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Investigating the potential of using conductive or permeable proppant particles for hydraulic fracture characterization



Delineation of the stimulated region of a reservoir due to a hydraulic fracture completion is a key component for analyzing the success of the fracture treatment. The proppant used to keep the fracture pathways open provides a medium through which the physical properties of the fractured volume can be artificially altered. If this alteration is significant, the opportunity for a geophysical analysis of this problem is introduced. We investigate the potential of adding magnetic and electrically conductive particles to the proppant to provide an electromagnetic geophysical target. We use numerical simulations of the response of a simple model to investigate which physical properties of the fractured volume might lead to detectable signal. Magnetic particles have high potential since they respond at low frequencies. This signal can be enhanced by the inductive response due to conductive particles.