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Traceable proppant provides fracture height to improve performance in low-permeability reservoir

19 Feb 2015

Well Data

  • Location: Putumayo basin, Colombia, South America, Juanambù field
  • Well Type: Oil
  • Proppant: CARBONRT 16/20 non-radioactive traceable proppant
  • Well Conditions: 8,890-9,020 ft TVD, 2-stage vertical well, 44 ft and 156 ft gross sand, 3,250 psi and 3,350 psi reservoir pressure, 11% and 13% porosity, 50 mD and 350 mD absolute permeability
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Pilot study uses neutron log detection to identify chemical marker in formation


Fractures designed to bypass skin created from migrating formation fines were breaking into water-bearing zones, reducing well production. The operator needed a better understanding of fracture height growth to maximize formation productivity.


A CARBONRT pilot study was conducted in the field as part of an ongoing geomechanics study that included core samples, dipole sonic logs, image logs and electrical logs.

A 16/20 lightweight ceramic proppant was selected for the treatment and tagged during the manufacturing process using a non-radioactive tracer. The non-radioactive, high thermal neutron capture compound (HTNCC) can be included in any CARBO proppant without altering proppant performance. The fracture treatment was pumped, and fracture height was measured using neutron log detection of the proppant in the reservoir.


Fracture height measurements acquired with the tagged proppant were compared to simulator measurements to achieve a better understanding of fracture geometry. This understanding was useful in explaining production behavior after stimulation and provided a valuable tool for stimulation design optimization.

As a result of the pilot study, modifications to the stimulation criteria have been applied in future fracture treatment designs.

Map of Putumayo basin

Map of Putumayo basin located in the southwestern
region of Colombia, S.A.

CARBONRT revealed stage 2 fracture had good height control with fifty feet of fracture height growth

CARBONRT revealed stage 2 fracture had good height control
with fifty feet of fracture height growth.

Author(s): Eduardo Velez



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