We spotted an interesting article appearing in the American Oil & Gas Reporter about results from using tiny ceramic beads as a proppant in oil and gas wells in several shale plays. Typically sand is used as a proppant to “prop open” tiny fractures to allow oil and gas to escape from shale rock. Sometimes ceramic beads are used. The article is based on a paper delivered at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Hydraulic Fracturing Technical Conference & Exhibition, held Feb. 4-6 in The Woodlands, Texas. Of particular interest to us are the findings for the Utica and Marcellus. The “micropropped” Utica wells showed a marked increase in oil production, while no such increase in production happened in micropropped Marcellus wells.