CARBO Ceramics introduced its KRYPTOSPHERE ultra-conductive, ultra-high strength proppant technology last week at the 2013 SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (ATCE) in New Orleans, La. Developed in response to a request from a major operator in the Gulf of Mexico, the new proppant can deliver more than twice the baseline conductivity of bauxite-based, high-strength proppants at 20,000-psi closure stresses, the company stated during a press conference at ATCE.
“KRYPTOSPHERE will significantly improve overall fracture conductivity or space to flow, resulting in more production, increased recoverable reserves and greater returns for the operator,” Don Conkle, VP of marketing and sales, said. “CARBO’s expertise within materials science and manufacturing has enabled our team to develop this more conductive and more durable proppant technology, which is expected to be significantly less erosive to downhole tools and assets during pumping.”
Irregular shapes and sizes on some proppants can reduce conductivity and strength, but the newly launched proppant features a precision-engineered microstructure. This translates into a stronger, more spherical, more uniform and smoother proppant that creates more space in the fracture for hydrocarbon flow as well as a more uniform flow path, Mr Conkle said.
“Throughout the years, the properties of manmade proppants have improved incrementally,” CARBO CEO Gary Kolstad said. “However, KRYPTOSPHERE is the result of a significant long-term investment that delivers a technological step-change for the oil and gas industry in fractured wells.” The proppant is well suited for deepwater Lower Tertiary wells and other similar high-stress wells.