Shale gas proppants play an important role in the oil and gas industry. Proppant is a grit material with uniform particles that mix with fracturing fluid and hold fractures open during the fracing process. Read more about the types of proppants available and Pontotoc’s innovative truck loading process in today’s blog.
Silica frac sand is the preferred material for stimulated well production in the oil and gas industry. Silica withstands significant forces while remaining chemically inert because it’s made of high-quality silica quartz.
Ceramic proppants are popular because they offer superior strength under the high pressures of deep formations and can withstand higher pressure than silica sand. Although they’re more expensive, ceramic proppants are available in a wider selection of grain sizes and boast a higher conductivity than natural frac sand. Ceramic proppants are made in the following process:
Raw materials are crushed into powder and mixed with additives to develop specialized formulations that maximize performance.
The mixed powder is pelletized to create a round, uniform product. Sizing is a critical component in performance, and mesh sizes range from 8 to 140.
Pellets are dried in industrial dryers to reduce the moisture content of the material.
Pellets are sintered in a kiln for curing. The high temperatures cause the chemical reactions and crystalline changes that give ceramic proppants their crush-resistant strength.
The pellets are removed from the kiln and sent to a rotary cooler, where they remain until they’re ready for transport.
Resin-coated proppants have been a mainstay in fracing for decades because of their ability to form a pack within fractures. Fracturing fluid and resin-coated proppants complement each other for optimized well completion. There are two main types of resin-coated materials:
Curable resin chemically reacts to other fracturing fluids, which allows the resin to bind together and prevents materials from flowing back into the wellbore.
Pre-cured resin is fully cured before being injected into the fracture, making it highly resistant to crushing and interaction with other chemicals in the well.
Want to learn more about our innovative proppant loading process? Contact Pontotoc today to learn how our method can increase the efficiency of your facility.
Proppant sand is never ready after it’s mined; that’s why our sand undergoes strict testing before shipping. Our quality assurance process includes:
Sieve testing determines how much sand falls within frac sand size standards. This is the first evaluation we perform, and at least 90% of the sand must fall within marketed mesh sizes to be accepted.
Each sand grain needs to be round and uniform for frac sand to have the necessary strength. We carefully assess our sand before delivery to make sure it meets our standards.
We run millions of particles through our computerized analysis to determine the size and shape of the sample. This allows us to evaluate the quality of our products through a non-biased assessment.
Our acid tests indicate how much of a non-silica pollutant is in a sample. Contaminant levels greater than 3% are not considered within standards.
The turbidity tests used by Pontotoc show how dirty the frac sand is and if it needs to go through additional cleaning processes.
The sand is crushed at specific stress levels and sent back through the sieve analysis to determine the percentage of fines produced.
Pontotoc understands how important load time is in the oil and gas industry, which is why we’ve developed an innovative loading process that takes less than seven minutes. Our automated process makes ordering, hauling, and tracking easier, and it’s safer because your driver never has to leave their truck.
Our sand goes through a detailed cleaning process that grades and removes debris, meaning the sand is ready for immediate use once it arrives at your facility. Contact Pontotoc today to learn more about our high-quality shale gas proppant.