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Single Well Injection Withdrawl Tracer Tests for Proppant Detection

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (800 KB)

Technology Marketing SummaryA large question preventing optimal natural gas production from "hydrofracked" shales is how far proppants, injected to keep shale fractures open, move into the gas-bearing shales.  Knowing precisely where injected proppants go in the subsurface is the first step to optimizng the space of hydrofrack jobs. DescriptionSandia National Laboratories researchers propose that subsurface proppant distribution can be imaged using single-well tracer techniques.  By analyzing the lag time in appearance between interacting and inert tracers in hydrofrack flowback waters appearing at the wellhead, the extent of proppant movement can be estimated.  The approach requires no new drilling and involves no hazardous chemicals. Benefits
  • Increased gas production
  • Better reservoir management
Applications and Industries
  • Oil and Gas production
  • Geothermal Energy
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
US Patent Pending on SD# 11938Proposed - Sandia estimates the technology readiness level (TRL) at 2. Concept and application have been formulated. Available09/28/201103/12/2013

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To: Technology Inquiries<ip@sandia.gov>