision .The Reality So in reality…  The conductivity of our fractures is much lower than we think  Most hydraulic fractures are “conductivity limited”  Modeling and field testing confirms that increasing the fracture conductivity will increase production/EUR.  SPE 77675 & 134330 But….

Proppant Selection Drivers in Shale Plays • Availability • Fluid system • Conductivity requirements in these formations • Cost vs Benefit – Economic Conductivity™ .

Manufactured Product Medium strength Irregular size and shape Low strength Irregular size and shape Tier 2 .Low Conductivity Sand Naturally Occurring Product Higher Conductivity = higher production = higher investment Proppant Selection is a Cost-Benefit decision . IRR Highest Conductivity High strength (minimizes crush) Uniform size and shape (maximizes frac porosity and permeability) Thermal resistant (durable.High Conductivity Ceramic Engineered. minimizes degradation) Tier 1 . EUR.The Proppant Conductivity Pyramid Highest Production.Medium Conductivity Resin Coated Sand Tier 3 .

ECONOMIC CONDUCTIVITY PROCESS Predict the fracture Conductivity at Realistic Conditions  Some sophisticated Frac Models will do this Run sensitivities to determine optimal Conductivity  Provides the highest return on investment Validate with field results  Ensure field results support the modeling .

as well as offset operators .Proppant Selection Field Example #1 Eagle Ford Shale  Webb County operator  Evaluated Tier 1 vs Tier 3 proppants  Compared to internal wells.

mD-ft 600 0 40/80 Tier 1 40/70 Tier 2 40/70 Tier 3 SPE 155779 . mD-ft Baseline Conductivity.Conductivity at Eagle Ford Conditions 60 Baseline Conductivity Baseline Conductivity Realistic Conductivity 500 50 400 40 300 30 200 20 100 10 0 Realistic Conductivity.

Eagle Ford Production Match/Modeling +50% +100% SPE 138425 .

ECONOMIC CONDUCTIVITY™ .Eagle Ford Shale Primarily Tier 3 Primarily Tier 1 6 Month Cumulative BOE SPE 155799 Tier 1 Proppant Tier 3 Proppant .

$1.5 MM (payout in 9 months) SPE 155799 .Production Impact of Conductivity Well Completions Between Sand and Ceramic Proppant Normalized to Number of Stages Tier 1 Proppant Tier 3 Proppant Incremental Value .

Proppant Selection Field Example #2 Haynesville Shale  Desoto/Caddo ParishAllby one(atoperator Wells least 6 months production) Proppant  55 Wells – 20 utilized Tier 1 proppant. 35 utilizedOther Tier 2 Premium Proppant  All drilled/completed similarly in similar time frame All Wells (at least 6 months production) 5 miles Other Proppant Premium Proppant .

4 $1.000 $3.5 0.000 3.3 0.5 Years 0.2 Tier Tier 11 0.1 Tier Tier 22 0 0 1.8 million incremental PV per well after 2.000 Cumulative Gas (MCF) 4.Actual Production after 2.000.50/mcf .000.000 2.9 Cumulative Frequency 0.5 BCF per well avg) in ~2.6 0.8 0.000.7 Incremental 30% production (0.5 years Cumulative Gas Production at Month 32 1 0. for a $250k investment 0.000.5 years.

000 0 0 SPE 160206 24 48 72 96 120 Months 144 168 192 216 240 .000 2.500.Decline Curve Analysis Projection Avg.500.Tier Premium 2 Wells Avg.500. Cumulative Gas Production 4.000.000 2.5 BCF) Cum Gas (MCF) 3.Premium Tier 1 Wells Tier 2 Wells Cum Gas .000 (~0.000 +35% (~1 BCF) in 20 Years 1.000.000 Cum Gas . Hyper Decline .Other 1 Wells Avg.000.000 500. Hyper Decline .000 3.Tier Other 1.000.

Proppant Selection Field Example #3 Bakken Shale  Mountrail County operator  Evaluated Tier 1 vs Tier 3 proppants Map of Trial Wells and Groupings  10 well internal field trial early in development program 3 Offset (Sand) Wells Ceramic Wells 4 7 5 1 2 6 SPE 160206 3 miles .

BOE (bbl) Tier Tier 3 Offset Wells 3 Wells 120000 100000 80000 60000 40000 20000 0 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 .Bakken Trial – Conductivity Impact 22 Month Cumulative Production per Well Average 160000 1 WellsWells Tier Tier 1 LW Ceramic 140000 Cum Production at 22 months.

has yielded a $1.Bakken Trial – Conductivity Impact Average Cumulative Production 90000 Cumulative BOE per well (bbl) 10 well avg A $300k investment in conductivity.5 million increase in value per well! 80000 70000 +34% Payout in ~3 months 60000 13 well avg 50000 40000 30000 20000 Wells Wells Tier Tier 1 LW1Ceramic 10000 3 Wells Tier Tier 3 Offset Sand Wells 0 0 5 10 Months Produced 15 20 .

Depth. Oil / Multiple Fluids (similar to EF) • Granite Wash – Transverse Fractures. Depth.CONDUCTIVITY Considerations in Various Plays • Marcellus – Transverse Fractures. Realistic Conductivity • Utica – Transverse Fractures. Oil / Multiple Fluids • Most wells should see benefits to conductivity – The only question is how much. and is it economic… . Depth. High Gas Rate & Realistic Conductivity • Niobrara – Transverse Fractures.

the more you make. – It is the critical (only) link between the reservoir and the wellbore • Proppant is the conductivity pathway. – One must estimate the conductivity of the fracture at realistic conditions • Proppant Selection is a Cost vs Benefit decision – You must determine the economic benefit of increasing the conductivity via frac modeling and field validation . – The more you have. – It must be designed specifically to the deliverability of a given well • Hydraulic fractures are Conductivity Limited…period.Key Take Away Messaging • The HF process provides two things – reservoir contact and conductive pathway. stress. mean particle diameter or what the last engineer did. • Proppant Selection cannot be made based on depth.

Summary  Availability (& cost) impacting proppant selection  Demand outstripping supply of quality proppant  Fluid selection and Conductivity should drive proppant selection  Best completion practices require a realistic estimate of conductivity  There is tremendous value at stake .