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Joint Industry Project

PEA74: Non-Darcy Impact Assessment Study

Proppant Performance Assessment in Oil, Gas and Multiphase Wells for Realistic Fracture Design

The Problem:

The effective fracture conductivity of propped fractures is significantly reduced by Non-Darcy or inertial effects. It is not only in high rate gas wells where these effects are important

For Example:
A 40mmscuft/day well under typical conditions can be expected to lose more than 90% of the proppant conductivity to inertial effects; even a 1mmscuft/day well may lose 30-40%.

A 5000bopd well will typically lose 50% of the brine conductivity. Water cut will only further reduce the effective flow capacity of the fracture.

Ignoring these effects will lead to a significant over-estimate of the fracture performance with the following consequences:

Production from many wells will be fracture-constrained

The ultimate potential of the well will not be achieved

FracTech has developed NDIA, the Non-Darcy Impact Analysis software for determining proppant performance in oil and gas wells. Although a rudimentary package at present, it has excellent scope for development into an essential desktop aid for fracture design engineers as

The development will be made:

Collation of industry available data into a cross-referenced data-base as a source of proppant information (emphasising non-Darcy flow)

Provision of specialist information from FracTech run conductivity tests where required

Refinement of the software tool.


Phase 1 covers a matrix of 30 tests including the following key parameters:

Medium Intensity 200°F tests
High Intensity 300°F tests
Gas, gas-brine, oil, oil-gas flows
2lbs/ft² and 4lb/ft² loadings
Resin-coated sand and ceramic, uncoated sand, ceramic, ISP and bauxite.
Variable flowing pressures to enable interpolation to different BHFP's.


9 months (Q2 2000 to Q4 2000)


The membership fee is available on application (for Phase 1)

Current Membership

The project is supported by proppant companies, resin manufacturers, service companies and oil companies globally