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Saint-Gobain Proppants and Texas A&M Energy Institute collaborate on investigation of proppants for hydraulic fracturing

Researchers from Texas A&M University’s Energy Institute and Saint-Gobain Proppants have begun a collaborative effort to better understand the behavior of proppants in hydraulic fracturing operations. The collaboration will initially involve research into the “down hole” performance of proppants in fractured wells.

The collaboration will consist of two research projects:

  • An exploration of geochemical interactions between formation fluids and minerals with fracturing fluid and proppants to better understand how different materials are affected by bore and fracture ambient conditions. The work, led by Hisham Nasr-El-Din, professor in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M, is expected to lead to better understanding of how to improve proppant stability and performance.

  • The application of enhanced well-logging signals and borehole imaging techniques to capture time-lapse degradation of proppants after they are placed in the fracture to track the proppant changes in situ and over time. This work is led by Zoya Heidari and John Killough, professors in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M. The outcome of the project will be a new method to quantify changes to sedimentary rock due to the presence of propping agents in the borehole.

The research is a unique collaboration between petroleum and materials experts from both teams and provides the hydraulic fracturing industry with greater understanding of proppant behavior.

—Tim Stephens, director of research and development for Saint-Gobain Proppants

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