Proppant Quality: New Critical Proppant Selection Factor

When comparing proppants, what you see may not always be what you get. First, the published data from proppant suppliers may not always be based on the industry recognized Stim-Lab, Inc. Proppant Consortium Baseline Procedure. Second, what is delivered on location may not be representative of the supplier's published data.

To ensure consistent on-site quality, field sample comparisons are often made. Load-out retain samples submitted by the frac service company are evaluated at Stim-Lab according to the proppant consortium approved testing method. The results should be consistent with the supplier's published data. The bottom line is: know your proppant supplier.

Proppant Comparisons

As an example, recent field sample conductivity comparisons using Stim-Lab baseline conductivity test procedures clearly did not represent published data. Notice in the first chart that Momentive's Prime Plus™ proppant data is basically identical, while the lightweight ceramic field sample conductivity is 24% lower than published.

On the second chart, the Prime Plus proppant data is compared to a competitive precured resin coated sand (RCS). The precured RCS field sample conductivity data proved to be 52% lower than their published data.

 

Stim-Lab Consortium Baseline Procedure 2 lbm/ft2 [9.8 kg/m2], 250°F [121°C]

Six Sigma Ensures High Quality Products

At Momentive, we strive to deliver the highest quality products and meet customer satisfaction through the application of Six Sigma methodology in our business processes. Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that systematically minimizes defects and establishes controls to achieve consistent reliability in our processes. Momentive has over 10 years of experience in Six Sigma practices. This results in the highest quality proppants delivered to the location.

In 2009, we received a Six Sigma award from the Worldwide Convention & Business Forums (WCBF) for “Outstanding Achievements in Continuous Improvements to Ensure Customer Satisfaction.” For more information on WCBF, click here.

Quality Throughout the Process

Six Sigma at Momentive is customer focused. We look at all of our processes from our customer's viewpoint and continually work to improve them. We provide quality assurance steps for raw materials and finished goods at different stages throughout the manufacturing and delivery process. This also includes improving technical support and customer service by streamlining products and processes. Areas utilizing Six Sigma include:

At our proppant production plants, we enforce strict quality assurance measures of raw substrate and products during the manufacturing process. The raw frac sand we receive from suppliers is a special grade that is qualified by multiple quality control steps. Incoming raw substrate, in-process, and load-out tests are routinely performed. The raw substrate testing ensures the substrate certified by our lab is obtained at the plant. In-process testing ensures that the products made are in specification. Load-out testing is then performed before the products are transferred to our transload sites.

Performance properties on manufacturing samples are routinely analyzed to ensure delivered product meets expectations. At our lab in Houston, Texas, additional in-depth testing is performed to not only measure product quality, but also provide new technology to the industry.

The Momentive Difference

Our technical group is comprised of experienced personnel including several PhDs. The Oilfield Technology Group (OTG) team also has years of fracturing experience to provide advice and best practices at the well site.

Momentive is a global leader in thermoset resins and the largest specialty resin manufacturer in North America. Our research center develops the most advanced, high quality resins. We are the only proppant supplier that manufactures our own resins. This not only allows us access to the latest resin technology for our proppants, but the ability to closely monitor quality. This is invaluable since the key differentiator for resin coated proppants (RCPs) is the resin, not the substrate.

Since Momentive is comprised of multiple divisions, our company also has the unique ability to leverage technology from different industries. This provides us with resources for specially designed resin technologies to provide performance properties in our curable resin coated proppants.

Summary

Momentive's advantages are:

The bottom line for our customers is:

To learn more about proppant quality, you can read our FracZone article in the 2010 Special Edition of Fracline. You can also contact one of our representatives to find out more about Momentive's focus on proppant quality.