Low-density ceramic proppant increases conductivity under hot, high-stress conditions.
High temperature and high closure stress were recognized as the primary limitations to maximum short-term production and long-term proppant pack durability in the Haynesville shale formation.
Subsequent modeling concluded that under realistic downhole conditions, short- and long-term conductivity was restricted significantly in fracture treatment designs using Tier 2 (resin-coated sand, RCS) and Tier 3 (sand) proppant.
As a result, the operator chose to use Tier 1 ceramic proppant in its hydraulic fracture design program. Field validation was conducted using a set of 55 wells with 32 months of production data. Twenty of the wells contained primarily lowdensity ceramic proppant and 35 stimulated primarily with RCS proppant.
The wells utilizing the low-density ceramic proppant delivered a production increase of 0.5 Bcf per well, with average cumulative gas production of ~2.3 Bcf compared to the RCS average of ~1.8 Bcf per well after 32 months of production. The incremental per well cost of upgrading from RCS to low-density ceramic proppant was quickly offset by the nearly a 10-fold return on investment.
A hyperbolic decline curve analysis projects the ceramic proppant wells will produce nearly 1 Bcf more per well during a 20-year production life compared to the resin-coated sand wells—a 35% increase in the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR).