Santrol, a Fairmount Minerals company, announced full-scale production of self-suspending proppant technology is underway at a Texas plant. Additional manufacturing sites will be integrated into the value chain during the first half of 2014.
Santrol began field trials earlier this year after acquiring the technology in May. The continuing field trials are based in major U.S. oil and gas hydrocarbon plays. “The optimal field trial locations are the Eagle Ford formation, the Permian Basin, and the Midcontinent region because of the logistics, rig activity and proven hydrocarbon production,” said Brian Goldstein, product director, self-suspending proppant technology. “We’re also interested in working with operators in the Marcellus, Bakken or other formations.”
Self-suspending proppant technology is a proprietary polymer that is applied to a proppant substrate. Once placed into the frac fluid, the polymer swells and suspends in the fluid. The swelling decreases the proppant’s effective density, enabling suspension in the frac fluid and distribution to the fracture tip. This eliminates the piling up or duning of proppant that pinches off productive intervals.
The technology carries the proppant farther into the fracture for substantially better-propped fracture length. This is a step change in the decades-old challenge of evenly distributing proppant throughout the created hydraulic fracture. The technology, which eliminates the need for certain frac fluid additives, including guar, crosslinkers, and friction reducers, significantly increases hydraulic fracturing efficiency and hydrocarbon production.