A study of the first year production rates from 17 wells (with comparable total vertical depths, stages, lateral lengths and pumped proppant mass) has shown that wells with a combined sand-ceramic completion significantly outperform sand-only completed wells.
The typical vertical depth of wells in the Montney play lead to formation closure stresses outside the effective range of sand or low quality ceramic proppant. The result is reduced fracture conductivity, lower effective propped fracture lengths and lower well productivity.
Why sand completed wells produce less
The reservoir stress environment in the Montney shale play requires a high quality ceramic proppant that will withstand stress cycling and retain conductivity to ensure that optimum production and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) is achieved.
The reservoir stress and stress cycling in the Montney play can cause sand to crush and generate fines—dramatically decreasing short- and long-term conductivity in realistic downhole conditions. Studies have shown that sand completed wells are typically 50-60% less conductive than modeled.
The importance of ceramic proppant selection
The choice of ceramic proppant is an important decision for operators as the quality and performance of ceramic proppant varies greatly from supplier to supplier, especially in realistic downhole conditions. Studies have shown that low-quality ceramic proppant has a negative impact on production and EUR when compared to high quality, high-performance ceramic proppant.
The advantages of high performance, low-density ceramic proppant
High quality, low-density ceramic (LDC) proppant are particularly well suited to thereservoir conditions in the Montney play as they enable operators to economically achieve the optimal balance of contact and conductivity for the reservoir. CARBO has a range of LDC proppant that provides the strength, durability and conductivity required to achieve optimal production rates. The improved transport characteristics of these high quality LDC proppant results in more effective propped fracture lengths, creating more space for hydrocarbon flow.