How does Propel SSP proppant transport technology work?

This is a proprietary coating that is attached to a proppant substrate. When Propel SSP technology is added to water, the coating hydrates and effectively reduces the substrate’s specific gravity, creating near-neutral buoyancy in the frac fluid. The shear stable coating remains attached to the substrate during blending and delivery into the fracture.

Once the breaker is introduced, the coating is completely separated from the proppant substrate. The substrate remains in the fracture just as would any proppant without Propel SSP technology, delivering the desired proppant mesh and substrate to optimize well performance.

How can I participate in a field trial?

Please contact Fairmount Santrol at

What proppant substrate is currently available?

Northern White sand.

Where is Propel SSP available?

Currently, Propel SSP is available in South Texas. Supply chain and logistic capabilities will scale up with demand.

Why does Fairmount Santrol claim Propel SSP is game-changing?

The technology increases hydraulic fracturing efficiency by extending the fracture length with better proppant delivery and distribution using a simplified fluid with significantly fewer additives.

Does Propel SSP alter conductivity?

Testing shows Propel SSP does not alter the conductivity of the uncoated substrate.

Does Propel SSP alter crush?

Testing shows Propel SSP does not increase or decrease the crush strength of the uncoated substrate.

Does Propel SSP have an effect on fines?

Testing shows Propel SSP does not increase or decrease the fines of the uncoated substrate.

What would sieve analysis look like after API sand is coated with Propel SSP technology?

After breaking the polymer, the sand will be the same as raw sand without the Propel SSP polymer.

Is Propel SSP recommended for slickwater fracs?

Stim-Lab testing suggests by increasing the loading rate of Propel SSP in water, proppant transport will become more like a crosslinked gel yet still a low-viscosity fluid.

Does Propel SSP use less water?

Propel SSP reduces fluid sweeps commonly used in slickwater fracs. Proppant remains in suspension providing viscous transport.

What if the frac job has to be stopped and restarted?

Propel SSP can be resuspended with minimum additional force versus a typical frac job.

Does Propel SSP reduce the likelihood of a screenout?

Propel SSP reduces the potential for a screenout in slickwater jobs.

Does Propel SSP reduce flowback?

Propel SSP does not reduce flowback, which is substrate dependent.

What is the maximum downhole temperature?

Our initial studies indicate Propel SSP is stable up to 380°F and can be pumped in fluid systems with temperatures as low as 35°F.

What is the maximum depth?

This will be determined in field trials.

Will high humidity or rain cause Propel SSP technology to swell?

Efforts to keep Propel SSP coated proppant shielded from direct exposure to rain will yield desired material handling characteristics.

Are additional safety measures required?

Because Propel SSP can cause the ground and equipment to become slippery, we recommend safety awareness during the frac job.

Does Propel SSP react to changing temperature?

Propel SSP is stable during temperature cycling as long as the material remains in a sealed storage area. Outside temperature changes do not affect the technology.

Is a breaker required? If so, what type?

Yes. A conventional breaker, such as ammonium persulfate, is effective. We will work with customers to determine the breaker type and concentration.

What considerations need to be taken when selecting a breaker?

Breaking a fluid system with Propel SSP is dependent upon downhole temperature, time, and proppant loading.

Will Propel SSP perform under acidic conditions (i.e., because of acid pumped near the wellbore)?

There are no adverse effects from acidic conditions.

Is Propel SSP similar to a friction reducer?

Propel SSP acts like a friction reducer, in addition to suspending the proppant.

Does proppant loading affect fluid viscosity?

Viscosity does increase slightly, but the resulting fluid is still considered relatively thin for achieving viscous proppant transport.

How does the viscosity of Propel SSP compare with a crosslinked gel?

Fluid viscosity at a 1-3 PPG loading rate is 5-35 cPs. This is substantially less compared with a crosslinked gel (450-1,000 cPs).

Glossary of Terms


The base material of a proppant on which Propel SSP is coated

Effective Specific Gravity

Specific gravity for a hydrated proppant coated with Propel SSP

Expansion Ratio

Measured volumetric increase of proppant hydrated with Propel SSP

Settled Bed Height (SBH)

Measured height of hydrated proppant vs. a raw substrate

Settled Bed Volume (SBV)

Measured volume of hydrated proppant vs. a raw substrate

Supernatant Viscosity

Viscosity of the free fluid after ample time for proppant settling

Slurry Viscosity

Viscosity of the frac fluid with proppant

Propel SSP Loading (PPG)

Rate, measured in pounds per gallon, at which Propel SSP treated proppant is added to water

Hydration Time

Time for Propel SSP or gelled fluid systems to fully swell or hydrate when blended with frac water


The shear stable, hydrated coating that is attached to a proppant substrate

Breaker Loading (pptg)

Pounds of breaker added per thousand gallons of water

Break Time

Time to remove Propel SSP from the substrate and reduce its viscosity to <4 centipoise

Water Conductivity (μS)

Electrical conductivity of water used to evaluate water quality

Water Hardness (ppm)

Measured amount of minerals in the frac fluid used to evaluate water quality

Proppant Transport

The measured concentration of proppant in free flow vs. the actual proppant loading

Viscous Transport

Achieved when the density of proppant in free flow equals actual proppant loading

Traction Carpet

Method of slowly transporting proppant with a high velocity fluid over a settled bed of proppant