The math and physics behind the SmallBall™ technology

LEDUC, Alberta – SloPump Completions Ltd. has been a rising star in the world of fracture completed gas and oil wells here in Alberta.  As the service industry broadens into micro seismic and deeper fracture analysis, technology to take advantage of new discoveries grows by leaps and bounds.  SloPump has brought a new technology to the table, and despite some growing pains, SmallBall™ stimulation is set to explode all over the map.

The concept behind SmallBall™ completions as a propant material in a conventional frac is the size and density of the SmallBalls™.  Fully dependent on fracture propagation and connectivity volume, SmallBalls™ can be selected in a variety of sizes and weights of polymer.  Lighter, larger balls can be used for fractures that remain open without much stimulation, while smaller, denser, harder balls can be chosen for tighter, constrictive fracture sets that need to be stimulated frequently to open up and let the balls in.

Shirley Heekan, P.Geo.

SmallBalls™ goes a step beyond sand or coffee grinds as a propant material.  Fully selectable and tailored for each project, it is the ultimate answer to a question so many have asked.  Doers size matter?  And, yes, it sure does.

What’s more, in the very, very tight nanodarcy perm reservoirs, we have developed a proprietary BallBang™ process that helps get the balls in those cracks nice and deep. – Shirley Heekan, SloPump Completions PR Manager

While it is a go-forward step in completions advancement, SmallBalls™ have not been without developed without a glitch or two.  Initial SmallBalls™ had a problem with swelling in tight fractures, plugging off any available production and resulting in back pressured reservoirs.  This ended badly in two experimental wells, with resultant backflow and offset communication.  This problem has been solved however, by determining a more suitable, proprietary compound from which SmallBalls™ can be formed.

Edward Bumpsworth, P.Eng.

We looked at the interior atomic and chemical structure of SmallBalls™ and determined they could be re-developed and improved.  A harder compound with lower slip-yield coefficients, and a glazing surficular coating to aid injectivity have all led to new, superior SmallBall™ product.- Edward Bumpsworth, Chemical Engineer with SloPump

SloPump has deployed SmallBalls™ technology with the BallBang™ process in 4 programs with several operators in the WCSB, as well as one project overseas with British Oil.  The programs are aimed at true development and fine tuning of SmallBalls™.  As more and more projects around the globe turn to fracture stimulation as a means to get oil and gas out of the ground, 2P News has little doubt that BallBanging™ SmallBalls™ into tight fractures will soon be the method of choice for fracking throughout the global oil and gas industry.


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