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The Problem

Proppant flowback occurs when well production carries unbonded proppant out of the fracture. This can have a negative impact on well economics. When proppant flows out of the fracture near the wellbore, fractures can pinch off near the perforations resulting in underperformance of the entire zone. Equipment damage can also result from proppant flowback that makes it to the surface. Additional costs can come from the separation and disposal of the proppant. Even if proppant does not make it to the surface, wellbore deposition can lead to cleanouts and other remediation. Equipment repair or replacement, remediation costs, and the associated downtime can have a negative impact on the economics of the well and increase cost per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE).

The Solution

Hexion’s PropShield™ proppant flowback control additive is a liquid flowback control agent that is applied directly to the blender tub on location. This economical solution can be applied to any type of proppant regardless of mesh size. It also provides a logistical benefit since it arrives on location and is added to the frac fluid the same as any other liquid additive.

The PropShield additive is compatible with most commonly used frac fluid additives. Pre-job laboratory tests are conducted to confirm compatibility with friction reducers, biocides, scale inhibitors, gelling agents, crosslinkers, breakers, and corrosion inhibitors. Field trials have been successfully conducted with slickwater, linear gel, and crosslink gel fluid systems.

The PropShield additive continues to be used successfully in the Permian Basin, Midcontinent, and Canada.

Case Study

An operator in the Permian Basin trialed the PropShield additive and compared the trial well to a direct offset well on the same pad. The trial occurred in the Wolfcamp Formation in Reeves County, Texas. The PropShield additive well and the offset were both slickwater job designs.

When compared to the offset well, the PropShield additive provided:

  • 50% less proppant returned during drillout
  • 80% less proppant flowback once the well was put on production

The operator in the Permian Basin stated:

“We set up a two-well trial pad in the Permian Basin. During the stimulation, there were no signs of increased friction while pumping the PropShield additive down the pipe and into the formation.

The well in which the PropShield additive was utilized produced half the sand that the offset well produced. The flowback phase yielded positive results as well. The PropShield additive well averaged 0.5 to 3 gallons/hour of sand recovered, while the offset well averaged 6 to 8 gallons/hour of sand recovered.

In conclusion, we were very pleased with the results and will continue to evaluate the PropShield additive in various areas at varying concentrations across our acreage.”

For more information on our PropShield additive, please visit our website at or contact us at

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