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New Techniques and Quality Control Find Success in Enhancing Productivity and Minimizing Proppant Flowback (SPE 20708)


Ely et al. reported the elimination of formation sand production through the use of high proppant concentrations, larger proppant volumes, and forced closure techniques. Several field studies are presented which document the reduction and/or elimination of proppant and formation fines production in 90% of the wells tested.  Sustained production increases were achieved with the increased conductivity and larger volume fractures.


Hydraulic fracturing has yielded successful stimulation results in hydrocarbon producing reservoirs for over 40 years. In certain reservoirs, however, hydraulic fracturing does not always achieve the desired results. In some cases, due to excess production of proppant or excess water production, the fracture treatment can cause operating problems. A paper published by Robinson et al discussed the merits of flowing back a well on a small choke to minimize the closure stress on the proppant. In that paper, a recommendation was made to monitor the tubing pressures after the fracture treatment, and if closure times appear to be excessive, then one should initiate a low rate flowback of the fracture fluid to assist fracture closure.

Author(s): J.W Ely, S.A Holditch and Assocs. Inc.; W.T. Arnold III, Phillips Petroleum Co.; S.A. Holditch, Texas A and M U.

Paper Number: SPE 20708

URL: https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/SPE-20708-MS


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