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Method and Apparatus for Measuring Cohesion between Proppant Grains Coated with Surface Modification Agent

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239276D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-24
Document File: 9 page(s) / 679K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention disclosed herein provides a method and device that can directly determine the cohesion between the proppant grains that have been coated with a surface modification agent. Formation damage as a result of fines migration is a major reason for productivity decline. The migration of fines caused by fluid flow in the reservoir can cause pore plugging and permeability reduction. Much effort has been invested to remediate the damage of formation caused by fines migration. Gravel-pack completions are typically designed to control formation-sand production. However, fines do often begin to migrate into the pack resulting in permeability damage. Surface modification agents (SMAs) were developed to agglomerate proppant to reduce proppant flow back, prevent fines invasion and migration, and improve fracture conductivity. Different laboratory testing methods have been developed to test for the effectiveness of different SMAs. This paper introduces a new laboratory testing method that can accurately and reliably measure the tackiness or degree of SMA coating on proppant surface. The testing apparatus and method can be easily used in field application as a Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) testing method to determine the effectiveness of the treatment of SMA on proppant.

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Method and Apparatus for Measuring Cohesion between Proppant Grains Coated with Surface Modification Agent

Abstract

  The invention disclosed herein provides a method and device that can directly determine the cohesion between the proppant grains that have been coated with a surface modification agent. Formation damage as a result of fines migration is a major reason for productivity decline. The migration of fines caused by fluid flow in the reservoir can cause pore plugging and permeability reduction. Much effort has been invested to remediate the damage of formation caused by fines migration. Gravel-pack completions are typically designed to control formation-sand production. However, fines do often begin to migrate into the pack resulting in permeability damage. Surface modification agents (SMAs) were developed to agglomerate proppant to reduce proppant flow back, prevent fines invasion and migration, and improve fracture conductivity. Different laboratory testing methods have been developed to test for the effectiveness of different SMAs. This paper introduces a new laboratory testing method that can accurately and reliably measure the tackiness or degree of SMA coating on proppant surface. The testing apparatus and method can be easily used in field application as a Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) testing method to determine the effectiveness of the treatment of SMA on proppant.

Introduction

Surface Modification Agents. Surface modification agents (SMAs) were developed more than fifteen years ago to agglomerate proppant to reduce proppant flowback, prevent fines invasion and migration, and improve fracture conductivity. Surface modification agents are water- and oil-insoluble, resinous materials that provide cohesion between proppant grains and do not harden or cure under reservoir conditions. The tackiness of SMA-coated proppant has been used to immobilize the movement of formation fines from invading into proppant packs to maintain the propped-fracture conductivity and thus well productivity.

  An additional advantage of SMA-coated proppant is its enhancement of conductivity by aiding the cleanup of fracturing gel in the proppant pack. SMAs help prevent the proppant surface from being coated with fracturing gel, which enhances the breaker's effectiveness by reduce gel viscosity and enhances fracture cleanup after the fracture stimulation. In addition to rendering mineral surfaces tacky so that coated particles tend to stick together, the coating changes the mineral surface from a normally hydrophilic and water-wet condition to a hydrophobic condition. Recent observations have demonstrated that hydrophobic coatings on proppant can extend their useful life by inhibiting diagenetic pressure-solution and compaction reactions (Weaver et al. 2008; Nguyen et al. 2008).

  The SMA is coated onto the proppant on-the-fly during the fracturing treatment, preferably throughout all the proppant stages. It can be coated using a dry-...