Executive Summary

The purpose of the project is to measure the performance of the Light-weight Proppant (LWP) technology, an innovative new fracturing technique for tight oil and shale gas wells. The project scope is to evaluate the LWP technology and to provide a better understanding of the production and environmental benefits and value of this application to producers in western Canada.

During the past 3 years, 4 field tests were conducted with different LWP completion programs with oil and gas producers. This development work has resulted in learnings about specifics LWP behaviors and characteristics that are now ready to be fully implemented.

The LWP are polymeric beads that replaces sand as the proppant in hydraulic fracturing completions. The polymeric beads have a lower density than sand, approaching that of water. Thus they are carried deeper into the fractured formation and are able to prop longer fracture lengths, resulting in increased production from the same well and lower environmental intensity.

The outcome will be a completion technology for tight/shale oil and gas that will have a lower environmental intensity in respect of water use, GHG emissions and social impacts such as truck traffic.

The LWP technology can be deployed to generate the same production from a well but with less water, chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions. It can also be deployed to result in higher production from a well, given similar use of water and chemicals, which lead to lower environmental intensity factors.