Process of making resin coating proppant, How does it improve conductivity and permeability? Which one is better Curable or Pre Cured Resin coated proppant? Which one has major market?
I’m not really familiar with the proppant manufacturing process, but you might take a look at the websites for Santrol (www.santrolproppants.com) and Momentive (http://ww2.momentive.com/Industry/oilfield_technology.aspx?id=256). These are the largest proppant manufacturing companies.
It would not be correct to say that one proppant is better than another; rather, one proppant may be better than another for a specific application. There are three basic categories of proppants: sand, resin coated sand (including cured and curable), and ceramic. Within each category there are a multitude of products and sizes. As you progress from sand to resin to ceramic, the strength of the proppant increases (and the price drastically increases as well).
In a shallow well, there the stress exerted on a proppant (after a frac) is relatively low because the overburden (all of the rock above the proppant) is relatively little. In a case like this, it would be best to use a sand, which has a high conductivity in a low stress environment (generally higher than a resin or ceramic proppant) and is very inexpensive. As a well gets deeper and the confining stress on the proppant increases, it is no longer possible to use sand because the sand will actually crush and lose all of its conductivity. As the confining stress increases you will need an increasingly stronger proppant, which is more expensive.
The conductivity of a resin or ceramic proppant at high confining stresses is much lower than that of sand at low confining stress, which is unfortunate, but just the nature of the beast.
On the subject of pre-cured versus curable resin coated proppant, each one has a particular purpose. The pre-cured resin is used in the main frac stages with the purpose of creating conductivity in the fracture. The curable resin is used at the very end of the frac. The curable resin is pumped with a chemical called an activator which caused the resin to become soft and bond with the adjacent grains of proppant. After the resin bonds, it becomes hard. This serves the purpose of preventing (or minimizing) proppant flowback. As fluids flow into the wellbore, they often carry with them proppant from the frac. This is a problem because it reduces the conductivity of the frac and can plug off perforations in the casing. Proppant flowback can also damage pumps, surface flowlines (through erosion), and surface separation equipment.
Ultimately, the proppant selection process should depend on economics. The engineer must determine how to optimize the economic return of a well based upon the price of proppant and its corresponding conductivey.
One can earn a Ph.D. in the subject of proppant selection.
Hello Jason, Thank you so much for your detailed info and time. By chance, do you know anybody who can help to finalise process of making resin coated Proppant? I am thinking to set up plant in India and selling market in north america and Middle east.
Thanks again for your all support.