Fall 2008
Extreme Resin Technology Proppants
for HPHT Wells

As more high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) wells are drilled, the use of ceramic fracturing proppants has become commonplace. Uncoated ceramics encounter serious performance issues when exposed to these harsh well conditions. These deficiencies include lower fracture flow capacity due to proppant fines generation and migration, abrasive proppant flowback (causing possible equipment damage and well shut-in), and a reduction in proppant pack strength from cyclic stress changes that occur during the life of the well.

Conventional resin coated ceramics were designed to address these issues; however, they fail to perform under elevated pressure, temperature, and extended pump times.

Fracture Flow Capacity
A variety of variables influence fracture flow capacity, which directly relates to well production. Among these factors are proppant conductivity, cyclic loading, flowback control, fines migration, and embedment. XRT (eXtreme Resin Technology) Ceramax™ provides optimized performance relative to each of these factors, creating the highest fracture flow capacity in the industry.


Proppant Flowback Control
Proppant flowback is a serious issue that needs to be avoided when producing wells. The proppants that flow back at a high rate of speed in a “sand blasting” effect can seriously damage equipment. This leads to costly downtime and equipment replacement. XRT Ceramax’s superior resin technology eliminates proppant flowback, allowing you to flow the well back more aggressively than the other curable proppants in the industry. The flexibility of the resin system allows the pack to maintain its integrity even after multiple well shut-ins, which put cyclic stress on the proppant pack.

Cyclic Stress
Wells undergo varying degrees of stress that change in a repetitive fashion during their lifetimes. These cyclic stress factors have the most significant impact on fracture flow capacity. As the number of cycles increase, the proppant permeability and fracture width decrease over time.

Cyclic stress can break a conventional pack, compromising the integrity of the structure and reducing conductivity. XRT Ceramax remains flexible in HPHT environments and the proppant pack has the ability to re-heal, eliminating flowback and fines generation.


Temperature Stability
Whether the proppant is at downhole conditions or sitting in storage, temperature stability is an important factor. The resin coating of typical proppants begins to cure at elevated temperatures. A decrease in the amount of curability equals a decrease in bond strength. XRT Ceramax was designed to retain its curability at elevated temperatures and will not bond unless subjected to both high temperature and closure stress. These proppants retain greater than 95% of their initial bond strength after sitting in storage conditions of 140°F (60°C) for 28 days.


Increase Cash Flow with Resin Coated Ceramic Proppants
During a well’s lifetime, resin coated ceramic proppants can provide increased cash flow compared to uncoated ceramics. This is accomplished in two ways: first, the higher fracture flow capacity from resin coated ceramics yields increased post-treatment production; second, using these proppants with their excellent proppant flowback control (even under extreme HPHT conditions) allows operators to flow wells more aggressively. This benefit eliminates concern of proppant flowback (especially abrasive ceramics) and the resulting loss of wellbore conductivity or damage to surface equipment.

Case History: Operator Eliminates Flowback
A South Texas operator experienced severe proppant flowback and disappointing production results after pumping both conventional resin coated proppants and “on-the-fly” liquid resin systems. These problems made it necessary for the operator to keep flowback equipment onsite to reduce damage to surface production equipment. It also led to costly wellbore cleanouts with coiled tubing. Switching to XRT ceramics eliminated proppant flowback and provided increased production results from these HPHT wells.

Case History: Faster Load Recover/Quicker Sales
A north Louisiana fracturing company decided to use XRT Ceramax for their well. After the stimulation job, the personnel responsible for flowback noticed that they could flow the well much faster without having any proppant flowback issues. This ultimately led to a 10% reduction in load recovery time, leading to quicker online gas sales. Since then, the operator has requested XRT Ceramax E on all similar frac treatments in this field and is now getting improved frac cleanup and quicker ROI from the frac treatments. Hexion designed its newly revised and patented XRT Ceramax product line to perform under the harshest high-stress, high-temperature well conditions. Since its introduction in 2003, XRT Ceramax has been successfully utilized in thousands of wells worldwide.

Benefits of XRT Ceramax:

  • Highest Fracture Flow Capacity in the Industry
  • Proppant Flowback Control even Under Extreme Conditions Utilizing Stress Bond™ (SB) Technology
  • Superior Cyclic Stress Resistance
  • Temperature Stability for Both Extended Pumping and Storage Times
  • Increases Near Wellbore Conductivity over Uncoated Ceramics


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