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1. (WO2010071994) PROPPANT ADDITION SYSTEM AND RELATED METHODS
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THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS

1 An apparatus for fracturing a formation penetrated by a well, the apparatus comprising a frac pressure pump connected to the well, a frac fluid source connected to supply a stream of frac fluid to the frac pressure pump, a proppant supply source having a proppant receiver, a positive displacement pump, and at least an inlet into the proppant supply source, the at least an inlet being connected to one or more liquid hydrocarbon sources to supply liquid hydrocarbons to proppant in the proppant supply source, the positive displacement pump being connected to pump proppant into the stream of frac fluid before the frac pressure pump

2 The apparatus of claim 1 in which the stream of frac fluid comprises liquefied petroleum gas

3 The apparatus of claim 1 - 2 in which the proppant supply source is at atmospheric pressure

4 The apparatus of claim 1 - 3 in which the positive displacement pump is a progressive cavity pump

5 The apparatus of any one of claim 1 - 4 in which the proppant receiver has an auger for supplying at least proppant to the positive displacement pump

6 The apparatus of any one of claim 1 - 5 further comprising a pressure seal between the proppant receiver and the positive displacement pump 7 The apparatus of claim 6 in which a first inlet of the at least an inlet is connected into the proppant supply source before the pressure seal

8 The apparatus of claim 7 in which a liquid hydrocarbon source connected to supply the first inlet comprises hydrocarbons having six or more carbons

9 The apparatus of any one of claim 6 - 8 in which a second inlet of the at least an inlet is connected into the proppant supply source after the pressure seal

10 The apparatus of claim 9 in which a liquid hydrocarbon source connected to supply the second inlet comprises liquefied petroleum gas

11 The apparatus of claim 1 - 10 in which the one or more liquid hydrocarbon sources comprise hydrocarbons having between eight and ten carbons

12 The apparatus of claim 1 - 11 in which the one or more liquid hydrocarbon sources comprise hydrocarbons having a vapor pressure of less than 200 mm Hg

13 A method comprising supplying proppant and liquid hydrocarbons into a proppant supply source to create a mixture of proppant and liquid hydrocarbons, pumping the mixture of proppant and liquid hydrocarbons from the proppant supply source into a stream of frac fluid using a positive displacement pump, and supplying the stream of frac fluid containing the mixture of proppant and liquid hydrocarbons to a frac pressure pump connected to a well

14 The method of claim 13 in which the proppant supply source has an auger for supplying at least proppant from a proppant receiver of the proppant supply source to the positive displacement pump 15 The method of claim 14 in which the stream of frac fluid comprises liquefied petroleum gas

16 The method of any one of claim 13 - 15 in which the proppant supply source is at atmospheric pressure

17 The method of any one of claim 13 - 16 in which the positive displacement pump is a progressive cavity pump

18 The method of any one of claim 13 - 17 in which the liquid hydrocarbons comprise hydrocarbons having between eight and ten carbons

19 An apparatus for fracturing a formation penetrated by a well, the apparatus comprising a frac pressure pump connected to the well, a frac fluid source connected to supply a stream of frac fluid to the frac pressure pump, fluid lines connecting the frac pressure pump, the well, and the frac fluid source, the fluid lines having isolation valves spaced so that the volume of fluid containable between any set of neighboring isolation valves is less than 8900 L

20 The apparatus of claim 19, in which the isolation valves are spaced so that each of the frac pressure pump, the well, and the frac fluid source may be independently isolated from one another

21 The apparatus of any one of claim 19 - 20 further comprising vents spaced in between each set of neighboring isolation valves

22 The apparatus of claim 21 in which the vents are connected to vent fluid to a flare 23 The apparatus of any one of claim 19 - 22 in which the frac fluid source comprises liquefied petroleum gas

24 The apparatus of any one of claim 19 - 23 in which the volume of fluid containable between any set of neighboring isolation valves is less than 1000 L

25 The apparatus of claim 24 in which the volume of fluid containable between any set of neighboring isolation valves is less than 500 L

26 An apparatus for fracturing a formation penetrated by a well, the apparatus comprising a frac pressure pump connected to the well, a frac fluid source connected to supply a stream of frac fluid comprising liquefied petroleum gas to the frac pressure pump, a pump connected to the stream of frac fluid for retaining the liquefied petroleum gas in the liquid state and for ensuring that the stream of frac fluid is provided to the the frac pressure pump at or above a required input pressure, and a proppant supply source connected to supply proppant into the stream of frac fluid before the pump

27 The apparatus of claim 26 in which the proppant supply source comprises a proppant receiver, a positive displacement pump, and at least an inlet into the proppant supply source, the at least an inlet being connected to one or more liquid hydrocarbon sources to supply liquid hydrocarbons to proppant in the proppant supply source, the positive displacement pump being connected to pump proppant into the stream of frac fluid before the pump

28 The apparatus of any one of claim 26-27 further comprising a source of fluid connected to the stream of frac fluid, the fluid having a lower flash point than liquefied petroleum gas 29 The apparatus of claim 28 in which the fluid comprises one or more of inert gas, C 02, methanol, and water

30 The apparatus of any one of claim 26 - 29 in which a gelling agent is added at the pump

31 The apparatus of any one of claim 26 - 30 in which the pump is a centrifugal pump

32 A method comprising supplying proppant from a proppant supply source into a stream of frac fluid, supplying the stream of frac fluid containing proppant through a pump to retain the liquefied petroleum gas in the liquid state and to provide the stream of frac fluid containing proppant at or above a required input pressure of the frac pressure pump, and supplying the stream of frac fluid containing the proppant from the pump to a frac pressure pump connected to a well

33 The method of claim 32 further comprising adding a gelling agent at the pump

34 The method of any one of claim 32 - 33 in which no breaker is added to the stream of frac fluid

35 The method of any one of claim 32 - 34 further comprising purging system components with fluid having a lower flash point than liquefied petroleum gas

36 The method of claim 35 in which the fluid comprises one or more of inert gas, CO2, methanol, and water

37 The method of any one of claim 32 - 36 further comprising supplying gas to the stream of frac fluid upstream or downstream of the pump 38 An apparatus for fracturing a formation penetrated by a well, the apparatus comprising a frac fluid source connected to supply a stream of frac fluid to a well, and a proppant supply source connected to pump proppant through a linear valve control into the stream of frac fluid

39 The apparatus of claim 38 in which the linear flow valve control comprises a globe valve

40 The apparatus of any one of claim 38 - 39 in which the proppant supply source comprises a centrifugal pump before the linear valve control