Fairmount Santrol has concluded a six-well field trial using its proprietary Propel SSP proppant transport technology. Initial 90-day oil production increased 39% compared with offset wells.
In the Three Forks and Middle Bakken formations of North Dakota’s Williston basin, Enerplus Corp. compared six Propel SSP wells with five offset wells that were completed using Northern White sand in a traditional crosslinked gel fluid system. The field test comparison specified the same proppant volume per lateral foot. The production increase can be attributed to an increase in the propped surface area, the area of the hydrocarbon-rich rock that is fractured and held open by proppant.
In addition to the oil production increase, Propel SSP simplified hydraulic fracturing operations by reducing fluid additive consumption by 77% and pumping time by 14%. The technology can be pumped at high loading rates in a low-viscosity fluid that increases hydraulic fracturing efficiency.
The operator achieved further cost efficiency because Propel SSP does not require fluid heating at temperature at or above 35˚F. This attribute differs from traditional crosslinked gel fluids that must be heated to 60˚F to 70˚F to hydrate. The operator achieved a savings of $0.90/bbl of water with the reduced water-heating requirement. Water-heating and chemical cost reductions accounted for more than 10% of the completions cost of offset wells that used a crosslinked gel.
Propel SSP proppant transport technology lowers cost per BOE through improved well productivity and reduced hydraulic fracturing cost based on field trials. The technology’s hydrogel polymer wrapped around a proppant rapidly swells and suspends the proppant by just adding to fresh water. With proppant uniformly distributed throughout the fracture, especially at a high loading rate of 6 pounds per gallon (ppg), frac stages are completed faster with less fluid.