Designing for economic fracture conductivity requires optimization of the effective propped fracture width.
Proppant embedment occurs if the strength of the proppant is higher than the formation and the in situ stress conditions push the proppant into the formation.
Proppant embedment study involves monitoring the hydraulic conductivity of a fracture under simulated depletion as the confining or axial stress increases to understand how the deformation or embedment of the proppant reduces the effective propped width of the fracture.
The study could be conducted by varying the proppants or the fracturing fluid to understand their effect on effective propped width. The embedment study can also be utilized to optimize proppant size.