Ultra-High Strength Proppant Developed for Deep, Offshore Completions
As the industry has moved to the development of deeper reservoirs, drilling and completion equipment have undergone significant upgrades to allow for the successful exploitation of these higher pressure, higher temperature applications. Similarly, no conventional proppant can provide the required conductivity at the 20,000 psi closure stresses (and higher) anticipated in the formations such as those found in the Lower Tertiary of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. With the development of these reservoirs, whether in the GOM or other offshore applications, there now exists a gap in downhole proppant performance and technology. This paper will document and present the results of years of research prompted by deepwater GOM operators, resulting in a new proppant that has been developed specifically to meet these challenges. The step change advancements achieved by this new proppant will be presented, including technology improvements in both raw materials and manufacturing process. It will present unique proppant properties regarding shape, sizing and strength, never before seen in conventional proppants.
The end result is a proppant which exhibits twice the baseline conductivity of any conventional proppant at these high stresses, and provides additional advantages with increased duration and longevity. Extensive laboratory testing has been completed to demonstrate the superior performance in harsh conditions, and will be presented. The paper will also review the primary applications for this product, including examples of increased production rates, superior EUR, lower erosivity and reduced equipment wear. Field applications are beginning and will be included as possible. This paper should be beneficial to all engineers and technologists currently working in the deep, high stress offshore environments of the GOM’s Lower Tertiary or comparable applications.
Author(s): Brett Wilson, Robert Duenckel, Terry Palisch, CARBO