Innovating Against the Grain
Today, one of the toughest challenges in completing wells, whether oil or natural gas, is recovering the sand proppant and other particles from the flowback.
In this article, Adam Calvin, Production Testing and Fluids Manager, analyses sand recovery challenges and conventional methods.
Hard particulates cause costly damage to flowback equipment and downstream production facilities, which inevitably leads to production halts to make repairs or swap out components, not to mention the environmental impact of unplanned fluid releases. Further compounding the challenge of sand recovery is the ever-decreasing size of particles in the sand now widely used in frac operations; small-er particles are harder to separate from the flowstream but are nonetheless just as damaging to downstream equipment — in many cases smaller particles can be more invasive and destructive.