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Sample records for hydraulic fracturing experiment

  1. Monitoring hydraulic fracture growth: Laboratory experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Groenenboom, J.; Dam, D.B. van

    2000-04-01

    The authors carry out small-scale hydraulic fracture experiments to investigate the physics of hydraulic fracturing. The laboratory experiments are combined with time-lapse ultrasonic measurements with active sources using both compressional and shear-wave transducers. For the time-lapse measurements they focus on ultrasonic measurement changes during fracture growth. As a consequence they can detect the hydraulic fracture and characterize its shape and geometry during growth. Hence, this paper deals with fracture characterization using time-lapse acoustic data. Hydraulic fracturing is used in the oil and gas industry to stimulate reservoir production.

  2. Hydraulic Fracturing Mineback Experiment in Complex Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, S. J.; McLennan, J. D.

    2012-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") for the recovery of gas and liquids from tight shale formations has gained much attention. This operation which involves horizontal well drilling and massive hydraulic fracturing has been developed over the last decade to produce fluids from extremely low permeability mudstone and siltstone rocks with high organic content. Nearly thirteen thousand wells and about one hundred and fifty thousand stages within the wells were fractured in the US in 2011. This operation has proven to be successful, causing hundreds of billions of dollars to be invested and has produced an abundance of natural gas and is making billions of barrels of hydrocarbon liquids available for the US. But, even with this commercial success, relatively little is clearly known about the complexity--or lack of complexity--of the hydraulic fracture, the extent that the newly created surface area contacts the high Reservoir Quality rock, nor the connectivity and conductivity of the hydraulic fractures created. To better understand this phenomena in order to improve efficiency, a large-scale mine-back experiment is progressing. The mine-back experiment is a full-scale hydraulic fracture carried out in a well-characterized environment, with comprehensive instrumentation deployed to measure fracture growth. A tight shale mudstone rock geologic setting is selected, near the edge of a formation where one to two thousand feet difference in elevation occurs. From the top of the formation, drilling, well logging, and hydraulic fracture pumping will occur. From the bottom of the formation a horizontal tunnel will be mined using conventional mining techniques into the rock formation towards the drilled well. Certain instrumentation will be located within this tunnel for observations during the hydraulic fracturing. After the hydraulic fracturing, the tunnel will be extended toward the well, with careful mapping of the created hydraulic fracture. Fracturing fluid will be

  3. Laboratory hydraulic fracturing experiments in intact and pre-fractured rock

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.D.; Rummel, F.; Jung, R.; Raleigh, C.B.

    1977-01-01

    Laboratory hydraulic fracturing experiments were conducted to investigate two factors which could influence the use of the hydrofrac technique for in-situ stress determinations; the possible dependence of the breakdown pressure upon the rate of borehole pressurization, and the influence of pre-existing cracks on the orientation of generated fractures. The experiments have shown that while the rate of borehole pressurization has a marked effect on breakdown pressures, the pressure at which hydraulic fractures initiate (and thus tensile strength) is independent of the rate of borehole pressurization when the effect of fluid penetration is negligible. Thus, the experiments indicate that use of breakdown pressures rather than fracture initiation pressures may lead to an erroneous estimate of tectonic stresses. A conceptual model is proposed to explain anomalously high breakdown pressures observed when fracturing with high viscosity fluids. In this model, initial fracture propagation is presumed to be stable due to large differences between the borehole pressure and that within the fracture. In samples which contained pre-existing fractures which were 'leaky' to water, we found it possible to generate hydraulic fractures oriented parallel to the direction of maximum compression if high viscosity drilling mud was used as the fracturing fluid. ?? 1977.

  4. Hydraulic fracturing-1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    This book contains papers on hydraulic fracturing. Topics covered include: An overview of recent advances in hydraulic fracturing technology; Containment of massive hydraulic fracture; and Fracturing with a high-strength proppant.

  5. Seismic studies of a massive hydraulic fracturing experiment

    SciTech Connect

    House, L.; Keppler, H.; Kaieda, H.

    1985-01-01

    During a massive hydraulic fracturing experiment carried out at Fenton Hill, New Mexico, 850 microearthquakes, ranging in magnitudes from -3 to 0, were located reliably using arrival times recorded at a set of 5 downhole geophone stations. A subset of these events were located using an upgraded hodogram technique. The seismicity defines a tabular zone with horizontal extent of 900 m, vertical extent of 800 m, and thickness of 150 m. This zone strikes N340/sup 0/E, and dips 75/sup 0/ to the east; its position indicates that no hydraulic connection between the two predrilled wells could be achieved by the fracturing. The distribution of locations obtained from arrival times shows good agreement with those derived from hodograms. Well constrained fault plane solutions were determined for 26 of the larger microearthquakes observed at a surface seismic net. Most solutions display one nearly vertical nodal plane that strikes close to N - S, and a T axis that trends roughly E - W, in agreement with regional indicators of the least principal stress direction. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  6. Calculation Method and Distribution Characteristics of Fracture Hydraulic Aperture from Field Experiments in Fractured Granite Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yang-Bing; Feng, Xia-Ting; Yan, E.-Chuan; Chen, Gang; Lü, Fei-fei; Ji, Hui-bin; Song, Kuang-Yin

    2016-05-01

    Knowledge of the fracture hydraulic aperture and its relation to the mechanical aperture and normal stress is urgently needed in engineering construction and analytical research at the engineering field scale. A new method based on the in situ borehole camera measurement and borehole water-pressure test is proposed for the calculation of the fracture hydraulic aperture. This method comprises six steps. The first step is to obtain the equivalent hydraulic conductivity of the test section from borehole water-pressure tests. The second step is a tentative calculation to obtain the qualitative relation between the reduction coefficient and the mechanical aperture obtained from borehole camera measurements. The third step is to choose the preliminary reduction coefficient for obtaining the initial hydraulic aperture. The remaining three steps are to optimize, using the genetic algorithm, the hydraulic apertures of fractures with high uncertainty. The method is then applied to a fractured granite engineering area whose purpose is the construction of an underground water-sealed storage cavern for liquefied petroleum gas. The probability distribution characteristics of the hydraulic aperture, the relationship between the hydraulic aperture and the mechanical aperture, the hydraulic aperture and the normal stress, and the differences between altered fractures and fresh fractures are all analyzed. Based on the effects of the engineering applications, the method is proved to be feasible and reliable. More importantly, the results of the hydraulic aperture obtained in this paper are different from those results elicited from laboratory tests, and the reasons are discussed in the paper.

  7. Rock Springs Site 12 hydraulic/explosive true in situ oil shale fracturing experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Parrish, R.L.; Boade, R.R.; Stevens, A.L.; Long, A. Jr.; Turner, T.F.

    1980-06-01

    The experiment plan involved the creation and characterization of three horizontal hydraulic fractures, followed by the insertion and simultaneous detonation of slurry explosive in the two lower fractures. Core analyses, wellbore logging, and airflow and /sup 85/Kr tracer tests were used for site characterization and assessment of the hydraulic and explosive fracturing. Tiltmeters, wellhead pressure and flow gages, and in-formation pressure, flow and crack-opening sensors were used to monitor hydrofracture creation and explosive insertion. Explosive detonation diagnostic data were taken with stress and time-of-arrival gages and surface and in-formation accelerometers. The post-fracturing assessments indicated that: (1) hydrofracture creation and explosive insertion and detonation were accomplished essentially as planned; (2) induced fractures were randomly distributed through the shale with no extensively fractured regions or dislocation of shale; and (3) enhancement of permeability was limited to enlargement of the explosive-filled fractures.

  8. Microearthquakes induced during hydraulic fracturing at the Fenton Hill HDR site: the 1982 experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Keppler, H.; Pearson, C.F.; Potter, R.M.; Albright, J.N.

    1983-01-01

    The on-site real-time processing of microearthquake signals that occur during massive hydraulic fracturing provides a notion of the location and growth of the fracture system being created. This enables quick decisions to be made in regard to the ongoing operations. The analytical results and impact of the hypocenter mapping during the 1982 fracturing experiments in the Fenton Hill Phase II Hot Dry Rock geothermal reservoir are reported.

  9. Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Reaction with Shale in Experiments at Unconventional Gas Reservoir Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paukert, A. N.; Hakala, A.; Jarvis, K. B.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the marked increase in hydraulic fracturing for unconventional natural gas production over the past decade, reactions between hydraulic fracturing fluids (HFF) and shale reservoirs remain poorly reported in the scientific literature. Shale-HFF interaction could cause mineral dissolution, releasing matter from the shale, or mineral precipitation that degrades reservoir permeability. Furthermore, data are limited on whether scale inhibitors are effective at preventing mineral precipitation and whether these inhibitors adversely affect reservoir fluid chemistry and permeability. To investigate HFF-rock interaction within shale reservoirs, we conducted flow-through experiments exposing Marcellus Shale to synthetic HFF at reservoir conditions (66oC, 20MPa). Outcrop shale samples were cored, artificially fractured, and propped open with quartz sand. Synthetic HFFs were mixed with chemical additives similar to those used for Marcellus Shale gas wells in Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania (FracFocus.org). We evaluated differences between shale reactions with HFF made from natural freshwater and reactions with HFF made from synthetic produced water (designed to simulate produced water that is diluted and re-used for subsequent hydraulic fracturing). We also compared reactions with HFFs including hydrochloric acid (HCl) to represent the initial acid stage, and HFFs excluding HCl. Reactions were determined through changes in fluid chemistry and X-ray CT and SEM imaging of the shale before and after experiments. Results from experiments with HFF containing HCl showed dissolution of primary calcite, as expected. Experiments using HFF made from synthetic produced water had significant mineral precipitation, particularly of barium and calcium sulfates. X-ray CT images from these experiments indicate precipitation of minerals occurred either along the main fracture or within smaller splay fractures, depending on fluid composition. These experiments suggest that HFF

  10. Suspensions in hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, S.N.

    1996-12-31

    Suspensions or slurries are widely used in well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing processes to enhance the production of oil and gas from the underground hydrocarbon-bearing formation. The success of these processes depends significantly upon having a thorough understanding of the behavior of suspensions used. Therefore, the characterization of suspensions under realistic conditions, for their rheological and hydraulic properties, is very important. This chapter deals with the state-of-the-art hydraulic fracturing suspension technology. Specifically it deals with various types of suspensions used in well stimulation and fracturing processes, their rheological characterization and hydraulic properties, behavior of suspensions in horizontal wells, review of proppant settling velocity and proppant transport in the fracture, and presently available measurement techniques for suspensions and their merits. Future industry needs for better understanding of the complex behavior of suspensions are also addressed. 74 refs., 21 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Mechanics of Hydraulic Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detournay, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    Hydraulic fractures represent a particular class of tensile fractures that propagate in solid media under pre-existing compressive stresses as a result of internal pressurization by an injected viscous fluid. The main application of engineered hydraulic fractures is the stimulation of oil and gas wells to increase production. Several physical processes affect the propagation of these fractures, including the flow of viscous fluid, creation of solid surfaces, and leak-off of fracturing fluid. The interplay and the competition between these processes lead to multiple length scales and timescales in the system, which reveal the shifting influence of the far-field stress, viscous dissipation, fracture energy, and leak-off as the fracture propagates.

  12. Using radar tomography, tracer experiments and hydraulic data to characterize fractured rock flow systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day-Lewis, Frederick David

    Among the most pressing problems in hydrogeology is describing heterogeneity in fractured rock, where data are typically local and sparse, and permeability varies by orders of magnitude over short distances. This dissertation presents new approaches to characterize fractured rock groundwater flow systems using cross-well radar, tracer, and hydraulic experiments. The methods are demonstrated using data from the U.S. Geological Survey Fractured Rock Hydrology Research Site near Mirror Lake, New Hampshire. One underutilized source of information in characterization of fractured rock is hydraulic connection data. Wells connected by a high-permeability fracture zone tend to exhibit similar hydraulic responses during pumping or drilling. A simulated-annealing algorithm is presented to condition geostatistical simulations to inferred connections. The method is used to generate 3-D realizations of fracture-zone geometry at the Mirror Lake Site. Results indicate the likely extents of specific zones. Flow models based on realizations are calibrated to hydraulic data to estimate the hydraulic parameters of the fracture zones and surrounding bedrock. Another innovative source of information for characterization is time-lapse difference-attenuation radar tomography, which has been used to monitor the migration of electrically conductive saline tracers. A sequential-inversion methodology is presented and demonstrated for a synthetic example. The method uses space-time parameterization and regularization to account for changes in concentration that occur quickly relative to the collection of radar data. The time-lapse tomographic inversion method is applied to data from the Mirror Lake Site. Difference-attenuation tomography indicates the timing and spatial distribution of tracer transport in three planes that form a triangular prism. Tracer migration is focused along a preferential pathway. Comparison of the time-series of tomograms with the outlet tracer data suggests that much

  13. Integrated Modeling and Experiments to Characterize Coupled Thermo-hydro-geomechanical-chemical processes in Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, H. S.; Carey, J. W.; Karra, S.; Porter, M. L.; Rougier, E.; Kang, Q.; Makedonska, N.; Hyman, J.; Jimenez Martinez, J.; Frash, L.; Chen, L.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing phenomena involve fluid-solid interactions embedded within coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes over scales from microns to tens of meters. Feedbacks between processes result in complex dynamics that must be unraveled if one is to predict and, in the case of unconventional resources, facilitate fracture propagation, fluid flow, and interfacial transport processes. The proposed work is part of a broader class of complex systems involving coupled fluid flow and fractures that are critical to subsurface energy issues, such as shale oil, geothermal, carbon sequestration, and nuclear waste disposal. We use unique LANL microfluidic and triaxial core flood experiments integrated with state-of-the-art numerical simulation to reveal the fundamental dynamics of fracture-fluid interactions to characterize the key coupled processes that impact hydrocarbon production. We are also comparing CO2-based fracturing and aqueous fluids to enhance production, greatly reduce waste water, while simultaneously sequestering CO2. We will show pore, core and reservoir scale simulations/experiments that investigate the contolling mechanisms that control hydrocarbon production.

  14. Stress wave propagationin the site 12 hydraulic/explosive fracturing experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Boade, R. R.; Reed, R. P.

    1980-05-01

    The Site 12 experiment was a heavily instrumented field event performed to examine the hydraulic/explosive fracturing concept for preparing an underground oil shale bed for true in situ processing. One of the key phases of this fracturing concept is the blasting operation which involves the insertion and detonation of slurry explosive in a pre-formed system of hydrofractures. To obtain a sound understanding of the nature of the blasting operations, a rather extensive array of stress gages, accelerometers, and time-of-arrival gages was installed in the rock mass in the vacinity of the explosive to monitor the dynamic events initiated by the detonation. These gages provided considerable amounts of information which were useful in evaluating overall results of the experiment. Details of the gage array, of the data, of analysis methods, and of the results and conclusions are considered in the report.

  15. Measurement of soil and rock fractural hydraulic conductivities using falling head infiltration experiment of single-ring permeameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, X.; Zhang, Z. C.; Shi, P.; Cheng, Q. B.

    2012-04-01

    Southwest China Karst is a fragile area for ecological system because of thin soil and underlying rock fracures. Soil and rock fractural hydraulic conductivities in this area determine infiltration, runoff and water retaining in soil and rock fractures for plant utilization. Determination of soil and rock fractural hydraulic conductivities is very tough due to strong heterogeneous. In this paper, we designed a single-ring permeameter to measure the hydraulic conductivities based on falling head infiltration experiment. The experiments were conducted in two karst areas in southwest China: a hillslope in Huanjiang County, northwest Guangxi for measuring soil hydraulic conductivities and a profile at the small catchment of Chenqi in the Puding basin of Guizhou for measuring fractural hydraulic conductivities. The results show that surface soil hydraulic conductivity is 2.386×10-4 m/s, much larger than 2.004×10-5 m/s for the soil at 30cm depth. Soil hydraulic conductivities are generally increased from the bottom to the top along the hillslope, and this increase is particularly significant for the soil at 30cm depth. The fractural hydraulic conductivities were determined for the limestone profile with three fractures crossing in vertical and horizontal directions. The effective fractural aperture was determined according to calibration of water head variations of the ponded water in the single ring permeameter, which can be simulated by a numerical model based on Navier-Stokes equations and measured with an automatic observation equipment. The hydraulic conductivities were then estimated in terms of the cubic law equation. The estimated effective fractural aperture is 0.25mm for the horizontal fracture, and 0.25 and 0.5mm for the two vertical fractures crossing the horizontal in the right and left sides, respectively. The corresponding hydraulic conductivity is 0.051 m/s for the horizontal fracture and 0.051 and 0.204m/s for the two vertical fractures in the right

  16. A Hydraulic Tomography Experiment in Fractured Sedimentary Rocks, Newark Basin, New Jersey, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiedeman, C. R.; Barrash, W.; Thrash, C. J.; Johnson, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic tomography was performed in July 2015 in contaminated fractured mudstone beds at the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in the Newark Basin near Trenton, NJ using seven existing wells. The spatial arrangement of wells (in a circle of 9 m radius with one central well), the use of packers to divide the wells into multiple monitoring intervals, and the deployment of fiber optic pressure transducers enabled collection of a hydraulic tomography dataset comprising high-resolution drawdown observations at an unprecedented level of spatial detail for fractured rocks. The experiment involved 45-minute cross-hole aquifer tests, conducted by pumping from a given packer-isolated well interval and continuously monitoring drawdowns in all other well intervals. The collective set of drawdown data from all tests and intervals displays a wide range of behavior suggestive of highly heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity (K) within the tested volume, such as: drawdown curves for different well intervals crossing one another on drawdown-time plots; variable drawdown curve shapes, including linear segments on log-log plots; variable order and magnitude of time-lag and/or drawdown for intervals of a given well in response to pumping from similar fractures or stratigraphic units in different wells; and variable groupings of wells and intervals showing similar responses for different pumping tests. The observed behavior is consistent with previous testing at the NAWC indicating that K within and across individual mudstone beds can vary by orders of magnitude over scales of meters. Preliminary assessment of the drawdown data together with a rich set of geophysical logs suggests an initial conceptual model that includes densely distributed fractures of moderate K at the shallowest depths of the tested volume, connected high-K bedding-plane-parting fractures at intermediate depths, and sparse low-K fractures in the deeper rocks. Future work will involve tomographic inversion of

  17. Gravity-Driven Hydraulic Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Germanovich, L. N.; Garagash, D.; Murdoch, L. C.; Robinowitz, M.

    2014-12-01

    This study is motived by a new method for disposing of nuclear waste by injecting it as a dense slurry into a hydraulic fracture that grows downward to great enough depth to permanently isolate the waste. Disposing of nuclear waste using gravity-driven hydraulic fractures is mechanically similar to the upward growth of dikes filled with low density magma. A fundamental question in both applications is how the injected fluid controls the propagation dynamics and fracture geometry (depth and breadth) in three dimensions. Analog experiments in gelatin [e.g., Heimpel and Olson, 1994; Taisne and Tait, 2009] show that fracture breadth (the short horizontal dimension) remains nearly stationary when the process in the fracture "head" (where breadth is controlled) is dominated by solid toughness, whereas viscous fluid dissipation is dominant in the fracture tail. We model propagation of the resulting gravity-driven (buoyant or sinking), finger-like fracture of stationary breadth with slowly varying opening along the crack length. The elastic response to fluid loading in a horizontal cross-section is local and can be treated similar to the classical Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) model of hydraulic fracturing. The propagation condition for a finger-like crack is based on balancing the global energy release rate due to a unit crack extension with the rock fracture toughness. It allows us to relate the net fluid pressure at the tip to the fracture breadth and rock toughness. Unlike the PKN fracture, where breadth is known a priori, the final breadth of a finger-like fracture is a result of processes in the fracture head. Because the head is much more open than the tail, viscous pressure drop in the head can be neglected leading to a 3D analog of Weertman's hydrostatic pulse. This requires relaxing the local elasticity assumption of the PKN model in the fracture head. As a result, we resolve the breadth, and then match the viscosity-dominated tail with the 3-D, toughness

  18. Discussion of comparison study of hydraulic fracturing models -- Test case: GRI Staged Field Experiment No. 3

    SciTech Connect

    Cleary, M.P.

    1994-02-01

    This paper provides comments to a companion journal paper on predictive modeling of hydraulic fracturing patterns (N.R. Warpinski et. al., 1994). The former paper was designed to compare various modeling methods to demonstrate the most accurate methods under various geologic constraints. The comments of this paper are centered around potential deficiencies in the former authors paper which include: limited actual comparisons offered between models, the issues of matching predictive data with that from related field operations was lacking or undocumented, and the relevance/impact of accurate modeling on the overall hydraulic fracturing cost and production.

  19. Acoustic emission monitoring of hydraulic fracturing laboratory experiment with supercritical and liquid CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishida, Tsuyoshi; Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Niwa, Tomoya; Chen, Youqing; Murata, Sumihiko; Chen, Qu; Nakayama, Yoshiki

    2012-08-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is often used for enhanced oil recovery in depleted petroleum reservoirs, and its behavior in rock is also of interest in CO2 capture and storage projects. CO2 usually becomes supercritical (SC-CO2) at depths greater than 1,000 m, while it is liquid (L-CO2) at low temperatures. The viscosity of L-CO2 is one order lower than that of normal liquid water, and that of SC-CO2 is much lower still. To clarify fracture behavior induced with injection of the low viscosity fluids, we conducted hydraulic fracturing experiments using 17 cm cubic granite blocks. The AE sources with the SC- and L-CO2 injections tend to distribute in a larger area than those with water injection, and furthermore, SC-CO2 tended to generate cracks extending more three dimensionally rather than along a flat plane than L-CO2. It was also found that the breakdown pressures for SC- and L-CO2 injections are expected to be considerably lower than for water.

  20. What does hydraulic tomography tell us about fractured geological media? A field study and synthetic experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zha, Yuanyuan; Yeh, Tian-Chyi J.; Illman, Walter A.; Tanaka, Tatsuya; Bruines, Patrick; Onoe, Hironori; Saegusa, Hiromitsu

    2015-12-01

    Between 2005 and 2010, Japan Atomic Energy Agency conducted four long-term, independent pumping tests in a fractured granite formation at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (MIU) site in Mizunami city, central Japan. During these tests, drawdowns were monitored at different depths along several deep boreholes. These tests become one of the few, if not the only, hydraulic tomographic survey conducted in the world over thousands of meters in a fractured geologic medium with several fault zones. We analyzed the drawdown-time data set associated with each pumping test independently, and then the data sets from all pumping tests jointly to derive the spatial distributions of hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific storage (Ss) of the medium. These estimated distributions revealed some large-scale high K and low K zones. While the low K zones corroborated well with known low permeable layers and fault based on geological investigations, there were no clear geological features that can be related to the large-scale high K zones. In order to understand and substantiate these high and low K zones, we simulated a hydraulic tomographic survey in a synthetic fractured aquifer, which bears similar geologic features (i.e., formations, fractures, and faults) at the MIU site, with exception that the hydraulic properties, fracture and fault distributions were known exactly. Results of the simulation show that not only are the identified high K zones related to fracture networks connected with pumping and observation locations of each pumping test but also their values reflect the degree of connectivity of the network. Afterward, we investigated the extent of the improvement of characterization of the fault and fractures through the use of deploying dense monitoring intervals and late-time flux measurements.

  1. Imaging hydraulic fractures at Median Tectonic Line, Japan using multiply generated and scattered tube waves in a shallow VSP experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minato, Shohei; Ghose, Ranajit; Tsuji, Takeshi; Ikeda, Michiharu; Onishi, Kozo

    2016-04-01

    across the Japanese Islands. We observed multiple tube waves in a P-wave VSP experiment in a 250 m deep, vertical borehole located on the MTL at Shikoku, Japan. The borehole televiewer and the core studies show that below 40 m depth, the Sambagawa metamorphic rocks contain highly fractured zones which consist of more than 100 open fractures and more than 30 cataclasites. We predict the full tube wavefield using the values of fracture depth and thickness known from the borehole televiewer. We model the open fractures as parallel-wall fractures and the cataclasites as thin poroelastic layers. Furthermore, we estimate the depth of the hydraulic fractures by applying the inverse operator. The results show that the tube waves could be generated and scattered at these permeable structures. Our preliminary results also indicate the possibility that the effect of the open fractures is more dominant in the generation and scattering of tube waves than that of the cataclasites in this field. The formulation and the results presented in this study and the following discussion will be useful in analysis of tube waves in highly fractured zones, in order to localize and characterize hydraulic fractures.

  2. Complex Fluids and Hydraulic Fracturing.

    PubMed

    Barbati, Alexander C; Desroches, Jean; Robisson, Agathe; McKinley, Gareth H

    2016-06-01

    Nearly 70 years old, hydraulic fracturing is a core technique for stimulating hydrocarbon production in a majority of oil and gas reservoirs. Complex fluids are implemented in nearly every step of the fracturing process, most significantly to generate and sustain fractures and transport and distribute proppant particles during and following fluid injection. An extremely wide range of complex fluids are used: naturally occurring polysaccharide and synthetic polymer solutions, aqueous physical and chemical gels, organic gels, micellar surfactant solutions, emulsions, and foams. These fluids are loaded over a wide range of concentrations with particles of varying sizes and aspect ratios and are subjected to extreme mechanical and environmental conditions. We describe the settings of hydraulic fracturing (framed by geology), fracturing mechanics and physics, and the critical role that non-Newtonian fluid dynamics and complex fluids play in the hydraulic fracturing process. PMID:27070765

  3. Hydraulic Fracturing in Saturated Cohesionless Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Germanovich, L. N.; Hurt, R. S.; Huang, H.

    2007-12-01

    Based on the developed experimental techniques, hydraulic fracturing in particulate materials has been directly observed in the laboratory. As a result, we suggested several mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in particulate materials and determined relevant scaling relationships (e.g., the interplay between elastic and plastic processes). While the ongoing work is likely to change at least some conclusions, it is important that the results reported in this work appear to form the framework for modeling and, perhaps, even for (qualitative) interpretation of field data. The observed fracture geometry and the measured pressure injection curves suggest that hydraulic fracturing occurs in soft sediments in the following sequence: (i) cavity expansion, (ii) fracture front initiation, and (iii) propagation of the developed fracture. Our experiments show that liquid can indeed propagate as a crack-like feature when injected into cohesionless saturated materials. Laboratory observations suggest that at the initial stage, the cavity expansion process ends with fracture initiation. Sometimes, the growing fracture resembles penetration of one movable material into another less movable material, which may be a manifestation of the Taylor-like instability. An important conclusion of our work is that all parts of the cohesionless particulate material (including the tip zone of hydraulic fracture) are likely to be in compression. The compressive stress state is an important characteristic of hydraulic fracturing in particulate materials with low, or no, cohesion (such as were used in our experiments). At present, two kinematic mechanisms of fracture propagation, consistent with the compressive stress regime, can be offered. The first mechanism is based on shear bands propagating ahead of the tip of an open fracture. The second is based on the tensile strain ahead of the fracture tip and reduction of the effective stresses to zero within the leak-off zone. Additionally, an

  4. Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    Sarge, Melanie A; VanDyke, Matthew S; King, Andy J; White, Shawna R

    2015-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing (HF) is a focal topic in discussions about domestic energy production, yet the American public is largely unfamiliar and undecided about the practice. This study sheds light on how individuals may come to understand hydraulic fracturing as this unconventional production technology becomes more prominent in the United States. For the study, a thorough search of HF photographs was performed, and a systematic evaluation of 40 images using an online experimental design involving N = 250 participants was conducted. Key indicators of hydraulic fracturing support and beliefs were identified. Participants showed diversity in their support for the practice, with 47 percent expressing low support, 22 percent high support, and 31 percent undecided. Support for HF was positively associated with beliefs that hydraulic fracturing is primarily an economic issue and negatively associated with beliefs that it is an environmental issue. Level of support was also investigated as a perceptual filter that facilitates biased issue perceptions and affective evaluations of economic benefit and environmental cost frames presented in visual content of hydraulic fracturing. Results suggested an interactive relationship between visual framing and level of support, pointing to a substantial barrier to common understanding about the issue that strategic communicators should consider. PMID:26399946

  5. Microseismic monitoring of the B-sand hydraulic fracture experiment at the DOE/GRI multi-site project

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N.R. |; Wright, T.B.; Peterson, R.E.; Branagan, P.T.

    1996-11-01

    Six hydraulic-fracture injections into a fluvial sandstone at a depth of 4500 ft were monitored with multi-level triaxial seismic receivers in two wells, resulting in maps of the growth and final geometry of each fracture based upon microseismic activity. These diagnostic images show that the hydraulic fractures are highly contained for smaller-volume KCl-water injections, but height growth is significant for the larger-volume, higher-rate, higher-viscosity treatments. Fracture lengths for most injections are similar. Final results are also compared with fracture models.

  6. Laboratory Hydraulic Fracture Characterization Using Acoustic Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez, M.

    2013-05-01

    For many years Acoustic Emission (AE) testing has aided in the understanding of fracture initiation and propagation in geologic materials. AEs occur when a material emits elastic waves caused by the sudden occurrence of fractures or frictional sliding along discontinuous surfaces and grain boundaries. One important application of AE is the monitoring of hydraulic fracturing of underground formations to create functional reservoirs at sites where the permeability of the rock is too limited to allow for cost effective fluid extraction. However, several challenges remain in the use of AE to locate and characterize fractures that are created hydraulically. Chief among these challenges is the often large scatter of the AE data that are generated during the fracturing process and the difficulty of interpreting the AE data so that hydraulic fractures can be reliably characterized. To improve the understanding of the link between AE and hydraulic fracturing, laboratory scale model testing of hydraulic fracturing were performed using a cubical true triaxial device. This device consist of a loading frame capable of loading a 30x30x30 cm3 rock sample with three independent principal stresses up to 13 MPa while simultaneously providing heating up to 180 degrees C. Several laboratory scale hydraulic fracture stimulation treatments were performed on granite and rock analogue fabricated using medium strength concrete. A six sensor acoustic emission (AE) array, using wideband piezoelectric transducers, is employed to monitor the fracturing process. AE monitoring of laboratory hydraulic fracturing experiments showed multiple phenomena including winged fracture growth from a borehole, cross-field well communication, fracture reorientation, borehole casing failure and much more. AE data analysis consisted of event source location determination, fracture surface generation and validation, source mechanism determination, and determining the overall effectiveness of the induced fracture

  7. Method for directional hydraulic fracturing

    DOEpatents

    Swanson, David E.; Daly, Daniel W.

    1994-01-01

    A method for directional hydraulic fracturing using borehole seals to confine pressurized fluid in planar permeable regions, comprising: placing a sealant in the hole of a structure selected from geologic or cemented formations to fill the space between a permeable planar component and the geologic or cemented formation in the vicinity of the permeable planar component; making a hydraulic connection between the permeable planar component and a pump; permitting the sealant to cure and thereby provide both mechanical and hydraulic confinement to the permeable planar component; and pumping a fluid from the pump into the permeable planar component to internally pressurize the permeable planar component to initiate a fracture in the formation, the fracture being disposed in the same orientation as the permeable planar component.

  8. Laboratory Visualization of Hydraulic Fracture Propagation and Interaction with a Network of Preexisting Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, S.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Borglin, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    We present optical visualization experiments of hydraulic fracture propagation within transparent rock-analogue samples containing a network of preexisting fractures. Natural fractures and heterogeneities in rock have a great impact on hydraulic fracture propagation and resulting improvements in reservoir permeability. In recent years, many sophisticated numerical simulations on hydraulic fracturing have been conducted. Laboratory experiments on hydraulic fracturing are often performed with acoustic emission (Micro Earthquake) monitoring, which allows detection and location of fracturing and fracture propagation. However, the detected fractures are not necessarily hydraulically produced fractures which provide permeable pathways connected to the injection (and production) well. The primary objectives of our visualization experiments are (1) to obtain quantitative visual information of hydraulic fracture propagation affected by pre-existing fractures and (2) to distinguish fractures activated by the perturbed stress field away from the injected fluid and hydraulically produced fractures. The obtained data are also used to develop and validate a new numerical modeling technique (TOUGH-RBSN [Rigid-Body-Spring-Network] model) for hydraulic fracturing simulations, which is presented in a companion paper. The experiments are conducted using transparent soda-lime glass cubes (10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm) containing either (1) 3D laser-engraved artificial fractures and fracture networks or (2) a random network of fractures produced by rapid thermal quenching. The strength (and also the permeability for the latter) of the fractures can be altered to examine their impact on hydraulic fracturing. The cubes are subjected to true-triaxial stress within a polyaxial loading frame, and hydraulic fractures are produced by injecting fluids with a range of viscosity into an analogue borehole drilled in the sample. The visual images of developing fractures are obtained both through a port

  9. Hydraulic conductivity of rock fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Zimmerman, R.W.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    1994-10-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada contains numerous geological units that are highly fractured. A clear understanding of the hydraulic conductivity of fractures has been identified as an important scientific problem that must be addressed during the site characterization process. The problem of the flow of a single-phase fluid through a rough-walled rock fracture is discussed within the context of rigorous fluid mechanics. The derivation of the cubic law is given as the solution to the Navier-Stokes equations for flow between smooth, parallel plates, the only fracture geometry that is amenable to exact treatment. The various geometric and kinetic conditions that are necessary in order for the Navier-Stokes equations to be replaced by the more tractable lubrication or Hele-Shaw equations are studied and quantified. Various analytical and numerical results are reviewed pertaining to the problem of relating the effective hydraulic aperture to the statistics of the aperture distribution. These studies all lead to the conclusion that the effective hydraulic aperture is always less than the mean aperture, by a factor that depends on the ratio of the mean value of the aperture to its standard deviation. The tortuosity effect caused by regions where the rock walls are in contact with each other is studied using the Hele-Shaw equations, leading to a simple correction factor that depends on the area fraction occupied by the contact regions. Finally, the predicted hydraulic apertures are compared to measured values for eight data sets from the literature for which aperture and conductivity data were available on the same fracture. It is found that reasonably accurate predictions of hydraulic conductivity can be made based solely on the first two moments of the aperture distribution function, and the proportion of contact area. 68 refs.

  10. Comparison of Hydraulic Methods and Tracer Experiments as Applied to the Development of Conceptual Models for Discrete Fracture Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novakowski, K. S.

    2015-12-01

    The development of conceptual models for solute migration in discrete fracture networks has typically been based on a combination of core logs, borehole geophysics, and some form of single-well hydraulic test using discrete zones. More rarely, interwell hydraulic tests and interwell tracer experiments are utilised to directly explore potential transport pathways. The latter methods are less widely employed simply due to potentially significant increases in the cost and effort in site characterization. To date however there is a paucity of literature comparing the efficacy of the standard procedure with what should be more definitive identification of transport pathways using interwell methods. In the present study, a detailed comparison is conducted by developing conceptual models from three separate data sets, the first based on core logs, geology and single-well hydraulic tests, the second based on a large suite of pulse interference tests, and the third based on a series of radially-divergent and injection-withdrawal tracer experiments. The study was conducted in an array of five HQ-sized wells, 28-32 m in depth and arranged in a five star pattern, 10 m on a side. The wells penetrate the contact between a Cambrian-aged limestone, and underlying Precambrian gneiss. The core was logged for potentially open fractures using a ranking system, and 87 contiguous hydraulic tests were conducted using a 0.85-m packer spacing. A total of 57 pulse interference tests were conducted using two wells as injection points, and 11 tracer experiments were conducted using either sample collection or in-situ detection via a submersible fluorometer. The results showed very distinct conceptual models depending on the data set, with the model based on the single-well testing significantly over-predicting the number and connection of solute transport pathways. The results of the pulse interference tests also over predict the transport pathways, but to a lesser degree. Quantification of

  11. Monitoring hydraulic fracturing with seismic emission volume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, F.; Tang, Y.; Chen, H.; TAO, K.; Levander, A.

    2014-12-01

    Recent developments in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made it possible to access the reservoirs that are not available for massive production in the past. Hydraulic fracturing is designed to enhance rock permeability and reservoir drainage through the creation of fracture networks. Microseismic monitoring has been proven to be an effective and valuable technology to image hydraulic fracture geometry. Based on data acquisition, seismic monitoring techniques have been divided into two categories: downhole and surface monitoring. Surface monitoring is challenging because of the extremely low signal-to-noise ratio of the raw data. We applied the techniques used in earthquake seismology and developed an integrated monitoring system for mapping hydraulic fractures. The system consists of 20 to 30 state-of-the-art broadband seismographs, which are generally about hundreds times more sensible than regular geophones. We have conducted two experiments in two basins with very different geology and formation mechanism in China. In each case, we observed clear microseismic events, which may correspond to the induced seismicity directly associated with fracturing and the triggered ones at pre-existing faults. However, the magnitude of these events is generally larger than magnitude -1, approximately one to two magnitudes larger than those detected by downhole instruments. Spectrum-frequency analysis of the continuous surface recordings indicated high seismic energy associated with injection stages. The seismic energy can be back-projected to a volume that surrounds each injection stage. Imaging seismic emission volume (SEV) appears to be an effective way to map the stimulated reservior volume, as well as natural fractures.

  12. Analysis of the Influence of a Natural Fracture Network on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation in Carbonate Formations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhiyuan; Chen, Mian; Zhang, Guangqing

    2014-03-01

    A new experimental model has been designed to simulate the influence of a natural fracture network on the propagation geometry of hydraulic fractures in naturally fractured formations using a tri-axial fracturing system. In this model, a parallel and symmetrical pre-fracture network was created by placing cement plates in a cubic mold and filling the mold with additional cement to create the final testing block. The surface of the plates will thus be weakly cemented and form pre-fractures. The dimension and direction of the pre-fractures can be controlled using the plates. The experiments showed that the horizontal differential stress and the angle between the maximum horizontal principal in situ stress and the pre-fracture are the dominating factors for the initiation and propagation of hydraulic fractures. For and or and , the direction of the initiation and propagation of the hydraulic fractures are consistent with or deviate from the normal direction of the pre-fracture. When the hydraulic fractures approach the pre-fractures, the direction of the hydraulic fracture propagation will be consistent with the normal direction of the pre-fracture. Otherwise, the hydraulic fracture will deflect and perpendicularly cross the parallel and symmetric pre-fracture network. For and , and or and , before the hydraulic fracture and the pre-fractures intersect, the direction of the hydraulic fracture propagation remains unchanged, and the pre-fractures open or dilate when the hydraulic fracture propagates to the intersection point, forming a complicated hydraulic fracture network with the propagation region of the overall hydraulic fracture network taking the shape of an ellipse. In this condition, the complexity level of the hydraulic fracture is controlled by the net pressure, the compressive normal stress acting on the pre-fractures, the shearing strength and the cohesion strength of the planes of weakness. The conclusions of this research are inconsistent with the

  13. Hydraulic fracturing in granite under geothermal conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solberg, P.; Lockner, D.; Byerlee, J.D.

    1980-01-01

    The experimental hydraulic fracturing of granite under geothermal conditions produces tensile fracture at rapid fluid injection rates and shear fracture at slow injection rates and elevated differential stress levels. A sudden burst of acoustic emission activity accompanies tensile fracture formation whereas the acoustic emission rate increases exponentially prior to shear fracture. Temperature does not significantly affect the failure mechanism, and the experimental results have not demonstrated the occurrence of thermal fracturing. A critical result of these experiments is that fluid injection at intermediate rates and elevated differential stress levels increases permeability by more than an order of magnitude without producing macroscopic fractures, and low-level acoustic emission activity occurs simultaneously near the borehole and propagates outward into the specimen with time. Permeability measurements conducted at atmospheric pressure both before and after these experiments show that increased permeability is produced by permanent structural changes in the rock. Although results of this study have not demonstrated the occurrence of thermal fracturing, they suggest that fluid injection at certain rates in situ may markedly increase local permeability. This could prove critical to increasing the efficiency of heat exchange for geothermal energy extraction from hot dry rock. ?? 1980.

  14. Analytical Modeling of Shale Hydraulic Fracturing and Gas Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, W.

    2012-12-01

    Shale gas is abundant all over the world. Due to its extremely low permeability, extensive stimulation of a shale reservoir is always required for its economic production. Hydraulic fracturing has been the primary method of shale reservoir stimulation. Consequently the design and optimization of a hydraulic fracturing treatment plays a vital role insuring job success and economic production. Due to the many variables involved and the lack of a simple yet robust tool based on fundamental physics, horizontal well placement and fracturing job designs have to certain degree been a guessing game built on previous trial and error experience. This paper presents a method for hydraulic fracturing design and optimization in these environments. The growth of a complex hydraulic fracture network (HFN) during a fracturing job is equivalently represented by a wiremesh fracturing model (WFM) constructed on the basis of fracture mechanics and mass balance. The model also simulates proppant transport and placement during HFN growth. Results of WFM simulations can then be used as the input into a wiremesh production model (WPM) constructed based on WFM. WPM represents gas flow through the wiremesh HFN by an elliptic flow and the flow of gas in shale matrix by a novel analytical solution accounting for contributions from both free and adsorbed gases stored in the pore space. WPM simulation is validated by testing against numerical simulations using a commercially available reservoir production simulator. Due to the analytical nature of WFM and WPM, both hydraulic fracturing and gas production simulations run very fast on a regular personal computer and are suitable for hydraulic fracturing job design and optimization. A case study is presented to demonstrate how a non-optimized hydraulic fracturing job might have been optimized using WFM and WPM simulations.Fig. 1. Ellipsoidal representation of (a) stimulated reservoir and (b) hydraulic fracture network created by hydraulic

  15. Hydraulic fracture during epithelial stretching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casares, Laura; Vincent, Romaric; Zalvidea, Dobryna; Campillo, Noelia; Navajas, Daniel; Arroyo, Marino; Trepat, Xavier

    2015-03-01

    The origin of fracture in epithelial cell sheets subject to stretch is commonly attributed to excess tension in the cells’ cytoskeleton, in the plasma membrane, or in cell-cell contacts. Here, we demonstrate that for a variety of synthetic and physiological hydrogel substrates the formation of epithelial cracks is caused by tissue stretching independently of epithelial tension. We show that the origin of the cracks is hydraulic; they result from a transient pressure build-up in the substrate during stretch and compression manoeuvres. After pressure equilibration, cracks heal readily through actomyosin-dependent mechanisms. The observed phenomenology is captured by the theory of poroelasticity, which predicts the size and healing dynamics of epithelial cracks as a function of the stiffness, geometry and composition of the hydrogel substrate. Our findings demonstrate that epithelial integrity is determined in a tension-independent manner by the coupling between tissue stretching and matrix hydraulics.

  16. Hydraulic fracture during epithelial stretching.

    PubMed

    Casares, Laura; Vincent, Romaric; Zalvidea, Dobryna; Campillo, Noelia; Navajas, Daniel; Arroyo, Marino; Trepat, Xavier

    2015-03-01

    The origin of fracture in epithelial cell sheets subject to stretch is commonly attributed to excess tension in the cells' cytoskeleton, in the plasma membrane, or in cell-cell contacts. Here, we demonstrate that for a variety of synthetic and physiological hydrogel substrates the formation of epithelial cracks is caused by tissue stretching independently of epithelial tension. We show that the origin of the cracks is hydraulic; they result from a transient pressure build-up in the substrate during stretch and compression manoeuvres. After pressure equilibration, cracks heal readily through actomyosin-dependent mechanisms. The observed phenomenology is captured by the theory of poroelasticity, which predicts the size and healing dynamics of epithelial cracks as a function of the stiffness, geometry and composition of the hydrogel substrate. Our findings demonstrate that epithelial integrity is determined in a tension-independent manner by the coupling between tissue stretching and matrix hydraulics. PMID:25664452

  17. Hydraulic fracture during epithelial stretching

    PubMed Central

    Casares, Laura; Vincent, Romaric; Zalvidea, Dobryna; Campillo, Noelia; Navajas, Daniel; Arroyo, Marino; Trepat, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The origin of fracture in epithelial cell sheets subject to stretch is commonly attributed to excess tension in the cells’ cytoskeleton, in the plasma membrane, or in cell-cell contacts. Here we demonstrate that for a variety of synthetic and physiological hydrogel substrates the formation of epithelial cracks is caused by tissue stretching independently of epithelial tension. We show that the origin of the cracks is hydraulic; they result from a transient pressure build-up in the substrate during stretch and compression maneuvers. After pressure equilibration cracks heal readily through actomyosin-dependent mechanisms. The observed phenomenology is captured by the theory of poroelasticity, which predicts the size and healing dynamics of epithelial cracks as a function of the stiffness, geometry and composition of the hydrogel substrate. Our findings demonstrate that epithelial integrity is determined in a tension-independent manner by the coupling between tissue stretching and matrix hydraulics. PMID:25664452

  18. Hydraulic fracturing of jointed formations

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, H.D.; Fehler, M.C.

    1986-01-01

    Measured by volume, North America's largest hydraulic fracturing operations have been conducted at Fenton Hill, New Mexico to create geothermal energy reservoirs. In the largest operation 21,000 m/sup 3/ of water were injected into jointed granitic rock at a depth of 3.5 km. Microearthquakes induced by this injection were measured with geophones placed in five wells drilled into, or very close, to the reservoir, as well as 11 surface seismometers. The large volume of rock over which the microearthquakes were distributed indicates a mechanism of hydraulic stimulation which is at odds with conventional fracturing theory, which predicts failure along a plane which is perpendicular to the least compressive earth stress. A coupled rock mechanics/fluid flow model provides much of the explanation. Shear slippage along pre-existing joints in the rock is more easily induced than conventional tensile failure, particularly when the difference between minimum and maximum earth stresses is large and the joints are oriented at angles between 30 and 60 degrees to the principal earth stresses, and a low viscosity fluid like water is injected. Shear slippage results in local redistribution of stresses, which allows a branching, or dendritic, stimulation pattern to evolve, in agreement with the patterns of microearthquake locations. These results are qualitatively similar to the controversial process known as ''Kiel'' fracturing, in which sequential injections and shut-ins are repeated to create dendritic fractures for enhanced oil and gas recovery. However, we believe that the explanation is shear slippage of pre-existing joints and stress redistribution, not proppant bridging and fluid blocking as suggested by Kiel. 15 refs., 10 figs.

  19. Relation between mass balance aperture and hydraulic properties from field experiments in fractured rock in Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjerne, Calle; Nordqvist, Rune

    2014-09-01

    Results from tracer tests are often used to infer connectivity and transport properties in bedrock. However, the amount of site-specific data from tracer tests is often very limited, while data from hydraulic tests are more abundant. It is therefore of great interest for predictive transport modeling to use hydraulic data to infer transport properties. In this study, data from cross-hole tracer tests carried out in crystalline bedrock in Sweden were compiled and analysed. The tests were performed within investigations made by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) between 1978 and 2009 at five different locations. An empirical relationship between mass balance aperture and transmissivity was found and quantified by using 74 observations. The empirical relationship deviates considerably from the cubic law aperture, as mass balance aperture is found to be at least one order of magnitude larger than cubic law aperture. Hence, usage of cubic law aperture, derived from hydraulic testing, for transport predictions is unsuitable, as the advective transport time will be considerably underestimated. Another result, from the data set studied, is that mass balance aperture appears to correlate better to apparent storativity than to transmissivity.

  20. Discrete modeling of hydraulic fracturing processes in a complex pre-existing fracture network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K.; Rutqvist, J.; Nakagawa, S.; Houseworth, J. E.; Birkholzer, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and stimulation of fracture networks are widely used by the energy industry (e.g., shale gas extraction, enhanced geothermal systems) to increase permeability of geological formations. Numerous analytical and numerical models have been developed to help understand and predict the behavior of hydraulically induced fractures. However, many existing models assume simple fracturing scenarios with highly idealized fracture geometries (e.g., propagation of a single fracture with assumed shapes in a homogeneous medium). Modeling hydraulic fracture propagation in the presence of natural fractures and homogeneities can be very challenging because of the complex interactions between fluid, rock matrix, and rock interfaces, as well as the interactions between propagating fractures and pre-existing natural fractures. In this study, the TOUGH-RBSN code for coupled hydro-mechanical modeling is utilized to simulate hydraulic fracture propagation and its interaction with pre-existing fracture networks. The simulation tool combines TOUGH2, a simulator of subsurface multiphase flow and mass transport based on the finite volume approach, with the implementation of a lattice modeling approach for geomechanical and fracture-damage behavior, named Rigid-Body-Spring Network (RBSN). The discrete fracture network (DFN) approach is facilitated in the Voronoi discretization via a fully automated modeling procedure. The numerical program is verified through a simple simulation for single fracture propagation, in which the resulting fracture geometry is compared to an analytical solution for given fracture length and aperture. Subsequently, predictive simulations are conducted for planned laboratory experiments using rock-analogue (soda-lime glass) samples containing a designed, pre-existing fracture network. The results of a preliminary simulation demonstrate selective fracturing and fluid infiltration along the pre-existing fractures, with additional fracturing in part

  1. Hydraulic fracturing in subterranean formations

    SciTech Connect

    Borchardt, J.K.

    1991-06-18

    This patent describes a process for the hydraulic fracturing of subterranean formations which comprises a step for the introduction into the formation at fracturing pressure of a fracturing fluid comprising solid particulate suspended in a fluid dispersion. It comprises water, a component selected from the group consisting of supercritical carbon dioxide and gaseous nitrogen, carbon dioxide and C{sub 1} to C{sub 3} hydrocarbons, and mixtures thereof, and one or more polysaccharide surfactants of the formula RO(R{sup 1}O){sub x}Sacc{sub z}, wherein R is a monovalent organic radical having a carbon number in the range from about 7 to 24. R{sup 1} represents a divalent hydrocarbon radical containing from about 2 to about 4 carbon atoms, x is a number having an average value in the range from 0 to about 12.0, and Saccz represents an average number z between about 0.7 and 10.0 of moieties derived from reducing saccharides containing 5 or 6 carbon atoms.

  2. Self-potential observations during hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Jeffrey R.; Glaser, Steven D.

    2007-02-01

    The self-potential (SP) response during hydraulic fracturing of intact Sierra granite was investigated in the laboratory. Excellent correlation of pressure drop and SP suggests that the SP response is created primarily by electrokinetic coupling. For low pressures, the variation of SP with pressure drop is linear, indicating a constant coupling coefficient (Cc) of -200 mV/MPa. However, for pressure drops >2 MPa, the magnitude of the Cc increases by 80% in an exponential trend. This increasing Cc is related to increasing permeability at high pore pressures caused by dilatancy of microcracks and is explained by a decrease in the hydraulic tortuosity. Resistivity measurements reveal a decrease of 2% prior to hydraulic fracturing and a decrease of ˜35% after fracturing. An asymmetric spatial SP response created by injectate diffusion into dilatant zones is observed prior to hydraulic fracturing, and in most cases this SP variation revealed the impending crack geometry seconds before failure. At rupture, injectate rushes into the new fracture area where the zeta potential is different than in the rock porosity, and an anomalous SP spike is observed. After fracturing, the spatial SP distribution reveals the direction of fracture propagation. Finally, during tensile cracking in a point load device with no water flow, a SP spike is observed that is caused by contact electrification. However, the time constant of this event is much less than that for transients observed during hydraulic fracturing, suggesting that SP created solely from material fracture does not contribute to the SP response during hydraulic fracturing.

  3. Hydraulic fracturing of a shallow subsurface formation

    SciTech Connect

    Uhri, D.C.

    1987-12-22

    A method for propagating a vertical hydraulic fracture in an earth formation surrounding a borehole where the original in-situ stresses favor a horizontal fracture is described comprising the steps of: (a) firstly supplying fracturing fluid to the formation at a first depth within the borehole to propagate a horizontal fracture favored by the original in-situ stresses of the formation, and (b) secondly supplying fracturing fluid to the formation at a second depth within the borehole, while maintaining pressure in the horizontal fracture, to propagate a vertical fracture as favored by the in-situ stresses as altered by the propagating of the horizontal fracture.

  4. DEMONSTRATION BULLETIN: HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OF CONTAMINATED SOIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydraulic fracturing is a physical process that creates fractures in silty clay soil to enhance its permeability. The technology, developed by the Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory (RREL) and the University of Cincinnati, creates sand-filled horizontal fractures up to 1 in. i...

  5. Hydraulic Fracturing and the Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayatollahy Tafti, T.; Aminzadeh, F.; Jafarpour, B.; de Barros, F.

    2013-12-01

    In this presentation, we highlight two key environmental concerns of hydraulic fracturing (HF), namely induced seismicity and groundwater contamination (GC). We examine the induced seismicity (IS) associated with different subsurface fluid injection and production (SFIP) operations and the key operational parameters of SFIP impacting it. In addition we review the key potential sources for possible water contamination. Both in the case of IS and GC we propose modeling and data analysis methods to quantify the risk factors to be used for monitoring and risk reduction. SFIP include presents a risk in hydraulic fracturing, waste water injection, enhanced oil recovery as well as geothermal energy operations. Although a recent report (NRC 2012) documents that HF is not responsible for most of the induced seismicities, we primarily focus on HF here. We look into vaious operational parameters such as volume and rate of water injection, the direction of the well versus the natural fracture network, the depth of the target and the local stress field and fault system, as well as other geological features. The latter would determine the potential for triggering tectonic related events by small induced seismicity events. We provide the building blocks for IS risk assessment and monitoring. The system we propose will involve adequate layers of complexity based on mapped seismic attributes as well as results from ANN and probabilistic predictive modeling workflows. This leads to a set of guidelines which further defines 'safe operating conditions' and 'safe operating zones' which will be a valuable reference for future SFIP operations. We also illustrate how HF can lead to groundwater aquifer contamination. The source of aquifer contamination can be the hydrocarbon gas or the chemicals used in the injected liquid in the formation. We explore possible pathways of contamination within and discuss the likelihood of contamination from each source. Many of the chemical compounds used

  6. Modeling of Interaction of Hydraulic Fractures in Complex Fracture Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kresse, O. 2; Wu, R.; Weng, X.; Gu, H.; Cohen, C.

    2011-12-01

    A recently developed unconventional fracture model (UFM) is able to simulate complex fracture network propagation in a formation with pre-existing natural fractures. Multiple fracture branches can propagate at the same time and intersect/cross each other. Each open fracture exerts additional stresses on the surrounding rock and adjacent fractures, which is often referred to as "stress shadow" effect. The stress shadow can cause significant restriction of fracture width, leading to greater risk of proppant screenout. It can also alter the fracture propagation path and drastically affect fracture network patterns. It is hence critical to properly model the fracture interaction in a complex fracture model. A method for computing the stress shadow in a complex hydraulic fracture network is presented. The method is based on an enhanced 2D Displacement Discontinuity Method (DDM) with correction for finite fracture height. The computed stress field is compared to 3D numerical simulation in a few simple examples and shows the method provides a good approximation for the 3D fracture problem. This stress shadow calculation is incorporated in the UFM. The results for simple cases of two fractures are presented that show the fractures can either attract or expel each other depending on their initial relative positions, and compares favorably with an independent 2D non-planar hydraulic fracture model. Additional examples of both planar and complex fractures propagating from multiple perforation clusters are presented, showing that fracture interaction controls the fracture dimension and propagation pattern. In a formation with no or small stress anisotropy, fracture interaction can lead to dramatic divergence of the fractures as they tend to repel each other. However, when stress anisotropy is large, the fracture propagation direction is dominated by the stress field and fracture turning due to fracture interaction is limited. However, stress shadowing still has a strong effect

  7. Sequential hydraulic fracturing of a subsurface formation

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, T.C. Jr.; Hale, M.W.; Sellers, J.R.

    1989-09-26

    This patent describes a method for propagating a vertical hydraulic fracture in an earth formation surrounding a borehole wherein the original in-situ stresses favor a horizontal fracture. It comprises: pumping a first fracturing fluid into the formation at a first depth within the borehole so that a first fracturing pressure is applied to the formation by the first fracturing fluid to propagate a horizontal fracture as favored by the original in-situ stresses of the formation. The propagation of the horizontal fracture altering the original in-situ stresses in the formation; injecting a propping material into the horizontal fracture while maintaining the first fracturing pressure in the horizontal fracture in sufficient amount to prevent relaxation of the altered in-situ stresses in the formation after the pumping of the first fracturing fluid is terminated and the first fracturing pressure is removed; terminating the pumping of the first fracturing fluid into the horizontal fracture to remove the first fracturing pressure from the formation, pumping a second fracturing into the formation at a second depth within the borehole within the field of the altered in-situ stresses,; and terminating the pumping of the second fracturing fluid to the vertical fracture to remove the second fracturing pressure from the formation.

  8. Shear and tension hydraulic fractures in low permeability rocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solberg, P.; Lockner, D.; Byerlee, J.

    1977-01-01

    Laboratory hydrofracture experiments were performed on triaxially stressed specimens of oil shale and low-permeability granite. The results show that either shear or tension fractures could develop depending on the level of differentials stress, even in specimens containing preexisting fractures. With 1 kb of confining pressure and differential stress greater than 2kb, hydraulic fluid diffusion into the specimens reduced the effective confining pressure until failure occurred by shear fracture. Below 2kb of differential stress, tension fractures occurred. These results suggest that hydraulic fracturing in regions of significant tectonic stress may produce shear rather than tension fractures. In this case in situ stress determinations based on presumed tension fractures would lead to erroneous results. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.

  9. Laboratory Scale Hydraulic Fracture and Proppant Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingraham, M. D.; Rao, R. R.; Bolintineanu, D.; Lechman, J. B.; Bauer, S. J.; Quintana, E.

    2015-12-01

    A series of fracture and proppant injection tests have been conducted on Marcellus shale from an outcrop in Pennsylvania at the laboratory scale. The shale outcrop was recently exposed by new construction and shows little sign of weathering. Specimens 3 inches in diameter and nominally 6 inches long were cored (parallel to bedding) from blocks taken from the outcrop. A 3 inch hole was then cored down the center of the specimen and "cased" with 0.25 inch high pressure tubing, leaving 0.75 inches of space at the bottom of the borehole uncased. Specimens were then loaded under in an axisymmetric extension stress state and hydraulically fractured in order to generate the appropriate fracture orientation to represent the opening of a fracture in a typical long horizontal well, where fractures are "disks on a string." After fracture with water, while still under stress, a guar/proppant mixture was injected into the specimen to investigate the distribution of proppant in the fracture. Silicon carbide particles were used as proppant to assist in proppant visualization in microCT scans performed after the test was completed. Corresponding numerical analyses (using the finite element method) of the flow path and particle transport are underway, coupled with idealized flow experiments to validate the codes being used to model the particle transport. Some of the meshes being used were developed directly from CT scans. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. SAND2015-6111 A.

  10. Fracturing Experiment 2016

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Donald W.; Keppler, H.; Kuriyagawa, Michio; Murphy, Hugh D.; Walter, Fritz

    1982-09-27

    Experiment 2016 was conducted on June 20 and 21, 1982. This experiment represented our third attempt at a fracture connection between the bottom of hole EE-2, and the openhole section of EE-3. The primary objective of Experiment 2016 was to hydraulically connect holes EE-2 and EE-3, utilizing a greater amount of injected fluid--1.3 million gallons were pumped into EE-2--and somewhat higher injection rates up to 35 BPM (as compared to 30 BPM during Expt. 2012).

  11. Method for hydraulic fracturing cased wellbores

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, J.H.

    1991-12-24

    This patent describes a method of hydraulically fracturing a cased wellbore in an earth formation. It comprises determining the angle with respect to the wellbore axis and a reference point on the circumference of the wellbore which will provide for initiation of a hydraulic fracture in the formation which will turn with the largest radius of curvature into a fracture plane normal to the minimum in situ stress in the formation; perforating the wellbore casing at the angle with respect to the reference point; initiating a hydraulic fracture in the formation by pumping a liquid through the perforation and into the formation to force the initiation of a fracture in the formation at a point which develops the highest tensile stress in the formation in relation to increasing the hydraulic pressure in the wellbore; extending the fracture by pumping a relatively proppant-free quantities of proppant per unit volume of pumped fluid and in successive discrete stages of increasing proppant density to provide a propped portion of increasing proppant density to provide a propped portion of the fracture in the near wellbore region of the fracture which will prevent reclosing of the fracture in the near wellbore region.

  12. Plasticity effects in hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Medlin, W.L.; Masse, L.

    1986-09-01

    The importance of reservoir rock plasticity in fracturing operations has been investigated by laboratory experiments and field results. A Lagrangian formulation for crack propagation provided the basis for the laboratory experiments. A simple crack propagation experiment showed that plasticity effects can be observed and that the importance of plasticity depends on the relative magnitudes of surface energy and energy dissipated in plastic deformation of a reservoir rock. The latter can be evaluated by laboratory measurements of a plasticity coefficient, ..cap alpha.., which comes out of the Lagrangian analysis. To measure ..cap alpha.., the authors developed a triaxial system for applying tensile stress to rock cores under confining pressure at strain rates characteristic of fracturing operations. Strain gauges mounted on each core were used with a servo-controlled press to apply strain at a linear rate between 10/sup -4/ and 10/sup -6/ seconds /sup -1/ and to obtain stress/strain data to the point of tensile failure. To distinguish between plasticity and nonlinear elastic phenomena, the authors also obtained strain hysteresis data.

  13. Self-potential observations during hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Jeffrey R.; Glaser, Steven D.

    2007-09-13

    The self-potential (SP) response during hydraulic fracturing of intact Sierra granite was investigated in the laboratory. Excellent correlation of pressure drop and SP suggests that the SP response is created primarily by electrokinetic coupling. For low pressures, the variation of SP with pressure drop is linear, indicating a constant coupling coefficient (Cc) of -200 mV/MPa. However for pressure drops >2 MPa, the magnitude of the Cc increases by 80% in an exponential trend. This increasing Cc is related to increasing permeability at high pore pressures caused by dilatancy of micro-cracks, and is explained by a decrease in the hydraulic tortuosity. Resistivity measurements reveal a decrease of 2% prior to hydraulic fracturing and a decrease of {approx}35% after fracturing. An asymmetric spatial SP response created by injectate diffusion into dilatant zones is observed prior to hydraulic fracturing, and in most cases this SP variation revealed the impending crack geometry seconds before failure. At rupture, injectate rushes into the new fracture area where the zeta potential is different than in the rock porosity, and an anomalous SP spike is observed. After fracturing, the spatial SP distribution reveals the direction of fracture propagation. Finally, during tensile cracking in a point load device with no water flow, a SP spike is observed that is caused by contact electrification. However, the time constant of this event is much less than that for transients observed during hydraulic fracturing, suggesting that SP created solely from material fracture does not contribute to the SP response during hydraulic fracturing.

  14. Hydraulic-fracture propagation in layered rock: experimental studies of fracture containment

    SciTech Connect

    Teufel, L. W.; Clark, J. A.

    1981-01-01

    Fracture geometry is an important concern in the design of a massive hydraulic fracture treatment for improved natural gas recovery from tight gas sands. Possible prediction of vertical fracture growth and containment in layered rock requires an improved understanding of the parameters which may control fracture growth across layer interfaces. We have conducted laboratory hydraulic fracture experiments and elastic finite element studies which show that at least two distinct geologic conditions may inhibit or contain the vertical growth of hydraulic fractures in layered rock; (1) a weak interfacial shear strength of the layers and (2) a compressional increase in the minimum horizontal stress in the bounding layer. The second condition is more important and more likely to occur at depth. Variations in the horizontal stress can result from differences in elastic properties of individual layers in a layered rock sequence. A compressional increase in the minimum horizontal stress can occur in going from high shear modulus into low shear modulus layers.

  15. Where Does Water Go During Hydraulic Fracturing?

    PubMed

    O'Malley, D; Karra, S; Currier, R P; Makedonska, N; Hyman, J D; Viswanathan, H S

    2016-07-01

    During hydraulic fracturing millions of gallons of water are typically injected at high pressure into deep shale formations. This water can be housed in fractures, within the shale matrix, and can potentially migrate beyond the shale formation via fractures and/or faults raising environmental concerns. We describe a generic framework for producing estimates of the volume available in fractures and undamaged shale matrix where water injected into a representative shale site could reside during hydraulic fracturing, and apply it to a representative site that incorporates available field data. The amount of water that can be stored in the fractures is estimated by calculating the volume of all the fractures associated with a discrete fracture network (DFN) based on real data and using probability theory to estimate the volume of smaller fractures that are below the lower cutoff for the fracture radius in the DFN. The amount of water stored in the matrix is estimated utilizing two distinct methods-one using a two-phase model at the pore-scale and the other using a single-phase model at the continuum scale. Based on these calculations, it appears that most of the water resides in the matrix with a lesser amount in the fractures. PMID:26469857

  16. The Pennsylvania Experience with Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development: Relatively Infrequent Water Quality Incidents with Lots of Public Attention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brantley, S. L.; Li, Z.; Yoxtheimer, D.; Vidic, R.

    2015-12-01

    New techniques of hydraulic fracturing - "fracking" - have changed the United States over the last 10 years into a leading producer of natural gas extraction from shale. The first such gas well in Pennsylvania was drilled and completed using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in 2004. By late 2014, more than 8500 of these gas wells had been drilled in the Marcellus Shale gas field in Pennsylvania alone. Almost 1000 public complaints about groundwater quality were logged by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) between 2008 and 2012. Only a fraction of these were attributed to unconventional gas development. The most common problem was gas migration into drinking water, but contamination incidents also included spills, seepage, or leaks of fracking fluids, brine salts, or very occasionally, radioactive species. Many problems of gas migration were from a few counties in the northeastern part of the state. However, sometimes one gas well contaminated multiple water wells. For example, one gas well was reported by the state regulator to have contaminated 18 water wells with methane near Dimock PA. It can be argued that such problems at a relatively small fraction of gas wells initiated pockets of pushback against fracking worldwide. This resistance to fracking has grown even though fracking has been in use in the U.S.A. since the 1940s. We have worked as part of an NSF-funded project (the Shale Network) to share water quality data and publish it online using the CUAHSI Hydrologic Information System. Sharing data has led to collaborative investigation of specific contamination incidents to understand how problems can occur, and to efforts to quantify the frequency of impacts. The Shale Network efforts have also highlighted the need for more transparency with water quality data in the arena related to the energy-water nexus. As more data are released, new techniques of data analysis will allow better understanding of how to tune best practices to be

  17. Seismological investigation of crack formation in hydraulic rock fracturing experiments and in natural geothermal environments. Progress report, September 1, 1980-August 31, 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Aki, K.

    1981-09-01

    Progress is reported on the following: interpretation of seismic data from hydraulic fracturing experiments at the Fenton Hill Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Site, interpretation of 3-D velocity anomalies in the western US with special attention to geothermal areas, theoretical and observational studies of scattering and attenuation of high-frequency seismic waves, theoretical and observational studies of volcanic tremors in relation to magma transport mechanisms, and deployment and maintenance of 9 event-recorders around Mt. St. Helens. Abstracts of papers submitted for publication are included. (MHR)

  18. Effects of various parameters on hydraulic fracturing geometry

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, M.E.; Shaffer, R.J.; Anderson, G.D.

    1981-08-01

    Small-scale laboratory experiments are performed to study the effects of frictional characteristics on hydraulic fracture growth across unbonded interfaces in rocks. Various lubricants and mechanical preparations of the interface surfaces are used to vary the coefficients of friction on the interface surfaces. It is found that the frictional shear stress that the interface surface can support determines whether a hydraulically driven crack will cross the interface. Experiments also are being performed to study the effects of pre-existing cracks, which perpendicularly intersect the unbonded interface, on hydraulic crack growth across the interface. 17 refs.

  19. Characterizing hydraulically fractured reservoirs using induced microearthquakes

    SciTech Connect

    Fehler, M.

    1991-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is a common method employed to increase the production of oil and gas fields. Recently, there has been increased interest in monitoring the microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing as a means of obtaining data to characterize reservoir changeS induced by the injection. Two types of microearthquakes have been observed during hydraulic fracturing. Tensile events have been observed and modeled as the parting of the surfaces of a fracture. A majority of the events observed have been shear-slip events, where two sides of a fault plane slip parallel to each other but in opposite directions. The locations of the microearthquakes can be analyzed to determine regions where significant seismic energy was released, which presumably are regions where injected fluid penetrated into the rock along pre-existing fractures or zones of weakness. The spatial patterns in the locations can be analyzed to fine regions where events cluster along planes, which are interpreted to be the dominant fluid flow paths. Imaging methods can also be applied to the travel time and waveform data to obtain direct evidence for the locations of the fractures or fracture zones. 27 refs., 2 figs.

  20. Impact of ductility on hydraulic fracturing in shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacMinn, Chris; Auton, Lucy

    2016-04-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is a method for extracting natural gas and oil from low-permeability rocks such as shale via the high-pressure injection of fluid into the bulk of the rock. The goal is to initiate and propagate fractures that will provide hydraulic access deeper into the reservoir, enabling gas or oil to be collected from a larger region of the rock. Fracture is the tensile failure of a brittle material upon reaching a threshold tensile stress, but some shales have a high clay content and may yield plastically before fracturing. Plastic deformation is the shear failure of a ductile material, during which stress relaxes through irreversible rearrangements of the particles of the material. Here, we investigate the impact of the ductility of shales on hydraulic fracturing. We first consider a simple, axisymmetric model for radially outward fluid injection from a wellbore into a ductile porous rock. We use this model to show that plastic deformation greatly reduces the maximum tensile stress, and that this maximum stress does not always occur at the wellbore. We then complement these results with laboratory experiments in an analogue system, and with numerical simulations based on the discrete element method (DEM), both of which suggest that ductile failure can indeed dramatically change the resulting deformation pattern. These results imply that hydraulic fracturing may fail in ductile rocks, or that the required injection rate for fracking may be much larger than the rate predicted from models that assume purely elastic mechanical behavior.

  1. Theoretical and experimental research on hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, M.E.; Anderson, G.D.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1980-06-01

    We are conducting a joint theoretical/experimental research program on hydraulic fracturing. Newly developed two-dimensional numerical models (which include complete descriptions of the elastic continuum and porous flow fluids) have been applied to analyze the effecs of pore pressure on the fracturing process. By means of small-scale experiments, we are acquiring a better understanding of the effects of the in-situ stress field, the porosity and permeability of the solid, and the presence of interfaces or layering in the solid. Experimentally, we have been studying the growth of cracks near an interface in several materials, including polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), Nugget sandstone, and Indiana limestone. Results have shown that the mechanical properties of the interface relative to the properties of the materials on either side are important. A crack will not cross a well-bonded interface between two pieces of PMMA, even in the presence of a 13.79-MPa (2000-psi) normal load. Cracks will cross a well-bonded interface from PMMA to limestone, but not vice versa. Similarly, cracks will propagate across a bonded interface from Nugget sandstone to limestone, but not the other way. Pressure-driven cracks will cross an unbonded interface between limestone blocks at normal loads as low as 3.45 MPa (500 psi).

  2. Percolation Theory and Modern Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, J. Q.; Turcotte, D. L.; Rundle, J. B.

    2015-12-01

    During the past few years, we have been developing a percolation model for fracking. This model provides a powerful tool for understanding the growth and properties of the complex fracture networks generated during a modern high volume hydraulic fracture stimulations of tight shale reservoirs. The model can also be used to understand the interaction between the growing fracture network and natural reservoir features such as joint sets and faults. Additionally, the model produces a power-law distribution of bursts which can easily be compared to observed microseismicity.

  3. Linking earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to extract oil and gas from rock, has been a controversial but increasingly common practice; some studies have linked it to groundwater contamination and induced earthquakes. Scientists discussed several studies on the connection between fracking and earthquakes at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December.

  4. Triaxial coreflood study of the hydraulic fracturing of Utica Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, J. W.; Frash, L.; Viswanathan, H. S.

    2015-12-01

    One of the central questions in unconventional oil and gas production research is the cause of limited recovery of hydrocarbon. There are many hypotheses including: 1) inadequate penetration of fractures within the stimulated volume; 2) limited proppant delivery; 3) multiphase flow phenomena that blocks hydrocarbon migration; etc. Underlying any solution to this problem must be an understanding of the hydrologic properties of hydraulically fractured shale. In this study, we conduct triaxial coreflood experiments using a gasket sealing mechanism to characterize hydraulic fracture development and permeability of Utica Shale samples. Our approach also includes fracture propagation with proppants. The triaxial coreflood experiments were conducted with an integrated x-ray tomography system that allows direct observation of fracture development using x-ray video radiography and x-ray computed tomography at elevated pressure. A semi-circular, fracture initiation notch was cut into an end-face of the cylindrical samples (1"-diameter with lengths from 0.375 to 1"). The notch was aligned parallel with the x-ray beam to allow video radiography of fracture growth as a function of injection pressure. The proppants included tungsten powder that provided good x-ray contrast for tracing proppant delivery and distribution within the fracture system. Fractures were propagated at injection pressures in excess of the confining pressure and permeability measurements were made in samples where the fractures propagated through the length of the sample, ideally without penetrating the sample sides. Following fracture development, permeability was characterized as a function of hydrostatic pressure and injection pressure. X-ray video radioadiography was used to study changes in fracture aperture in relation to permeability and proppant embedment. X-ray tomography was collected at steady-state conditions to fully characterize fracture geometry and proppant distribution.

  5. Hydrodynamics of a vertical hydraulic fracture

    SciTech Connect

    Narasimhan, T.N.

    1987-03-24

    We have developed a numerical algorithm, HUBBERT, to simulate the hydrodynamics of a propagating vertical, rectangular fracture in an elastic porous medium. Based on the IFD method, this algorithm assumes fracture geometry to be prescribed. The breakdown and the creation of the incipient fracture is carried out according to the Hubbert-Willis theory. The propagation of the fracture is based on the criterion provided by Griffith, based on energy considerations. The deformation properties of the open fracture are based on simple elasticity solutions. The fracture is assumed to have an elliptical shape to a distance equal to the fracture height, beyond which the shape is assumed to be parallel plate. A consequence of Griffith's criterion is that the fracture must propagate in discrete steps. The parametric studies carried out suggest that for a clear understanding of the hydrodynamics of the hydraulic fracture many hitherto unrecognized parameters must be better understood. Among these parameters one might mention, efficiency, aperture of the newly formed fracture, stiffness of the newly formed fracture, relation between fracture aperture and permeability, and well bore compliance. The results of the studies indicate that the patterns of pressure transients and the magnitudes of fracture length appear to conform to field observations. In particular, the discrete nature of fracture propagation as well as the relevant time scales of interest inferred from the present work seem to be corroborated by seismic monitoring in the field. The results suggest that the estimation of least principal stress can be reliably made either with shut in data or with reinjection data provided that injection rates are very small.

  6. Hydraulic fracture model comparison study: Complete results

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N.R.; Abou-Sayed, I.S.; Moschovidis, Z.; Parker, C.

    1993-02-01

    Large quantities of natural gas exist in low permeability reservoirs throughout the US. Characteristics of these reservoirs, however, make production difficult and often economic and stimulation is required. Because of the diversity of application, hydraulic fracture design models must be able to account for widely varying rock properties, reservoir properties, in situ stresses, fracturing fluids, and proppant loads. As a result, fracture simulation has emerged as a highly complex endeavor that must be able to describe many different physical processes. The objective of this study was to develop a comparative study of hydraulic-fracture simulators in order to provide stimulation engineers with the necessary information to make rational decisions on the type of models most suited for their needs. This report compares the fracture modeling results of twelve different simulators, some of them run in different modes for eight separate design cases. Comparisons of length, width, height, net pressure, maximum width at the wellbore, average width at the wellbore, and average width in the fracture have been made, both for the final geometry and as a function of time. For the models in this study, differences in fracture length, height and width are often greater than a factor of two. In addition, several comparisons of the same model with different options show a large variability in model output depending upon the options chosen. Two comparisons were made of the same model run by different companies; in both cases the agreement was good. 41 refs., 54 figs., 83 tabs.

  7. Particle laden fluids in hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecampion, Brice

    2015-11-01

    The aim of hydraulic fracturing is to create a highly conductive pathway in the reservoir formation of interest. This is typically achieved by ``propping'' the created fracture with solid particles (i.e. proppant) in order to prevent complete closure of the created fracture due to in-situ stresses when pumping stops. The placement of proppant is therefore the main goal of any fracturing treatment. It involves a number of interesting fluid dynamics problem (suspensions flow with settling, complex rheologies of the base fluid, effect of the fracture roughness etc.). In this talk, we will review the different class of fluids used to achieve proppant placement in fracture particularly focusing on their widely varied rheological properties. We will also discuss the different flow regimes that are typically encountered during a hydraulic fracturing job. In particular, we will notably present in details how recent advances in our understanding of dense suspensions flow can improve predictions of proppant placement in the Stokesian regime. Second author: Dmtiry Garagash, Dalhousie University.

  8. Smart magnetic markers use in hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    Zawadzki, Jarosław; Bogacki, Jan

    2016-11-01

    One of the main challenges and unknowns during shale gas exploration is to assess the range and efficiency of hydraulic fracturing. It is also essential to assess the distribution of proppant, which keeps the fracture pathways open. Solving these problems may considerably increase the efficiency of the shale gas extraction. Because of that, the idea of smart magnetic marker, which can be detected when added to fracturing fluid, has been considered for a long time. This study provides overview of the possibilities of magnetic marker application for shale gas extraction. The imaging methods using electromagnetic markers, are considered or developed in two directions. The first possibility is the markers' electromagnetic activity throughout the whole volume of the fracturing fluid. Thus, it can be assumed that the whole fracturing fluid is the marker. Among these type of hydraulic fracturing solutions, ferrofluid could be considered. The second possibility is marker, which is just one of many components of the fracturing fluid. In this case feedstock magnetic materials, ferrites and nanomaterials could be considered. Magnetic properties of magnetite could be too low and ferrofluids' or nanomaterials' price is unacceptably high. Because of that, ferrites, especially ZnMn ferrites seems to be the best material for magnetic marker. Because of the numerous applications in electronics, it is cheap and easily available, although the price is higher, then that of magnetite. The disadvantage of using ferrite, could be too small mechanical strength. It creates an essential need for combining magnetic marker with proppant into magnetic-ceramic composite. PMID:27475294

  9. An analytical model for hydraulic fracturing in shallow bedrock formations.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, José Sérgio; Ballestero, Thomas Paul; Pitombeira, Ernesto da Silva

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical method is proposed to estimate post-fracturing fracture size and transmissivity, and as a test of the methodology, data collected from two wells were used for verification. This method can be employed before hydrofracturing in order to obtain estimates of the potential hydraulic benefits of hydraulic fracturing. Five different pumping test analysis methods were used to evaluate the well hydraulic data. The most effective methods were the Papadopulos-Cooper model (1967), which includes wellbore storage effects, and the Gringarten-Ramey model (1974), known as the single horizontal fracture model. The hydraulic parameters resulting from fitting these models to the field data revealed that as a result of hydraulic fracturing, the transmissivity increased more than 46 times in one well and increased 285 times in the other well. The model developed by dos Santos (2008), which considers horizontal radial fracture propagation from the hydraulically fractured well, was used to estimate potential fracture geometry after hydrofracturing. For the two studied wells, their fractures could have propagated to distances of almost 175 m or more and developed maximum apertures of about 2.20 mm and hydraulic apertures close to 0.30 mm. Fracturing at this site appears to have expanded and propagated existing fractures and not created new fractures. Hydraulic apertures calculated from pumping test analyses closely matched the results obtained from the hydraulic fracturing model. As a result of this model, post-fracturing geometry and resulting post-fracturing well yield can be estimated before the actual hydrofracturing. PMID:20572875

  10. Uncertainty Analysis of Simulated Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M.; Sun, Y.; Fu, P.; Carrigan, C. R.; Lu, Z.

    2012-12-01

    Artificial hydraulic fracturing is being used widely to stimulate production of oil, natural gas, and geothermal reservoirs with low natural permeability. Optimization of field design and operation is limited by the incomplete characterization of the reservoir, as well as the complexity of hydrological and geomechanical processes that control the fracturing. Thus, there are a variety of uncertainties associated with the pre-existing fracture distribution, rock mechanics, and hydraulic-fracture engineering that require evaluation of their impact on the optimized design. In this study, a multiple-stage scheme was employed to evaluate the uncertainty. We first define the ranges and distributions of 11 input parameters that characterize the natural fracture topology, in situ stress, geomechanical behavior of the rock matrix and joint interfaces, and pumping operation, to cover a wide spectrum of potential conditions expected for a natural reservoir. These parameters were then sampled 1,000 times in an 11-dimensional parameter space constrained by the specified ranges using the Latin-hypercube method. These 1,000 parameter sets were fed into the fracture simulators, and the outputs were used to construct three designed objective functions, i.e. fracture density, opened fracture length and area density. Using PSUADE, three response surfaces (11-dimensional) of the objective functions were developed and global sensitivity was analyzed to identify the most sensitive parameters for the objective functions representing fracture connectivity, which are critical for sweep efficiency of the recovery process. The second-stage high resolution response surfaces were constructed with dimension reduced to the number of the most sensitive parameters. An additional response surface with respect to the objective function of the fractal dimension for fracture distributions was constructed in this stage. Based on these response surfaces, comprehensive uncertainty analyses were conducted

  11. Fluid Compressibility Effects during Hydraulic Fracture: an Opportunity for Gas Fracture Revival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mighani, S.; Boulenouar, A.; Moradian, Z.; Evans, J. B.; Bernabe, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing results when internal pore pressure is increased above a critical value. As the fracture extends, the fluid flows to the crack tip. The fracturing process depends strongly on the physical properties of both the porous solid and the fluid (e.g. porosity and elastic moduli for the solid, viscosity and compressibility for the fluid). It is also affected by the in-situ stress and pore pressure conditions. Here, we focus on the effect of fluid properties on hydraulic fracturing under conventional triaxial loading. Cylinders of Solnhofen limestone (a fine-grained, low permeability rock) were prepared with a central borehole through which different pressurized fluids such as oil, water or argon, were introduced. Preliminary experiments were performed using a confining pressure of 5 MPa and axial stress of 7 MPa. Our goal was to monitor fracture extension using strain gauges, acoustic emissions (AE) recording and ultrasonic velocity measurements. We also tried to compare the data with analytical models of fracture propagation. Initial tests showed that simple bi-wing fractures form when the fracturing fluid is relatively incompressible. With argon as pore fluid, a complex fracture network was formed. We also observed that the breakdown pressure was higher with argon than with less compressible fluids. After fracturing occurred, we cycled fluid pressure for several times. During the first cycles, re-opening of the fracture was associated with additional propagation. In general, it took 4 cycles to inhibit further propagation. Analytical models suggest that initial fractures occurring with compressible fluids tend to stabilize. Hence, formation and extension of additional fractures may occur, leading to a more complex morphology. Conversely, fractures formed by incompressible fluids remain critically stressed as they extend, thus producing a simple bi-wing fracture. Using compressible fracturing fluids could be a suitable candidate for an efficient

  12. Understanding hydraulic fracturing: a multi-scale problem.

    PubMed

    Hyman, J D; Jiménez-Martínez, J; Viswanathan, H S; Carey, J W; Porter, M L; Rougier, E; Karra, S; Kang, Q; Frash, L; Chen, L; Lei, Z; O'Malley, D; Makedonska, N

    2016-10-13

    Despite the impact that hydraulic fracturing has had on the energy sector, the physical mechanisms that control its efficiency and environmental impacts remain poorly understood in part because the length scales involved range from nanometres to kilometres. We characterize flow and transport in shale formations across and between these scales using integrated computational, theoretical and experimental efforts/methods. At the field scale, we use discrete fracture network modelling to simulate production of a hydraulically fractured well from a fracture network that is based on the site characterization of a shale gas reservoir. At the core scale, we use triaxial fracture experiments and a finite-discrete element model to study dynamic fracture/crack propagation in low permeability shale. We use lattice Boltzmann pore-scale simulations and microfluidic experiments in both synthetic and shale rock micromodels to study pore-scale flow and transport phenomena, including multi-phase flow and fluids mixing. A mechanistic description and integration of these multiple scales is required for accurate predictions of production and the eventual optimization of hydrocarbon extraction from unconventional reservoirs. Finally, we discuss the potential of CO2 as an alternative working fluid, both in fracturing and re-stimulating activities, beyond its environmental advantages.This article is part of the themed issue 'Energy and the subsurface'. PMID:27597789

  13. Reactivation of a Propped Hydraulic Fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarvaramini, E.; Garagash, D.

    2014-12-01

    The problem of massive fluid injection into a pre-existing fracture has many applications in petroleum industry including underground liquid waste disposal and waterflooding to increase recovery from a hydrocarbon reservoir. Understanding the conditions leading to the re-activation of pre-existing fractures and ensuing propagation is critical for a successful injection project design, and it may also help to mitigate potential environmental hazards, such as contamination of underground aquifers and induced seismicity. The problem of injection of a low viscosity fluid into a permeable formation can be distinguished from conventional hydraulic fracture by the mechanism of fluid leak-off. In conventional fracturing, high viscosity and cake building properties of injected fluid limit leak-off to a 1-D boundary layer incasing the crack. In the case of injection of low viscosity fluid into a fracture, leak-off and related pore fluid diffusion will take place over wider range of scales, from 1-D to 2 or 3-D. We consider a pre-existing stationary propped hydraulic fracture with constrained height into which a fluid is injected under constant flow rate. Although the net effective stress on the crack is initially compressive, the proppant keeps the crack open. It is worthwhile to note that during injection and related pressurization of a propped crack, the fracture breakdown is to be achieved prior to the fracture re-opening. Therefore, the effect of the change of the propped fracture storage on the pressurization dynamics can be neglected. The objective of this work is to study the transient pressurization and the onset of the propagation for a propped fracture. To the end, we formulate and solve a general problem of injection into a fracture accounting for viscous dissipation (i.e. non-uniform pressure distribution). We quantify how the fracture breakdown condition depends upon the rock and fluid properties, the in-situ stress and the fluid injection rate. We also

  14. Stress control of seismicity patterns observed during hydraulic fracturing experiments at the Fenton Hill hot dry rock geothermal energy site, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Fehler, M.C.

    1987-04-13

    Seismicity accompanying hydraulic injections into granitic rock is often diffuse rather than falling along a single plane. This diffuse zone of seismicity cannot be attributed to systematic errors in locations of the events. It has often been asserted that seismicity occurs along preexisting joints in the rock that are favorably aligned with the stress field so that slip can occur along them when effective stress is reduced by increasing pore fluid pressure. A new scheme for determining orientations and locations of planes along which the microearthquakes occurred was recently developed. The basic assumption of the method, called the three point method, is that many of the events fall along well defined planes; these planes are often difficult to identify visually in the data because planes of many orientations are present. The method has been applied to four hydraulic fracturing experiments conducted at Fenton Hill as part of a hot dry rock geothermal energy project. While multiple planes are found for each experiment; one plane is common to all experiments. The ratio of shear to normal stress along planes of all orientations is calculated using a best estimate of the current stress state at Fenton Hill. The plane common to all experiments has the highest ratio of shear to normal stress acting along it, so it is the plane most likely to slip. The other planes found by the three point method all have orientations with respect to current principal stresses that are favorable for slip to occur along preexisting planes of weakness. These results are consistent with the assertion that the rock contains pre-existing joints which slip when the effective stress is reduced by the increased pore fluid pressure accompanying the hydraulic injection. Microearthquakes occur along those planes that are favorably aligned with respect to the current stress field.

  15. Seismic characteristics of tensile fracture growth induced by hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D. W. S.; Van der Baan, M.; Boroumand, N.

    2014-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is a process of injecting high-pressure slurry into a rockmass to enhance its permeability. Variants of this process are used for unconventional oil and gas development, engineered geothermal systems and block-cave mining; similar processes occur within volcanic systems. Opening of hydraulic fractures is well documented by mineback trials and tiltmeter monitoring and is a physical requirement to accommodate the volume of injected fluid. Numerous microseismic monitoring investigations acquired in the audio-frequency band are interpreted to show a prevalence of shear-dominated failure mechanisms surrounding the tensile fracture. Moreover, the radiated seismic energy in the audio-frequency band appears to be a miniscule fraction (<< 1%) of the net injected energy, i.e., the integral of the product of fluid pressure and injection rate. We use a simple penny-shaped crack model as a predictive framework to describe seismic characteristics of tensile opening during hydraulic fracturing. This model provides a useful scaling relation that links seismic moment to effective fluid pressure within the crack. Based on downhole recordings corrected for attenuation, a significant fraction of observed microseismic events are characterized by S/P amplitude ratio < 5. Despite the relatively small aperture of the monitoring arrays, which precludes both full moment-tensor analysis and definitive identification of nodal planes or axes, this ratio provides a strong indication that observed microseismic source mechanisms have a component of tensile failure. In addition, we find some instances of periodic spectral notches that can be explained by an opening/closing failure mechanism, in which fracture propagation outpaces fluid velocity within the crack. Finally, aseismic growth of tensile fractures may be indicative of a scenario in which injected energy is consumed to create new fracture surfaces. Taken together, our observations and modeling provide evidence that

  16. Hydraulic fracturing and the creation of hydraulic breccias

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehn, Daniel; Varga Vass, Anna; Toussaint, Renaud; Bons, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Vein systems that indicate paleofracture geometries can be found in variable settings including typical layer perpendicular and layer parallel veins. Some natural examples show layer parallel and perpendicular veins that appear to form synchronously. A more drastic example of fluid overpressures is the development of hydraulic breccias where the fractures also do not show a specific orientation. We argue that these structure develop due to local fluid overpressures leading to pressure gradients. Depending on the boundary conditions, for example seals in the system and localisation or non-localisation of fluid overpressure the developing effective stress fields can be quite complicated and the fluid pressure is not isotropic, but pressure gradients produce anisotropic stresses. We illustrate the complexity of the developing effective stress and fracture patterns with a hybrid numerical model linking pressure gradients to solid deformation. In the model fluid pressure rise below a seal leads to a decrease of the mean and differential stress of the solid. In a closed system where fluid pressure rise below a seal is not local, the main principle stresses flip with the effective horizontal stress becoming zero and the effective vertical stress tensile leading to horizontal hydrofractures. Such a system leads to the development of a hydraulic breccia if initially local high fluid pressure pulses produce vertical fractures. We argue that an fluid pressure gradients have to be taken into account to understand effective stresses in the Earth's crust.

  17. New groups focus on hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-04-01

    The Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formed a 31-member expert panel to conduct a peer review of the agency's upcoming draft report on the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, EPA announced on 24 March. Panel members include experts in a number of areas, including petroleum/natural gas engineering, geology/geophysics, and waste water and drinking water treatment.

  18. Influence of Rock Fabric on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation: Laboratory Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanchits, S. A.; Desroches, J.; Burghardt, J.; Surdi, A.; Whitney, N.

    2014-12-01

    Massive hydraulic fracturing is required for commercial gas production from unconventional reservoirs. These reservoirs are often highly fractured and heterogeneous, which may cause significant fracture complexity and also arrest propagation of hydraulic fractures, leading to production decrease. One of the goals of our study was to investigate the influence of rock fabric features on near-wellbore fracture geometry and complexity. We performed a series of laboratory tests on Niobrara outcrop shale blocks with dimensions of 30 x 30 x 36 inches in a true-triaxial loading frame. Acoustic Emission (AE) technique was applied to monitor hydraulic fracture initiation and dynamics of fracture propagation. After the tests, the shape of the created hydraulic fracture was mapped by goniometry technique. To estimate fracture aperture, particles of different sizes were injected with fracturing fluid. In all tests, AE analysis indicated hydraulic fracture initiation prior to breakdown or the maximum of wellbore pressure. In most tests, AE analysis revealed asymmetrical hydraulic fracture shapes. Post-test analysis demonstrated good correspondence of AE results with the actual 3D shape of the fracture surface map. AE analysis confirmed that in some of these tests, the hydraulic fracture approached one face of the block before the maximum wellbore pressure had been reached. We have found that in such cases the propagation of hydraulic fracture in the opposite direction was arrested by the presence of mineralized interfaces. Mapping the distribution of injected particles confirmed the creation of a narrow-width aperture in the vicinity of pre-existing interfaces, restricting fracture conductivity. Based on the results of our study, we concluded that the presence of planes of weakness, such as mineralized natural fractures, can result in the arrest of hydraulic fracture propagation, or in poor fracture geometries with limited aperture, that in turn could lead to high net pressure

  19. Streaming potential modeling in fractured rock: Insights into the identification of hydraulically active fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roubinet, D.; Linde, N.; Jougnot, D.; Irving, J.

    2016-05-01

    Numerous field experiments suggest that the self-potential (SP) geophysical method may allow for the detection of hydraulically active fractures and provide information about fracture properties. However, a lack of suitable numerical tools for modeling streaming potentials in fractured media prevents quantitative interpretation and limits our understanding of how the SP method can be used in this regard. To address this issue, we present a highly efficient two-dimensional discrete-dual-porosity approach for solving the fluid flow and associated self-potential problems in fractured rock. Our approach is specifically designed for complex fracture networks that cannot be investigated using standard numerical methods. We then simulate SP signals associated with pumping conditions for a number of examples to show that (i) accounting for matrix fluid flow is essential for accurate SP modeling and (ii) the sensitivity of SP to hydraulically active fractures is intimately linked with fracture-matrix fluid interactions. This implies that fractures associated with strong SP amplitudes are likely to be hydraulically conductive, attracting fluid flow from the surrounding matrix.

  20. Monitoring hydraulic fractures: state estimation using an extended Kalman filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves Rochinha, Fernando; Peirce, Anthony

    2010-02-01

    There is considerable interest in using remote elastostatic deformations to identify the evolving geometry of underground fractures that are forced to propagate by the injection of high pressure viscous fluids. These so-called hydraulic fractures are used to increase the permeability in oil and gas reservoirs as well as to pre-fracture ore-bodies for enhanced mineral extraction. The undesirable intrusion of these hydraulic fractures into environmentally sensitive areas or into regions in mines which might pose safety hazards has stimulated the search for techniques to enable the evolving hydraulic fracture geometries to be monitored. Previous approaches to this problem have involved the inversion of the elastostatic data at isolated time steps in the time series provided by tiltmeter measurements of the displacement gradient field at selected points in the elastic medium. At each time step, parameters in simple static models of the fracture (e.g. a single displacement discontinuity) are identified. The approach adopted in this paper is not to regard the sequence of sampled elastostatic data as independent, but rather to treat the data as linked by the coupled elastic-lubrication equations that govern the propagation of the evolving hydraulic fracture. We combine the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) with features of a recently developed implicit numerical scheme to solve the coupled free boundary problem in order to form a novel algorithm to identify the evolving fracture geometry. Numerical experiments demonstrate that, despite excluding significant physical processes in the forward numerical model, the EKF-numerical algorithm is able to compensate for the un-modeled dynamics by using the information fed back from tiltmeter data. Indeed the proposed algorithm is able to provide reasonably faithful estimates of the fracture geometry, which are shown to converge to the actual hydraulic fracture geometry as the number of tiltmeters is increased. Since the location of

  1. Waste disposal in hydraulically fractured earth formations

    SciTech Connect

    Perkins, T.K.

    1993-07-13

    A method is described for disposing of solids waste material in an earth formation comprising the steps of: defining a formation zone of interest which has at least one layer of earth material which is relatively permeable to fluid flow and an adjacent layer of earth material which is relatively impermeable to fluid flow there through; injecting a slurry including particles of said solids waste into said zone of interest at a pressure sufficient to hydraulically fracture said zone of interest in such a way that a fracture is formed which intersects said layers of earths material; and continuing the injection of said slurry to deposit a filter cake of said particles in said fracture adjacent to said layer of relatively permeable material and to form a relatively unobstructed flow path through said zone of interest adjacent to said layer of material that is relatively impermeable to fluid flow.

  2. Phenomenological approach to simulating hydraulic fracturing of a stratum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pen'kovskii, V. I.; Korsakova, N. K.

    2015-09-01

    A mathematical model for hydraulic fracturing is proposed. The model is based on the presentation of the fractured portion of the stratum adjacent to the well as a heterogeneous fractured porous medium. Assumptions usually used in the theory of elastic flow are applied. Formulas for determining the size of the hydraulic fracturing zone and the degree of fracture opening under conditions of relative equilibrium are derived.

  3. Aerobic biodegradation of organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids.

    PubMed

    Kekacs, Daniel; Drollette, Brian D; Brooker, Michael; Plata, Desiree L; Mouser, Paula J

    2015-07-01

    Little is known of the attenuation of chemical mixtures created for hydraulic fracturing within the natural environment. A synthetic hydraulic fracturing fluid was developed from disclosed industry formulas and produced for laboratory experiments using commercial additives in use by Marcellus shale field crews. The experiments employed an internationally accepted standard method (OECD 301A) to evaluate aerobic biodegradation potential of the fluid mixture by monitoring the removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from an aqueous solution by activated sludge and lake water microbial consortia for two substrate concentrations and four salinities. Microbial degradation removed from 57 % to more than 90 % of added DOC within 6.5 days, with higher removal efficiency at more dilute concentrations and little difference in overall removal extent between sludge and lake microbe treatments. The alcohols isopropanol and octanol were degraded to levels below detection limits while the solvent acetone accumulated in biological treatments through time. Salinity concentrations of 40 g/L or more completely inhibited degradation during the first 6.5 days of incubation with the synthetic hydraulic fracturing fluid even though communities were pre-acclimated to salt. Initially diverse microbial communities became dominated by 16S rRNA sequences affiliated with Pseudomonas and other Pseudomonadaceae after incubation with the synthetic fracturing fluid, taxa which may be involved in acetone production. These data expand our understanding of constraints on the biodegradation potential of organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids under aerobic conditions in the event that they are accidentally released to surface waters and shallow soils. PMID:26037076

  4. Direct observation of a sand-propped hydraulic fracture

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N.R.; Tyler, L.D.; Vollendorf, W.C.; Northrop, D.A.

    1981-05-01

    An experiement has been conducted in which a sand-propped hydraulic fracture is created and then mined back to observe fracture behavior and proppant distribution. Three stages of different colored, different concentration sand transported by a water-based gel were injected into a volcanic ash fall tuff formation at a depth of 1400 ft near an existing tunnel complex. The resultant fracture was subsequently mined back for direct observation and photographed and mapped. This particular region was highly faulted and exhibited significant changes in in situ stress magnitudes across the faults; it is felt that this stress distribution resulted in very complex fracture behavior and growth processes. The fracture was bounded on one wing by a fault which was only a few feet from the wellbore. The fracture terminated on top at an unbonded bedding plane. Most of the injected volume of sand and fluid was forced downward, considerably below the elevation where the fracture was initiated. The different colors of sand were randomly distributed, although they were usually found in distinct layers, but this may have been due to the complex growth process. At different locations the fracture was found to have considerable variations in width; from several sand grains wide (1 cm) to devoid of sand altogether (2 to 3 mm average).

  5. Hydraulic fracturing and geothermal energy development in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Abe, H.; Suyama, J.; Takahashi, H.

    1982-09-01

    This paper is a review of research and development on geothermal energy extraction in Japan especially on hydraulic fracturing. First recent geothermal developments in Japan are outlined in Part I. An increase in the production rate of geothermal wells may be highly dependent on the geothermal well stimulation technology based on hydraulic fracturing. The hydraulic fracturing technique must be developed also for geothermal energy to be extracted from hot, dry rock masses. In Part II, the research on hydraulic fracturing and field application are reviewed.

  6. Hydraulic fracture extending into network in shale: reviewing influence factors and their mechanism.

    PubMed

    Ren, Lan; Zhao, Jinzhou; Hu, Yongquan

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracture in shale reservoir presents complex network propagation, which has essential difference with traditional plane biwing fracture at forming mechanism. Based on the research results of experiments, field fracturing practice, theory analysis, and numerical simulation, the influence factors and their mechanism of hydraulic fracture extending into network in shale have been systematically analyzed and discussed. Research results show that the fracture propagation in shale reservoir is influenced by the geological and the engineering factors, which includes rock mineral composition, rock mechanical properties, horizontal stress field, natural fractures, treating net pressure, fracturing fluid viscosity, and fracturing scale. This study has important theoretical value and practical significance to understand fracture network propagation mechanism in shale reservoir and contributes to improving the science and efficiency of shale reservoir fracturing design. PMID:25032240

  7. Hydraulic Fracture Extending into Network in Shale: Reviewing Influence Factors and Their Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Lan; Zhao, Jinzhou; Hu, Yongquan

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracture in shale reservoir presents complex network propagation, which has essential difference with traditional plane biwing fracture at forming mechanism. Based on the research results of experiments, field fracturing practice, theory analysis, and numerical simulation, the influence factors and their mechanism of hydraulic fracture extending into network in shale have been systematically analyzed and discussed. Research results show that the fracture propagation in shale reservoir is influenced by the geological and the engineering factors, which includes rock mineral composition, rock mechanical properties, horizontal stress field, natural fractures, treating net pressure, fracturing fluid viscosity, and fracturing scale. This study has important theoretical value and practical significance to understand fracture network propagation mechanism in shale reservoir and contributes to improving the science and efficiency of shale reservoir fracturing design. PMID:25032240

  8. Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources: Update on EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing (HF) is one way of accessing that resource. Over the past few years, several key technical, economic, and energy developments have spurred increased use of HF for gas extracti...

  9. Treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater by wet air oxidation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Yan, Xiuyi; Zhou, Jinghui; Ma, Jiuli

    2016-01-01

    Wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production is characterized by high salinity and high chemical oxygen demand (COD). We applied a combination of flocculation and wet air oxidation technology to optimize the reduction of COD in the treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. The experiments used different values of flocculant, coagulant, and oxidizing agent added to the wastewater, as well as different reaction times and treatment temperatures. The use of flocculants for the pretreatment of fracturing wastewater was shown to improve treatment efficiency. The addition of 500 mg/L of polyaluminum chloride (PAC) and 20 mg/L of anionic polyacrylamide (APAM) during pretreatment resulted in a COD removal ratio of 8.2% and reduced the suspended solid concentration of fracturing wastewater to 150 mg/L. For a solution of pretreated fracturing wastewater with 12 mL of added H2O2, the COD was reduced to 104 mg/L when reacted at 300 °C for 75 min, and reduced to 127 mg/L when reacted at the same temperature for 45 min while using a 1 L autoclave. An optimal combination of these parameters produced treated wastewater that met the GB 8978-1996 'Integrated Wastewater Discharge Standard' level I emission standard. PMID:26942530

  10. Veining Failure and Hydraulic Fracturing in Shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mighani, S.; Sondergeld, C. H.; Rai, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    During the hydraulic fracturing, the pressurized fluid creates new fractures and reactivates existing natural fractures forming a highly conductive Stimulated Reservoir Volume (SRV) around the borehole. We extend the previous work on Lyons sandstone and pyrophyllite to anisotropic shale from the Wolfcamp formation. We divide the rock anisotropy into two groups: a) conventional and b) unconventional (shaly) anisotropy. X-ray Computed Tomography (CT), compressional velocity anisotropy, and SEM analysis are used to identify three causes of anisotropy: bedding planes, clay lamination, and calcite veins. Calcite vein is a subsequently filled with calcite bonded weakly to the matrix. Velocity anisotropy and visual observations demonstrate the calcite filled veins to be mostly subparallel to the fabric direction. Brazilian tests are carried out to observe the fracture initiation and propagation under tension. High speed photography (frame rate 300,000 frame/sec) was used to capture the failure. Strain gauges and Acoustic Emission (AE) sensors recorded the deformation leading up to and during failure. SEM imaging and surface profilometry were employed to study the post-failure fracture system and failed surface topology. Fracture permeability was measured as a function of effective stress. Brazilian tests on small disks containing a centered single vein revealed the shear strength of the veins. We interpret the strain data and number, frequency, and amplitude of AE events which are correlated well with the observed fracture process zone, surface roughness, and permeability. The unpropped fracture has enhanced permeability by two orders of magnitude. The observed anisotropic tensile failure seems to have a universal trend with a minimum strength occurring at 15o orientation with respect to the loading axis. The veins at 15o orientation with respect to the loading axis were easily activated at 30% of the original failure load. The measured strength of the vein is as low as 6

  11. Kerogen-Hydraulic Fracture Fluid Interactions: Reactivity and Contaminant Release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dustin, M. K.; Jew, A. D.; Harrison, A. L.; Joe-Wong, C. M.; Thomas, D.; Maher, K.; Brown, G. E.; Bargar, J.

    2015-12-01

    The use of hydraulic fracturing of tight shales to produce oil and natural gas has grown significantly in recent years, yet it remains relatively inefficient, recovering only an estimated 5% and 25% of the oil and gas present, respectively. The need to improve efficiency and diminish environmental impact has prompted research into fundamental geochemical reactions occurring in shales. In particular, reactions between kerogen and fracture fluid components are poorly understood. Kerogen is the precursor of these hydrocarbons and contains metals in addition to organic material; it is also electron rich and therefore susceptible to oxidation and release of a variety of elements. Although some mineral phases in the shales are expected to undergo dissolution-precipitation reactions, kerogen is generally considered to be relatively unreactive [1]. Here we have investigated reactions between isolated kerogen and a hydraulic fracturing fluid typical of that used in the Marcellus shale. These experiments show that kerogen, as well as redox-sensitive minerals within shales, react with fracture fluid. In particular, kerogen exhibited more extensive release of certain metals (e.g. Al, Ba, Cu, among others) than was observed for bulk shale under the same experimental conditions. This evidence suggests that kerogen may be far more reactive to fracture fluids than previously thought. In particular, these results suggest that kerogen may significantly impact the compositions of produced waters, which have previously been attributed solely to mineral reactions. They also emphasize the need for further characterization of kerogen and its reactions with complex hydraulic fracturing fluids. [1] Vandenbroucke and Largeau (2007) Org. Geochem.

  12. Disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluid chemical additives: analysis of regulations.

    PubMed

    Maule, Alexis L; Makey, Colleen M; Benson, Eugene B; Burrows, Isaac J; Scammell, Madeleine K

    2013-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is used to extract natural gas from shale formations. The process involves injecting into the ground fracturing fluids that contain thousands of gallons of chemical additives. Companies are not mandated by federal regulations to disclose the identities or quantities of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing operations on private or public lands. States have begun to regulate hydraulic fracturing fluids by mandating chemical disclosure. These laws have shortcomings including nondisclosure of proprietary or "trade secret" mixtures, insufficient penalties for reporting inaccurate or incomplete information, and timelines that allow for after-the-fact reporting. These limitations leave lawmakers, regulators, public safety officers, and the public uninformed and ill-prepared to anticipate and respond to possible environmental and human health hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing fluids. We explore hydraulic fracturing exemptions from federal regulations, as well as current and future efforts to mandate chemical disclosure at the federal and state level. PMID:23552653

  13. Application of microseismic technology to hydraulic fracture diagnostics: GRI/DOE Field Fracturing Multi-Sites Project

    SciTech Connect

    Wilmer, R.; Warpinski, N.R.; Wright, T.B.; Branagan, P.T.; Fix, J.E.

    1995-06-01

    The objective of the Field Fracturing Multi-Sites Project (M-Site) is to conduct field experiments and analyze data that will result in definitive determinations of hydraulic fracture dimensions using remote well and treatment well diagnostic techniques. In addition, experiments will be conducted to provide data that will resolve significant unknowns with regard to hydraulic fracture modeling, fracture fluid rheology and fracture treatment design. These experiments will be supported by a well-characterized subsurface environment as well as surface facilities and equipment conducive to acquiring high-quality data. It is anticipated that the project`s research advancements will provide a foundation for a fracture diagnostic service industry and hydraulic fracture optimization based on measured fracture response. The M-Site Project is jointly sponsored by the Gas Research Institute (GRI) and the US Department of Energy (DOE). The site developed for M-Site hydraulic fracture experimentation is the former DOE Multiwell Experiment (MWX) site located near Rifle, Colorado. The MWX project drilled three closely-spaced wells (MWX-1, MWX-2 and MWX-3) which were the basis for extensive reservoir analyses and tight gas sand characterizations in the blanket and lenticular sandstone bodies of the Mesaverde Group. The research results and background knowledge gained from the MWX project are directly applicable to research in the current M-Site Project.

  14. Active and passive acoustic imaging inside a large-scale polyaxial hydraulic fracture test

    SciTech Connect

    Glaser, S.D.; Dudley, J.W. II; Shlyapobersky, J.

    1999-07-01

    An automated laboratory hydraulic fracture experiment has been assembled to determine what rock and treatment parameters are crucial to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of field hydraulic fractures. To this end a large (460 mm cubic sample) polyaxial cell, with servo-controlled X,Y,Z, pore pressure, crack-mouth-opening-displacement, and bottom hole pressure, was built. Active imaging with embedded seismic diffraction arrays images the geometry of the fracture. Preliminary tests indicate fracture extent can be imaged to within 5%. Unique embeddible high-fidelity particle velocity AE sensors were designed and calibrated to allow determination of fracture source kinematics.

  15. [Hydraulic fracturing - a hazard for drinking water?].

    PubMed

    Ewers, U; Gordalla, B; Frimmel, F

    2013-11-01

    Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a technique used to release and promote the extraction of natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal bed methane) from deep natural gas deposits. Among the German public there is great concern with regard to the potential environmental impacts of fracking including the contamination of ground water, the most important source of drinking water in Germany. In the present article the risks of ground water contamination through fracking are discussed. Due to the present safety requirements and the obligatory geological and hydrogeological scrutiny of the underground, which has to be performed prior to fracking, the risk of ground water contamination by fracking can be regarded as very low. The toxicity of chemical additives of fracking fluids is discussed. It is recommended that in the future environmental impact assessment and approval of fracs should be performed by the mining authorities in close cooperation with the water authorities. Furthermore, it is recommended that hydraulic fracturing in the future should be accompanied by obligatory ground water monitoring. PMID:24285158

  16. Experimental study of step-displacement hydraulic fracturing on naturally fractured shale outcrops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Wan; Jin, Yan; Chen, Mian

    2015-08-01

    Low porosity and permeability make it extremely difficult to develop shale oil and gas reservoirs. The stimulated reservoir volume is believed to have potential to obtain industry production by multi-stage or simultaneous fracturing in horizontal wells. The formation mechanism of network hydraulic fractures in fractured shale reservoirs remains poorly understood. In this article, a true tri-axial hydraulic fracturing system associated acoustic emission monitor was deployed to simulate hydraulic fracturing on shale outcrops. Results showed that the properties of natural fractures (such as aperture, orientation), compared to the viscosity and displacement of the fracturing fluid, affect the propagation direction of hydraulic fractures more predominantly. Each natural fracture in a natural fracture network can independently affect the hydraulic fracture. Low displacement (below the diffusion ability of a reservoir) fracturing tends to connect pre-existing fractures, while high displacement (surpass the diffusion ability of a reservoir) tends to create new fractures. After the breakdown pressure, an increase in injection rate results in more acoustic emission energy and induces new fractures. These results suggest that step-displacement fracturing technology is a possible mechanism to obtain effective fracture networks. Such an understanding would help to avoid unproductive, or sometimes destructive, costly segments of the hydraulic fracturing treatment design.

  17. Using the Semi-Circular Bending Test to Investigate the Interaction Between Hydraulic and Natural Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, W.; Olson, J. E.; Prodanovic, M.

    2014-12-01

    Micro-seismic data shows that hydraulic fracture propagation is a complex process. When hydraulic fractures interact with pre-existing natural fractures, it can result in a complex fracture network. The interaction depends on in-situ stresses, rock and natural fracture mechanical properties, approach angle and hydraulic fracture treatment parameters. Most simulation studies treat natural fractures as frictional interfaces with cohesive properties. However, from core observation, partially cemented and fully cemented natural fractures are widely present and it is not clear that whether they fit the common description or not. In this study, semi-circular bending experiments are utilized to examine the fracture propagation paths. Synthetic hydrostone samples with embedded inclusions of different mechanical properties are used to mimic rock and cemented natural fractures. Simulation results are generated using finite element software ABAQUS. The extended finite element method (XFEM) capability of ABAQUS allows the fracture initiation and propagation along a solution dependent path without the need for re-meshing. The simulation results are used to explain the experimental observations. In a series of experiment and modeling work, we assess the influence of the fracture approach angle, inclusion strength, and inclusion thickness on fracture propagation. Current results indicate the fracture propagation direction is strongly influenced by pre-existing inclusions. The propagating fractures tend to cross the inclusion when the approach angle is high and divert into the inclusion when the approach angle is low. The crossing surface is thus not a clean cut, but with a jog distance that depends on the inclusion thickness and approach angle. Results imply that if hydraulic fractures have lower approach angles to pre-existing natural fractures, the ultimate fracture network is going to have higher complexity. The thickness of natural fractures can also add to the complexity.

  18. Time-lapse Evolution of Fracture Normal/Tangential Compliance Ratios During Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verdon, J.; Baird, A. F.; Wuestefeld, A.; Kendall, J.

    2012-12-01

    The speeds of seismic waves propagating through a fractured rock are modulated by the physical properties of the fracture network. The effect of a fracture network on seismic wavespeeds is determined by its compliance, which in turn is controlled by a variety of physical properties of the fractures. The compliance of a fracture set can be further resolved into the compliance of the fractures under normal and under tangential deformation - the normal and tangential compliances, Zn and Zt. This paper is focused on measuring timelapse variations in their ratio, Zn/Zt, and on what this can tell us about changes to the physical properties of fractures. Rock physics models and lab experiments have revealed that the ratio Zn/Zt is sensitive to the stiffness of the fluid saturating the fracture, as well as aspects of the internal architecture of the fracture: the roughness of the fracture faces, the number and size of any asperities, and the presence of detrital or diagenetic material (or proppant) between fracture faces. Typically, fracture characterization aims to image the orientation and number density of fracture sets, but does not provide information about the properties of the fracture set. Given that the fluid flow properties of the fracture network will be influenced by the above properties, to which Zn/Zt is sensitive, the capability of measuring Zn/Zt will significantly improve efforts to characterize fractures in the field. Rock physics models show that the time-delay and polarization of S-wave splitting measurements made on waves traveling at oblique angles to the fracture faces will be strongly sensitive to Zn/Zt. Therefore, SWS measurements can be used to invert for the Zn/Zt ratio of an aligned fracture set. Microseismic events during hydraulic fracture stimulation typically produce a strong S-wave component, and when measured on downhole geophone arrays they cover a wide range of propagation angles. Therefore, microseismic events recorded on downhole

  19. Experimental studies of rock fracture behavior related to hydraulic fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Zifeng

    The objective of this experimental investigation stems from the uncontrollable of the hydraulic fracture shape in the oil and gas production field. A small-scale laboratory investigation of crack propagation in sandstone was first performed with the objective to simulate the field fracture growth. Test results showed that the fracture resistance increased with crack extension, assuming that there was an interaction between crack faces (bridging, interlocking, and friction). An acoustic emission test was conducted to examine the existence of the interaction by locating AE events and analyzing waveform. Furthermore, the effects of confining stress, loading rate, stress field, and strength heterogeneous on the tortuosity of the fracture surface were experimentally investigated in the study. Finally, a test was designed and conducted to investigate the crack propagation in a stratified media with permeability contrast. Crack was observed to arrested in an interface. The phenomenon of delamination along an interface between layers with permeability contrast was observed. The delamination was proposed to be the cause of crack arrest and crack jump in the saturated stratified materials under confinement test.

  20. 78 FR 55253 - Notification of Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-10

    ... AGENCY Notification of Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel AGENCY...) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing... information related to hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. DATES: The public...

  1. Monitoring the interaction of hydraulic fracturing fluid with Marcellus Shale using Sr isotopes: a comparison of laboratory experiments with field scale observations (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, A. J.; Hakala, A.; Marcon, V.; Joseph, C.

    2013-12-01

    Strontium isotopes have the potential to be an effective tool for differentiating Marcellus Shale derived-fluids from other sources in surface and ground waters (Chapman et al. 2012, doi: 10.1021/es204005g). Water that is co-produced during gas extraction is likely influenced by fluid/rock interactions during hydraulic fracturing (HF) and monitoring changes in Sr isotope ratios can provide insight into reactions occurring within the shale formation. However, questions persist as to what controls the Sr isotopic composition of Marcellus Shale fluids, especially during HF. Here we compare laboratory experiments, simulating the dissolution of the Marcellus Shale during HF, with a time-series of water samples taken from a Marcellus Shale gas wells after HF has occurred. For the laboratory experiments, a core sample of Marcellus Shale from Greene County, PA was crushed and placed into a high P and T reaction vessel. Solutions were added in two different experiments: one with synthetic brine, and another using brine+HF fluid. The HF fluid was made up of components listed on fracfocus.org. Experiments were run for ~16 days at 27.5 MPa and 130oC. Aqueous samples were periodically removed for analysis and Sr isotope ratios were measured by MC-ICP-MS. Using just brine, the pH of the solution decreased from 7.6 to 5.3 after 24 hrs, then reached a steady state at ~6.1. Sr/Ca molar ratios in the fluid started at 2.3 after 24 hours and decreased to 1.8 over ~16 days. During this time only 6% of the total inorganic carbon (TIC) dissolved from the shale. The ɛSr values started at +43.2 and decreased to +42.4. In the experiment using brine+HF fluid, the pH started at 1.8 and rose slowly to a steady value of 5.6 by day 6. The Sr and Ca concentrations were higher than the brine experiment, but the Sr/Ca ratios remained lower at ~0.3 through the experiment. The increased Ca release, as well as the dissolution of over 60% of the TIC, suggests the dissolution of a carbonate mineral

  2. Sensors for hydraulic-induced fracturing characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mireles, Jose, Jr.; Estrada, Horacio; Ambrosio, Roberto C.

    2011-06-01

    Hydraulic induced fracturing (HIF) in oil wells is used to increase oil productivity by making the subterranean terrain more deep and permeable. In some cases HIF connects multiple oil pockets to the main well. Currently there is a need to understand and control with a high degree of precision the geometry, direction, and the physical properties of fractures. By knowing these characteristics (the specifications of fractures), other drill well locations and set-ups of wells can be designed to increase the probability of connection of the oil pockets to main well(s), thus, increasing productivity. The current state of the art of HIF characterization does not meet the requirements of the oil industry. In Mexico, the SENER-CONACyT funding program recently supported a three party collaborative effort between the Mexican Petroleum Institute, Schlumberger Dowell Mexico, and the Autonomous University of Juarez to develop a sensing scheme to measure physical parameters of a HIF like, but not limited to pressure, temperature, density and viscosity. We present in this paper a review of HIF process, its challenges and the progress of sensing development for down hole measurement parameters of wells for the Chicontepec region of Mexico.

  3. FEASIBILITY OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OF SOILS TO IMPROVE REMEDIAL ACTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydraulic fracturing, a technique commonly used to increase the yields of oil wells, could improve the effectiveness of several methods of in situ remediation. This project consisted of laboratory and field tests in which hydraulic fractures were created in soil. Laboratory te...

  4. Hydraulic Fracture Propagation through Preexisting Discontinuity Monitored by Acoustic Emission and Ultrasonic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanchits, S.; Lund, J.; Surdi, A.; Edelman, E.; Whitney, N.; Eldredge, R.; Suarez-Rivera, R.

    2011-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is critical to enhance hydrocarbon production from ultra-low permeability unconventional reservoirs, and is the common completion methodology for tight formations around the world. Unfortunately, these reservoirs are often highly heterogeneous and their heterogeneity imparts a degree of geometrical complexity in hydraulic fractures that is poorly understood. Fracture complexity (e.g. branching) results in higher surface area and could be beneficial to production provided it remains conductive. Understanding the sources and consequences of fracture complexity is thus of high importance to completion and production operations. In this study we postulate that textural complexity in tight heterogeneous formations induces fracture complexity, and that the main sources of textural complexity are associated with veins, bed boundaries, lithologic contacts, and geologic interfaces. We thus study the effect of interfaces on hydraulic fracture propagation under laboratory conditions by Acoustic Emission (AE) and Ultrasonic Transmission (UT) monitoring techniques. The experiments were conducted on low permeability sandstone blocks of 279 x 279 x 381 mm length with saw cut discontinuities oriented orthogonally to the expected direction of fracture propagation. The rock is loaded in a poly-axial test frame to representative effective in-situ stress conditions of normal and deviatoric stress. Hydraulic fracturing was initiated by injection of silicon oil into a borehole drilled off center from the block. Acoustic emission (AE) events were continuously monitored during testing using nineteen P-wave sensors. Additional sensors were installed to periodically monitor ultrasonic transmission (UT) along various directions oblique and perpendicular to the fracture and the interface. The AE and UT data were recorded using a Vallen AMSY-6 system, with 16-bit amplitude resolution and 5 MHz sampling rate. Detailed analysis of AE localizations allowed us to identify

  5. Consequences of Fluid Lag in Three-Dimensional Hydraulic Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Advani (Deceased), S. H.; Lee, T. S.; Dean, R. H.; Pak, C. K.; Avasthi, J. M.

    1997-04-01

    Research investigations on three-dimensional (3-D) rectangular hydraulic fracture configurations with varying degrees of fluid lag are reported. This paper demonstrates that a 3-D fracture model coupled with fluid lag (a small region of reduced pressure) at the fracture tip can predict very large excess pressure measurements for hydraulic fracture processes. Predictions of fracture propagation based on critical stress intensity factors are extremely sensitive to the pressure profile at the tip of a propagating fracture. This strong sensitivity to the pressure profile at the tip of a hydraulic fracture is more strongly pronounced in 3-D models versus 2-D models because 3-D fractures are clamped at the top and bottom, and pressures in the 3-D fractures that are far removed from the fracture tip have little effect on the stress intensity factor at the fracture tip. This rationale for the excess pressure mechanism is in marked contrast to the crack tip process damage zone assumptions and attendant high rock fracture toughness value hypotheses advanced in the literature. A comparison with field data is presented to illustrate the proposed fracture fluid pressure sensitivity phenomenon. This paper does not attempt to calculate the length of the fluid lag region in a propagating fracture but instead attempts to show that the pressure profile at the tip of the propagating fracture plays a major role in fracture propagation, and this role is magnified in 3-D models. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech., vol. 21, 229-240 (1997).

  6. High Speed Strain Measurements Surrounding Hydraulic Fracture in Brittle Hydrogel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinhardt, Will; Rubinstein, Shmuel

    2015-11-01

    Hydraulic fractures of oil and gas shales occur miles underground, below complex, layered rocks, making measurements of their dynamics, extent, or structure difficult to impossible. Rocks are heterogeneous at a wide range of length scales, and investigating how these non-uniformities affect the propagation and extent of fractures is vital to improving both the safety and efficiency of hydraulic fracturing operations. To study these effects we have developed a model system using brittle, heavily cross-linked hydrogels that we can fracture with fluids and observe with a fast camera. By embedding tracer particles within the gel and using laser sheet microscopy, we obtain three dimensional stress and strain maps of the zone surrounding a hydraulic fracture tip. Gels can also be set in layers or interfaces with tunable strengths or with designed heterogeneities, allowing us to understand the fundamental science of hydraulic fractures and investigate the dynamics of controllably complex materials.

  7. Public health and high volume hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    Korfmacher, Katrina Smith; Jones, Walter A; Malone, Samantha L; Vinci, Leon F

    2013-01-01

    High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in unconventional gas reserves has vastly increased the potential for domestic natural gas production. HVHF has been promoted as a way to decrease dependence on foreign energy sources, replace dirtier energy sources like coal, and generate economic development. At the same time, activities related to expanded HVHF pose potential risks including ground- and surface water contamination, climate change, air pollution, and effects on worker health. HVHF has been largely approached as an issue of energy economics and environmental regulation, but it also has significant implications for public health. We argue that public health provides an important perspective on policymaking in this arena. The American Public Health Association (APHA) recently adopted a policy position for involvement of public health professionals in this issue. Building on that foundation, this commentary lays out a set of five perspectives that guide how public health can contribute to this conversation. PMID:23552646

  8. Advanced hydraulic fracturing methods to create in situ reactive barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Murdoch, L. |; Siegrist, B.; Meiggs, T.

    1997-12-31

    This article describes the use of hydraulic fracturing to increase permeability in geologic formations where in-situ remedial action of contaminant plumes will be performed. Several in-situ treatment strategies are discussed including the use of hydraulic fracturing to create in situ redox zones for treatment of organics and inorganics. Hydraulic fracturing methods offer a mechanism for the in-situ treatment of gently dipping layers of reactive compounds. Specialized methods using real-time monitoring and a high-energy jet during fracturing allow the form of the fracture to be influenced, such as creation of assymmetric fractures beneath potential sources (i.e. tanks, pits, buildings) that should not be penetrated by boring. Some examples of field applications of this technique such as creating fractures filled with zero-valent iron to reductively dechlorinate halogenated hydrocarbons, and the use of granular activated carbon to adsorb compounds are discussed.

  9. Studies investigate effects of hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-11-01

    The use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to enhance the retrieval of natural gas from shale has been increasing dramatically—the number of natural gas wells rose about 50% since 2000. Shale gas has been hailed as a relatively low-cost, abundant energy source that is cleaner than coal. However, fracking involves injecting large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals into deep shale gas reservoirs under high pressure to open fractures through which the gas can travel, and the process has generated much controversy. The popular press, advocacy organizations, and the documentary film Gasland by Josh Fox have helped bring this issue to a broad audience. Many have suggested that fracking has resulted in contaminated drinking water supplies, enhanced seismic activity, demands for large quantities of water that compete with other uses, and challenges in managing large volumes of resulting wastewater. As demand for expanded domestic energy production intensifies, there is potential for substantially increased use of fracking together with other recovery techniques for "unconventional gas resources," like extended horizontal drilling.

  10. Hydraulic Fracturing of Heterogeneous Rock Monitored by Acoustic Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanchits, Sergey; Burghardt, Jeffrey; Surdi, Aniket

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, the results of laboratory studies of hydraulic fracture in homogeneous sandstone blocks with man-made interfaces and heterogeneous shale blocks with weak natural interfaces are reported. Tests were conducted under similar stress conditions, with fluids of different viscosity and at different injection rates. The measurements and analysis allows the identification of fracture initiation and behavior. Fracturing with high-viscosity fluids resulted in stable fracture propagation initiated before breakdown, while fracturing with low-viscosity fluids resulted in unstable fracture propagation initiated almost simultaneously with breakdown. Analysis also allows us to measure the fluid volume entering the fracture and the fracture volume. Monitoring of acoustic emission hypocenter localizations, indicates the development of created fractured area including the intersection with interfaces, fluid propagation along interfaces, crossing interfaces, and approaching the boundaries of the block. We observe strong differences in hydraulic fracture behavior, fracture geometry and fracture propagation speed, when fracturing with water and high-viscosity fluids. We also observed distinct differences between sandstone blocks and shale blocks, when a certain P-wave velocity ray path is intersected by the hydraulic fracture. The velocity increases in sandstones and decreases in shale.

  11. Anaerobic Biodegradation of Ethylene Glycol within Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyob, K. M.; Mouser, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Ethylene glycol (EG) is a commonly used organic additive in hydraulic fracturing fluids used for shale gas recovery. Under aerobic conditions, this compound readily biodegrades to acetate and CO2 or is oxidized through the glycerate pathway. In the absence of oxygen, organisms within genera Desulfovibrio, Acetobacterium, and others can transform EG to acetaldehyde, a flammable and suspected carcinogenic compound. Acetaldehyde can then be enzymatically degraded to ethanol or acetate and CO2. However, little is known on how EG degrades in the presence of other organic additives, particularly under anaerobic conditions representative of deep groundwater aquifers. To better understand the fate and attenuation of glycols within hydraulic fracturing fluids we are assessing their biodegradation potential and pathways in batch anaerobic microcosm treatments. Crushed Berea sandstone was inoculated with groundwater and incubated with either EG or a synthetic fracturing fluid (SFF) containing EG formulations. We tracked changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), EG, and its transformation products over several months. Approximately 41% of bulk DOC in SFF is degraded within 21 days, with 58% DOC still remaining after 63 days. By comparison, this same SFF degrades by 70% within 25 days when inoculated with sediment-groundwater microbial communities, suggesting that bulk DOC degradation occurs at a slower rate and to a lesser extent with bedrock. Aerobic biodegradation of EG occurs rapidly (3-7 days); however anaerobic degradation of EG is much slower, requiring several weeks for substantial DOC loss to be observed. Ongoing experiments are tracking the degradation pathways of EG alone and in the presence of SFF, with preliminary data showing incomplete glycol transformation within the complex hydraulic fracturing fluid mixture. This research will help to elucidate rates, processes, and pathways for EG biodegradation and identify key microbial taxa involved in its degradation.

  12. Hydraulic Fracturing: Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future?

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiangang; Al-Wadei, Mohammed H.; Kennedy, Rebekah C. M.; Terry, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    With the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, the United States has become the largest natural gas producer in the world with a substantial portion of the production coming from shale plays. In this review, we examined current hydraulic fracturing literature including associated wastewater management on quantity and quality of groundwater. We conclude that proper documentation/reporting systems for wastewater discharge and spills need to be enforced at the federal, state, and industrial level. Furthermore, Underground Injection Control (UIC) requirements under SDWA should be extended to hydraulic fracturing operations regardless if diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid or not. One of the biggest barriers that hinder the advancement of our knowledge on the hydraulic fracturing process is the lack of transparency of chemicals used in the practice. Federal laws mandating hydraulic companies to disclose fracturing fluid composition and concentration not only to federal and state regulatory agencies but also to health care professionals would encourage this practice. The full disclosure of fracturing chemicals will allow future research to fill knowledge gaps for a better understanding of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on human health and the environment. PMID:24790614

  13. Hydraulic fracturing: paving the way for a sustainable future?

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiangang; Al-Wadei, Mohammed H; Kennedy, Rebekah C M; Terry, Paul D

    2014-01-01

    With the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, the United States has become the largest natural gas producer in the world with a substantial portion of the production coming from shale plays. In this review, we examined current hydraulic fracturing literature including associated wastewater management on quantity and quality of groundwater. We conclude that proper documentation/reporting systems for wastewater discharge and spills need to be enforced at the federal, state, and industrial level. Furthermore, Underground Injection Control (UIC) requirements under SDWA should be extended to hydraulic fracturing operations regardless if diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid or not. One of the biggest barriers that hinder the advancement of our knowledge on the hydraulic fracturing process is the lack of transparency of chemicals used in the practice. Federal laws mandating hydraulic companies to disclose fracturing fluid composition and concentration not only to federal and state regulatory agencies but also to health care professionals would encourage this practice. The full disclosure of fracturing chemicals will allow future research to fill knowledge gaps for a better understanding of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on human health and the environment. PMID:24790614

  14. Electrical and Magnetic Imaging of Proppants in Shallow Hydraulic Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denison, J. L. S.; Murdoch, L. C.; LaBrecque, D. J.; Slack, W. W.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is an important tool to increase the productivity of wells used for oil and gas production, water resources, and environmental remediation. Currently there are relatively few tools available to monitor the distribution of proppants within a hydraulic fracture, or the propagation of the fracture itself. We have been developing techniques for monitoring hydraulic fractures by injecting electrically conductive, dielectric, or magnetically permeable proppants. We then use the resulting contrast with the enveloping rock to image the proppants using geophysical methods. Based on coupled laboratory and numerical modeling studies, three types of proppants were selected for field evaluation. Eight hydraulic fractures were created near Clemson, SC in May of 2015 by injecting specialized proppants at a depth of 1.5 m. The injections created shallow sub-horizontal fractures extending several meters from the injection point.Each cell had a dense array of electrodes and magnetic sensors on the surface and four shallow vertical electrode arrays that were used to obtain data before and after hydraulic fracturing. Net vertical displacement and transient tilts were also measured. Cores from 130 boreholes were used to characterize the general geometries, and trenching was used to characterize the forms of two of the fractures in detail. Hydraulic fracture geometries were estimated by inverting pre- and post-injection geophysical data. Data from cores and trenching show that the hydraulic fractures were saucer-shaped with a preferred propagation direction. The geophysical inversions generated images that were remarkably similar in form, size, and location to the ground truth from direct observation. Displacement and tilt data appear promising as a constraint on fracture geometry.

  15. A magnetic method for determining the geometry of hydraulic fractures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Byerlee, J.D.; Johnston, M.J.S.

    1976-01-01

    We propose a method that may be used to determine the spatial orientation of the fracture plane developed during hydraulic fracture. In the method, magnetic particles are injected into the crack with the fracturing fluid so as to generate a sheet of magnetized material. Since the magnetization of a body with extreme dimension ratios, such as a crack, exceeds that of an equidimensional body and since this magnetization is sensitive both to orientation and geometry, this could be used to obtain information about the crack. By measuring the vertical and horizontal components of the magnetic field and field gradients at the earth's surface surrounding the injection well with superconducting magnetometers having 10-4 gamma sensitivity and also by measuring field direction within the well itself, it should be possible to calculate the orientation and perhaps infer the approximate geometry of the fracture surface. Experiments on electric field potential operated in conjunction with this experiment could further constrain estimates of shape and orientation. ?? 1976 Birkha??user Verlag.

  16. Nucleation of Dynamic Slip on a Hydraulically Fractured Fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azad, M. H.; Garagash, D.; Satish, M.

    2014-12-01

    This work is concerned with the relationship between hydraulic fracturing injection and induced seismicity on a fault. This is applicable to safety hazard assessment of the nucleation of dynamic slip along the fault as a result of hydraulic fracturing injection into or near the fault. The hydraulic fracture (HF) injection into the fault can be purposeful, for instance to trigger an earthquake in more controllable conditions than would happen otherwise; or in order to use the open portion of the fault as a reservoir heat exchanger for the extraction of geothermal heat. It can be unintentional due to lack of accurate subsurface characterization prior to the injection. Injection with constant flow rate into an impermeable fault will initiate slip along the fault. The slip occurs due to the lack of frictional strength along the open part of the fault (the hydraulic fracture) as well as from the reduction of the normal stress ahead of the hydraulic fracture front. Slip in front of the hydraulic fracture is assumed to degrade the tensile strength of the fault to zero, so that the hydraulic fracture propagation takes place in the viscous-dominated regime (i.e. dominated by viscous losses in the fluid flow inside the fracture). In our model, the nucleation of dynamic slip is related to the slip-weakening nature of the friction, and depends on in-situ stresses, pressure distribution inside the hydraulic fracture, and the evolving length of the hydraulic fracture. The results of this study show that the growth of the fault slipping patch remains stable, with no episode of dynamic rupture, when the background shear stress τb is smaller than the residual shear strength τr of the fault under ambient conditions. Otherwise (τb > τr), nucleation takes place when the extent of the hydraulic fracture reaches the critical length ~ (μ/τp) δc, where μ is the elastic shear modulus of the rock, τp is the peak shear strength of the fault, and δc is the characteristic slip

  17. INVESTIGATION OF EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS DURING CO2 INJECTION IN HYDRAULICALLY AND NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS

    SciTech Connect

    David S. Schechter

    2005-04-27

    This report describes the work performed during the fourth year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificially fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT scanner to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in hydraulically fractured reservoirs (HFR) and naturally fractured reservoirs (NFR) that eventually result in more efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. In Chapter 1, we worked with DOE-RMOTC to investigate fracture properties in the Tensleep Formation at Teapot Dome Naval Reserve as part of their CO{sub 2} sequestration project. In Chapter 2, we continue our investigation to determine the primary oil recovery mechanism in a short vertically fractured core. Finally in Chapter 3, we report our numerical modeling efforts to develop compositional simulator with irregular grid blocks.

  18. Linear Elastic and Cohesive Fracture Analysis to Model Hydraulic Fracture in Brittle and Ductile Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yao

    2012-05-01

    Hydraulic fracturing technology is being widely used within the oil and gas industry for both waste injection and unconventional gas production wells. It is essential to predict the behavior of hydraulic fractures accurately based on understanding the fundamental mechanism(s). The prevailing approach for hydraulic fracture modeling continues to rely on computational methods based on Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM). Generally, these methods give reasonable predictions for hard rock hydraulic fracture processes, but still have inherent limitations, especially when fluid injection is performed in soft rock/sand or other non-conventional formations. These methods typically give very conservative predictions on fracture geometry and inaccurate estimation of required fracture pressure. One of the reasons the LEFM-based methods fail to give accurate predictions for these materials is that the fracture process zone ahead of the crack tip and softening effect should not be neglected in ductile rock fracture analysis. A 3D pore pressure cohesive zone model has been developed and applied to predict hydraulic fracturing under fluid injection. The cohesive zone method is a numerical tool developed to model crack initiation and growth in quasi-brittle materials considering the material softening effect. The pore pressure cohesive zone model has been applied to investigate the hydraulic fracture with different rock properties. The hydraulic fracture predictions of a three-layer water injection case have been compared using the pore pressure cohesive zone model with revised parameters, LEFM-based pseudo 3D model, a Perkins-Kern-Nordgren (PKN) model, and an analytical solution. Based on the size of the fracture process zone and its effect on crack extension in ductile rock, the fundamental mechanical difference of LEFM and cohesive fracture mechanics-based methods is discussed. An effective fracture toughness method has been proposed to consider the fracture process zone

  19. EPA Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources

    EPA Science Inventory

    In its FY2010 Appropriations Committee Conference Report, Congress directed EPA to study the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, using: • Best available science • Independent sources of information • Transparent, peer-reviewed process • Consultatio...

  20. What can we learn from ultrasonic velocities monitoring during hydraulic fracturing of tight shale ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortin, Jérôme; Stanchits, Sergei

    2016-04-01

    Methods of prediction the size and aperture of created hydraulic fracture are essential for a proper design of unconventional reservoir well stimulation. Several theoretical models describing hydraulic fracture propagation have been developed. However, there is a lack of direct field measurements of hydraulic fracture dimensions, verifying results of these models. Monitoring of elastic wave parameters may be a useful tool to estimate fracture dimensions. Indeed, the elastic wave velocity in a medium containing a fracture is sensitive to the fracture geometry and its conditions: dry fracture or saturated with fluid. In this paper, we focus on ultrasonic velocities monitoring during hydraulic fracturing of tight shale. We report the results of hydraulic fracturing of Niobrara shale outcrop block of 279 x 279 x 381 mm size from Colorado, USA. In this experiment, the block was loaded in a polyaxial loading frame made by TerraTek, a Schlumberger Company. Stresses were applied to the rock blocks independently in three directions using flat jacks. Then viscous fluid was injected into borehole at a constant flow rate. 20 PZT sensors were embedded into pockets drilled in the rock. They were used for registration of Acoustic Emission (AE) signals and for periodical ultrasonic transmissions to measure P-wave velocities in different directions. Our results show that ultrasonic measurements can be useful for understanding the mechanics of the crack growth. More precisely, from the evolution of the P-velocities and their amplitudes during the loading, we are able: (i) to estimate the velocity of the hydraulic fracture which was found to be 0.15 mm/s (that is close to the fracture velocity inferred from the dynamic of AE spatial evolution). (ii) In addition, the evolution of the P-velocities during the loading shows that a liquid-free crack always precedes the liquid front. In our experiment, the lag is estimated to be 15 mm. (iii) Finally, at fixed distances from the borehole

  1. EPA releases progress report on hydraulic fracturing study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided a 21 December progress report on its ongoing national study about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The agency said that a draft of the congressionally requested study will be released in 2014 for public and peer review and that its progress report does not draw conclusions about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as fracking.

  2. A hybrid, neuro-genetic approach to hydraulic fracture treatment design and optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Mohaghegh, S.; Balan, B.; Ameri, S.; McVey, D.S.

    1996-12-31

    This paper summarizes the efforts conducted toward the development of a new and novel methodology for optimal design of hydraulic fracture treatments in a gas storage field. What makes this methodology unique is its capability to provide engineers with a near optimum design of a frac job despite very little (almost none) reservoir data availability. Lack of engineering data for hydraulic fracture design and evaluation had made use of 2D or 3D hydraulic fracture simulators impractical. As a result, prior designs of hydraulic frac jobs had been reduced to guess works and in some cases dependent on engineers with many years of experience on this particular field, who had developed an intuition about this formation and its possible response to different treatments. This was the main cause of several frac job failures every year. On the other hand, in case of relocation of engineers with experience on this particular field the risk of even more frac job failures was imminent.

  3. Periodic Hydraulic Testing for Discerning Fracture Network Connections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M.; Le Borgne, T.; Bour, O.; Guihéneuf, N.; Cole, M.

    2015-12-01

    Discrete fracture network (DFN) models often predict highly variable hydraulic connections between injection and pumping wells used for enhanced oil recovery, geothermal energy extraction, and groundwater remediation. Such connections can be difficult to verify in fractured rock systems because standard pumping or pulse interference tests interrogate too large a volume to pinpoint specific connections. Three field examples are presented in which periodic hydraulic tests were used to obtain information about hydraulic connectivity in fractured bedrock. The first site, a sandstone in New York State, involves only a single fracture at a scale of about 10 m. The second site, a granite in Brittany, France, involves a fracture network at about the same scale. The third site, a granite/schist in the U.S. State of New Hampshire, involves a complex network at scale of 30-60 m. In each case periodic testing provided an enhanced view of hydraulic connectivity over previous constant rate tests. Periodic testing is particularly adept at measuring hydraulic diffusivity, which is a more effective parameter than permeability for identify the complexity of flow pathways between measurement locations. Periodic tests were also conducted at multiple frequencies which provides a range in the radius of hydraulic penetration away from the oscillating well. By varying the radius of penetration, we attempt to interrogate the structure of the fracture network. Periodic tests, therefore, may be uniquely suited for verifying and/or calibrating DFN models.

  4. GCFR thermal-hydraulic experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Schlueter, G.; Baxi, C.B.; Dalle Donne, M.; Gat, U.; Fenech, H.; Hanson, D.; Hudina, M.

    1980-01-01

    The thermal-hydraulic experimental studies performed and planned for the Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GCFR) core assemblies are described. The experiments consist of basic studies performed to obtain correlations, and bundle experiments which provide input for code validation and design verification. These studies have been performed and are planned at European laboratories, US national laboratories, Universities in the US, and at General Atomic Company

  5. Enhanced hydraulic fracturing of a shallow subsurface formation

    SciTech Connect

    Hazlett, R.D.; Uhri, D.C.

    1989-07-18

    This paper describes a method for enhancing the propagation of a vertical hydraulic fracture in an earth formation surrounding a borehole where the original in-situ stresses favor a horizontal fracture comprising: supplying a slug of fracturing fluid containing water, a chemical blowing agent, and a surfactant into the formation at a first depth within the borehole which surfactant and blowing agent are contained in the slug in an amount sufficient to generate fracturing pressure after propagating a horizontal hydraulic fracture; supplying additional fracturing fluid at the first depth thereby fracturing the formation and propagating a horizontal fracture which places the slug a desired distance from the well; causing the chemical blowing agent to decompose and liberate gas sufficient to form a foam thereby extending the propagated horizontal fracture further into the formation; and supplying fracturing fluid to the formation at a second depth within the borehole while maintaining pressure in the horizontal fracture. Thereby propagating a vertical fracture to an extended distance as favored by the in-situ stresses as altered by the propagating of the horizontal fracture.

  6. Fracture opening/propagation behavior and their significance on pressure-time records during hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Takashi Kojima; Yasuhiko Nakagawa; Koji Matsuki; Toshiyuki Hashida

    1992-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing with constant fluid injection rate was numerically modeled for a pair of rectangular longitudinal fractures intersecting a wellbore in an impermeable rock mass, and numerical calculations have been performed to investigate the relations among the form of pressure-time curves, fracture opening/propagation behavior and permeability of the mechanically closed fractures. The results have shown that both permeability of the fractures and fluid injection rate significantly influence the form of the pressure-time relations on the early stage of fracture opening. Furthermore it has been shown that wellbore pressure during fracture propagation is affected by the pre-existing fracture length.

  7. Imaging 3D strain field monitoring during hydraulic fracturing processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Rongzhang; Zaghloul, Mohamed A. S.; Yan, Aidong; Li, Shuo; Lu, Guanyi; Ames, Brandon C.; Zolfaghari, Navid; Bunger, Andrew P.; Li, Ming-Jun; Chen, Kevin P.

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we present a distributed fiber optic sensing scheme to study 3D strain fields inside concrete cubes during hydraulic fracturing process. Optical fibers embedded in concrete were used to monitor 3D strain field build-up with external hydraulic pressures. High spatial resolution strain fields were interrogated by the in-fiber Rayleigh backscattering with 1-cm spatial resolution using optical frequency domain reflectometry. The fiber optics sensor scheme presented in this paper provides scientists and engineers a unique laboratory tool to understand the hydraulic fracturing processes in various rock formations and its impacts to environments.

  8. Fate of hydraulic fracturing chemicals under down-hole conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blotevogel, J.; Kahrilas, G.; Corrin, E. R.; Borch, T.

    2013-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is a method to increase the yield of oil and natural gas extraction from unconventional rock formations. The process of hydrofracturing occurs via injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the production well and subjecting this mixture to high pressures to crack the rock shale, allowing increased amounts of gas and oil to seep out of the target formation. Typical constituents of the chemical mixtures are biocides, which are applied to inhibit growth of sulfate reducing bacteria in order to prevent pipe corrosion and production of hazardous gases. However, very little is known about the persistence, fate, and activity of biocides when subjected to the high temperatures and pressures of down-hole conditions. Thus, the objective of this talk is to present data from ongoing experiments focused on determining the fate of biocides commonly used for hydraulic fracturing under conditions simulating down-hole environments. Using stainless steel reactors, the high pressures and temperatures of down-hole conditions in the Marcellus shale are simulated, while concentration, speciation, and degradation of priority biocides are observed as a function of time, using primarily LC/MS techniques. The impact of water quality, shale, temperature, and pressure on the transformation kinetics and pathways of biocides will be discussed. Finally, field samples (both sediments and flowback brine) from the Marcellus shale are analyzed to verify that our lab simulations mirror real-life conditions and results.

  9. Hydraulic fracture and resilience of epithelial monolayers under stretch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arroyo, Marino; Lucantonio, Alessandro; Noselli, Giovanni; Casares, Laura; Desimone, Antonio; Trepat, Xavier

    Epithelial monolayers are very simple and prevalent tissues. Their functions include delimiting distinct physicochemical containers and protecting us from pathogens. Epithelial fracture disrupts the mechanical integrity of this barrier, and hence compromises these functions. Here, we show that in addition to the conventional fracture resulting from excessive tissue tension, epithelia can hydraulically fracture under stretch as a result of the poroelastic nature of the matrix. We will provide experimental evidence of this counterintuitive mechanism of fracture, in which cracks appear under compression. Intriguingly, unlike tensional fracture, which is localized and catastrophic, hydraulic epithelial fracture is distributed and reversible. We will also describe the active mechanisms responsible for crack healing, and the physical principles by which the poroelastic matrix contributes to this resilient behavior.

  10. Permeability Enhancement in Enhanced Geothermal System as a result of Hydraulic Fracturing and Jacking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalali, Mohammadreza; Klepikova, Maria; Fisch, Hansruedi; Amann, Florian; Loew, Simon

    2016-04-01

    A decameter-scale in-situ hydraulic stimulation and circulation (ISC) experiment has been initiated by the newly-founded Swiss Competence Centre for Energy Research - Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) at Nagra's Grimsel Test Site (GTS) as a part of the work-package WP1 of the Deep Underground Laboratory (DUG-Lab) initiative. The experiment area is situated in the southern part of the GTS in a low fracture density volume of the Grimsel granodiorite. The hydraulic properties of the granitic rock mass are supposed to be similar to those expected in the crystalline basement of the alpine foreland where deep enhanced geothermal systems might be developed in future. The main objectives of the multi-disciplinary experiment are to provide a high resolution pre- and post-stimulation characterization of fracture permeability and connectivity, to investigate patterns of preferential flow paths, to describe the pressure propagation during the stimulation phases and to evaluate the efficiency of the fracture-matrix heat exchanger. A comprehensive test & monitoring layout including a fair number of boreholes instrumented with a variety of sensors (e.g. pressure, strain, displacement, temperature, and seismic sensors) is designed to collect detailed data during multiple hydraulic stimulation runs. The diffusion of fluid pressure is expected to be governed mainly by the properties and geometry of the existent fracture network. The hydraulic transmissivity of fractures are in the range of 10‑7 to 10‑9 m2/s whereas the matrix rock has a very low hydraulic conductivity (K ˜ 10‑12 m/s). As part of the stress measurement campaign during the pre-stimulation phase of the ISC experiment, a series of hydraulic fracturing (HF) and hydraulic tests in pre-existing fractures (HTPF) were conducted. The tests were accompanied by micro-seismic monitoring within several observation boreholes to investigate the initiation and propagation of the induced fractures. Together with results from

  11. A Thermoelastic Hydraulic Fracture Design Tool for Geothermal Reservoir Development

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmad Ghassemi

    2003-06-30

    Geothermal energy is recovered by circulating water through heat exchange areas within a hot rock mass. Geothermal reservoir rock masses generally consist of igneous and metamorphic rocks that have low matrix permeability. Therefore, cracks and fractures play a significant role in extraction of geothermal energy by providing the major pathways for fluid flow and heat exchange. Thus, knowledge of conditions leading to formation of fractures and fracture networks is of paramount importance. Furthermore, in the absence of natural fractures or adequate connectivity, artificial fracture are created in the reservoir using hydraulic fracturing. At times, the practice aims to create a number of parallel fractures connecting a pair of wells. Multiple fractures are preferred because of the large size necessary when using only a single fracture. Although the basic idea is rather simple, hydraulic fracturing is a complex process involving interactions of high pressure fluid injections with a stressed hot rock mass, mechanical interaction of induced fractures with existing natural fractures, and the spatial and temporal variations of in-situ stress. As a result it is necessary to develop tools that can be used to study these interactions as an integral part of a comprehensive approach to geothermal reservoir development, particularly enhanced geothermal systems. In response to this need we have set out to develop advanced thermo-mechanical models for design of artificial fractures and rock fracture research in geothermal reservoirs. These models consider the significant hydraulic and thermo-mechanical processes and their interaction with the in-situ stress state. Wellbore failure and fracture initiation is studied using a model that fully couples poro-mechanical and thermo-mechanical effects. The fracture propagation model is based on a complex variable and regular displacement discontinuity formulations. In the complex variable approach the displacement discontinuities are

  12. Review of hydraulic fracture mapping using advanced accelerometer-based receiver systems

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N.R.; Uhl, J.E.; Engler, B.P.

    1997-03-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is an important tool for natural gas and oil exploitation, but its optimization has been impeded by an inability to observe how the fracture propagates and what its overall dimensions are. The few experiments in which fractures have been exposed through coring or mineback have shown that hydraulic fractures are complicated multi-stranded structures that may behave much differently than currently predicted by models. It is clear that model validation, fracture optimization, problem identification and solution, and field development have all been encumbered by the absence of any ground truth information on fracture behavior in field applications. The solution to this problem is to develop techniques to image the hydraulic fracture in situ from either the surface, the treatment well, or offset wells. Several diagnostic techniques have been available to assess individual elements of the fracture geometry, but most of these techniques have limitations on their usefulness. For example, tracers and temperature logs can only measure fracture height at the wellbore, well testing and production history matching provide a productive length which may or may not be different from the true fracture length, and tiltmeters can provide accurate information on azimuth and type of fracture (horizontal or vertical), but length and height can only be extracted from a non-unique inversion of the data. However, there is a method, the microseismic technique, which possesses the potential for imaging the entire hydraulic fracture and, more importantly, its growth history. This paper discusses application of advanced technology to the microseismic method in order to provide detailed accurate images of fractures and their growth processes.

  13. Optimizing Shear Stresses at the Tip of a Hydraulic Fracture - What Is the Ideal Orientation of Natural Fractures with respect to Hydraulic Fracture?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheibani, F.; Hager, B. H.

    2015-12-01

    While many shale and unconventional plays are naturally fractured (or contain planes of weakness), these are often cemented and effectively impermeable to flow. Stress shadow behind the tip of a hydraulic fracture stablizes natural fractures. It essentially means that if impermeable natural fractures and weakness planes are not opened when the hydraulic fracture tip passes, they will remain closed and impermeable to flow. In this work a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of tip shear stresses and associated natural fracture or weakness plane shear is presented. From analytical work, the theoretical shear stresses from a fracture tip are first presented. The effect of fracture length, in-situ pore pressure, maximum horizontal remote stress, net pressure, natural fracture friction coefficient and the direction of natural fracture with respect to the hydraulic fracture on shear stimulation at the tip are calculated using the plane strain analytical solution of a 2-D fracture, and assuming simple linear coulomb friction law. Since slippage along natural fractures will locally violate the assumptions used in the analytical solutions and to incorporate the effect of weakness planes on stress-strain and displacement field, 2-D and 3-D finite element model (FEM) simulations are presented that build upon both the analytical and continuum solutions. FEM models are capable of numerically simulating the slippage through weakness planes by using contact elements. This advantage makes FEM tools very appropriate for synthetically generating microseismicity, which can then be evaluated for mode, focal mechanism, and magnitude. The results of the simulations highlight the critical parameters involved in shearing and opening cemented natural fractures in unconventionals - which is a critical component of stimulation and production optimization for these plays. According to the results, the ideal orientation of natural fractures with respect to hydraulic fracture from shear

  14. Surrogate-based optimization of hydraulic fracturing in pre-existing fracture networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mingjie; Sun, Yunwei; Fu, Pengcheng; Carrigan, Charles R.; Lu, Zhiming; Tong, Charles H.; Buscheck, Thomas A.

    2013-08-01

    Hydraulic fracturing has been used widely to stimulate production of oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy in formations with low natural permeability. Numerical optimization of fracture stimulation often requires a large number of evaluations of objective functions and constraints from forward hydraulic fracturing models, which are computationally expensive and even prohibitive in some situations. Moreover, there are a variety of uncertainties associated with the pre-existing fracture distributions and rock mechanical properties, which affect the optimized decisions for hydraulic fracturing. In this study, a surrogate-based approach is developed for efficient optimization of hydraulic fracturing well design in the presence of natural-system uncertainties. The fractal dimension is derived from the simulated fracturing network as the objective for maximizing energy recovery sweep efficiency. The surrogate model, which is constructed using training data from high-fidelity fracturing models for mapping the relationship between uncertain input parameters and the fractal dimension, provides fast approximation of the objective functions and constraints. A suite of surrogate models constructed using different fitting methods is evaluated and validated for fast predictions. Global sensitivity analysis is conducted to gain insights into the impact of the input variables on the output of interest, and further used for parameter screening. The high efficiency of the surrogate-based approach is demonstrated for three optimization scenarios with different and uncertain ambient conditions. Our results suggest the critical importance of considering uncertain pre-existing fracture networks in optimization studies of hydraulic fracturing.

  15. Prediction of effects of hydraulic fracturing using reservoir and well flow simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Mineyuki Hanano; Tayuki Kondo

    1992-01-01

    This paper presents a method to predict and evaluate effects of hydraulic fracturing jobs by using reservoir and well flow numerical simulation. The concept of the method i5 that steam production rate at the operating well head pressure is predicted with different fracture conditions which would be attained by the hydraulic fracturing jobs. Then, the effects of the hydraulic fracturing is evaluated by comparing the predicted steam production rate and that before the hydraulic fracturing. This course of analysis will suggest how large fracture should be created by the fracturing job to attain large enough increase in steam production at the operating condition and the best scheme of the hydraulic fracturing job.

  16. Hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment of Well Baca 23. Geothermal Reservoir Well-Stimulation Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-06-01

    Well Stimulation Experiment No. 5 of the Geothermal Reservoir Well Stimulation Program (GRWSP) was performed on March 22, 1981 in Baca 23, located in Union's Redondo Creek Project Area in Sandoval County, New Mexico. The treatment selected was a large hydraulic fracture job designed specifically for, and utilizing frac materials chosen for, the high temperature geothermal environment. The well selection, fracture treatment, experiment evaluation, and summary of the job costs are presented herein.

  17. Simultaneous initiation and growth of multiple radial hydraulic fractures from a horizontal wellbore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecampion, Brice; Desroches, Jean

    2015-09-01

    Multi-stage fracturing is the current preferred method of completion of horizontal wells in unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. Its core component consists in simultaneously initiating and propagating an array of hydraulic fractures. We develop a numerical model for the initiation and growth of an array of parallel radial hydraulic fractures. The solution accounts for fracture growth, coupling between elastic deformation and fluid flow in the fractures, elastic stress interactions between fractures and fluid flow in the wellbore. We also take into account the presence of a local pressure drop (function of the entering flow rate) at the connection between the well and the fracture, i.e., a choke-like effect due to current well completion practices, also referred to as entry friction. The partitioning of the fluid into the different fractures at any given time is part of the solution and is a critical indicator of simultaneous (balanced fluid partitioning) versus preferential growth. We validate our numerical model against reference solutions and a laboratory experiment for the initiation and growth of a single radial hydraulic fracture. We then investigate the impact of stress interaction on preferential growth of a subset of fractures in the array. Our results show that a sufficiently large local entry friction provides a strong feedback in the system and thus can counteract elastic stress interaction between fractures, thereby ensuring simultaneous growth. We propose a dimensionless number capturing the competition between stress interaction and local entry friction. This dimensionless number is a function of rock properties, fracture spacing and injection parameters. We verify that it captures the transition from the case of simultaneous growth (entry friction larger than interaction stress) to the case of preferential growth of some fractures (interaction stress larger than entry friction). We also discuss the implication of these results for multi

  18. Laboratory imaging of stimulation fluid displacement from hydraulic fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Tidwell, V.; Parker, M.

    1996-11-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to physically investigate the processes governing stimulation fluid displacement from hydraulic fractures. Experiments were performed on two scales: meter-scale in a 1500 cm{sup 2} sand pack and core-scale in a 65 cm{sup 2} API linear conductivity cell. High-resolution light transmission imaging was employed at the meter-scale to visualize and quantify processes governing fluid displacement. For comparison, complimentary tests were performed using an API conductivity cell under ambient test conditions and at elevated closure stress. In these experiments viscous fingering and gravity drainage were identified as the dominant processes governing fluid displacement. Fluid viscosity was found to dictate the relative importance of the competing displacement processes and ultimately determine the residual liquid saturation of the sand pack. The process by which fluid displacement occurs was seen to effect the shape of both the gas and liquid phase relative permeability functions. Knowledge of such viscosity/relative permeability relationships may prove useful in bounding predictions of post-stimulation recovery of gels from the fracture pack.

  19. Using seismic tomography to characterize fracture systems induced by hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Fehler, M.; Rutledge, J.

    1995-01-01

    Microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing have been studied by many investigators to characterize fracture systems created by the fracturing process and to better understand the locations of energy resources in the earth`s subsurface. The pattern of the locations often contains a great deal of information about the fracture system stimulated during the hydraulic fracturing. Seismic tomography has found applications in many areas for characterizing the subsurface of the earth. It is well known that fractures in rock influence both the P and S velocities of the rock. The influence of the fractures is a function of the geometry of the fractures, the apertures and number of fractures, and the presence of fluids in the fractures. In addition, the temporal evolution of the created fracture system can be inferred from the temporal changes in seismic velocity and the pattern of microearthquake locations. Seismic tomography has been used to infer the spatial location of a fracture system in a reservoir that was created by hydraulic fracturing.

  20. Estimating the hydraulic conductivity of two-dimensional fracture networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, C. T.; Zimmerman, R. W.

    2010-12-01

    Most oil and gas reservoirs, as well as most potential sites for nuclear waste disposal, are naturally fractured. In these sites, the network of fractures will provide the main path for fluid to flow through the rock mass. In many cases, the fracture density is so high as to make it impractical to model it with a discrete fracture network (DFN) approach. For such rock masses, it would be useful to have recourse to analytical, or semi-analytical, methods to estimate the macroscopic hydraulic conductivity of the fracture network. We have investigated single-phase fluid flow through stochastically generated two-dimensional fracture networks. The centres and orientations of the fractures are uniformly distributed, whereas their lengths follow either a lognormal distribution or a power law distribution. We have considered the case where the fractures in the network each have the same aperture, as well as the case where the aperture of each fracture is directly proportional to the fracture length. The discrete fracture network flow and transport simulator NAPSAC, developed by Serco (Didcot, UK), is used to establish the “true” macroscopic hydraulic conductivity of the network. We then attempt to match this conductivity using a simple estimation method that does not require extensive computation. For our calculations, fracture networks are represented as networks composed of conducting segments (bonds) between nodes. Each bond represents the region of a single fracture between two adjacent intersections with other fractures. We assume that the bonds are arranged on a kagome lattice, with some fraction of the bonds randomly missing. The conductance of each bond is then replaced with some effective conductance, Ceff, which we take to be the arithmetic mean of the individual conductances, averaged over each bond, rather than over each fracture. This is in contrast to the usual approximation used in effective medium theories, wherein the geometric mean is used. Our

  1. Impact of ductility on hydraulic fracturing in shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auton, Lucy; MacMinn, Chris

    2015-11-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is a method for extracting natural gas and oil from low-permeability rocks such as shale via the injection of fluid at high pressure. This creates fractures in the rock, providing hydraulic access deeper into the reservoir and enabling gas to be collected from a larger region of the rock. Fracture is the tensile failure of a brittle material upon reaching a threshold tensile stress, but some shales have a high clay content and may yield plastically before fracturing. Plastic deformation is the shear failure of a ductile material, during which stress relaxes through irreversible rearrangements of the particles of the material. Here, we investigate the impact of the ductility of shales on hydraulic fracturing. We consider a simple, axisymmetric model for radially outward fluid injection from a wellbore into a ductile porous rock. We solve the model semi-analytically at steady state, and numerically in general. We find that plastic deformation greatly reduces the maximum tensile stress, and that this maximum stress does not always occur at the wellbore. These results imply that hydraulic fracturing may fail in ductile rocks, or that the required injection rate for fracking may be much larger than the rate predicted from purely elastic models.

  2. Rate control method for hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, C.M.

    1991-10-08

    This paper describes a method of forming a fracture in an earth formation, the fracture extending from a wellbore, the fracture being formed for the eventual production of fluids from the formation through the fracture and into the wellbore. It comprises: pumping a liquid into the wellbore at a pressure sufficient to extend a fracture having opposed faces and a tip portion into the formation until a predetermined fracture length is indicated; injecting a liquid containing a proppant of relatively low concentration and decreasing the rate of injection to a rate approximately equal to the fluid leak off rate from the faces; and injecting liquid containing higher concentrations of proppant than previously mentioned until screenout of the tip portion.

  3. Advanced Hydraulic Fracturing Technology for Unconventional Tight Gas Reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen Holditch; A. Daniel Hill; D. Zhu

    2007-06-19

    The objectives of this project are to develop and test new techniques for creating extensive, conductive hydraulic fractures in unconventional tight gas reservoirs by statistically assessing the productivity achieved in hundreds of field treatments with a variety of current fracturing practices ranging from 'water fracs' to conventional gel fracture treatments; by laboratory measurements of the conductivity created with high rate proppant fracturing using an entirely new conductivity test - the 'dynamic fracture conductivity test'; and by developing design models to implement the optimal fracture treatments determined from the field assessment and the laboratory measurements. One of the tasks of this project is to create an 'advisor' or expert system for completion, production and stimulation of tight gas reservoirs. A central part of this study is an extensive survey of the productivity of hundreds of tight gas wells that have been hydraulically fractured. We have been doing an extensive literature search of the SPE eLibrary, DOE, Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Bureau of Economic Geology and IHS Energy, for publicly available technical reports about procedures of drilling, completion and production of the tight gas wells. We have downloaded numerous papers and read and summarized the information to build a database that will contain field treatment data, organized by geographic location, and hydraulic fracture treatment design data, organized by the treatment type. We have conducted experimental study on 'dynamic fracture conductivity' created when proppant slurries are pumped into hydraulic fractures in tight gas sands. Unlike conventional fracture conductivity tests in which proppant is loaded into the fracture artificially; we pump proppant/frac fluid slurries into a fracture cell, dynamically placing the proppant just as it occurs in the field. From such tests, we expect to gain new insights into some of the critical issues in tight gas fracturing, in

  4. Active and passive seismic imaging of a hydraulic fracture in diatomite

    SciTech Connect

    Vinegar, H.J.; Wills, P.B.; De Martini, D.C. )

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on a comprehensive set of experiments including remote- and treatment-well microseismic monitoring, interwell shear-wave shadowing, and surface tiltmeter arrays, that was used to monitor the growth of a hydraulic fracture in the Belridge diatomite. To obtain accurate measurements, and extensive subsurface network of geophones was cemented spanning the diatomite formation in three closely spaced observation wells around the well to be fracture treated. Data analysis indicates that the minifracture and main hydraulic fracture stimulations resulted in a nearly vertical fracture zone (striking N26{degrees}E) vertically segregated into two separate elements, the uppermost of which grew 60 ft above the perforated interval. The interwell seismic effects are consistent with a side process zone of reduced shear velocity, which remote-well microseismic data independently suggest may be as wide as 40 ft. The experiments indicate complicated processes occurring during hydraulic fracturing that have significant implications for stimulation, waterflooding, in fill drilling, and EOR. These processes are neither well understood nor included in current hydraulic fracture models.

  5. Analysis of Non-Planar Multi-Fracture Propagation from Layered-Formation Inclined-Well Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhiyuan; Jin, Yan; Chen, Mian; Hou, Bing

    2016-05-01

    Current research shows that layered formation barriers can have a significant impact on the extension of fracture height; however, there are few studies on inclined-well near-wellbore fracture propagation shapes and penetrating patterns near the interface. We performed a true triaxial hydraulic fracturing experiment to study the layered formation of inclined-well near-wellbore and interface fracture propagation geometries influenced by formation conditions and perforation schemes. The results revealed that horizontal stress differences, perforation phase angles, borehole azimuths, and interlayer minimum horizontal in situ stress differences were the main factors that controlled the fracture propagation geometry. Under the conditions of large differences in horizontal stress, large perforation phase angles, and large angles between the borehole azimuth and the maximum horizontal in situ stress azimuth, the near-wellbore cracks presented a single main fracture with a large number of secondary fractures; in addition, the main and secondary fractures changed orientations. With moderate horizontal stress differences and less severe angle parameters, the fracture propagation geometry was simplified, forming a single main fracture. When all three parameters were small, the cracks displayed multiple main or network fractures. The surface morphology of spatial distribution was complex and the seam surface was rough. Under a crossing condition, the pattern of the penetrating fractures was highly affected by the near-wellbore fractures when the interlayer minimum horizontal in situ stress differences were small. Under large interlayer minimum horizontal in situ stress differences, the interface fractures began to deflect and generate new branches. The fluctuation and increase in fracturing pressure was caused by the dispersion of the fracturing fluid flow from multi-fractures and the large number of seam surfaces.

  6. Occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    Esswein, Eric J; Breitenstein, Michael; Snawder, John; Kiefer, Max; Sieber, W Karl

    2013-01-01

    This report describes a previously uncharacterized occupational health hazard: work crew exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing involves high pressure injection of large volumes of water and sand, and smaller quantities of well treatment chemicals, into a gas or oil well to fracture shale or other rock formations, allowing more efficient recovery of hydrocarbons from a petroleum-bearing reservoir. Crystalline silica ("frac sand") is commonly used as a proppant to hold open cracks and fissures created by hydraulic pressure. Each stage of the process requires hundreds of thousands of pounds of quartz-containing sand; millions of pounds may be needed for all zones of a well. Mechanical handling of frac sand creates respirable crystalline silica dust, a potential exposure hazard for workers. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health collected 111 personal breathing zone samples at 11 sites in five states to evaluate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. At each of the 11 sites, full-shift samples exceeded occupational health criteria (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calculated permissible exposure limit, the NIOSH recommended exposure limit, or the ACGIH threshold limit value), in some cases, by 10 or more times the occupational health criteria. Based on these evaluations, an occupational health hazard was determined to exist for workplace exposures to crystalline silica. Seven points of dust generation were identified, including sand handling machinery and dust generated from the work site itself. Recommendations to control exposures include product substitution (when feasible), engineering controls or modifications to sand handling machinery, administrative controls, and use of personal protective equipment. To our knowledge, this represents the first systematic study of work crew exposures to crystalline silica during

  7. Numerical Modeling of Hydraulic Fractures Interaction in Complex Naturally Fractured Formations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kresse, Olga; Weng, Xiaowei; Gu, Hongren; Wu, Ruiting

    2013-05-01

    A recently developed unconventional fracture model (UFM) is able to simulate complex fracture network propagation in a formation with pre-existing natural fractures. A method for computing the stress shadow from fracture branches in a complex hydraulic fracture network (HFN) based on an enhanced 2D displacement discontinuity method with correction for finite fracture height is implemented in UFM and is presented in detail including approach validation and examples. The influence of stress shadow effect from the HFN generated at previous treatment stage on the HFN propagation and shape at new stage is also discussed.

  8. Effects of various parameters on hydraulic fracture geometry. [Theoretical and experimental studies

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, M.E.; Anderson, G.D.; Shaffer, R.J.

    1980-05-01

    Theoretical models have been applied to analyze some aspects of the dynamics of fracturing near material interfaces. Results of these calculations indicate that variation of material properties across a well bonded interface can cause dynamic material response resulting from the fracturing which could enhance propagation across the inerface. Effects of friction have also been analyzed theoretically; however, in the frictional calculations the wave mechanics have been ignored. These calculations have shown that frictional slip along the interface tends to draw a pressurized fracture toward the interface; this motion tends to reduce the chances of penetrating the material across the frictional interface. Small scale laboratory experiments are performed to study the effects of frictional characteristics on hydraulic fracture growth across unbonded interfaces in rocks. Various lubricants and mechanical preparation of the interface surfaces are used to vary the coefficients of friction on the interface surfaces. It is found that the frictional shear stress that the interface surface can support determines whether a hydraulically driven crack will cross the interface. Pre-existing cracks impede the propagation of the hydraulic fracture across the interface. These experimental results on the effects of friction on the interface and the effects of pre-existing cracks on hydraulic fracture penetration of interfaces are consistent with the predictions of the numerical model calculations. 11 figures.

  9. Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing in California - AN Overview of a Comprehensive Science Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birkholzer, J. T.; Long, J. C. S.; Feinstein, L.; Stringfellow, W. T.; Jordan, P. D.; Varadharajan, C.; Foxall, W.; Dobson, P. F.; Houseworth, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    In 2013, California's Senate Bill 4 required an independent science study to assess current and potential future hydraulic fracturing practices in California, and to evaluate potential impacts on water, air, seismicity, ecological systems, and health. The study, completed in July 2015, found that hydraulic fracturing currently supports about one quarter of California's oil production, and is expected to continue to do so in the near future. California's experience with hydraulic fracturing differs from that in other states because operators mostly conduct relatively shallow stimulations in relatively high-permeability reservoirs. The upside of this is that operations use relatively little water, but the downside is that in a few locations, fractures could extend into protected groundwater. The study also found that direct impacts of hydraulic fracturing appear small but have not been fully investigated in California. These direct impacts all stem from the use of stimulation chemicals and the study calls for precautionary limits on chemical use. Indirect impacts, which are not directly attributable to the stimulation activity but rather caused by oil and gas production enabled by stimulation, are likely more important. For example, underground injection of produced water from a hydraulically fractured reservoir causes problems common to all oil and gas production, such as the risk of inducing an earthquake or causing groundwater contamination. To date, there have been no reported cases of induced seismicity associated with produced water injection in California. However, it is difficult to distinguish California's frequent natural earthquakes from those possibly caused by water injection. California also disposes of produced water from all oil and gas production in percolation ponds and injects some of this water into protected aquifers. These are serious issues, often tagged to hydraulic fracturing but actually common to all oil and gas production.

  10. Numerical Simulation Study on the Hydraulic Behavior in Closed Fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, C.; Shu, L.; Wen, Z.; Wu, G.; Zhang, X.; Hu, B. X.

    2015-12-01

    As the main repositories for groundwater in karst systems, fractures involve the movement and storage of groundwater. Fundamentally, Navier-Stokes (NS) Equations is used to describe flow in fractures. However, due to the complexity of Navier-Stokes Equations, it is rarely applied to solve fracture flow problems. Thus, based on some simplifications, Stokes equations, Reynolds equations and Cubic Law (CL) are derived to describe fracture flow. The validity of the three simplified equations were extensively studies. Among the three simplified equations of NS, CL is the simplest and used to describe flow in open, smooth and paralleled fractures. In the previous work, most researchers focused on the open fractures. But it's the closed fractures exist widely in the field not the open fractures. The objective of this paper aims to check the validity of CL in closed fractures with different apertures and widths of fracture. After comparing the experimental results and simulations results from the COMSOL Multiphysics (FEM), this software was applied to solve the 3D or 2D NS equations in the closed fractures. The results obtained from NS simulation results and calculation results from CL were compared to indicate the degree of the validity of CL in application. A critical velocity was proposed to illustrate the validity of CL in closed fractures. Furthermore, the impacts of aperture size, width of fracture size, and velocity magnitude on both the hydraulic conductivity and velocity profile were also analyzed. The results showed the CL was capable of describing flow in closed fractures when the velocity was less than the critical velocity varying from 0.02 to 30.08cm/s. The ratio of NS results and CL results was between 0.9 and 2, with velocity varying from 0 to 40cm/s. The discrepancy between NS equation and CL increased with Reynolds number, increased with aperture size and decreased with width of fracture.

  11. Measurement of Fracture Geometry for Accurate Computation of Hydraulic Conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chae, B.; Ichikawa, Y.; Kim, Y.

    2003-12-01

    Fluid flow in rock mass is controlled by geometry of fractures which is mainly characterized by roughness, aperture and orientation. Fracture roughness and aperture was observed by a new confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM; Olympus OLS1100). The wavelength of laser is 488nm, and the laser scanning is managed by a light polarization method using two galvano-meter scanner mirrors. The system improves resolution in the light axis (namely z) direction because of the confocal optics. The sampling is managed in a spacing 2.5 μ m along x and y directions. The highest measurement resolution of z direction is 0.05 μ m, which is the more accurate than other methods. For the roughness measurements, core specimens of coarse and fine grained granites were provided. Measurements were performed along three scan lines on each fracture surface. The measured data were represented as 2-D and 3-D digital images showing detailed features of roughness. Spectral analyses by the fast Fourier transform (FFT) were performed to characterize on the roughness data quantitatively and to identify influential frequency of roughness. The FFT results showed that components of low frequencies were dominant in the fracture roughness. This study also verifies that spectral analysis is a good approach to understand complicate characteristics of fracture roughness. For the aperture measurements, digital images of the aperture were acquired under applying five stages of uniaxial normal stresses. This method can characterize the response of aperture directly using the same specimen. Results of measurements show that reduction values of aperture are different at each part due to rough geometry of fracture walls. Laboratory permeability tests were also conducted to evaluate changes of hydraulic conductivities related to aperture variation due to different stress levels. The results showed non-uniform reduction of hydraulic conductivity under increase of the normal stress and different values of

  12. Modelling of hydraulic fracture propagation in inhomogeneous poroelastic medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baykin, A. N.; Golovin, S. V.

    2016-06-01

    In the paper a model for description of a hydraulic fracture propagation in inhomogeneous poroelastic medium is proposed. Among advantages of the presented numerical algorithm, there are incorporation of the near-tip analysis into the general computational scheme, account for the rock failure criterion on the base of the cohesive zone model, possibility for analysis of fracture propagation in inhomogeneous reservoirs. The numerical convergence of the algorithm is verified and the agreement of our numerical results with known solutions is established. The influence of the inhomogeneity of the reservoir permeability to the fracture time evolution is also demonstrated.

  13. Analytic crack solutions for tilt fields around hydraulic fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N.R.

    2000-01-05

    The recent development of downhole tiltmeter arrays for monitoring hydraulic fractures has provided new information on fracture growth and geometry. These downhole arrays offer the significant advantages of being close to the fracture (large signal) and being unaffected by the free surface. As with surface tiltmeter data, analysis of these measurements requires the inversion of a crack or dislocation model. To supplement the dislocation models of Davis [1983], Okada [1992] and others, this work has extended several elastic crack solutions to provide tilt calculations. The solutions include constant-pressure 2D, penny-shaped, and 3D-elliptic cracks and a 2D-variable-pressure crack. Equations are developed for an arbitrary inclined fracture in an infinite elastic space. Effects of fracture height, fracture length, fracture dip, fracture azimuth, fracture width and monitoring distance on the tilt distribution are given, as well as comparisons with the dislocation model. The results show that the tilt measurements are very sensitive to the fracture dimensions, but also that it is difficult to separate the competing effects of the various parameters.

  14. Potential Relationships Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources

    EPA Science Inventory

    The conferees urge the Agency to carry out a study on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, using a credible approach that relies on the best available science, as well as independent sources of information. The conferees expect the study to be conduct...

  15. FEASIBILITY OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OF SOILS TO IMPROVE REMEDIAL ACTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydraulic fracturing, a method of increasing fluid flow within the subsurface, should improve the effectiveness of several remedial techniques, including pump and treat, vapor extraction, bio-remediation, and soil-flushing. he technique is widely used to increase the yields of oi...

  16. Imaging hydraulic fractures using temperature transients in the Belridge Diatomite

    SciTech Connect

    Shahin, G.T.; Johnston, R.M.

    1995-12-31

    Results of a temperature transient analysis of Shell`s Phase 1 and Phase 2 Diatomite Steamdrive Pilots are used to image hydraulic injection fracture lengths, angles, and heat injectivities into the low-permeability formation. The Phase 1 Pilot is a limited-interval injection test. In Phase 2, steam is injected into two 350 ft upper and lower zones through separate hydraulic fractures. Temperature response of both pilots is monitored with sixteen logging observation wells. A perturbation analysis of the non-linear pressure diffusion and heat transport equations indicates that at a permeability of about 0.1 md or less, heat transport in the Diatomite tends to be dominated by thermal diffusivity, and pressure diffusion is dominated by the ratio of thermal expansion to fluid compressibility. Under these conditions, the temperature observed at a logging observation well is governed by a dimensionless quantity that depends on the perpendicular distance between the observation well and the hydraulic fracture, divided by the square root of time. Using this dependence, a novel method is developed for imaging hydraulic fracture geometry and relative heat injectivity from the temperature history of the pilot.

  17. Hydraulic fracturing method employing a fines control technique

    SciTech Connect

    Stowe, L.R.

    1986-11-18

    A method is described for controlling fines or sand in an unconsolidated or loosely consolidated formation or reservoir penetrated by at least one wellbore where hydraulic fracturing is used in combination with control of the critical salinity rate and the critical fluid flow velocity. The method comprises: (a) placing at least one wellbore in the reservoir; (b) hydraulically fracturing the formation via the wellbore with a fracturing fluid which creates at least one fracture; (c) placing a proppant comprising a gravel pack into the fracture; (d) determining the critical salinity rate and the critical fluid flow velocity of the formation or reservoir surrounding the wellbore; (e) injecting a saline solution into the formation or reservoir at a velocity exceeding the critical fluid flow velocity and at a saline concentration sufficient to cause the fines or particles to be transferred and fixed deep wihtin the formation or reservoir without plugging the formation, fracture, or wellbore; and (f) producing a hydrocarbonaceous fluid from the formation or reservoir at a velocity such that the critical flow velocity is not exceeded deep within the formation, fracture, or wellbore.

  18. 78 FR 20637 - Notification of Public Meeting and a Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-05

    ... hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources (77 FR 50505--50506). On November 27, 2012, the SAB Staff... AGENCY Notification of Public Meeting and a Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research... teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to provide an opportunity for...

  19. 75 FR 35023 - Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-21

    ... AGENCY Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study AGENCY: Environmental... between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water. The meetings are open to all interested parties and will... Hydraulic Fracturing Study informational meetings are as follows: July 8, 2010, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.,...

  20. 77 FR 67361 - Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water Resources

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-09

    ... AGENCY Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water... impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. DATES: EPA will accept data and literature in... scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water...

  1. 78 FR 25267 - Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water Resources

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-30

    ... AGENCY Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water... research on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources from April 30, 2013... research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. The...

  2. Frequency-Magnitude Relationship of Hydraulic Fracture Microseismicity (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxwell, S.

    2009-12-01

    Microseismicity has become a common imaging technique for hydraulic fracture stimulations in the oil and gas industry, offering a wide range of microseismic data sets in different settings. Typically, arrays of 3C sensors are deployed in single monitoring wells presenting processing challenges associated with the limited acquisition geometry. However, the proximity of the sensors to the fracture network results in good sensitivity to detect small magnitude microseisms (down to about moment magnitude -3 in some cases). This sensitivity allows a comparison of the magnitude-frequency relationship between microseisms attributed to hydraulic fracturing with those related to activation of interaction with a pre-existing fault. A case study will be presented showing a clear change in the frequency-magnitude characteristics as the injection interacts with a known fault.

  3. Laboratory investigation on the effect of in situ stresses on hydraulic fracture containment

    SciTech Connect

    Warpinski, N. R.; Clark, J. A.; Schmidt, R. A.; Huddle, C. W.

    1981-01-01

    Laboratory experiments have been conducted to determine the effect of in situ stress variations on hydraulic fracture containment. Fractures were initiated in layered rock samples with prescribed stress variations, and fracture growth characteristics were determined as a function of stress levels. Stress contrasts of 2-3 MPa were found to be sufficient to restrict fracture growth in laboratory samples of Nevada tuff and Tennessee and Nugget sandstones. The required stress level was found not to depend on mechanical rock properties. However, permeability and the resultant pore pressure effects were found to be important. Tests conducted at bimaterial interfaces between Nugget and Tennessee sandstone show that the resultant stresses set up near the interface due to the applied overburden stress affect the fracture behavior in the same way as the applied confining stresses. These results provide a guideline for determining the in situ stress contrast necessary to contain a fracture in a field treatment.

  4. How intense quality control improves hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Ely, J.W.

    1996-11-01

    Not unlike the subject of Forced Closure, Intense Quality Control is probably misnamed. What actually is discussed in this article is pilot testing of the fracturing fluids actually pumped at in-situ conditions of temperature and shear. Presented here is development of the need for onsite testing, equipment used, shear and viscosity curves from several jobs showing what went wrong that would otherwise not have been known, and a discussion of borate gel fluids.

  5. Hydraulic Aperture Reduction of Shale Fractures Due to Mechanical Stressing, with Characterization of Physical Fracture Evolution Using Comuted Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crandall, D.; Gill, M.; Moore, J.

    2014-12-01

    Flow in fractured shale is a topic of interest for both production from non-traditional fractured shale reservoirs and for estimating the leakage potential of sealing formations above geologic carbon dioxide repositories. The hydraulic aperture of a fracture quantifies how much fluid can be transported through a fracture, similarly to how permeability describes fluid flow through porous media. The advantage of defining the fracture hydraulic aperture as opposed to permeability, is that this property can be easily scaled up to fracture reservoir simulators. Many parameters affect the hydraulic aperture, however, including the fracture roughness, the physical aperture distribution, and the tortuosity of flow paths within the fracture.The computed tomography (CT) and flow facility at NETL has conducted an analysis of the changes in both physical and hydraulic aperture as fractures were subjected to varying external confining stresses. Changes in fracture geometry were tracked through the use of non-destructive CT imaging, allowing the determination of the physical aperture distribution, while hydraulic fracture apertures were derived from experimental fracture flow measurements. In order to evaluate the effects of fracture roughness and geometry, two fractures with different degrees of roughness were used. Tests were conducted with locally sourced shale.Experimental results show that the volume change in the fracture is a non-linear function of the confining pressure, and both physical and hydraulic apertures decrease rapidly as the fracture is first compressed.

  6. Hydraulic-fracture growth in dipping anisotropic strata as viewed through the surface deformation field

    SciTech Connect

    Holzhausen, G.R.; Haase, C.S.; Stow, S.H.; Gazonas, G.

    1985-01-01

    In 1983 and 1984 Oak Rdige National Laboratory conducted a series of precision ground deformation measurements before, during, and after the generation of several large hydraulic fractures in a dipping member of the Cambrian Conasauga Shale. Each fracture was produced by the injection of approximately 500,000 L of slurry on a single day. Injection depth was 300 m. Leveling surveys were run several days before and several days after the injections. An array of eight high-precision borehole tiltmeters monitored ground deformations continuously for a period of several weeks. Analysis of the leveling and the tilt measurements revealed surface uplifts as great as 25 mm and tilts of tens of microradians during each injection. Furthermore, partial recovery (subsidence) of the ground took place during the days following an injection, accompanied by shifts in the position of maximum resultant uplift. Interpretation of the tilt measurements is consistent with stable widening and extension of hydraulic fractures with subhorizontal orientations. Comparison of the measured tilt patterns with fracture orientations established from logging of observation wells suggests that shearing parallel to the fracture planes accompanied fracture dilation. This interpretation is supported by measured tilts and ground uplifts that were as much as 100 percent greater than those expected from fracture dilation alone. Models of elastically anisotropic overburden rock do not explain the measured tilt patterns in the absence of shear stresses in the fracture planes. This work represents the first large-scale hydraulic-fracturing experiment in which the possible effects of material anisotropy and fracture-parallel shears have been measured and interpreted.

  7. Hydraulic tomography offers improved imaging of heterogeneity in fractured rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illman, W. A.

    2013-12-01

    Fractured rocks have presented formidable challenges for accurately predicting groundwater flow and contaminant transport. This is mainly due to our difficulty in mapping the fracture-rock matrix system, their hydraulic properties and connectivity at resolutions that are meaningful for groundwater flow and especially transport modeling. Over the last several decades, considerable effort has gone into creating maps of subsurface heterogeneity in hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific storage (Ss) of fractured rocks. Developed methods include kriging, stochastic simulation, stochastic inverse modeling, and hydraulic tomography. In this presentation, I review the evolution of various heterogeneity mapping approaches and contend that hydraulic tomography, a recently developed aquifer characterization technique for unconsolidated deposits, is also a promising approach in yielding robust maps (or tomograms) of K and Ss heterogeneity for fractured rocks. While hydraulic tomography has recently been shown to be a robust technique, the resolution of the K and Ss tomograms mainly depends on the density of pumping and monitoring locations and the quality of data. The resolution will be improved through the development of new devices for higher density monitoring of pressure responses at discrete intervals in boreholes and potentially through the integration of other data from single-hole tests, borehole flowmeter profiling and tracer tests. Other data from temperature and geophysical surveys as well as geological investigations may improve the accuracy of the maps, but more research is needed. Technological advances will undoubtedly lead to more accurate maps. However, more effort should go into evaluating these maps so that one can gain more confidence in their reliability.

  8. Characterization of Hydraulically Induced Fractures from Monitoring and Production Data Using Ensemble Kalman Filtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakim Elahi, S.; Jafarpour, B.

    2014-12-01

    Characterization of hydraulically induced fractures in unconventional oil and gas development can significantly improve production efficiency and reduce the related environmental impacts. Microseismic monitoring is the primary technology for imaging the initiation and growth of the induced fractures. While fracture geometric attributes and distribution can be inferred from recorded microseismic measurements, delineating the open fractures that contribute to production and quantifying their hydraulic properties require complementary flow and transport data such as tracer and production measurements. We consider estimating fracture geometric attribute and conductivity from combined microseismic, production, and tracer data. To this end, we use a forward model with geomechanical considerations to predict the microseismic and tracer response for hydraulically fractured formations and apply a hierarchical ensemble Kalman filtering approach to update the fracture geometric and hydraulic properties. We investigate the applicability of our estimation approach by consider several case studies with different number of fracture stages, fracture length scales, and hydraulic conductivity. We first update fracture dimensions using microseismic and tracer data that do not contain any information about flow properties. We then estimate the hydraulic conductivity of the fractures from tracer and production data. The proposed fracture imaging framework can be applied in real-time to guide the fracturing process, to monitor the fracture growth, and to optimize the hydraulic fracturing design and minimize potential environmental impacts. Moreover, calibration of the fracture conductivity can be used to predict future production and identify candidate regions for re-fracturing.

  9. Vibrational modes of hydraulic fractures: Inference of fracture geometry from resonant frequencies and attenuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipovsky, Bradley P.; Dunham, Eric M.

    2015-02-01

    Oscillatory seismic signals arising from resonant vibrations of hydraulic fractures are observed in many geologic systems, including volcanoes, glaciers and ice sheets, and hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs. To better quantify the physical dimensions of fluid-filled cracks and properties of the fluids within them, we study wave motion along a thin hydraulic fracture waveguide. We present a linearized analysis, valid at wavelengths greater than the fracture aperture, that accounts for quasi-static elastic deformation of the fracture walls, as well as fluid viscosity, inertia, and compressibility. In the long-wavelength limit, anomalously dispersed guided waves known as crack or Krauklis waves propagate with restoring force from fracture wall elasticity. At shorter wavelengths, the waves become sound waves within the fluid channel. Wave attenuation in our model is due to fluid viscosity, rather than seismic radiation from crack tips or fracture wall roughness. We characterize viscous damping at both low frequencies, where the flow is always fully developed, and at high frequencies, where the flow has a nearly constant velocity profile away from viscous boundary layers near the fracture walls. Most observable seismic signals from resonating fractures likely arise in the boundary layer crack wave limit, where fluid-solid coupling is pronounced and attenuation is minimal. We present a method to estimate the aperture and length of a resonating hydraulic fracture using both the seismically observed quality factor and characteristic frequency. Finally, we develop scaling relations between seismic moment and characteristic frequency that might be useful when interpreting the statistics of hydraulic fracture events.

  10. Potential of hydraulically induced fractures to communicate with existing wellbores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montague, James A.; Pinder, George F.

    2015-10-01

    The probability that new hydraulically fractured wells drilled within the area of New York underlain by the Marcellus Shale will intersect an existing wellbore is calculated using a statistical model, which incorporates: the depth of a new fracturing well, the vertical growth of induced fractures, and the depths and locations of existing nearby wells. The model first calculates the probability of encountering an existing well in plan view and combines this with the probability of an existing well-being at sufficient depth to intersect the fractured region. Average probability estimates for the entire region of New York underlain by the Marcellus Shale range from 0.00% to 3.45% based upon the input parameters used. The largest contributing parameter on the probability value calculated is the nearby density of wells meaning that due diligence by oil and gas companies during construction in identifying all nearby wells will have the greatest effect in reducing the probability of interwellbore communication.

  11. Mechanical stability of propped hydraulic fractures: A numerical study

    SciTech Connect

    Asgian, M.I.; Cundall, P.A.; Brady, B.H.

    1995-03-01

    Proppant is sometimes produced along with hydrocarbons in hydraulically fractured petroleum wells. Sometimes 10% to 20% of the proppant is backproduced, which can lead to damaged equipment and downtime. Furthermore, proppant flowback can lead to a substantial loss of fracture conductivity. A numerical study was conducted to help understand what conditions are likely to lead to proppant flowback. In the simulations, the mechanical interaction of a larger number (several thousand) individual proppant grains was modeled with a distinct-element-type code. The numerical simulations show that hydraulic fractures propped with cohesionless, unbonded proppant fail under closure stress at a critical ratio of mean grain diameter to fracture width. This is consistent with published laboratory studies. The simulations identify the mechanism (arch failure) that triggers the mechanical instability and also show that the primary way that drawdowns (less than {approx} 75 psi/ft) affect proppant flowback is to transport loose proppant grains in front of the stable arch to the wellbore. Drawdowns > 75 psi/ft are sufficient to destabilize the arch and to cause progressive failure of the propped fractures.

  12. Investigation of Possible Wellbore Cement Failures During Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jihoon; Moridis, George

    2014-11-01

    We model and assess the possibility of shear failure, using the Mohr-Coulomb model ? along the vertical well by employing a rigorous coupled flow-geomechanic analysis. To this end, we vary the values of cohesion between the well casing and the surrounding cement to representing different quality levels of the cementing operation (low cohesion corresponds to low-quality cement and/or incomplete cementing). The simulation results show that there is very little fracturing when the cement is of high quality.. Conversely, incomplete cementing and/or weak cement can causes significant shear failure and the evolution of long fractures/cracks along the vertical well. Specifically, low cohesion between the well and cemented areas can cause significant shear failure along the well, but the same cohesion as the cemented zone does not cause shear failure. When the hydraulic fracturing pressure is high, low cohesion of the cement can causes fast propagation of shear failure and of the resulting fracture/crack, but a high-quality cement with no weak zones exhibits limited shear failure that is concentrated near the bottom of the vertical part of the well. Thus, high-quality cement and complete cementing along the vertical well appears to be the strongest protection against shear failure of the wellbore cement and, consequently, against contamination hazards to drinking water aquifers during hydraulic fracturing operations.

  13. Crack Extension in Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale Cores Using Viscous Oil, Water, and Liquid Carbon Dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennour, Ziad; Ishida, Tsuyoshi; Nagaya, Yuya; Chen, Youqing; Nara, Yoshitaka; Chen, Qu; Sekine, Kotaro; Nagano, Yu

    2015-07-01

    We performed hydraulic fracturing experiments on cylindrical cores of anisotropic shale obtained by drilling normal to the sedimentary plane. Experiments were conducted under ambient condition and uniaxial stresses, using three types of fracturing fluid: viscous oil, water, and liquid carbon dioxide (L-CO2). In the experiments using water and oil, cracks extended along the loading direction normal to the sedimentary plane under the uniaxial loading and extended along the sedimentary plane without loading. These results suggest that the direction of crack extension is strongly affected by in situ stress conditions. Fluorescent microscopy revealed that hydraulic fracturing with viscous oil produced linear cracks with few branches, whereas that with water produced cracks with many branches inclining from the loading axis. Statistical analysis of P wave polarity of acoustic emission waveforms showed that viscous oil tended to induce Mode I fracture, whereas both water and L-CO2 tended to induce Mode II fracture. Crack extension upon injection of L-CO2 was independent of loading condition unlike extension for the other two fluids. This result seemed attributable to the low viscosity of L-CO2 and was consistent with previous observations for granite specimens that low-viscosity fluids like CO2 tend to induce widely extending cracks with many branches, with Mode II fractures being dominant. These features are more advantageous for shale gas production than those induced by injection of conventional slick water.

  14. Scintillation gamma spectrometer for analysis of hydraulic fracturing waste products.

    PubMed

    Ying, Leong; O'Connor, Frank; Stolz, John F

    2015-01-01

    Flowback and produced wastewaters from unconventional hydraulic fracturing during oil and gas explorations typically brings to the surface Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), predominantly radioisotopes from the U238 and Th232 decay chains. Traditionally, radiological sampling are performed by sending collected small samples for laboratory tests either by radiochemical analysis or measurements by a high-resolution High-Purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma spectrometer. One of the main isotopes of concern is Ra226 which requires an extended 21-days quantification period to allow for full secular equilibrium to be established for the alpha counting of its progeny daughter Rn222. Field trials of a sodium iodide (NaI) scintillation detector offers a more economic solution for rapid screenings of radiological samples. To achieve the quantification accuracy, this gamma spectrometer must be efficiency calibrated with known standard sources prior to field deployments to analyze the radioactivity concentrations in hydraulic fracturing waste products. PMID:25734826

  15. Experimental validation of microseismic emissions from a controlled hydraulic fracture in a synthetic layered medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roundtree, Russell

    A controlled hydraulic fracture experiment was performed on two medium sized (11" x 11" x 15") synthetic layered blocks of low permeability, low porosity Lyons sandstone sandwiched between cement. The purpose of the research was to better understand and characterize the fracture evolution as the fracture tip impinged upon the layer boundaries between the well bonded layers. It is also one of the first documented uses of passive microseismic used in a laboratory environment to characterize hydraulic fracturing. A relatively low viscosity fluid of 1000 centipoise, compared to properly scaled previous work (Casas 2005, and Athavale 2007), was pumped at a constant rate of 10 mL/minute through a steel cased hole landed and isolated in the sandstone layer. Efforts were made to contain the hydraulic fracture within the confines of the rock specimen to retain the created hydraulic fracture geometry. Two identical samples and treatment schedules were created and differed only in the monitoring system used to characterize the microseismic activity during the fracture treatment. The first block had eight embedded P-wave transducers placed in the sandstone layer to record the passive microseismic emissions and localize the location and time of the acoustic event. The second block had six compressional wave transducers and twelve shear wave transducers embedded in the sandstone layer of the block. The intention was to record and process the seismic data using conventional P-wave to S-wave difference timing techniques well known in industry. While this goal ultimately not possible due to the geometry of the receiver placements and the limitations of the Vallene acquisition processing software, the data received and the events localized from the 18 transducer test were of much higher numbers and quality than on the eight transducer test. This experiment proved conclusively that passive seismic emission recording can yield positive results in the laboratory. Just as in the field

  16. A Geochemical Framework for Evaluating Shale-Hydraulic Fracture Fluid Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, A. L.; Jew, A. D.; Dustin, M. K.; Joe-Wong, C. M.; Thomas, D.; Maher, K.; Brown, G. E.; Bargar, J.; Bill, M.; Conrad, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    The development of shale oil and gas reservoirs has increased dramatically due to the application of hydraulic fracturing techniques. Fracture fluids contain dissolved oxygen and numerous chemical additives [1] that are out of equilibrium with the reducing conditions in shale reservoirs and could react extensively with shale minerals and alter porosity. Yet, the complex dissolution-precipitation reactions in shales along with the poorly constrained characteristics of many fracture fluid additives hinder predictive modeling based on established reaction kinetics and thermodynamic constants [2]. Here, we are developing a reaction framework to better predict reaction progress and porosity evolution upon exposure of shales to hydraulic fracturing fluids. To this end, the reactive transport model CrunchFlow [3] was applied to the results of batch reactor experiments containing shales of different mineralogical and organic compositions exposed to simulated fracturing fluid. Despite relatively good agreement between modeled and experimental data for pH and aqueous Ca concentrations, which are strongly governed by carbonate dissolution, the model is presently unable to reproduce observed trends in aqueous Fe concentration. This is largely attributable to the dearth of thermodynamic data for certain fracture fluid components and the complex interactions between multiple Fe-bearing mineral phases. Experimental results revealed that the presence of organic fracture fluid components strongly influenced the precipitation of Fe-bearing phases, which are speculated to coat fracture fluid polymers that formed in the reactors. The incorporation of these effects in our reactive transport model will permit improved prediction of reservoir permeability evolution and metal release during hydraulic fracturing operations. [1] Stringfellow et al. (2014) J. Hazard. Mater. [2] Carroll et al. (2013) Environ. Sci. Technol. [3] Steefel and Maher (2009) Rev. Mineral. Geochem.

  17. INVESTIGATION OF EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS DURING CO2 INJECTION IN HYDRAULICALLY AND NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS

    SciTech Connect

    David S. Schechter

    2003-10-01

    This report describes the work performed during the second year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in less efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, in this period we concentrated our effort on modeling the fluid flow in fracture surface, examining the fluid transfer mechanisms and describing the fracture aperture distribution under different overburden pressure using X-ray CT scanner.

  18. INVESTIGATION OF EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS DURING CO2 INJECTION IN HYDRAULICALLY AND NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS

    SciTech Connect

    David S. Schechter

    2004-04-26

    This report describes the work performed during the second year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in less efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, in this period we concentrated our effort on investigating the effect of CO{sub 2} injection rates in homogeneous and fractured cores on oil recovery and a strategy to mitigate CO{sub 2} bypassing in a fractured core.

  19. Mathematical modeling of hydraulic fracturing in coal seams

    SciTech Connect

    Olovyanny, A.G.

    2005-02-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of coal seam is considered as a process of development of discontinuities in rock mass elements due to change in hydrogeomechanical situation on filtration of fluid under pressure. Failure is associated with excess of the effective stresses over the rock tension strength. The problem on filtration and failure of massif is solved by the finite-element method using the procedure of fictitious nodal forces.

  20. Forecasting Seasonal Water Supply Impacts from High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celestino, M. J.; Lowry, C.

    2014-12-01

    With a current moratorium on High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) in New York State, we have a critical opportunity to make baseline predictions of how HVHF development will impact water supplies. Our research focuses on Broome and Tioga counties in New York State's southern tier. Both counties share a border with Pennsylvania, where heavy HVHF development is currently taking place. It is anticipated that both counties will also experience heavy HVHF development if the moratorium ceases. Through the use of GIS linked with a transient finite difference groundwater model, we created various HVHF well development scenarios. These scenarios represent historical HVHF development rates from nearby Pennsylvania counties of Bradford, Susquehanna, and Tioga from 2008-2012 as well as an average Pennsylvania rate. The transient finite difference groundwater model simulates how water extraction for HVHF purposes may impact the two study counties water resources over a five-year initial development period. Results of this research are presented as a first step in water resource management in Broome and Tioga County and define where state and local policies may need further investigation or modification of proposed regulations. In addition results point to future work that needs to be in place should the moratorium lift in order to take advantage of the small window of opportunity to study HVHF water usage through an entire well development lifespan.

  1. Are sills really elastic hydraulic fractures?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spacapan, Juán B.; Galland, Olivier; Leanza, Héctor A.; Planke, Sverre

    2015-04-01

    Seismic reflection data and field observations have over the past few decades revealed the presence of voluminous igneous sill complexes in sedimentary basins worldwide. The implications of sill emplacement in sedimentary basins are numerous: they trigger maturation of organic-rich formations, they produce large quantities of greenhouse gases that trigger dramatic climate change and mass extinctions, and they produce small- and large-scale structures that affect fluid flow. Therefore, a proper understanding of their emplacement mechanism is essential. Most models of sill and laccolith emplacement account for purely elastic host rock, and their propagation mechanism is dominantly assumed to be according to the Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) theory. Recent field and seismic observations, however, demonstrated that part, if not all, sill- and laccolith-induced deformation is accommodated by inelastic deformation, strongly questioning the relevance of the LEFM theory applied for igneous intrusions. In this contribution, we present detailed structural observations from spectacularly well-exposed sills in the northern Neuquén Basin, Argentina. We studied a 50-m outcrop that exhibits very clearly three sills of different sizes, the shapes of their tips, and the associated structures in their sedimentary host rock, i.e. the calcareous pelites of the organic-rich Vaca Muerta Fm. This formation is adequate to map the structures at the outcrop scale, as it consists in fine layers of mudstone inter-bedded with weak shale, such that it is possible to map each layer along the entire outcrop. Detailed structural mapping evidence that the sedimentary layers have not been opened, i.e. pushed away by the emplacement of the sills, as expected from the LEFM theory. Indeed, some of the sedimentary layers are not present at the location of the sills, but they appear duplicated several times ahead of the tips of the three observed sills; the relative movements between the

  2. Potential contaminant pathways from hydraulically fractured shale to aquifers.

    PubMed

    Myers, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of deep shale beds to develop natural gas has caused concern regarding the potential for various forms of water pollution. Two potential pathways-advective transport through bulk media and preferential flow through fractures-could allow the transport of contaminants from the fractured shale to aquifers. There is substantial geologic evidence that natural vertical flow drives contaminants, mostly brine, to near the surface from deep evaporite sources. Interpretative modeling shows that advective transport could require up to tens of thousands of years to move contaminants to the surface, but also that fracking the shale could reduce that transport time to tens or hundreds of years. Conductive faults or fracture zones, as found throughout the Marcellus shale region, could reduce the travel time further. Injection of up to 15,000,000 L of fluid into the shale generates high pressure at the well, which decreases with distance from the well and with time after injection as the fluid advects through the shale. The advection displaces native fluids, mostly brine, and fractures the bulk media widening existing fractures. Simulated pressure returns to pre-injection levels in about 300 d. The overall system requires from 3 to 6 years to reach a new equilibrium reflecting the significant changes caused by fracking the shale, which could allow advective transport to aquifers in less than 10 years. The rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing requires that monitoring systems be employed to track the movement of contaminants and that gas wells have a reasonable offset from faults. PMID:22509908

  3. Evaluation of rock/fracture interactions during steam injection through vertical hydraulic fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Kovscek, A.R.; Johnston, R.M.; Patzek, T.W.

    1997-05-01

    The design, results, and analysis of a steamdrive pilot in the South Belridge diatomite, Kern County, California, are reviewed. Pilot results demonstrate that steam can be injected across a 1,000-ft-tall diatomite column using hydraulically fractured wells and that significant oil is produced in response to steaming. A computationally simple numerical model is proposed and used to analyze reservoir heating and volumetric sweep by steam. Results from the analysis show that hydraulic fractures undergoing steam injection can be dynamic and asymmetrical.

  4. A reassessment of in situ stress determination by hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lakirouhani, A.; Detournay, E.; Bunger, A. P.

    2016-06-01

    Estimating in situ stress based on hydraulic fracturing data typically depends on interpretation of the breakdown, secondary breakdown (`reopening') and shut-in pressure. While it has been recognized that the near-wellbore stress field should be taken into account and that the compressibility of the injection system and the viscous flow of the fluid can diminish the accuracy of stress estimates, these issues have not been well quantified. A coupled numerical model that includes the compressibility of the injection system and the flow of a viscous fluid in a plane-strain hydraulic fracture extending from a wellbore, in an impermeable rock, and in the presence of a non-isotropic in situ stress field provides a basic tool for estimating the order of the error associated with hydraulic fracturing stress measurements under non-ideal conditions. The main findings of this work are model-based guidelines on the values of relevant dimensionless parameter groups to ensure sufficient accuracy of stress estimates that use idealized models. When these guidelines cannot be met under field conditions, the model can be further applied to obtain first-order corrections that account for compressibility, viscosity and near-wellbore effects.

  5. Mapping Three-Dimensional Hydraulic Heterogeneities in Fractured Granite through Transient Hydraulic Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zha, Y.; Yeh, T. C. J.; Illman, W. A.; Tanaka, T.; Bruines, P.; Onoe, H.; Saegusa, H.; Mao, D.

    2014-12-01

    Between 2005 and 2010, three independent sequential pumping tests were conducted in a fractured granite formation at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (MIU) site in central Japan. Additional pumping operations were undertaken in the course of excavation of two vertical shafts at the site. During these events, groundwater responses were monitored in multiple observation intervals in several shallow and deep boreholes. In this study, we first visually inspected these responses at all observation intervals induced by each pumping event. We found that some intervals at far-distance boreholes showed rapid, and strong responses, while intervals of boreholes near the vicinity of the pumping locations showed little responses. Moreover, the locations of the rapid and slow responses varied with pumping locations. This preliminary inspection suggested that some boreholes are likely connected via fractures and some are separated by flow barrier(s). Subsequently, these drawdown data sets were analyzed using a three-dimensional (3-D) transient hydraulic tomography (HT) code to estimate the hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific storage (Ss) distributions. Results of the analysis depicted several large-scale high K and low K zones and some small-scale features at the MIU site. The locations of these high and low K estimates explain the observed fast and slow groundwater responses, and corroborate with the locations of fractures and fault zones estimated based on geologic information. The HT analysis nevertheless provides a detailed description of the hydraulic characteristics of the fracture and fault zones.

  6. Correlating laboratory observations of fracture mechanical properties to hydraulically-induced microseismicity in geothermal reservoirs.

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen L. Karner, Ph.D

    2006-02-01

    To date, microseismicity has provided an invaluable tool for delineating the fracture network produced by hydraulic stimulation of geothermal reservoirs. While the locations of microseismic events are of fundamental importance, there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from the induced seismicity (e.g. fault plane solutions, seismic moment tensors, source characteristics). Closer scrutiny of the spatial and temporal evolution of seismic moment tensors can shed light on systematic characteristics of fractures in the geothermal reservoir. When related to observations from laboratory experiments, these systematic trends can be interpreted in terms of mechanical processes that most likely operate in the fracture network. This paper reports on mechanical properties that can be inferred from observations of microseismicity in geothermal systems. These properties lead to interpretations about fracture initiation, seismicity induced after hydraulic shut-in, spatial evolution of linked fractures, and temporal evolution of fracture strength. The correlations highlight the fact that a combination of temperature, stressing rate, time, and fluid-rock interactions can alter the mechanical and fluid transport properties of fractures in geothermal systems.

  7. Three Dimensional Stress Maps of Dynamic Hydraulic Fracture within Heavily Cross-Linked Hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinhardt, W.; Rubinstein, S.; Weitz, D.

    2014-12-01

    Hydraulic fractures (HFs) of oil and gas shales occur miles underground, below complex, layered heterogeneous rocks making any measurements of their dynamics, extent, or structure difficult to impossible. As such, model lab systems such as blocks of PMMA or rocks fractured with air or fluid (Bunger et al [2013], Alpern et al [2012]) are studied in order to understand the intricacies of HFs. However, due to the extreme energies necessary to fracture these materials the experiments are difficult, have little flexibility in the materials, and offer little no measure of the dynamics of the fracture. Heavily cross-linked hydrogels have been shown to be a good model to study brittle fracture (Livne et al [2004]). I will discuss a new system, which we have developed to study HFs within tough hydrogels which have the benefits of having highly tunable rheology, being optically clear, and having slower fracture speeds and breakdown pressures. By embedding fluorescent tracer particles within the gel together with laser sheet microscopy, we obtain the three dimensional stress and strain maps of the zone surrounding a hydraulic fracture tip.

  8. Effects of skin and hydraulic fractures on SVE wells.

    PubMed

    Bradner, Graham C; Murdoch, Lawrence C

    2005-05-01

    Soil vapor extraction (SVE) systems are intended to cause substantial volumes of air to flow through the subsurface with the purpose of removing volatile contaminants. The effectiveness of SVE can be influenced by any effect that changes the specific gas capacity (discharge as a function of vacuum) of a well. Skins of low permeability material enveloping a well bore are widely recognized to affect the performance of wells used to recover water, natural gas, or petroleum, and skin can also significantly diminish the performance of an SVE well. Skins a few mm thick consisting of material whose gas phase permeability is 0.01 of the formation can reduce the specific gas capacity of an SVE well by factors of 2 to 10 or more. Hydraulic fractures created in the vicinities of shallow wells commonly resemble sand-filled layers shaped like flat-lying disks or gently dipping saucers. The contrast between the gas-phase permeability of the sand in the fracture and that of the formation is particularly important, with significant effects requiring the ratio to be greater than approximately 50. Shallow hydraulic fractures filled with several tenths of m3 of sand in formations that are several orders of magnitude less permeable than that of the enveloping formation should increase specific gas capacity by factors of 10 or more. Field tests of the effects of hydraulic fractures on the performance of SVE were conducted by creating four wells intersecting fractures and a suite of control wells created using conventional methods in silty saprolite. Specific gas capacities ranged over more than an order of magnitude for 10 wells completed within a small area (2 m2) and at the same depth. Specific capacities correlate to the drilling method that was used to create the bore for the well: lowest values occurred in wells drilled with a machine auger, slightly better results were obtained using a Shelby tube, and the best results were obtained from conventional wells bored with a hand auger

  9. Interpretation of resonance frequencies recorded during hydraulic fracturing treatments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tary, J. B.; Baan, M.; Eaton, D. W.

    2014-02-01

    Hydraulic fracturing treatments are often monitored by strings of geophones deployed in boreholes. Instead of picking discrete events only, we here use time-frequency representations of continuous recordings to identify resonances in two case studies. This paper outlines an interpretational procedure to identify their cause using a subdivision into source, path, and receiver-side effects. For the first case study, two main resonances are observed both at depth by the downhole geophones and on the surface by two broadband arrays. The two acquisition networks have different receiver and path effects, yet recorded the same resonances; these resonances are therefore likely generated by source effects. The amplitude pattern at the surface arrays indicates that these resonances are probably due to pumping operations. In the second case study, selective resonances are detected by the downhole geophones. Resonances coming from receiver effects are either lower or higher frequency, and wave propagation modeling shows that path effects are not significant. We identify two possible causes within the source area, namely, eigenvibrations of fractures or non-Darcian flow within the hydraulic fractures. In the first situation, 15-30 m long fluid-filled cracks could generate the observed resonances. An interconnected fracture network would then be required, corresponding to mesoscale deformation of the reservoir. Alternatively, systematic patterns in non-Darcian fluid flow within the hydraulic fracture could also be their leading cause. Resonances can be used to gain a better understanding of reservoir deformations or dynamic fluid flow perturbations during fluid injection into hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs, CO2 sequestration, or volcanic eruptions.

  10. Cryogenic Fracturing: Laboratory Visualization Experiments and Numerical Simulations Using Peridynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin-Short, R.; Edmiston, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    Typical hydraulic fracturing operations involve the use of a large quantity of water, which can be problematic for several reasons including possible formation (permeability) damage, disposal of waste water, and the use of precious local water resource. An alternate reservoir permeability enhancing technology not requiring water is cryogenic fracturing. This method induces controlled fracturing of rock formations by thermal shock and has potentially important applications in the geothermal and hydrocarbon industries. In this process, cryogenic fluid—such as liquid nitrogen—is injected into the subsurface, causing fracturing due to thermal gradients. These fractures may improve the formation permeability relative to that achievable by hydraulic fracturing alone. We conducted combined laboratory visualization and numerical simulations studies of thermal-shock-induced fracture initiation and propagation resulting from liquid nitrogen injection in rock and analog materials. The experiment used transparent soda-lime glass cubes to facilitate real-time visualization of fracture growth and the fracture network geometry. In this contribution, we report the effect of overall temperature difference between cryogenic fluid and solid material on the produced fracture network, by pre-heating the glass cubes to several temperatures and injecting liquid nitrogen. Temperatures are monitored at several points by thermocouple and the fracture evolution is captured visually by camera. The experiment was modeled using a customized, thermoelastic, fracture-capable numerical simulation code based on peridynamics. The performance of the numerical code was validated by the results of the laboratory experiments, and then the code was used to study the different factors affecting a cryogenic fracturing operation, including the evolution of residual stresses and constitutive relationships for material failure. In complex rock such as shale, understanding the process of cryogenic

  11. Hydraulic fracturing: insights from field, lab, and numerical studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, S. D.; Johnson, S.; Fu, P.; Settgast, R. R.

    2011-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing has become an increasingly important technique in stimulating reservoirs for gas, oil, and geothermal energy production. In use commercially since the 1950's, the technique has been widely lauded, when combined with other techniques, for enabling the development of shale gas resources in the United States, providing a valuable and extensive source of domestic energy. However, the technique has also drawn a degree of notoriety from high-profile incidents involving contamination of drinking water associated with gas extraction operations in the Marcellus shale region. This work highlights some of the insights on the behavior of subsurface hydraulic fracturing operations that have been derived from field and laboratory observations as well as from numerical simulations. The sensitivity of fracture extent and orientation to parameters such as matrix material heterogeneity, presence and distribution of discontinuities, and stress orientation is of particular interest, and we discuss this in the context of knowledge derived from both observation and simulation. The limitations of these studies will also be addressed in terms of resolution, uncertainty, and assumptions as well as the balance of fidelity to cost, both in computation time (for numerical studies) and equipment / operation cost (for observational studies). We also identify a number of current knowledge gaps and propose alternatives for addressing those gaps. We especially focus on the role of numerical studies for elucidating key concepts and system sensitivities. The problem is inherently multi-scale in both space and time as well as highly coupled hydromechanically, and, in several applications, thermally as well. We will summarize the developments to date in analyzing these systems and present an approach for advancing the capabilities of our models in the short- to long-term and how these advances can help provide solutions to reduce risk and improve efficiency of hydraulic fracturing

  12. Numerical investigation of hydraulic fracture network propagation in naturally fractured shale formations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Yushi; Zhang, Shicheng; Ma, Xinfang; Zhou, Tong; Zeng, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Hydraulic fracture network (HFN) propagation in naturally fractured shale formations is investigated numerically using a 3D complex fracturing model based on the discrete element method. To account for the plastic deformation behavior of shales, the Drucker-Prager plasticity model is incorporated into the fracturing model. Parametric studies are then conducted for different Young's moduli, horizontal differential stresses, natural fracture (NF) properties, injection rates, and number and spacing of perforation clusters. Numerical results show that horizontal differential stress primarily determines the generation of a complex HFN. The plastic deformation of shale can reduce the stimulated reservoir volume; this is more obvious with Young's modulus of less than 20 GPa. In addition, a higher injection rate could largely increase the fracture complexity index (FCI). Moreover, increasing perforation cluster numbers per fracturing stage is beneficial for increasing the FCI, but it also increases the potential merging of neighboring fractures, which may lead to non-uniform development of HFN in far-wellbore regions. To achieve uniform development of HFN within a fracturing stage, the distribution of NFs should be fully considered. The results presented here may provide improved understanding of HFN generation and are favorable for optimizing fracturing treatment designs for shale formations.

  13. Laboratory Visualization Experiments of Temperature-induced Fractures Around a Borehole (Cryogenic Fracturing) in Shale and Analogue Rock Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kneafsey, T. J.; Nakagawa, S.; Wu, Y. S.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2014-12-01

    In tight shales, hydraulic fracturing is the dominant method for improving reservoir permeability. However, injecting water-based liquids can induce formation damage and disposal problems, thus other techniques are being sought. One alternative to hydraulic fracturing is producing fractures thermally, using low-temperature fluids (cryogens). The primary consequence of thermal stimulation is that shrinkage fractures are produced around the borehole wall. Recently, cryogenic stimulation produced some promising results when the cryogen (typically liquid nitrogen and cold nitrogen gas) could be brought to reservoir depth. Numerical modeling also showed possible significant increases in gas production from a shale reservoir after cryogenic stimulation. However, geometry and the dynamic behavior of these thermally induced fractures under different stress regimes and rock anisotropy and heterogeneity is not yet well understood.Currently, we are conducting a series of laboratory thermal fracturing experiments on Mancos Shale and transparent glass blocks, by injecting liquid nitrogen under atmospheric pressure into room temperature blocks under various anisotropic stress states. The glass blocks allow clear optical visualization of fracture development and final fracturing patterns. For the shale blocks, X-ray CT is used to image both pre-existing and induced fractures. Also, the effect of borehole orientation with respect to the bedding planes and aligned preexisting fractures is examined. Our initial experiment on a uniaxially compressed glass block showed fracturing behavior which was distinctly different from conventional hydraulic fracturing. In addition to tensile fractures in the maximum principal stress directions, the thermal contraction by the cryogen induced (1) chaotic, spalling fractures around the borehole wall, and (2) a series of disk-shaped annular fractures perpendicular to the borehole. When applied to a horizontal borehole, the propagation plane of the

  14. Constraints on Upward Migration of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Brine

    PubMed Central

    Flewelling, Samuel A; Sharma, Manu

    2014-01-01

    Recent increases in the use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) to aid extraction of oil and gas from black shales have raised concerns regarding potential environmental effects associated with predictions of upward migration of HF fluid and brine. Some recent studies have suggested that such upward migration can be large and that timescales for migration can be as short as a few years. In this article, we discuss the physical constraints on upward fluid migration from black shales (e.g., the Marcellus, Bakken, and Eagle Ford) to shallow aquifers, taking into account the potential changes to the subsurface brought about by HF. Our review of the literature indicates that HF affects a very limited portion of the entire thickness of the overlying bedrock and therefore, is unable to create direct hydraulic communication between black shales and shallow aquifers via induced fractures. As a result, upward migration of HF fluid and brine is controlled by preexisting hydraulic gradients and bedrock permeability. We show that in cases where there is an upward gradient, permeability is low, upward flow rates are low, and mean travel times are long (often >106 years). Consequently, the recently proposed rapid upward migration of brine and HF fluid, predicted to occur as a result of increased HF activity, does not appear to be physically plausible. Unrealistically high estimates of upward flow are the result of invalid assumptions about HF and the hydrogeology of sedimentary basins. PMID:23895673

  15. Constraints on upward migration of hydraulic fracturing fluid and brine.

    PubMed

    Flewelling, Samuel A; Sharma, Manu

    2014-01-01

    Recent increases in the use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) to aid extraction of oil and gas from black shales have raised concerns regarding potential environmental effects associated with predictions of upward migration of HF fluid and brine. Some recent studies have suggested that such upward migration can be large and that timescales for migration can be as short as a few years. In this article, we discuss the physical constraints on upward fluid migration from black shales (e.g., the Marcellus, Bakken, and Eagle Ford) to shallow aquifers, taking into account the potential changes to the subsurface brought about by HF. Our review of the literature indicates that HF affects a very limited portion of the entire thickness of the overlying bedrock and therefore, is unable to create direct hydraulic communication between black shales and shallow aquifers via induced fractures. As a result, upward migration of HF fluid and brine is controlled by preexisting hydraulic gradients and bedrock permeability. We show that in cases where there is an upward gradient, permeability is low, upward flow rates are low, and mean travel times are long (often >10⁶  years). Consequently, the recently proposed rapid upward migration of brine and HF fluid, predicted to occur as a result of increased HF activity, does not appear to be physically plausible. Unrealistically high estimates of upward flow are the result of invalid assumptions about HF and the hydrogeology of sedimentary basins. PMID:23895673

  16. Importance of Stratabound Fracture Networks for Seismic Hazard Assessment of Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D. W.; Davidsen, J.; Pedersen, P. K.; Boroumand, N.

    2013-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing, a powerful completion technique used to enhance oil or gas production from impermeable strata, may trigger unintended earthquake activity. The primary basis for assessment of triggered and natural seismic hazard is the classic Gutenberg-Richter (G-R) relation, which expresses scale-independent behavior of earthquake magnitudes. Using a stochastic approach to simulate microseismicity from three monitoring programs in North America, we show that magnitude-distance trends for microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing may deviate significantly from the G-R relation. This apparent breakdown in the power-law scaling paradigm, coupled with unusually high values for the b-parameter (slope) of the G-R relation, can be explained by a new model based on activation of stratabound fracture networks in which fracture height growth is limited by mechanical bed thickness. For the three areas considered, mechanical bed thickness is well represented by a lognormal distribution, which leads asymptotically to a Gaussian decay for induced magnitudes that fits the observations remarkably well. This new relationship has profound implications for understanding the scaling behavior of induced microearthquakes, as well as for forecasting the probability of larger earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas development.

  17. Phase-field modeling of fracture propagation under hydraulic stimulation in pre-fractured rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khisamitov, Ildar; Mohseni, Seyed Ali; Meschke, Guenther

    2016-04-01

    The presentation presents the numerical analysis of hydraulic fracturing within Griffith theory of brittle damage. The phase-field method [1] is employed to model brittle fracture propagation driven by pressurized fluids within fully saturated porous rocks. The phase-field equation is coupled with the Biot-theory using the effective stress concept. The porous rock is assumed as fully saturated with incompressible fluid and deforms within elasticity theory. The hydraulic fracturing propagates under mode I crack opening in quasi-static regime with slow fluid flow in porous matrix and fracture. The phase-field approach for the modelling of brittle fracture [2] coincides with the maximum energy release rate criterion in fracture mechanics theory. The phase-field equation is approximated over entire the domain and introduces new degree of freedom (damage variable). Crack surface is represented by a smooth regularized damage distribution over the fractured area. The presented numerical investigations are characterized by different scenarios of hydraulic stimulation and the interaction of a new fracture emanating from the bore hole with pre-existing cracks. The scenarios include predefined fractures with different oriented to specific angle and spatial distribution over the entire domain. The undamaged rock matrix is modeled as an isotropic elastic material with initial porosity and isotropic matrix permeability. The flow within the undamaged region is governed by Darcy's law while the fluid flow in fractures is approximated by cubic law with the crack opening computed from the displacement solution and the damage variable distribution [3]. Initial fractures are modeled by an initial distribution of the damage variable and by special zero-thickness interface finite elements. Adaptive algorithms in conjunction with appropriately chosen refinement criteria are utilized to reduce the computational costs. References [1] M.J. Borden "A phase-field description of dynamic

  18. Determining the spatial altitude of the hydraulic fractures.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khamiev, Marsel; Kosarev, Victor; Goncharova, Galina

    2016-04-01

    Mathematical modeling and numerical simulation are the most widely used approaches for the solving geological problems. They imply software tools which are based on Monte Carlo method. The results of this project presents shows the possibility of using PNL tool to determine fracturing location. The modeled media is a homogeneous rock (limestone) cut by a vertical borehole (d=216 mm) with metal casing 9 mm thick. The cement sheath is 35 mm thick. The borehole is filled with fresh water. The rock mass is cut by crack, filled with a mixture of doped (gadolinium oxide Gd2O3) proppant (75%) and water (25%). A pulse neutron logging (PNL) tool is used for quality control in hydraulic fracturing operations. It includes a fast neutron source (so-called "neutron generator") and a set of thermal (or epithermal) neutron-sensing devices, forming the so-called near (ND) and far (FD) detectors. To evaluate neutron properties various segments (sectors) of the rock mass, the detector must register only neutrons that come from this very formation. It's possible if detecting block includes some (6 for example) thermal neutron detectors arranged circumferentially inside the tool. As a result we get few independent well logs, each accords with define rock sector. Afterwards synthetic logs processing we can determine spatial position of the hydraulic fracture.

  19. Inverse modeling of the hydraulic properties of fractured media : development of a flow tomography approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bour, O.; Klepikova, M.; Le Borgne, T.; De Dreuzy, J.

    2013-12-01

    Inverse modeling of hydraulic and geometrical properties of fractured media is a very challenging objective due to the spatial heterogeneity of the medium and the scarcity of data. Here we present a flow tomography approach that permits to characterize the location, the connectivity and the hydraulic properties of main flow paths in fractured media. The accurate characterization of the location, hydraulic properties and connectivity of major fracture zones is essential to model flow and solute transport in fractured media. Cross-borehole flowmeter tests, which consist of measuring changes in vertical borehole flows when pumping a neighboring borehole, were shown to be an efficient technique to provide information on the properties of the flow zones that connect borehole pairs [Paillet, 1998; Le Borgne et al., 2006]. The interpretation of such experiments may however be quite uncertain when multiple connections exist. In this study, we explore the potential of flow tomography (i.e., sequential cross-borehole flowmeter tests) for characterizing aquifer heterogeneity. We first propose a framework for inverting flow and drawdown data to infer fracture connectivity and transmissivities. Here we use a simplified discrete fracture network approach that highlights main connectivity structures. This conceptual model attempts to reproduce fracture network connectivity without taking fracture geometry (length, orientation, dip) into account. We then explore the potential of the method for simplified synthetic fracture network models and quantify the sensitivity of drawdown and borehole flow velocities to the transmissivity of the connecting flowpaths. Flow tomography is expected to be most effective if cross-borehole pumping induces large changes in vertical borehole velocities. The uncertainty of the transmissivity estimates increases for small borehole flow velocities. The uncertainty about the transmissivity of fractures that connect the main flowpath but not the boreholes

  20. Combined seismic and hydraulic method of modeling flow in fractured low permeability rocks

    SciTech Connect

    Witherspoon, P.A.; Long, J.C.S.; Majer, E.L.; Myer, L.R.

    1987-06-01

    Modeling flow of ground water in hard rocks where a network of fractures provides the dominant flow paths is a major problem. This paper summarizes a program of investigations currently underway in this laboratory to characterize the geometry of fractured rocks and develop methods of handling flow in such systems. Numerical models have been developed to investigate flow behavior in two- and three-dimensional fracture networks. The results demonstrate the insights that can be gained from modeling studies of fractured rocks. A key problem is gathering the necessary data on fracture geometry. Investigations have been started to determine how vertical seismic profiling (VSP) might be improved and applied to this problem. A VSP experiment in The Geysers geothermal field in northern California, where fracture orientation is known, produced shear wave splitting and velocity anisotropy in agreement with theory. The results suggest the potential application of 3-component, multi-source VSP data in determining fracture orientation and average spacing. We believe a combination of seismic and hydraulic methods can greatly enhance an understanding of fluid flow and transport in low permeability rock systems where fractures provide the dominant paths. 40 refs, 16 figs., 4 tabs.

  1. Correlations to predict frictional pressure loss of hydraulic-fracturing slurry in coiled tubing

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, S.; Zhoi, Y.X.; Bailey, M.; Hernandez, J.

    2009-08-15

    Compared with conventional-tubing fracturing, coiled-tubing (CT) fracturing has several advantages. CT fracturing has become an effective stimulation technique for multizone oil and gas wells. It is also an attractive production-enhancement method for multiseam coalbed-methane wells, and wells with bypassed zones. The excessive frictional pressure loss through CT has been a concern in fracturing. The small diameter of the string limits the cross-sectional area open to flow. Furthermore, the tubing curvature causes secondary flow and results in extra flow resistance. This increased frictional pressure loss results in high surface pumping pressure. The maximum possible pump rate and sand concentration, therefore, have to be reduced. To design a CT fracturing job properly, it is essential to predict the frictional pressure loss through the tubing accurately. This paper presents correlations for the prediction of frictional pressure loss of fracturing slurries in straight tubing and CT. They are developed on the basis of full-scale slurry-flow tests with 11/2-in. CT and slurries prepared with 35 lbm/1,000 gal of guar gel. The extensive experiments were conducted at the full-scale CT-flow test facility. The proposed correlations have been verified with the experimental data and actual field CT-fracturing data. Case studies of wells recently fractured are provided to demonstrate the application of the correlations. The correlations will be useful to the CT engineers in their hydraulics design calculations.

  2. Using borehole geophysics and cross-borehole flow testing to define hydraulic connections between fracture zones in bedrock aquifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paillet, Frederick L.

    1993-01-01

    Nearly a decade of intensive geophysical logging at fractured rock hydrology research sites indicates that geophysical logs can be used to identify and characterize fractures intersecting boreholes. However, borehole-to-borehole flow tests indicate that only a few of the apparently open fractures found to intersect boreholes conduct flow under test conditions. This paper presents a systematic approach to fracture characterization designed to define the distribution of fractures along boreholes, relate the measured fracture distribution to structure and lithology of the rock mass, and define the nature of fracture flow paths across borehole arrays. Conventional electrical resistivity, gamma, and caliper logs are used to define lithology and large-scale structure. Borehole wall image logs obtained with the borehole televiewer are used to give the depth, orientation, and relative size of fractures in situ. High-resolution flowmeter measurements are used to identify fractures conducting flow in the rock mass adjacent to the boreholes. Changes in the flow field over time are used to characterize the hydraulic properties of fracture intersections between boreholes. Application of this approach to an array of 13 boreholes at the Mirror Lake, New Hamsphire site demonstrates that the transient flow analysis can be used to distinguish between fractures communicating with each other between observation boreholes, and those that are hydraulically isolated from each other in the surrounding rock mass. The Mirror Lake results also demonstrate that the method is sensitive to the effects of boreholes on the hydraulic properties of the fractured-rock aquifer. Experiments conducted before and after the drilling of additional boreholes in the array and before and after installation of packers in existing boreholes demonstrate that the presence of new boreholes or the inflation of packers in existing boreholes has a large effect on the measured hydraulic properties of the rock mass

  3. Hydraulic Fracturing, Wastewater Injection and Unintended Earthquakes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellsworth, W. L.

    2013-12-01

    It has long been known that increasing the pore pressure within a pre-stressed fault can induce an earthquake by reducing the effective normal stress and thereby the frictional strength of the fault. Underground fluid pressures are routinely modified by a wide range of industrial activities including impoundment of reservoirs, mining, and petroleum production, all of which are known to have potential for inducing earthquakes. Recently, attention has been drawn to the earthquake hazard associated with the production of oil and gas from previously unproductive formations. Earthquakes can be induced as part of the process to stimulate the production from tight shale formations, or by disposal of wastewater associated with stimulation and production. In this talk, I review recent investigations of both activities with a focus on the emerging understanding of the development of predictive models for both seismicity and risk. By design, hydraulic fracturing induces numerous high-frequency microseismic events as part of the process of creating a connected fracture network to enhance formation permeability. During the brief time (hours) that high fluid pressure is applied to the well bore, seismic events occur as a combination tensile (hydrofracture) and shear (hydroshear) failures. The fluid volume injected in a single hydrofrac stage is commonly of the order of several thousand cubic meters. Growth of the fracture network typically follows square-root scaling with time, suggesting a diffusive growth mechanism. Magnitudes are normally below zero for events in the target formation. Larger, unintended events sometimes occur and available evidence points to shear failure of pre-existing faults as their source. Earthquakes with magnitudes as large as Mw 3.6 occurred during hydraulic fracturing operations in the Horn River Basin, B. C., Canada. Some of these occurred before the diffusive pressure front would have reached the hypocenter, suggesting rapid transmission of pore

  4. Capillary Imbibition of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids into Partially Saturated Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birdsell, D.; Rajaram, H.; Lackey, G.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the migration of hydraulic fracturing fluids injected into unconventional reservoirs is important to assess the risk of aquifer contamination and to optimize oil and gas production. Capillary imbibition causes fracturing fluids to flow from fractures into the rock matrix where the fluids are sequestered for geologically long periods of time. Imbibition could explain the low amount of flowback water observed in the field (5-50% of the injected volume) and reduce the chance of fracturing fluid migrating out of formation towards overlying aquifers. We present calculations of spontaneous capillary imbibition in the form of an "imbibition rate parameter" (A) based on the only known exact analytical solution for spontaneous capillary imbibition. A depends on the hydraulic and capillary properties of the reservoir rock, the initial water saturation, and the viscosities of the wetting and nonwetting fluids. Imbibed volumes can be large for a high permeability shale gas reservoir (up to 95% of the injected volume) or quite small for a low permeability shale oil reservoir (as low as 3% of the injected volume). We also present a nondimensionalization of the imbibition rate parameter, which facilitates the calculation of A and clarifies the relation of A to initial saturation, porous medium properties, and fluid properties. Over the range of initial water saturations reported for the Marcellus shale (0.05-0.6), A varies by less than factors of ~1.8 and ~3.4 for gas and oil nonwetting phases respectively. However, A decreases significantly for larger initial water saturations. A is most sensitive to the intrinsic permeability of the reservoir rock and the viscosity of the fluids.

  5. Evaluating the performance of hydraulically-fractured shale gas resources in the Appalachian Basin (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakala, A.; Wall, A. J.; Guthrie, G.

    2013-12-01

    geochemical reactions in the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid is underway to evaluate potential impacts on produced water chemistry and fracture stability within the shale formation. Additional laboratory experiments, coupled with modeling efforts, are evaluating the effects of well drilling on shallow groundwater hydrology, and the potential for shallow gas to affect cement hydration. At the field scale, the density and distribution of existing wellbores are being assessed through detection with remote magnetometer surveys, and compilation and analysis of existing wellbore databases. Results from these varied research efforts will be used in future predictive assessments of the behavior of engineered shale gas systems.

  6. Evaluating the performance of hydraulically-fractured shale gas resources in the Appalachian Basin (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huisman, J. A.; Mboh, C.; Rings, J.; Vrugt, J. A.; Vereecken, H.

    2011-12-01

    geochemical reactions in the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid is underway to evaluate potential impacts on produced water chemistry and fracture stability within the shale formation. Additional laboratory experiments, coupled with modeling efforts, are evaluating the effects of well drilling on shallow groundwater hydrology, and the potential for shallow gas to affect cement hydration. At the field scale, the density and distribution of existing wellbores are being assessed through detection with remote magnetometer surveys, and compilation and analysis of existing wellbore databases. Results from these varied research efforts will be used in future predictive assessments of the behavior of engineered shale gas systems.

  7. Modelling of of hydraulic fractures trajectories in inhomogeneous stress field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreev, A. A.; Galybin, A.

    2013-05-01

    The paper examines an actual problem of oil and gas production -- modelling of the hydro-fracture trajectories depending on ihomogeneous distributions of pore pressure. The results could serve for improvement of the design of hydraulic fracturing in the oil/gas fields. The methods of the plane elasticity theory and fracture mechanics are employed. It is assumed, that in addition to the homogeneous field of natural stress the reservoir is also subjected to additional stresses caused by technological reasons, which makes the total stress field to be inhomogeneous. Therefore, the objective is to model a curvilinear crack path in an elastic inhomogeneous-loaded plane depending on the different mechanical parameters that control the stress state of the reservoir. For the simulation of the trajectory of a crack the method of boundary integral equation is used. The algorithms of step-by-step determination of the crack's trajectory development using the criterion of maximum tensile stresses at the end of the cracks have been developed. For the numerical realization of the solution we used a special modification of the method of mechanical quadratures providing effective and fast solution of the corresponding system of singular integral equation. The solution for the hydro-fracture path have been simulated for the case of inhomogeneous stress field due to presence of injection well for several physical models.

  8. Implicit level set algorithms for modelling hydraulic fracture propagation.

    PubMed

    Peirce, A

    2016-10-13

    Hydraulic fractures are tensile cracks that propagate in pre-stressed solid media due to the injection of a viscous fluid. Developing numerical schemes to model the propagation of these fractures is particularly challenging due to the degenerate, hypersingular nature of the coupled integro-partial differential equations. These equations typically involve a singular free boundary whose velocity can only be determined by evaluating a distinguished limit. This review paper describes a class of numerical schemes that have been developed to use the multiscale asymptotic behaviour typically encountered near the fracture boundary as multiple physical processes compete to determine the evolution of the fracture. The fundamental concepts of locating the free boundary using the tip asymptotics and imposing the tip asymptotic behaviour in a weak form are illustrated in two quite different formulations of the governing equations. These formulations are the displacement discontinuity boundary integral method and the extended finite-element method. Practical issues are also discussed, including new models for proppant transport able to capture 'tip screen-out'; efficient numerical schemes to solve the coupled nonlinear equations; and fast methods to solve resulting linear systems. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the performance of the numerical schemes. We conclude the paper with open questions for further research. This article is part of the themed issue 'Energy and the subsurface'. PMID:27597787

  9. Stimuli Responsive/Rheoreversible Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Energy Production (Part II)

    SciTech Connect

    Bonneville, Alain; Jung, Hun Bok; Shao, Hongbo; Kabilan, Senthil; Um, Wooyong; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Varga, Tamas; Suresh, Niraj; Stephens, Sean A.; Fernandez, Carlos A.

    2014-12-14

    We have used an environmentally friendly and recyclable hydraulic fracturing fluid - diluted aqueous solutions of polyallylamine or PAA – for reservoir stimulation in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS). This fluid undergoes a controlled and large volume expansion with a simultaneous increase in viscosity triggered by CO2 at EGS temperatures. We are presenting here the results of laboratory-scale hydraulic fracturing experiment using the fluid on small cylindrical rock cores (1.59 cm in diameter and 5.08 cm in length) from the Coso geothermal field in California. Rock samples consisted of Mesozoic diorite metamorphosed to greenschist facies. The experiments were conducted on 5 samples for realistic ranges of pressures (up to 275 bar) and temperatures (up to 210 °C) for both the rock samples and the injected fluid. After fracturing, cores were subjected to a CO2 leakage test, injection of KI solution, and X-ray microtomography (XMT) scanning to examine the formation and distribution of fractures. The design and conduct of these experiments will be presented and discussed in details. Based on the obtained XMT images, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were then performed to visualize hydraulic fractures and compute the bulk permeability. OpenFOAM (OpenCFD Ltd., Reading, UK), was used to solve the steady state simulation. The flow predictions, based upon the laminar, 3-D, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for fluid mass and momentum, show the remarkable stimulation of the permeability in the core samples and demonstrate the efficiency of such a CO2 triggered fluid in EGS.

  10. Impacts on water quality by hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, B.; Stute, M.; Chillrud, S. N.; Ross, J. M.; Howarth, M.; Panettieri, R.; Saberi, P.

    2015-12-01

    Shale gas development, including drilling and hydraulic fracturing, is rapidly increasing throughout the United States and, indeed, the rest of the world. Systematic surveys of water quality both pre- and post drilling/production are sparse. To examine the impacts of shale gas production on water quality, pilot studies have been conducted in adjacent counties of western NY (Chemung, Tioga, Broome, and Delaware) and northern PA (Bradford, Susquehanna, and Wayne). These 7 counties along the border of NY and PA share similar geology and demographic compositions and have been identified as a key area to develop shale gas with the key difference that active fracking is occurring in PA but there is no fracking yet in NY. Measurements include a suite of major and trace elements, methane and its stable isotopes, noble gases and tritium for dating purposes, and the primary radioactive elements of potential concern, radon and radium. We found elevated methane levels on both sides of the border. Higher levels of major ions were observed in PA samples close to the gas wells in the valley, possibly from hydraulic fracturing activities. The lab analysis of samples collected in recently launched 100 Bottom Project is ongoing and the results will be presented in this conference.

  11. Hydraulic tomography in fractured granite: Mizunami Underground Research site, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illman, Walter A.; Liu, Xiaoyi; Takeuchi, Shinji; Yeh, Tian-Chyi Jim; Ando, Kenichi; Saegusa, Hiromitsu

    2009-01-01

    Two large-scale cross-hole pumping tests were conducted at depths of 191-226 m and 662-706 m in deep boreholes at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (MIU) construction site in central Japan. During these two tests, induced groundwater responses were monitored at many observation intervals at various depths in different boreholes at the site. We analyze the two cross-hole pumping tests using transient hydraulic tomography (THT) based on an efficient sequential successive linear estimator to compute the hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific storage (Ss) tomograms, as well as their uncertainties in three dimensions. The equivalent K and Ss estimates obtained using asymptotic analysis treating the medium to be homogeneous served as the mean parameter estimates for the 3-D stochastic inverse modeling effort. Results show several, distinct, high K and low Ss zones that are continuous over hundreds of meters, which appear to delineate fault zones and their connectivity. The THT analysis of the tests also identified a low K zone which corresponds with a known fault zone trending NNW and has been found to compartmentalize groundwater flow at the site. These results corroborate well with observed water level records, available fault information, and coseismic groundwater level responses during several large earthquakes. The successful application of THT to cross-hole pumping tests conducted in fractured granite at this site suggests that THT is a promising approach to delineate large-scale K and Ss heterogeneities, fracture connectivity, and to quantify uncertainty of the estimated fields.

  12. Environmentally Friendly, Rheoreversible, Hydraulic-fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Hongbo; Kabilan, Senthil; Stephens, Sean A.; Suresh, Niraj; Beck, Anthon NR; Varga, Tamas; Martin, Paul F.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Jung, Hun Bok; Um, Wooyong; Bonneville, Alain; Heldebrant, David J.; Carroll, KC; Moore, Joseph; Fernandez, Carlos A.

    2015-07-01

    Cost-effective creation of high-permeability reservoirs inside deep crystalline bedrock is the primary challenge for the feasibility of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Current reservoir stimulation entails adverse environmental impacts and substantial economic costs due to the utilization of large volumes of water “doped” with chemicals including rheology modifiers, scale and corrosion inhibitors, biocides, friction reducers among others where, typically, little or no information of composition and toxicity is disclosed. An environmentally benign, CO2-activated, rheoreversible fracturing fluid has recently been developed that significantly enhances rock permeability at effective stress significantly lower than current technology. We evaluate the potential of this novel fracturing fluid for application on geothermal sites under different chemical and geomechanical conditions, by performing laboratory-scale fracturing experiments with different rock sources under different confining pressures, temperatures, and pH environments. The results demonstrate that CO2-reactive aqueous solutions of environmentally amenable Polyallylamine (PAA) represent a highly versatile fracturing fluid technology. This fracturing fluid creates/propagates fracture networks through highly impermeable crystalline rock at significantly lower effective stress as compared to control experiments where no PAA was present, and permeability enhancement was significantly increased for PAA compared to conventional hydraulic fracturing controls. This was evident in all experiments, including variable rock source/type, operation pressure and temperature (over the entire range for EGS applications), as well as over a wide range of formation-water pH values. This versatile novel fracturing fluid technology represents a great alternative to industrially available fracturing fluids for cost-effective and competitive geothermal energy production.

  13. INVESTIGATION OF EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS DURING CO2 INJECTION IN HYDRAULICALLY AND NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS

    SciTech Connect

    David S. Schechter

    2004-10-10

    This report describes the work performed during the third year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in more efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, in this period we concentrated our effort on modeling fluid flow through rough fractures and investigating the grid orientation effect in rectangular grid blocks particularly at high mobility ratio as our precursor to use a compositional simulator. We are developing a robust simulator using Voronoi grids to accurately represent natural and induced fractures. We are also verifying the accuracy of the simulation using scaled laboratory experiments to provide a benchmark for our simulation technique. No such simulator currently exists so this capability will represent a major breakthrough in simulation of gas injection in fractured systems. The following sections outline the results that appear in this report.

  14. Coupled Mineral Dissolution and Precipitation Reactions in Shale-Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joe-Wong, C. M.; Harrison, A. L.; Thomas, D.; Dustin, M. K.; Jew, A. D.; Brown, G. E.; Maher, K.; Bargar, J.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of low-permeability, hydrocarbon-rich shales has recently become an important energy source in the United States. However, hydrocarbon recovery rates are low and drop rapidly after a few months. Hydraulic fracture fluids, which contain dissolved oxygen and numerous organic additives, induce dissolution and precipitation reactions that change the porosity and permeability of the shale. To investigate these reactions, we studied the interactions of four shales (Eagle Ford, Barnett, Marcellus, and Green River) with a simulated hydraulic fracture fluid in batch reactors at 80 °C. The shales were chosen for both economic viability and chemical variety, allowing us to explore the reactivities of different components. The Eagle Ford shale is carbonate rich, and the Green River shale contains significant siderite and kerogen. The Barnett shale also has a high organic content, while the Marcellus shale has the highest fractions of clay and pyrite. Our experiments show that hydrochloric acid in the fluid promotes carbonate mineral dissolution, rapidly raising the pH from acidic to circumneutral levels for the Eagle Ford and Green River shales. Dissolution textures in the Green River shale and large cavities in the Barnett shale indicate significant mineralogical and physical changes in the reacted rock. Morphological changes are not readily apparent in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales. For all shales, ongoing changes to the solution Al: Si ratio suggest incongruent aluminosilicate dissolution. Siderite or pyrite dissolution occurs within days and is followed by the formation of secondary Fe precipitates in suspension and coating the walls of the reactor. However, little evidence of any coatings on shale surfaces was found. The net effect of these reactions on porosity and permeability and their influence on the long-term efficacy of oil and gas recovery after hydraulic fracturing are critical to the energy landscape of the United States.

  15. Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources (Monterey, CA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A summary of EPA's research relating to potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources will be presented. Background about the study plan development will be presented along with an analysis of the water cycle as it relates to hydraulic fracturing processe...

  16. Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallegos, Tanya J.; Varela, Brian A.; Haines, Seth S.; Engle, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Until now, up-to-date, comprehensive, spatial, national-scale data on hydraulic fracturing water volumes have been lacking. Water volumes used (injected) to hydraulically fracture over 263,859 oil and gas wells drilled between 2000 and 2014 were compiled and used to create the first U.S. map of hydraulic fracturing water use. Although median annual volumes of 15,275 m3 and 19,425 m3 of water per well was used to hydraulically fracture individual horizontal oil and gas wells, respectively, in 2014, about 42% of wells were actually either vertical or directional, which required less than 2600 m3 water per well. The highest average hydraulic fracturing water usage (10,000−36,620 m3 per well) in watersheds across the United States generally correlated with shale-gas areas (versus coalbed methane, tight oil, or tight gas) where the greatest proportion of hydraulically fractured wells were horizontally drilled, reflecting that the natural reservoir properties influence water use. This analysis also demonstrates that many oil and gas resources within a given basin are developed using a mix of horizontal, vertical, and some directional wells, explaining why large volume hydraulic fracturing water usage is not widespread. This spatial variability in hydraulic fracturing water use relates to the potential for environmental impacts such as water availability, water quality, wastewater disposal, and possible wastewater injection-induced earthquakes.

  17. Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications

    PubMed Central

    Varela, Brian A.; Haines, Seth S.; Engle, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Until now, up‐to‐date, comprehensive, spatial, national‐scale data on hydraulic fracturing water volumes have been lacking. Water volumes used (injected) to hydraulically fracture over 263,859 oil and gas wells drilled between 2000 and 2014 were compiled and used to create the first U.S. map of hydraulic fracturing water use. Although median annual volumes of 15,275 m3 and 19,425 m3 of water per well was used to hydraulically fracture individual horizontal oil and gas wells, respectively, in 2014, about 42% of wells were actually either vertical or directional, which required less than 2600 m3 water per well. The highest average hydraulic fracturing water usage (10,000−36,620 m3 per well) in watersheds across the United States generally correlated with shale‐gas areas (versus coalbed methane, tight oil, or tight gas) where the greatest proportion of hydraulically fractured wells were horizontally drilled, reflecting that the natural reservoir properties influence water use. This analysis also demonstrates that many oil and gas resources within a given basin are developed using a mix of horizontal, vertical, and some directional wells, explaining why large volume hydraulic fracturing water usage is not widespread. This spatial variability in hydraulic fracturing water use relates to the potential for environmental impacts such as water availability, water quality, wastewater disposal, and possible wastewater injection‐induced earthquakes. PMID:26937056

  18. Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallegos, Tanya J.; Varela, Brian A.; Haines, Seth S.; Engle, Mark A.

    2015-07-01

    Until now, up-to-date, comprehensive, spatial, national-scale data on hydraulic fracturing water volumes have been lacking. Water volumes used (injected) to hydraulically fracture over 263,859 oil and gas wells drilled between 2000 and 2014 were compiled and used to create the first U.S. map of hydraulic fracturing water use. Although median annual volumes of 15,275 m3 and 19,425 m3 of water per well was used to hydraulically fracture individual horizontal oil and gas wells, respectively, in 2014, about 42% of wells were actually either vertical or directional, which required less than 2600 m3 water per well. The highest average hydraulic fracturing water usage (10,000-36,620 m3 per well) in watersheds across the United States generally correlated with shale-gas areas (versus coalbed methane, tight oil, or tight gas) where the greatest proportion of hydraulically fractured wells were horizontally drilled, reflecting that the natural reservoir properties influence water use. This analysis also demonstrates that many oil and gas resources within a given basin are developed using a mix of horizontal, vertical, and some directional wells, explaining why large volume hydraulic fracturing water usage is not widespread. This spatial variability in hydraulic fracturing water use relates to the potential for environmental impacts such as water availability, water quality, wastewater disposal, and possible wastewater injection-induced earthquakes.

  19. A county level assessment of water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing: where are impacts most likely?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concerns have arisen of the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing water withdrawals on both water for human consumption and aquatic communities. Any impacts are likely to be location specific since current U.S. hydraulic fracturing activities are concentrated in particular re...

  20. Compilation of Physicochemical and Toxicological Information About Hydraulic Fracturing-Related Chemicals (Draft Database)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this product is to make accessible the information about the 1,173 hydraulic fracturing-related chemicals that were listed in the external review draft of the Hydraulic Fracturing Drinking Water Assessment that was released recently. The product consists of a serie...

  1. 75 FR 36387 - Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-25

    ..., 2010, in FR doc. 2010-14897, on page 35023, in the third Column, correct the Web site addresses shown... AGENCY Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study; Correction AGENCY... Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study. The document contained an incorrect EPA Web site address in two...

  2. 78 FR 31635 - Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-24

    ...; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands'' (77 FR 27691). The... 60 days (77 FR 38024). The extended comment period closed on September 10, 2012. The BLM received...; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands; Proposed Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No....

  3. Final Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall purpose of this study is to elucidate the relationship, if any, between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. More specifically, the study has been designed to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources and to identif...

  4. Combined Finite-Discrete Element Method for Simulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Chengzeng; Zheng, Hong; Sun, Guanhua; Ge, Xiurun

    2016-04-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is widely used in the exploitation of unconventional gas (such as shale gas).Thus, the study of hydraulic fracturing is of particular importance for petroleum industry. The combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) proposed by Munjiza is an innovative numerical technique to capture progressive damage and failure processes in rock. However, it cannot model the fracturing process of rock driven by hydraulic pressure. In this study, we present a coupled hydro-mechanical model based on FDEM for the simulation of hydraulic fracturing in complex fracture geometries, where an algorithm for updating hydraulic fracture network is proposed. The algorithm can carry out connectivity searches for arbitrarily complex fracture networks. Then, we develop a new combined finite-discrete element method numerical code (Y-flow) for the simulation of hydraulic fracturing. Finally, several verification examples are given, and the simulation results agree well with the analytical or experimental results, indicating that the newly developed numerical code can capture hydraulic fracturing process correctly and effectively.

  5. Identifying fracture-zone geometry using simulated annealing and hydraulic-connection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Day-Lewis, F. D.; Hsieh, P.A.; Gorelick, S.M.

    2000-01-01

    A new approach is presented to condition geostatistical simulation of high-permeability zones in fractured rock to hydraulic-connection data. A simulated-annealing algorithm generates three-dimensional (3-D) realizations conditioned to borehole data, inferred hydraulic connections between packer-isolated borehole intervals, and an indicator (fracture zone or background-K bedrock) variogram model of spatial variability. We apply the method to data from the U.S. Geological Survey Mirror Lake Site in New Hampshire, where connected high-permeability fracture zones exert a strong control on fluid flow at the hundred-meter scale. Single-well hydraulic-packer tests indicate where permeable fracture zones intersect boreholes, and multiple-well pumping tests indicate the degree of hydraulic connection between boreholes. Borehole intervals connected by a fracture zone exhibit similar hydraulic responses, whereas intervals not connected by a fracture zone exhibit different responses. Our approach yields valuable insights into the 3-D geometry of fracture zones at Mirror Lake. Statistical analysis of the realizations yields maps of the probabilities of intersecting specific fracture zones with additional wells. Inverse flow modeling based on the assumption of equivalent porous media is used to estimate hydraulic conductivity and specific storage and to identify those fracture-zone geometries that are consistent with hydraulic test data.

  6. A statistical model for seismic hazard assessment of hydraulic-fracturing-induced seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hajati, T.; Langenbruch, C.; Shapiro, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    We analyze the interevent time distribution of hydraulic-fracturing-induced seismicity collected during 18 stages at four different regions. We identify a universal statistical process describing the distribution of hydraulic-fracturing-induced events in time. The distribution of waiting times between subsequently occurring events is given by the exponential probability density function of the homogeneous Poisson process. Our findings suggest that hydraulic-fracturing-induced seismicity is directly triggered by the relaxation of stress and pore pressure perturbation initially created by the injection. Therefore, compared to this relaxation, the stress transfer caused by the occurrence of preceding seismic events is mainly insignificant for the seismogenesis of subsequently occurring events. We develop a statistical model to compute the occurrence probability of hydraulic-fracturing-induced seismicity. This model can be used to assess the seismic hazard associated with hydraulic fracturing operations. No aftershock triggering has to be included in the statistical model.

  7. TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION AND APPLICATIONS ANALYSIS REPORT: UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI/RISK REDUCTION ENGINEERING LABORATORY - HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TECHNOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Two pilot-scale demonstrations of the hydraulic fracturing technology for enhancing the permeability of contaminated silty clays have been evaluated under the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program.The hydraulic fracturing technology was demonstrated in 1991 an...

  8. Coordinated studies in support of hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane. Final report, July 1990-May 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Penny, G.S.; Conway, M.W.

    1996-02-01

    The primary objective of this project is to provide laboratory data that is pertinent to designing hydraulic fracturing treatments for coalbed methane. Coal fluid interactions studies, fracture conductivity, fluid leak-off through cleats, rheology, and proppant transport are designed to respresent Black Warrior and San Juan treatments. A second objective is to apply the information learned in laboratory testing to actual hydraulic fracturing treatments in order to improve results. A final objective is to review methods currently used to catalog well performance following hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of placing the data in a useable database that can be accessed by users to determine the success of various treatment scenarios.

  9. Effects of Sand-Filled Hydraulic Fractures during Air Sparging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, R. J.; Murdoch, L. C.; Falta, R. W.

    2003-12-01

    The effectiveness of air sparging is limited in fine-grained formations, such as clay-rich saprolite, where low permeability restricts flow rates. The purpose of this work is to investigate the effectiveness of using hydraulic fractures to increase the performance of air sparging in relatively low permeability materials. The approach has been to conduct step-rate, air-injection tests into conventional wells and wells intersecting fractures, and then to evaluate the results of these tests using analytical and numerical models. Fieldwork is being conducted in an area underlain by saprolite weathered from granitoid gneiss. Permeability of the saprolite ranges from 1x10-12 to 5x10 -12 m2 according to slug test data. Five wells have been used for testing: three non-fractured and two fractured wells. Well tests involved injecting air at constant pressure and monitoring transient flow rates until the flow approximately equilibrated over 10 to 60 minutes, then incrementally increasing pressure and repeating the flow monitoring. Field results were expressed in terms of the initial specific sparge capacity (Q/(P-H-E)) where Q is mass flow rate, P is injection pressure, H is hydrostatic pressure, and E is air entry pressure. The specific sparge capacity of conventional wells ranges from 0.3 to 0.6 m3/(Mpa min), whereas it is several times greater for fractured wells (0.8 to 3.5 m3/(Mpa min)) at the field site. Field data have been analyzed using analytical and numerical models. We use the step-rate data and invert an analytical solution adapted from Philip (J. Contam. Hydro., 1998) to estimate the in situ relative permeability function during sparging. This approach indicates that permeability ranges from 0.4x10-12 to 2x10-12 m2, which is remarkably similar to the slug test data. It also indicates that the in situ air entry pressure is approximately 31 kPa, and the exponent constant in the Gardner relative permeability function ranges from 0.12 to 0.25 m-1. Numerical analyses

  10. Treatment Process Requirements for Waters Containing Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stringfellow, W. T.; Camarillo, M. K.; Domen, J. K.; Sandelin, W.; Varadharajan, C.; Cooley, H.; Jordan, P. D.; Heberger, M. G.; Reagan, M. T.; Houseworth, J. E.; Birkholzer, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    A wide variety of chemical additives are used as part of the hydraulic fracturing (HyF) process. There is concern that HyF chemicals will be released into the environment and contaminate drinking water, agricultural water, or other water used for beneficial purposes. There is also interest in using produced water (water extracted from the subsurface during oil and gas production) for irrigation and other beneficial purposes, especially in the arid Southwest US. Reuse of produced water is not speculative: produced water can be low in salts and is being used in California for irrigation after minimal treatment. In this study, we identified chemicals that are used for hydraulic fracturing in California and conducted an analysis to determine if those chemicals would be removed by a variety of technically available treatment processes, including oil/water separation, air stripping, a variety of sorption media, advanced oxidation, biological treatment, and a variety of membrane treatment systems. The approach taken was to establish major physiochemical properties for individual chemicals (log Koc, Henry's constant, biodegradability, etc.), group chemicals by function (e.g corrosion inhibition, biocides), and use those properties to predict the fate of chemical additives in a treatment process. Results from this analysis is interpreted in the context of what is known about existing systems for the treatment of produced water before beneficial reuse, which includes a range of treatment systems from oil/water separators (the most common treatment) to sophisticated treatment trains used for purifying produced water for groundwater recharge. The results show that most HyF chemical additives will not be removed in existing treatment systems, but that more sophisticated treatment trains can be designed to remove additives before beneficial reuse.

  11. 77 FR 36273 - Public Meeting on Draft Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-18

    ... AGENCY Public Meeting on Draft Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using... agency has developed on the use of diesel fuels in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing and to solicit input... discuss ``Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel...

  12. 77 FR 40354 - Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels-Draft

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-09

    ... AGENCY Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels--Draft... published on May 10, 2012, Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel....gov @epa.gov. Mail: Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using...

  13. Stimuli Responsive/Rheoreversible Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Energy Production (Part I)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, C. A.; Jung, H. B.; Shao, H.; Bonneville, A.; Heldebrant, D.; Hoyt, D.; Zhong, L.; Holladay, J.

    2014-12-01

    Cost-effective yet safe creation of high-permeability reservoirs inside deep crystalline bedrock is the primary challenge for the viability of enhanced geothermal systems and unconventional oil/gas recovery. Current reservoir stimulation processes utilize brute force (hydraulic pressures in the order of hundreds of bar) to create/propagate fractures in the bedrock. Such stimulation processes entail substantial economic costs ($3.3 million per reservoir as of 2011). Furthermore, the environmental impacts of reservoir stimulation are only recently being determined. Widespread concerns about the environmental contamination have resulted in a number of regulations for fracturing fluids advocating for greener fracturing processes. To reduce the costs and environmental impact of reservoir stimulation, we developed an environmentally friendly and recyclable hydraulic fracturing fluid that undergoes a controlled and large volume expansion with a simultaneous increase in viscosity triggered by CO2 at temperatures relevant for reservoir stimulation in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS). The volume expansion, which will specifically occurs at EGS depths of interest, generates an exceptionally large mechanical stress in fracture networks of highly impermeable rock propagating fractures at effective stress an order of magnitude lower than current technology. This paper will concentrate on the presentation of this CO2-triggered expanding hydrogel formed from diluted aqueous solutions of polyallylamine (PAA). Aqueous PAA-CO2 mixtures also show significantly higher viscosities than conventional rheology modifiers at similar pressures and temperatures due to the cross-linking reaction of PAA with CO2, which was demonstrated by chemical speciation studies using in situ HP-HT 13C MAS-NMR. In addtion, PAA shows shear-thinning behavior, a critical advantage for the use of this fluid system in EGS reservoir stimulation. The high pressure/temperature experiments and their results as well

  14. Description and analysis of cored hydraulic fractures -- Lost Hills field, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Fast, R.E.; Murer, A.S.; Timmer, R.S. )

    1994-05-01

    An inclined observation well was drilled in shallow (2,000 ft) Opal-A diatomite. Seven sand-propped hydraulic fractures were cored and recovered. The hydraulic fractures were found within 5[degree] of the azimuth measured with tilt meters and were tilted 15[degree] from vertical, oriented perpendicular to the formation bedding dip. Hydraulic fractures widths ranged from less than one sand grain (40/60 mesh) to 0.4 in. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of fracture faces showed no damage to the matrix from proppant embedment or compaction, and no evidence of guard residue was detected in the proppant pack or on the formation face. Fractures appear to be considerably longer than modeled. Three closely spaced fractures are interpreted to be branches of a single hydraulic fracture treatment. This paper presents a description of the fractures recovered during coring in Well OO2. Findings related to fracture dimensions and orientations, fracture sources, fracture permeability measurements, and fracture characteristics (proppant embedment, presence of gel residue) are presented. Implications related to field development are discussed.

  15. Advanced hydraulic fracturing methods to create in situ reactive barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Murdoch, L. |; Siegrist, B.; Vesper, S.

    1997-12-31

    Many contaminated areas consist of a source area and a plume. In the source area, the contaminant moves vertically downward from a release point through the vadose zone to an underlying saturated region. Where contaminants are organic liquids, NAPL may accumulate on the water table, or it may continue to migrate downward through the saturated region. Early developments of permeable barrier technology have focused on intercepting horizontally moving plumes with vertical structures, such as trenches, filled with reactive material capable of immobilizing or degrading dissolved contaminants. This focus resulted in part from a need to economically treat the potentially large volumes of contaminated water in a plume, and in part from the availability of construction technology to create the vertical structures that could house reactive compounds. Contaminant source areas, however, have thus far remained largely excluded from the application of permeable barrier technology. One reason for this is the lack of conventional construction methods for creating suitable horizontal structures that would place reactive materials in the path of downward-moving contaminants. Methods of hydraulic fracturing have been widely used to create flat-lying to gently dipping layers of granular material in unconsolidated sediments. Most applications thus far have involved filling fractures with coarse-grained sand to create permeable layers that will increase the discharge of wells recovering contaminated water or vapor. However, it is possible to fill fractures with other compounds that alter the chemical composition of the subsurface. One early application involved development and field testing micro-encapsulated sodium percarbonate, a solid compound that releases oxygen and can create aerobic conditions suitable for biodegradation in the subsurface for several months.

  16. The role of in situ stress in determining hydraulic connectivity in a fractured rock aquifer (Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortimer, Luke; Aydin, Adnan; Simmons, Craig T.; Heinson, Graham; Love, Andrew J.

    2011-11-01

    Fracture network connectivity is a spatially variable property that is difficult to quantify from standard hydrogeological datasets. This critical property is related to the distributions of fracture density, orientation, dimensions, intersections, apertures and roughness. These features that determine the inherent connectivity of a fracture network can be modified by secondary processes including weathering, uplift and unloading and other mechanisms that lead to fracture deformation in response to in situ stress. This study focussed on a fractured rock aquifer in the Clare Valley, South Australia, and found that fracture network connectivity could be discriminated from several geological, geophysical and hydrogeological field datasets at various scales including single well and local- to regional-scale data. Representative hydromechanical models of the field site were not only consistent with field observations but also highlighted the strong influence of in situ stress in determining the distribution of fracture hydraulic apertures and the formation of hydraulic chokes that impede fluid flow. The results of this multi-disciplinary investigation support the notion that the hydraulic conductivity of a fracture network is limited to the least hydraulically conductive interconnected fractures, which imposes a physical limit on the bulk hydraulic conductivity of a fractured rock aquifer.

  17. Seismological investigation of crack formation in hydraulic rock fracturing experiments and in natural geothermal environments. Progress report, September 1, 1979-August 31, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Aki, K.

    1980-09-01

    Progress is reported in the following research areas: a synthesis of seismic experiments at the Fenton Hill Hot-Dry-Rock System; attenuation of high-frequency shear waves in the lithosphere; a new kinematic source model for deep volcanic tremors; ground motion in the near-field of a fluid-driven crack and its interpretation in the study of shallow volcanic tremor; low-velocity bodies under geothermal areas; and operation of event recorders in Mt. St. Helens and Newberry Peak with preliminary results from them. (MHR)

  18. Design and modeling of small scale multiple fracturing experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Cuderman, J F

    1981-12-01

    Recent experiments at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) have demonstrated the existence of three distinct fracture regimes. Depending on the pressure rise time in a borehole, one can obtain hydraulic, multiple, or explosive fracturing behavior. The use of propellants rather than explosives in tamped boreholes permits tailoring of the pressure risetime over a wide range since propellants having a wide range of burn rates are available. This technique of using the combustion gases from a full bore propellant charge to produce controlled borehole pressurization is termed High Energy Gas Fracturing (HEGF). Several series of HEGF, in 0.15 m and 0.2 m diameter boreholes at 12 m depths, have been completed in a tunnel complex at NTS where mineback permitted direct observation of fracturing obtained. Because such large experiments are costly and time consuming, smaller scale experiments are desirable, provided results from small experiments can be used to predict fracture behavior in larger boreholes. In order to design small scale gas fracture experiments, the available data from previous HEGF experiments were carefully reviewed, analytical elastic wave modeling was initiated, and semi-empirical modeling was conducted which combined predictions for statically pressurized boreholes with experimental data. The results of these efforts include (1) the definition of what constitutes small scale experiments for emplacement in a tunnel complex at the Nevada Test Site, (2) prediction of average crack radius, in ash fall tuff, as a function of borehole size and energy input per unit length, (3) definition of multiple-hydraulic and multiple-explosive fracture boundaries as a function of boreholes size and surface wave velocity, (4) semi-empirical criteria for estimating stress and acceleration, and (5) a proposal that multiple fracture orientations may be governed by in situ stresses.

  19. The EPA's Study on the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burden, Susan

    2013-03-01

    Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future. The United States has vast reserves of natural gas that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, which enable greater access to gas in rock formations deep underground. These advances have spurred a significant increase in the production of both natural gas and oil across the country. However, as the use of hydraulic fracturing has increased, so have concerns about its potential human health and environmental impacts, especially for drinking water. In response to public concern, the US Congress requested that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. In 2011, the EPA began research to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts. The study is organized around the five stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle, from water acquisition through the mixing of chemicals and the injection of fracturing fluid to post-fracturing treatment and/or disposal of wastewater. EPA scientists are using a transdisciplinary research approach involving laboratory studies, computer modeling, toxicity assessments, and case studies to answer research questions associated with each stage of the water cycle. This talk will provide an overview of the EPA's study, including a description of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle and a summary of the ongoing research projects.

  20. A National Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Activities on Drinking Water Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridley, C.; Burden, S.; Fleming, M. M.; Knightes, C. D.; Koplos, J.; LeDuc, S. D.; Ring, S.; Stanek, J.; Tuccillo, M. E.; Weaver, J.; Frithsen, J.

    2015-12-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a draft assessment of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. As part of the draft assessment, we reviewed, analyzed, and synthesized information from over 950 sources and concluded that there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. These mechanisms include: Water withdrawals in times of, or in areas with, low water availability; Spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water; Fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources; Below ground migration of liquids and gases; and Inadequate treatment and discharge of wastewater. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells. This finding could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, but may also be due to other limiting factors. These factors include: insufficient pre- and post-fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources; the paucity of long-term systematic studies; the presence of other sources of contamination precluding a definitive link between hydraulic fracturing activities and an impact; and the inaccessibility of some information on hydraulic fracturing activities and potential impacts. Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or polices of the EPA.

  1. Understanding Hydraulic Fracture Stimulations in Oil-Gas Developments Using Microseismicity (M<0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbancic, T.; Baig, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    Microseismic monitoring is widely recognized as a powerful production optimization tool in the oil and gas industry. In particular, microseismic imaging has been shown to provide insight into the dynamic behavior of reservoirs during hydraulic fracture stimulations. In this presentation, we explore ideas and provide examples of preliminary work linking microseismicity, geology and engineering to build predictive reservoir models and to assist with their calibration and validation. Generally, microseismic imaging of hydraulic fractures focuses on mapping event locations. By simply examining the spatial and temporal variations in microseismicity, overall geometric measures such as orientation, fracture extent (height, length, and width) and fracture growth can be assessed. Examining fracture growth in the context of traditional hydraulic fracture models, estimates of fracture geometry based on microseismic data have been used to support the accepted fracture behavior. In hydraulic fracture stimulations, fractures are generally considered to develop along a single fracture azimuth or along a plane of fracturing controlled by regional stresses (i.e. along the direction of maximum principle stress), even within the context of a three-dimensional fracture network. In this study, we show how seismic moment tensors and source parameters have been used to assess the orientation of newly formed or reactivated fractures, as well as evaluate their size or time-dependent response to fluid injections. As well, using nearest-neighbor statistics, events can be grouped into behavioral domains, such as near-treatment-well and fracture extension regions, and used to outline a Discrete Fracture Network (DFN). Evaluating the spatial-temporal development of the DFN within the defined volumes can then be used to assess the fracture connectivity and enhanced permeability associated with the treatment. With moment tensor analysis, we show how petroleum engineers can also assess the

  2. Numerical experiments of fracture-induced velocity and attenuation anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carcione, J. M.; Picotti, S.; Santos, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    Fractures are common in the Earth's crust due to different factors, for instance, tectonic stresses and natural or artificial hydraulic fracturing caused by a pressurized fluid. A dense set of fractures behaves as an effective long-wavelength anisotropic medium, leading to azimuthally varying velocity and attenuation of seismic waves. Effective in this case means that the predominant wavelength is much longer than the fracture spacing. Here, fractures are represented by surface discontinuities in the displacement u and particle velocity v as ?, where the brackets denote the discontinuity across the surface, ? is a fracture stiffness and ? is a fracture viscosity. We consider an isotropic background medium, where a set of fractures are embedded. There exists an analytical solution—with five stiffness components—for equispaced plane fractures and an homogeneous background medium. The theory predicts that the equivalent medium is transversely isotropic and viscoelastic. We then perform harmonic numerical experiments to compute the stiffness components as a function of frequency, by using a Galerkin finite-element procedure, and obtain the complex velocities of the medium as a function of frequency and propagation direction, which provide the phase velocities, energy velocities (wavefronts) and quality factors. The algorithm is tested with the analytical solution and then used to obtain the stiffness components for general heterogeneous cases, where fractal variations of the fracture compliances and background stiffnesses are considered.

  3. Summary of borehole RRL-2 hydraulic fracturing test data and data analysis method

    SciTech Connect

    Rundle, T.A.; Kim, K.

    1983-07-01

    This report summarizes the results of hydraulic fracturing tests carried out in borehole RRL-2 by the Engineering Development Department of the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP). Test results, raw data, and the method of analysis utilized are presented. This report is intended to aid the reader, who is familiar with the hydraulic fracturing technique, in making an independent review of the reported results. Included are the results of hydraulic fracturing tests conducted in borehole DC-12. These results are provided for comparison purposes only. 5 refs., 50 figs., 4 tabs.

  4. Inverse modeling of hydraulic tests in fractured crystalline rock based on a transition probability geostatistical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blessent, Daniela; Therrien, René; Lemieux, Jean-Michel

    2011-12-01

    This paper presents numerical simulations of a series of hydraulic interference tests conducted in crystalline bedrock at Olkiluoto (Finland), a potential site for the disposal of the Finnish high-level nuclear waste. The tests are in a block of crystalline bedrock of about 0.03 km3 that contains low-transmissivity fractures. Fracture density, orientation, and fracture transmissivity are estimated from Posiva Flow Log (PFL) measurements in boreholes drilled in the rock block. On the basis of those data, a geostatistical approach relying on a transitional probability and Markov chain models is used to define a conceptual model based on stochastic fractured rock facies. Four facies are defined, from sparsely fractured bedrock to highly fractured bedrock. Using this conceptual model, three-dimensional groundwater flow is then simulated to reproduce interference pumping tests in either open or packed-off boreholes. Hydraulic conductivities of the fracture facies are estimated through automatic calibration using either hydraulic heads or both hydraulic heads and PFL flow rates as targets for calibration. The latter option produces a narrower confidence interval for the calibrated hydraulic conductivities, therefore reducing the associated uncertainty and demonstrating the usefulness of the measured PFL flow rates. Furthermore, the stochastic facies conceptual model is a suitable alternative to discrete fracture network models to simulate fluid flow in fractured geological media.

  5. Fracture Propagation, Fluid Flow, and Geomechanics of Water-Based Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Gas Systems and Electromagnetic Geophysical Monitoring of Fluid Migration

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jihoon; Um, Evan; Moridis, George

    2014-12-01

    -geomechanical simulator and are transformed via a rock-physics model into electrical conductivity models. It is shown that anomalous conductivity distribution in the resulting models is closely related to injected water saturation, but not closely related to newly created unsaturated fractures. Our numerical modeling experiments demonstrate that the crosswell EM method can be highly sensitive to conductivity changes that directly indicate the migration pathways of the injected fluid. Accordingly, the EM method can serve as an effective monitoring tool for distribution of injected fluids (i.e., migration pathways) during hydraulic fracturing operations

  6. Experimental Investigation into Hydraulic Fracture Network Propagation in Gas Shales Using CT Scanning Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yushi, Zou; Shicheng, Zhang; Tong, Zhou; Xiang, Zhou; Tiankui, Guo

    2016-01-01

    Multistage fracturing of the horizontal well is recognized as the main stimulation technology for shale gas development. The hydraulic fracture geometry and stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) is interpreted by using the microseismic mapping technology. In this paper, we used a computerized tomography (CT) scanning technique to reveal the fracture geometry created in natural bedding-developed shale (cubic block of 30 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm) by laboratory fracturing. Experimental results show that partially opened bedding planes are helpful in increasing fracture complexity in shale. However, they tend to dominate fracture patterns for vertical stress difference Δ σ v ≤ 6 MPa, which decreases the vertical fracture number, resulting in the minimum SRV. A uniformly distributed complex fracture network requires the induced hydraulic fractures that can connect the pre-existing fractures as well as pulverize the continuum rock mass. In typical shale with a narrow (<0.05 mm) and closed natural fracture system, it is likely to create complex fracture for horizontal stress difference Δ σ h ≤ 6 MPa and simple transverse fracture for Δ σ h ≥ 9 MPa. However, high naturally fractured shale with a wide open natural fracture system (>0.1 mm) does not agree with the rule that low Δ σ h is favorable for uniformly creating a complex fracture network in zone. In such case, a moderate Δ σ h from 3 to 6 MPa is favorable for both the growth of new hydraulic fractures and the activation of a natural fracture system. Shale bedding, natural fracture, and geostress are objective formation conditions that we cannot change; we can only maximize the fracture complexity by controlling the engineering design for fluid viscosity, flow rate, and well completion type. Variable flow rate fracturing with low-viscosity slickwater fluid of 2.5 mPa s was proved to be an effective treatment to improve the connectivity of induced hydraulic fracture with pre-existing fractures. Moreover, the

  7. Using constant head step tests to determine hydraulic apertures in fractured rock.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Patryk M; Parker, Beth L; Cherry, John A

    2011-09-25

    The initial step in the analysis of contaminant transport in fractured rock requires the consideration of groundwater velocity. Practical methods for estimating the average linear groundwater velocity (v¯) in fractured rock require determination of hydraulic apertures which are commonly calculated by applying the cubic law using transmissivity (T) values and the number of hydraulically active fractures in the test interval. High-resolution, constant-head step injection testing of cored boreholes in a 100 m thick fractured dolostone aquifer was conducted using inflatable packers to isolate specific test intervals from the rest of the borehole. The steps in each test interval were gradually increased from very low to much higher injection rates. At smaller injection rates, the flow rate vs. applied pressure graph projects through the origin and indicates Darcian flow; non Darcian flow is evident at higher injection rates. Non-Darcian flow results in significantly lower calculated T values, which translates to smaller hydraulic aperture values. Further error in the calculated hydraulic aperture stems from uncertainty in the number of hydraulically active fractures in each test interval. This estimate can be inferred from borehole image and core logs, however, all of the fractures identified are not necessarily hydraulically active. This study proposes a method based on Reynolds number calculations aimed at improving confidence in the selection of the number of active fractures in each test interval. PMID:21885152

  8. Seismic monitoring of the growth of a hydraulic fracture zone at Fenton Hill, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Y.; Cheng, C.H.; Toksoez, M.N.

    1998-01-01

    The hydraulic fracturing technique is an important method for enhancing hydrocarbon recovery, geothermal energy extraction, and solid waste disposal. Determination of the geometry and growth process of a hydraulic fracture zone is important for monitoring and assessing subsurface fractures. A relative-source-location approach, based on a waveform correlation and a grid search method, has been developed to estimate relative hypocenter locations for a cluster of 157 microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing at the Los Alamos Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermal site. Among the 157 events, 147 microearthquakes occurred in a tight cluster with a dimension of 40 m, roughly defining a vertical hydraulic fracture zone with an orientation of N40{degree}W. The length, height, and width of the hydraulic fracture zone are estimated to be 40, 35, and 5 m, respectively. Analysis of the spatial-temporal pattern of the induced microearthquakes reveals that the fracture zone grew significantly, averaging 0.2m/ minute in a two-hour period toward the northwest along the fracture zone strike.

  9. Fluid-driven multiple fracture growth from a permeable bedding plane intersected by an ascending hydraulic fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xi; Jeffrey, Robert G.

    2012-12-01

    In bedded sedimentary rocks, the energy for spontaneous growth of multiple vertical fractures from a bedding plane may be provided by an overpressurized sublayer fracture that connects a fluid source to the bedding plane. In this paper, using our coupled deformation and flow model, we study the processes and mechanisms involved in the formation and interaction of closely space fractures from preexisting flaws or starter fractures located along the bedding plane. Fracture growth from multiple flaws can be convergent, parallel or divergent, depending on the factors like contrasts in moduli and far-field stresses, flaw sizes and locations, and initial bed conductivity, fluid viscosity, and injection rate, as well as time. The results presented here have been obtained for conditions where fluid viscous dissipation is dominant, in contrast to other results available in literature based on uniform pressure assumption equivalent to use of an inviscid fluid. It is demonstrated that the earlier a hydraulic fracture starts to extend, the more likely it is to become the primary fracture in a system of closely spaced fractures. The fracture closest to the fluid source typically grows faster as a result of a higher pressure level because viscous dissipation results in a decrease in pressure with distance from the fluid source. But its development does not completely inhibit the growth of other hydraulic fractures. Simultaneous growth of closely spaced fractures is supported by the local stress and energetic analyses, and the fracture distance can be very small. Their length to spacing ratio is accordingly much larger than that predicted previously. Under certain circumstances, a longer and more permeable fracture may grow to a greater extent than a shorter fracture closer to the fluid source, which may grow toward and merge with the longer fracture to create fracture clusters adjacent to a bedding plane.

  10. Real-time and post-frac' 3-D analysis of hydraulic fracture treatments in geothermal reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, C.A.; Tanigawa, J.J.; Hyodo, Masami; Takasugi, Shinji

    1994-01-20

    Economic power production from Hot Dry Rock (HDR) requires the establishment of an efficient circulation system between wellbores in reservoir rock with extremely low matrix permeability. Hydraulic fracturing is employed to establish the necessary circulation system. Hydraulic fracturing has also been performed to increase production from hydrothermal reservoirs by enhancing the communication with the reservoir's natural fracture system. Optimal implementation of these hydraulic fracturing applications, as with any engineering application, requires the use of credible physical models and the reconciliation of the physical models with treatment data gathered in the field. Analysis of the collected data has shown that 2-D models and 'conventional' 3-D models of the hydraulic fracturing process apply very poorly to hydraulic fracturing in geothermal reservoirs. Engineering decisions based on these more 'conventional' fracture modeling techniques lead to serious errors in predicting the performance of hydraulic fracture treatments. These errors can lead to inappropriate fracture treatment design as well as grave errors in well placement for hydrothermal reservoirs or HDR reservoirs. This paper outlines the reasons why conventional modeling approaches fall short, and what types of physical models are needed to credibly estimate created hydraulic fracture geometry. The methodology of analyzing actual measured fracture treatment data and matching the observed net fracturing pressure (in realtime as well as after the treatment) is demonstrated at two separate field sites. Results from an extensive Acoustic Emission (AE) fracture diagnostic survey are also presented for the first case study aS an independent measure of the actual created hydraulic fracture geometry.