Major factors influencing proppant behaviour and proppant-associated damage mechanisms during hydraulic fracturing

Y. Tang, P. G. Ranjith, M. S.A. Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The ultra-low permeability of shale reservoirs necessitates engineering applications such as hydraulic fracturing to enable the extraction of economically viable amounts of gas. In this process, a high-pressure fluid is injected into the reservoir to create a network of fractures. Proppants are solid, spherical, high-strength particles with size range between 8 and 140 mesh (105 μm–2.38 mm), which are injected into the reservoir simultaneously with fracturing fluid to prompt the opening of the fractures created, and they play a major role in the hydraulic fracturing process. As a result, appropriate management of proppants in shale reservoirs based on precise identification of their behaviour in shale reservoirs is necessary, because unexpected proppant performance or behaviour, commonly known as proppant damage mechanisms, can greatly reduce fracture conductivity. Therefore, it is essential to determine the major factors affecting proppant behaviour in order to maintain constant fracture conductivity. Numerous factors have been found in previous studies, and they can be summarized into three major groups: proppant properties, reservoir properties and hydraulic fracturing production, which affect proppant damage mechanisms. In the present paper, case studies have been provided on the determination of potential factors influencing proppant behaviour, followed by a discussion of their effects on fracture conductivity. The aim of this study is to present current opinions on potential factors influencing proppant behaviour based on a comprehensive literature review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-780
Number of pages24
JournalActa Geotechnica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Influencing factors
  • Proppant damage
  • Proppant properties
  • Reservoir properties

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