Science.gov

Sample records for vertical hydraulic fracture

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Approximate calculation of the dimensions of vertical cracks in the axisymmetric hydraulic fracture of rocks

    SciTech Connect

    Vovk, A.A.; Beloivan, A.F.; Mikhalyuk, A.V.; Voltenko, Y.I.

    1986-01-01

    The impulsive fracturing technology has yielded good results commercially in the injection of solutions of surfactants, chemical binding agents, and liquid and plastic explosives into rock, as well as in the creation of new hydrodynamic channels. The authors examine an approximate method of determining the dimensions of a vertical crack formed in rock by a pressure pulse in the case where the fracture region is significantly larger than the diameter of the well.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Verification and monitoring of deep granular iron permeable reactive barriers emplaced by vertical hydraulic fracturing and injection for groundwater remediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubble, David Wallace

    This study evaluated the use of vertical hydraulic fracturing and injection (VHFI) to emplace granular iron as a deep passive treatment system to remove organic contaminants from groundwater at the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was the first permeable reactive barrier (PRB) constructed at a depth greater than 15 m below the ground surface. VHFI propagates a vertical fracture from a slot cut through the injection-well casing at a selected depth and orientation. Granular iron is suspended in a viscous fluid using a biodegradable guar polymer and pumped through the slot to form a thin vertical sheet. Two PRBs were emplaced 6 m apart and perpendicular to the groundwater flow direction with mid-depths of about 30 m below the ground surface. Due to the depth, all of the emplacement and verification methods used down-hole tools. Resistivity imaging used salt added to the guar as an electrical tracer to map the spread of the VHFI fluid for propagation control and to estimate the extent of the completed PRB. Radar tomography before and after emplacement also provided images of the PRBs and hydraulic pulse testing and electromagnetic logging provided additional data. One PRB consisted of 40 tonnes of granular iron and was estimated to be an average of 80 mm thick. Based on geophysical imaging, the 100% iron PRB was 15 m long and extended from about 24.5 to 35.5 m depth. The second PRB consisted of a mixture of 5.6 tonnes of well sand and 4.4 tonnes of iron, but was only partially completed. Based on imaging, the sand/iron PRB comprised an area 9 m long extending from about 27 to 34.5 m below the ground surface. The proximity of screened wells, which deviated significantly from vertical toward the PRB alignment, resulted in loss of VHFI control. A sub-horizontal layer of iron formed between the 100% iron PRB and several of the wells. Similarly, piping failure zones formed between the sand/iron PRB and two geophysical wells. Selected

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [Vertical fractures: apropos of 2 clinical cases].

    PubMed

    Félix Mañes Ferrer, J; Micò Muñoz, P; Sánchez Cortés, J L; Paricio Martín, J J; Miñana Laliga, R

    1991-01-01

    The aim of the study is to present a clinical review of the vertical root fractures. Two clinical cases are presented to demonstrates the criteria for obtaining a correct diagnosis of vertical root fractures. PMID:1659859

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Hydraulic induced instability on a vertical service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bosmans, R. F.

    1985-01-01

    The case history contained provides insight toward the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of a vertical pump. It clearly demonstrates the need for measurements on the rotor at or near the impeller area. The results are reported of an analysis on a service water pump. This pump is typical of the water pumps used throughout the power generation industry. Although little is known of the mechanical behavior of vertical pumps because of difficulty in modeling the rotor system, recent developments in the application of submersible proximity transducers have made possible the measurement of pump dynamics under operating conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the proper selection and installation of vibration-monitoring transducers as well as to measure the effects of imbalance, misalignment, and hydraulics on the performance and reliability of vertical pumps. In addition, the cause of shaft failures on this pump was to be determined.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells and Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    1997-05-08

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting thin-layered, low-energy deposits at the distal margin of a propagating turbidite complex through the use of hydraulically-fractured horizontal or high-angle wells. The combination of a horizontal or high-angled well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thininterbedded layers and the well bore.

  19. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells and Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    1998-05-29

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting thin-layered, low energy deposits at the distal end of a protruding turbidite complex through use of hydraulically fractured horizontal of high-angle wells. The combination of a horizontal or high-angle well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the well bore.

  20. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells and Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Laue, M.L.

    1999-11-01

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting thin-layered, low-energy deposits at the distal margin of a prograding turbidite complex through the use of hydraulically fractured horizontal or high-angle wells. The combination of a horizontal or high-angle well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the wellbore.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Performance of vertical fractured wells with multiple finite-conductivity fractures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Junjie; Guo, Ping

    2015-12-01

    Multiple fractures originating from a vertical wellbore are usually observed in hydraulic fracturing treatments. Most of the previous models for vertical fractured wells are based on single-planar fractures that may be symmetric or asymmetric about the wellbore, but few studies have been devoted to multiple-planar fractures. This paper presents a new semi-analytical solution in Laplace space for the pressure responses of a vertical fractured well, producing at a constant flow rate through multiple finite-conductivity fractures. The solution is presented in Laplace space so that the effects of the wellbore storage and skin factor can be easily incorporated by Duhamel’s principle, and then the solution in real space can be obtained using the numerical inversion algorithm proposed by Stehfest. Pressure response curves are plotted and the effects of the relevant parameters on these are analyzed. It is found that with the increase of the fracture number, smaller pressure depletion will appear under the same conditions, and the interaction between fractures takes place much earlier and becomes much stronger. We find that with the increase of the fracture number, the duration of the wellbore storage period becomes shorter, and the bilinear flow appears earlier. Decreasing the angles between fractures and increasing the fracture asymmetry coefficient will lead to a stronger interaction between them, and will then affect the bilinear flow and linear flow behaviors. The present model can be used to interpret the pressure data of the vertical fractured wells with multiple fractures and to provide more accurate dynamic parameters.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells and Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    1997-05-30

    The distal fan margin in the northeast portion of the Yowlumne field contains significant reserves but is not economical to develop using vertical wells. Numerous interbedded shales and deteriorating rock properties limit producibility. In addition, extreme depths (13,000 ft) present a challenging environment for hydraulic fracturing and artificial lift. Lastly, a mature waterflood increases risk because of the uncertainty with size and location of flood fronts. This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting the distal fan margin of this slope-basin clastic reservoir through the use of a high-angle well completed with multiple hydraulic-fracture treatments. The combination of a high-angle (or horizontal) well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the wellbore. The equivalent production rate and reserves of three vertical wells are anticipated at one-half to two-thirds the cost.

  2. 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

  3. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells and Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    1998-02-05

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectivensss of exploiting thin-layered, low energy deposits at the distal margin of a propagating turbinite complex through u se of hydraulically fractgured horizontal of high-angle wells. TGhe combinaton of a horizontal or high-angle weoo and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the wellbore.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Coupling Hydraulic Fracturing Propagation and Gas Well Performance for Simulation of Production in Unconventional Shale Gas Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Winterfeld, P. H.; Wu, Y. S.; Wang, Y.; Chen, D.; Yin, C.; Pan, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling has made it possible to economically produce natural gas from unconventional shale gas reservoirs. An efficient methodology for evaluating hydraulic fracturing operation parameters, such as fluid and proppant properties, injection rates, and wellhead pressure, is essential for the evaluation and efficient design of these processes. Traditional numerical evaluation and optimization approaches are usually based on simulated fracture properties such as the fracture area. In our opinion, a methodology based on simulated production data is better, because production is the goal of hydraulic fracturing and we can calibrate this approach with production data that is already known. This numerical methodology requires a fully-coupled hydraulic fracture propagation and multi-phase flow model. In this paper, we present a general fully-coupled numerical framework to simulate hydraulic fracturing and post-fracture gas well performance. This three-dimensional, multi-phase simulator focuses on: (1) fracture width increase and fracture propagation that occurs as slurry is injected into the fracture, (2) erosion caused by fracture fluids and leakoff, (3) proppant subsidence and flowback, and (4) multi-phase fluid flow through various-scaled anisotropic natural and man-made fractures. Mathematical and numerical details on how to fully couple the fracture propagation and fluid flow parts are discussed. Hydraulic fracturing and production operation parameters, and properties of the reservoir, fluids, and proppants, are taken into account. The well may be horizontal, vertical, or deviated, as well as open-hole or cemented. The simulator is verified based on benchmarks from the literature and we show its application by simulating fracture network (hydraulic and natural fractures) propagation and production data history matching of a field in China. We also conduct a series of real-data modeling studies with different combinations of

  9. Vertical root fractures and their management

    PubMed Central

    Khasnis, Sandhya Anand; Kidiyoor, Krishnamurthy Haridas; Patil, Anand Basavaraj; Kenganal, Smita Basavaraj

    2014-01-01

    Vertical root fractures associated with endodontically treated teeth and less commonly in vital teeth represent one of the most difficult clinical problems to diagnose and treat. In as much as there are no specific symptoms, diagnosis can be difficult. Clinical detection of this condition by endodontists is becoming more frequent, where as it is rather underestimated by the general practitioners. Since, vertical root fractures almost exclusively involve endodontically treated teeth; it often becomes difficult to differentiate a tooth with this condition from an endodontically failed one or one with concomitant periodontal involvement. Also, a tooth diagnosed for vertical root fracture is usually extracted, though attempts to reunite fractured root have been done in various studies with varying success rates. Early detection of a fractured root and extraction of the tooth maintain the integrity of alveolar bone for placement of an implant. Cone beam computed tomography has been shown to be very accurate in this regard. This article focuses on the diagnostic and treatment strategies, and discusses about predisposing factors which can be useful in the prevention of vertical root fractures. PMID:24778502

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. [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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Hydraulic characterization of the fracture framework in carbonate rock underlying CWML Site, Smithville, Ontario

    SciTech Connect

    Lapcevic, P.; Novakowski, K.; Bickerton, G.; Voralek, J.

    1997-12-31

    The successful use of engineered systems to contain and/or remediate the contaminated groundwater in the bedrock underlying the CWML site at Smithville, ON is largely dependent on an understanding of the complex groundwater flow system. The Lockport Dolostone, which underlies most of the Niagara peninsula, is a shallow flat-lying porous carbonate rock having extensive horizontal bedding plane fractures. Vertical fractures which intersect the bedding planes form a three dimensional fracture framework. Detailed field investigations are currently underway to characterize groundwater flow within this fracture framework. To conduct the investigation fifteen boreholes were drilled through the entire thickness of the Lockport Formation. The distribution of both vertical and bedding plane fractures was delineated from core analysis. Constant-head hydraulic tests using 2 meter and 0.5 meter packer test intervals were used to determine both the bulk transmissivity of the unfractured rock mass and that for individual fractures. The results show that while most breaks noted in the core are bedding-plane fractures or broken-core zones, vertical fractures are also prevalent particularly in the Eramosa Formation. Fracture strikes show a dominant joint sets consistent with trends observed regionally. The vertical distribution of transmissivity in the Lockport Dolostone ranges over eight orders of magnitude at the site. Preliminary geostatistical analysis suggests that there may be at least three separate distributions of structure present in the transmissivity data: (1) distribution of the T of fractures, (2) distribution of the T of the matrix, and (3) position of the fractures.

  10. Hydraulic fracture height limits and fault interactions in tight oil and gas formations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flewelling, Samuel A.; Tymchak, Matthew P.; Warpinski, Norm

    2013-07-01

    widespread use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) has raised concerns about potential upward migration of HF fluid and brine via induced fractures and faults. We developed a relationship that predicts maximum fracture height as a function of HF fluid volume. These predictions generally bound the vertical extent of microseismicity from over 12,000 HF stimulations across North America. All microseismic events were less than 600 m above well perforations, although most were much closer. Areas of shear displacement (including faults) estimated from microseismic data were comparatively small (radii on the order of 10 m or less). These findings suggest that fracture heights are limited by HF fluid volume regardless of whether the fluid interacts with faults. Direct hydraulic communication between tight formations and shallow groundwater via induced fractures and faults is not a realistic expectation based on the limitations on fracture height growth and potential fault slip.

  11. Economic Recovery of Oil Trapped at Fan Margins Using High Angle Wells Multiple Hydraulic Fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    1997-10-30

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting thin-layered, low-energy deposits at the distal margin of a prograding turbidite complex through the use of hydraulically fractured horizontal or high-angle wells. The combination of a horizontal or high-angle well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the wellbore. A high-angle well will be drilled in the fan-margin portion of a slope-basin clastic reservoir and will be completed with multiple hydraulic-fracture treatments. Geologic modeling, reservoir characterization, and fine-grid reservoir simulation will be used to select the well location and orientation. Design parameters for the hydraulic-fracture treatments will be determined, in part, by fracturing an existing test well. Fracture azimuth will be predicted by passive seismic monitoring of a fracture-stimulation treatment in the test well using logging tools in an offset well.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. In situ stress estimates from hydraulic fracturing and direct observation of crack orientation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, William E.; Smith, Carl W.

    1985-07-01

    Estimates of in situ stress in G Tunnel, Rainier Mesa, Nevada Test Site, have been obtained with hydraulic fracturing techniques. This work represents a nontraditional use of hydraulic fracturing in that it was performed primarily in horizontal boreholes drilled into the formation from access drifts tunneled into the mesa rather than the usual operation performed at depth in vertical boreholes drilled from the surface. Several operations were performed in essentially orthogonal triads of boreholes located at a point. A significant feature of this work is the mineback operation in which the borehole is mined out to reveal the actual fracture. During the hydraulic fracturing operation, colored dye was added to the fracturing fluid which left an easily detectable stain on the fracture surface. Direct observation of the fracture orientation away from the borehole establishes the direction of the minimum compressive in situ stress and the plane of the other two principal stresses. In one borehole, which was not aligned along a principal stress direction, a modified mineback operation revealed a fracture plane that twisted as it grew away from the borehole, aligning itself finally in a plane determined by the in situ stresses. This twisting is consistent with theoretical predictions of borehole stresses under these conditions. This same mineback also showed that fracture of the formation initiated at or under one of the packers, indicating that the packers may have an effet on in situ stress estimates. General observations of over 100 tests performed in G Tunnel show that under the sloping portion of the mesa, fracture planes are not vertical but dip in a direction tending to parallel the mesa slope. Deep into the tunnel and well under the flat part of the mesa, fractures are essentially vertical with strikes approximately N45°E, which substantiates the usual vertical fracture assumption in traditional fracture operations performed at depth in vertical boreholes

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Measurement and Analysis of Full-Scale Hydraulic Fracture Initiation and Reorientation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffrey, R. G.; Chen, Z. R.; Zhang, X.; Bunger, A. P.; Mills, K. W.

    2015-11-01

    Hydraulic fracture breakdown and reorientation data collected from two instrumented test borehole sites have been analyzed to assess the effect of the initiation type (axial or transverse) on the treating pressure. Vertical boreholes were drilled and fractures were placed in a conglomerate at depths of 140-180 m in a far-field stress field that favored horizontal fracture growth. Axial initiation resulted in high injection pressure, which was attributed to near-borehole tortuosity generated as the hydraulic fracture reoriented to align with the far-field stresses. Acoustic scanner logging of the boreholes after fracturing demonstrated that, in many cases, axial initiation occurred and when this was the case, treating pressures were high and consistent with near-borehole tortuous fracture paths. A fracture initiation analysis determined that initiation at abrasively cut circumferential slots should occur before axial initiation. Slots were cut to locate the initiation sites and to make transverse fracture initiation more likely. Transverse initiation from the vertical boreholes at pre-cut slots lowered the injection pressures during the fracture treatment by up to 12 MPa for water injected at approximately 500 L per minute.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. ECONOMIC RECOVERY OF OIL TRAPPED AT FAN MARGINS USING HIGH ANGLE WELLS AND MULTIPLE HYDRAULIC FRACTURES

    SciTech Connect

    Mike L. Laue

    2001-09-28

    This project attempts to demonstrate the effectiveness of exploiting thin-layered, low-energy deposits at the distal margin of a prograding turbidite complex through the use of hydraulically fractured horizontal or high-angle wells. The combination of a horizontal or high-angle well and hydraulic fracturing will allow greater pay exposure than can be achieved with conventional vertical wells while maintaining vertical communication between thin interbedded layers and the wellbore. A high-angle well will be drilled in the fan-margin portion of a slope-basin clastic reservoir and will be completed with multiple hydraulic-fracture treatments. Geologic modeling, reservoir characterization, and fine-grid reservoir simulation will be used to select the well location and orientation. Design parameters for the hydraulic-fracture treatments will be determined, in part, by fracturing an existing test well. Fracture azimuth will be predicted by passive seismic monitoring of a fracture-stimulation treatment in the test well using logging tools in an offset well. The long radius, near horizontal well was drilled during the first quarter of 1996. Well conditions resulted in the 7 in. production liner sticking approximately 900 ft off bottom. Therefore, a 5 in. production liner was necessary to case this portion of the target formation. Swept-out sand intervals and a poor cement bond behind the 5 in. liner precluded two of the three originally planned hydraulic fracture treatments. As a result, all pay intervals behind the 5 in. liner were perforated and stimulated with a non-acid reactive fluid. Following a short production period, the remaining pay intervals in the well (behind the 7 in. liner) were perforated. The well was returned to production to observe production trends and pressure behavior and assess the need to stimulate the new perforations.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Non-double-couple mechanisms of microearthquakes induced by hydraulic fracturing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sileny, J.; Hill, D.P.; Eisner, L.; Cornet, F.H.

    2009-01-01

    We have inverted polarity and amplitude information of representative microearthquakes to investigate source mechanisms of seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing in the Carthage Cotton Valley, east Texas, gas field. With vertical arrays of four and eight three-component geophones in two monitoring wells, respectively, we were able to reliably determine source mechanisms of the strongest events with the best signal-to-noise ratio. Our analysis indicates predominantly non-double-couple source mechanisms with positive volumetric component consistent with opening cracks oriented close to expected hydraulic fracture orientation. Our observations suggest the induced events are directly the result of opening cracks by fluid injection, in contrast to many previous studies where the seismicity is interpreted to be primarily shearing caused by pore pressure diffusion into the surrounding rock or associated with shear stresses created at the hydraulic fracture tip. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An integrated geophysical and hydraulic investigation to characterize a fractured-rock aquifer, Norwalk, Connecticut

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lane, J.W., Jr.; Williams, J.H.; Johnson, C.D.; Savino, D.M.; Haeni, F.P.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted an integrated geophysical and hydraulic investigation at the Norden Systems, Inc. site in Norwalk, Connecticut, where chlorinated solvents have contaminated a fractured-rock aquifer. Borehole, borehole-to-borehole, surface-geophysical, and hydraulic methods were used to characterize the site bedrock lithology and structure, fractures, and transmissive zone hydraulic properties. The geophysical and hydraulic methods included conventional logs, borehole imagery, borehole radar, flowmeter under ambient and stressed hydraulic conditions, and azimuthal square-array direct-current resistivity soundings. Integrated interpretation of geophysical logs at borehole and borehole-to-borehole scales indicates that the bedrock foliation strikes northwest and dips northeast, and strikes north-northeast to northeast and dips both southeast and northwest. Although steeply dipping fractures that cross-cut foliation are observed, most fractures are parallel or sub-parallel to foliation. Steeply dipping reflectors observed in the radar reflection data from three boreholes near the main building delineate a north-northeast trending feature interpreted as a fracture zone. Results of radar tomography conducted close to a suspected contaminant source area indicate that a zone of low electromagnetic (EM) velocity and high EM attenuation is present above 50 ft in depth - the region containing the highest density of fractures. Flowmeter logging was used to estimate hydraulic properties in the boreholes. Thirty-three transmissive fracture zones were identified in 11 of the boreholes. The vertical separation between transmissive zones typically is 10 to 20 ft. Open-hole and discrete-zone transmissivity was estimated from heat-pulse flowmeter data acquired under ambient and stressed conditions. The open-hole transmissivity ranges from 2 to 86 ft2/d. The estimated transmissivity of individual transmissive zones ranges from 0.4 to 68 ft2/d. Drawdown monitoring

  17. 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.

  18. Lineament mapping of vertical fractures of rock outcrops by remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matarrese, Raffaella; Masciopinto, Costantino

    2016-04-01

    The monitoring of hydrological processes within the vadose zone is usually difficult, especially in the presence of compact rock subsoil. The possibility of recognizing the trend of the structural lineaments in fractured systems has important fallout in the understanding water infiltration processes, especially when the groundwater flow is strongly affected by the presence of faults and fractures that constitute the preferred ways of water fluxes. This study aims to detect fracture lineaments on fractured rock formations from CASI hyperspectral airborne VNIR images, with a size of 60 cm of the spatial resolution, and collected during November 2014. Lineaments detected with such high resolution have been compared with the fracture lineaments detected by a Landsat 8 image acquired at the same time of the CASI acquisition. The method has processed several remote sensed images at different spatial resolution, and it has produced the visualization of numerous lineament maps, as result of the vertical and sub-vertical fractures of the investigated area. The study has been applied to the fractured limestone outcrop of the Murgia region (Southern Italy). Here the rock formation hosts a deep groundwater, which supplies freshwater for drinking and irrigation purposes. The number of the fractures allowed a rough estimation of the vertical average hydraulic conductivity of the rock outcrop. This value was compared with field saturated rock hydraulic conductivity measurements derived from large ring infiltrometer tests carried out on the same rock outcrop.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. On the possibility of magnetic nano-markers use for hydraulic fracturing in shale gas mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zawadzki, Jaroslaw; Bogacki, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Recently shale gas production became essential for the global economy, thanks to fast advances in shale fracturing technology. Shale gas extraction can be achieved by drilling techniques coupled with hydraulic fracturing. Further increasing of shale gas production is possible by improving the efficiency of hydraulic fracturing and assessing the spatial distribution of fractures in shale deposits. The latter can be achieved by adding magnetic markers to fracturing fluid or directly to proppant, which keeps the fracture pathways open. After that, the range of hydraulic fracturing can be assessed by measurement of vertical and horizontal component of earth's magnetic field before and after fracturing. The difference in these components caused by the presence of magnetic marker particles may allow to delineate spatial distribution of fractures. Due to the fact, that subterranean geological formations may contain minerals with significant magnetic properties, it is important to provide to the markers excellent magnetic properties which should be also, independent of harsh chemical and geological conditions. On the other hand it is of great significance to produce magnetic markers at an affordable price because of the large quantities of fracturing fluids or proppants used during shale fracturing. Examining the properties of nano-materials, it was found, that they possess clearly superior magnetic properties, as compared to the same structure but having a larger particle size. It should be then possible, to use lower amount of magnetic marker, to obtain the same effect. Although a research on properties of new magnetic nano-materials is very intensive, cheap magnetic nano-materials are not yet produced on a scale appropriate for shale gas mining. In this work we overview, in detail, geological, technological and economic aspects of using magnetic nano-markers in shale gas mining. Acknowledgment This work was supported by the NCBiR under Grant "Electromagnetic method to

  4. Optimizing hydraulic fracture design in the diatomite formation, Lost Hills Field

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, D.G.; Klins, M.A.; Manrique, J.F.

    1996-12-31

    Since 1988, over 1.3 billion pounds of proppant have been placed in the Lost Hills Field of Kern County. California in over 2700 hydraulic fracture treatments involving investments of about $150 million. In 1995, systematic reevaluation of the standard, field trial-based fracture design began. Reservoir, geomechanical, and hydraulic fracture characterization; production and fracture modeling; sensitivity analysis; and field test results were integrated to optimize designs with regard to proppant volume, proppant ramps, and perforating strategy. The results support a reduction in proppant volume from 2500 to 1700 lb/ft which will save about $50,000 per well, totalling over $3 million per year. Vertical coverage was found to be a key component of fracture quality which could be optimized by eliminating perforations from lower stress intervals, reducing the total number of perforations, and reducing peak slurry loading from 16 to 12 ppa. A relationship between variations in lithology, pore pressure, and stress was observed. Point-source, perforating strategies were investigated and variable multiple fracture behavior was observed. The discussed approach has application in areas where stresses are variable; pay zones are thick; hydraulic fracture design is based primarily on empirical, trial-and-error field test results; and effective, robust predictive models involving real-data feedback have not been incorporated into the design improvement process.

  5. 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

  6. Modeling the vertical confinement of injection-well thermal fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Clifford, P.J.; Berry, P.J.; Gu, H. )

    1991-11-01

    Cooling of rock by water injection frequently causes fracturing of wells. This paper describes a 3D simulation model of thermally induced fracturing. It is used to show that fractures often tend to grow vertically into permeable zones. Procedures are outlined for confining fracture growth in wells where it will assist waterflood sweep performance.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Induced seismicity caused by hydraulic fracturing in deep geothermal wells in Germany and adjacent areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plenefisch, Thomas; Brückner, Lisa; Ceranna, Lars; Gestermann, Nicolai; Houben, Georg; Tischner, Torsten; Wegler, Ulrich; Wellbrink, Matthias; Bönnemann, Christian; Bertram, Andreas; Kirschbaum, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    significantly smaller than those in other areas of mining activity in Germany. The vertical distance between the earthquakes and the cap rocks was at least 1,000 m. Therefore a hazard for the groundwater reservoirs serving for drinking water supply, which are located above the cap rock layers, is unlikely. Based on the analysis of the study we conclude in summary, that in compliance with existing rules, the installation of monitoring equipment as well as following the state-of-the-art scientific and technological expertise a detraction of the groundwater as a result of hydraulic fracturing in deep geothermal reservoirs can be ruled out. Moreover, the probability of perceptible seismic events can be minimized by an appropriate monitoring system in combination with an immediate response system and reaction plan.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Overview of microseismic monitoring of hydraulic fracturing for unconventional oil and gas plays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shemeta, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The exponential growth of unconventional resources for oil and gas production has been driven by the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These drilling and completion methods increase the contact area of the low permeability and porosity hydrocarbon bearing formations and allow for economic production in what was previously considered uncommercial rock. These new resource plays have sparked an enormous interest in microseismic monitoring of hydraulic fracture treatments. As a hydraulic fracture is pumped, microseismic events are emitted in a volume of rock surrounding the stimulated fracture. The goal of the monitoring is to identify and locate the microseismic events to a high degree of precision and to map the position of the induced hydraulic fracture in time and space. The microseismic events are very small, typically having a moment-magnitude range of -4 to 0. The microseismic data are collected using a variety of seismic array designs and instrumentation, including borehole, shallow borehole, near-surface and surface arrays, using either of three-component clamped 15 Hz borehole sondes to simple vertical 10 Hz geophones for surface monitoring. The collection and processing of these data is currently under rapid technical development. Each monitoring method has technical challenges which include accurate velocity modeling, correct seismic phase identification and signal to noise issues. The microseismic locations are used to guide hydrocarbon exploration and production companies in crucial reservoir development decisions such as the direction to drill the horizontal well bores and the appropriate inter-well spacing between horizontal wells to optimally drain the resource. The fracture mapping is also used to guide fracture and reservoir engineers in designing and calibrating the fluid volumes and types, injection rates and pressures for the hydraulic fracture treatments. The microseismic data can be located and mapped in near real-time during

  19. Determining the distribution of hydraulic conductivity in a fractured limestone aquifer by simultaneous injection and geophysical logging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morin, R.H.; Hess, A.E.; Paillet, Frederick L.

    1988-01-01

    A field technique for assessing the vertical distribution of hydraulic conductivity in an aquifer was applied to a fractured carbonate formation in southeastern Nevada. The technique combines the simultaneous use of fluid injection and geophysical logging to measure in situ vertical distributions of fluid velocity and hydraulic head down the borehole; these data subsequently are analyzed to arrive at quantitative estimates of hydraulic conductivity across discrete intervals in the aquifer. The results of this analysis identified the contact margin between the Anchor and Dawn Members of the Monte Cristo Limestone as being the dominant transmissive unit. -from Authors

  20. Dynamic Response in Transient Stress-Field Behavior Induced by Hydraulic Fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Andrew

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique which is used to exploit geologic features and subsurface properties in an effort to increase production in low-permeability formations. The process of hydraulic fracturing provides a greater surface contact area between the producing formation and the wellbore and thus increases the amount of recoverable hydrocarbons from within the reservoir. The use of this stimulation technique has brought on massive applause from the industry due to its widespread success and effectiveness, however the dynamic processes that take part in the development of hydraulic fractures is a relatively new area of research with respect to the massive scale operations that are seen today. The process of hydraulic fracturing relies upon understanding and exploiting the in-situ stress distribution throughout the area of study. These in-situ stress conditions are responsible for directing fracture orientation and propagation paths throughout the period of injection. The relative magnitude of these principle stresses is key in developing a successful stimulation plan. In horizontal well plan development the interpretation of stress within the reservoir is required for determining the azimuth of the horizontal well path. These horizontal laterals are typically oriented in a manner such that the well path lies parallel to the minimum horizontal stress. This allows for vertical fractures to develop transversely to the wellbore, or normal to the least principle stress without the theoretical possibility of fractures overlapping, creating the most efficient use of the fluid energy during injection. The orientation and magnitude of these in-situ stress fields however can be dynamic, controlled by the subsequent fracture propagation and redistribution of the surrounding stresses. That is, that as the fracture propagates throughout the reservoir, the relative stress fields surrounding the fractures may see a shift and deviate from their original direction or

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Aligned vertical fractures, HTI reservoir symmetry, and Thomsenseismic anisotropy parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Berryman, James G.

    2007-06-27

    The Sayers and Kachanov (1991) crack-influence parametersare shown to be directly related to Thomsen (1986) weak-anisotropyseismic parameters for fractured reservoirs when the crack density issmall enough. These results are then applied to seismic wave propagationin reservoirs having HTI symmetry due to aligned vertical fractures. Theapproach suggests a method of inverting for fracture density from wavespeed data.

  6. In situ bioremediation of petroleum in tight soils using hydraulic fracturing

    SciTech Connect

    Stavnes, S.; Yorke, C.A.; Thompson, L.

    1996-12-31

    This case study evaluated the effectiveness of in situ bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in tight soils. The study area was contaminated with cutting oil from historic releases from underground piping, probably dating back to the 1940`s. Previous site assessment work indicated that the only chemicals of concern were total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Two fracture sets (stacks) were installed at different locations to evaluate this in situ bioremediation technique under passive and active conditions. Several injection wells were drilled at both locations to provide entry for hydraulic fracturing equipment. A series of circular, horizontal fractures 40 to 50 feet in diameter were created at different depths, based on the vertical extent of contamination at the site. The injection wells were screened across the contaminated interval which effectively created underground bioreactors. Soils were sampled and analyzed for total petroleum hydrocarbons on five separate occasions over the nine-month study. Initial average soil concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons of 5,700 mg/kg were reduced to 475 mg/kg within nine months of hydraulic fracturing. The analytical results indicate an average reduction in TPH at the sample locations of 92 percent over the nine-month study period. This project demonstrates that in situ bioremediation using hydraulic fracturing has significant potential as a treatment technology for petroleum contaminated soils.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Evaluation of vertical variations in hydraulic conductivity in unconsolidated sediments.

    PubMed

    Dietze, Michael; Dietrich, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Detailed information on vertical variations in hydraulic conductivity (K) is essential to describe the dynamics of groundwater movement at contaminated sites or as input data used for modeling. K values in high vertical resolution should be determined because K tends to be more continuous in the horizontal than in the vertical direction. To determine K in shallow unconsolidated sediments and in the vertical direction, the recently developed direct-push injection logger can be used. The information obtained by this method serves as a proxy for K and has to be calibrated to obtain quantitative K values of measured vertical profiles. In this study, we performed direct-push soil sampling, sieve analyses and direct-push slug tests to obtain K values in vertical high resolution. Using the results of direct-push slug tests, quantitative K values obtained by the direct-push injection logger could be determined successfully. The results of sieve analyses provided lower accordance with the logs due to the inherent limitations of the sieving method. PMID:21883188

  20. 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...

  1. 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.,...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Borehole Geophysics, Hydraulic Characteristics and Chemistry of Groundwater Flow in Fractured Granite With Very Low Permeability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukes, J.; Rukavickova, L.; Paces, T.

    2005-12-01

    Three test boreholes 10.9 and 10.5 meters apart were drilled in a compact granite at locality Podles' in the Bohemian Massif of central Europe. The depths of the drill boreholes were 349, 300 and 296 m. The location of the boreholes form a triangle. The main goal of this study was to determine the degree to which the very compact granite is fractured and what is the hydraulic conductivity of the fracture system. A combination of neutron log, electrical resistivity logs, gama gama log, fluid-resistivity log, and acoustic log was used to test the function of the fracture system. The hydraulic connection among the boreholes was determined from the fluid-resistivity log using injected salt as a tracer. The pressure communication through fractures among boreholes was investigated by a set of water pressure tests (WPT) in one borehole with simultaneous monitoring of responses in the other two holes equipped by a multipacker system. The connection of selected permeable fracture systems was verified by a combination of hydraulic stress tests in one borehole and simultaneous fluid-resistivity logging in other two boreholes. Indication of salt in water in adjoining boreholes was registered as anomalies on curves of the fluid-resistivity record. Several communications between boreholes were along a horizontal level, however, some connections were through combination of both horizontal and vertical fractures. The hydraulic connection between two of the boreholes was fast and straightforward. The connection with the third borehole was inexpressive. This difference was due to the position of the boreholes with regard to the direction of main fractures and the direction of natural groundwater flow. All fractures were identified using acoustic tele-viewer and inspection of core. The density of the fractures varied with depth. The density was 3 fractures per meter near surface, the density dropped to 0.9 fractures per meter at the depth of 80 m. Between 80 and 300 m, the density

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Estimation of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Earth Fill Dam by 3-D Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, Shin-Ichi

    It is necessary to calculate strength and strain for estimation of hydraulic fracturing in the earth fill dam, and to which the FEM is effective. 2-D analysis can produce good results to some extent if an embankment is linear and the plain strain condition can be set to the cross section. However, there may be some conditions not possible to express in the 2-D plain because the actual embankment of agricultural reservoirs is formed by straight and curved lines. Moreover, it may not be possible to precisely calculate strain in the direction of dam axis because the 2-D analysis in the cross section cannot take the shape in the vertical section into consideration. Therefore, we performed 3-D built up analysis targeting the actually-leaked agricultural reservoir to examine hazards of hydraulic fracturing based on the shape of an embankment and by rapid impoundment of water. It resulted in the occurrence of hydraulic fracturing to develop by water pressure due to the vertical cracks caused by tensile strain in the valley and refractive section of the foundation.

  8. Numerical Modeling of Fluid Migration and Propagation of Multiple Hydraulic Fractures in Crystalline Geothermal Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Jeoung Seok; Zang, Arno; Zimmermann, Günter; Stephansson, Ove; Min, Ki-Bok

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents discrete element based numerical model which is applied to simulation of multiple stage hydraulic fracturing in crystalline granitic geothermal reservoir. Target site modeled locates in south of state of Saxony Germany. Particle Flow Code 2D (Itasca) is used in which fluid flow algorithm and moment tensor based seismicity computation algorithm are implemented. Crystalline rock layer to be stimulated locates at 4-6 km depth with relative low density of pre-existing joints and faults. Hydraulic stimulation is modeled with five stages of fluid injection with distance of several hundreds of meters. Hydraulic fracturing is done on the stages from toe to heel direction along a series of sub-horizontally drilled wellbore with constant rate of fluid injection. Fracture propagation paths and induced seismic events are documented based on their time of occurrence and their magnitude. In addition to the evolution of the fracture propagation path and distribution of the induced events, migration of the injected fluid is investigated in space and time. This is to see how the results relate to the fluid migration front in low permeability crystalline reservoir subjected to multiple stage hydraulic fracturing. Moreover, this paper addresses advantages and disadvantages of the inclined drilling of the wellbore in low permeability reservoir and multi-stage fracturing setting. We try to seek an optimum inclination of the drilling in relation to the gradients and magnitudes of the in situ stresses, which are horizontal minimum and vertical stresses. Preliminary modeling results show that inclination angle of the drilling has a significant effect on lowering of the stress shadow effect and level of induced seismicity in terms of total number, magnitudes and the Gutenberg-Richter relation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Numerical Simulation of Potential Groundwater Contaminant Pathways from Hydraulically Fractured Oil Shale in the Nevada Basin and Range Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybarski, S.; Pohll, G.; Pohlmann, K.; Plume, R.

    2014-12-01

    In recent years, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has become an increasingly popular method for extraction of oil and natural gas from tight formations. Concerns have been raised over a number of environmental risks associated with fracking, including contamination of groundwater by fracking fluids, upwelling of deep subsurface brines, and methane migration. Given the potentially long time scale for contaminant transport associated with hydraulic fracturing, numerical modeling remains the best practice for risk assessment. Oil shale in the Humboldt basin of northeastern Nevada has now become a target for hydraulic fracturing operations. Analysis of regional and shallow groundwater flow is used to assess several potential migration pathways specific to the geology and hydrogeology of this basin. The model domain in all simulations is defined by the geologic structure of the basin as determined by deep oil and gas well bores and formation outcrops. Vertical transport of gaseous methane along a density gradient is simulated in TOUGH2, while fluid transport along faults and/or hydraulic fractures and lateral flow through more permeable units adjacent to the targeted shale are modeled in FEFLOW. Sensitivity analysis considers basin, fault, and hydraulic fracturing parameters, and results highlight key processes that control fracking fluid and methane migration and time scales under which it might occur.

  8. A wet/wet differential pressure sensor for measuring vertical hydraulic gradient

    SciTech Connect

    Fritz, Brad G.; Mackley, Rob D.

    2008-12-13

    This article describes a new tool for measuring vertical hydraulic gradient in the hyporheic zone. It is essentially an electronic version of an established differential pressure measurement technique.

  9. 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

  10. Hydraulic fracture characterization resulting from low-viscosity fluid injection: Implications for CO2 sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burbey, T. J.; Zhou, X.

    2013-12-01

    The initiation of hydraulic fractures during CO2 sequestration can be either engineered or induced unintentionally. Some fractures may be desirable such as horizontal fractures that can facilitate fluid injection and migration; whereas some fractures may be unfavorable if the fractures tend to extend vertically above a certain limit, thus creating a potential leaking condition. Historically, carbon dioxide as a liquefied gas has been used in oil and gas field stimulation since the early1960s because it eliminates formation damage and residual fluids. Carbon dioxide injection is considered to be one of the most effective technologies for improving oil recovery from hard-to-extract oil reserves because CO2 is effective in penetrating the formation due to its high diffusivity, while the rock associated with petroleum-containing formations is generally porous. However, low viscosity and high compressibility fluids such as CO2 exhibit different effects on the hydraulic fracture initiation/propagation behavior in comparison with high viscosity and low compressibility fluids. Laboratory tests show that viscous fluids tend to generate thick and planar cracks with few branches, while low viscosity fluids tend to generate narrow and wavelike cracks with many secondary branches. A numerical comparison between water and supercritical CO2-like fluid has been made to investigate the influence of fluids to fracture propagation behavior. Simulation results indicate that the pore pressure fields are very different for different pore fluids even when the initial field conditions and injection schemes (rate and time) are kept the same. Thin fluids with properties of supercritical CO2 will create relatively thin and much shorter fractures in comparison to fluids exhibiting properties of water under similar injection schemes. Two significant times are recognized during fracture propagation. One is the time at which a crack ceases opening, and he other is the time at which a crack

  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: 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

  13. 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.

  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. MEASURING VERTICAL PROFILES OF HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY WITH IN SITU DIRECT-PUSH METHODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) staff developed a field procedure to measure hydraulic conductivity using a direct-push system to obtain vertical profiles of hydraulic conductivity. Vertical profiles were obtained using an in situ field device-composed of a
    Geopr...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Simplified hydraulic model of French vertical-flow constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Arias, Luis; Bertrand-Krajewski, Jean-Luc; Molle, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Designing vertical-flow constructed wetlands (VFCWs) to treat both rain events and dry weather flow is a complex task due to the stochastic nature of rain events. Dynamic models can help to improve design, but they usually prove difficult to handle for designers. This study focuses on the development of a simplified hydraulic model of French VFCWs using an empirical infiltration coefficient--infiltration capacity parameter (ICP). The model was fitted using 60-second-step data collected on two experimental French VFCW systems and compared with Hydrus 1D software. The model revealed a season-by-season evolution of the ICP that could be explained by the mechanical role of reeds. This simplified model makes it possible to define time-course shifts in ponding time and outlet flows. As ponding time hinders oxygen renewal, thus impacting nitrification and organic matter degradation, ponding time limits can be used to fix a reliable design when treating both dry and rain events. PMID:25225940

  7. Site selection and investigation for subsurface disposal of radioactive wastes in hydraulically induced fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, R.J.

    1980-01-01

    Injection into a thick shale formation of intermediate-level radioactive wastes (specific activity of less than 6 x 10/sup 3/ ..mu..Ci/ml consisting mainly of radionuclides such as strontium and cesium with half-lives of less than 50 years) mixed with cement is a promising and feasible disposal method. Hydraulic fracturing provides openings in the shale to accommodate the wastes. Ion exchange and radionuclide adsorption materials can be added to the grout during mixing to further increase the radionuclide retaining capacity of the grout. After solidification of the grout, the injected wastes become an integral part of the shale formation and thus the wastes will remain at depth and in place as long as the injection zone is not subjected to erosion or dissolution. Problems concerning safety of the disposal method are: (1) potential of inducing vertical fractures; (2) phase separation during and after injections; (3) reliability of methods for determining orientation of induced fractures; (4) possibility of triggering earthquakes; and (5) radionuclides leaching and transporting by ground water. Waste injections are made in multiple-layer injection stages in an injection well. After the first series of injections are made at the greatest depth, the well is plugged by cement at the injection depth. The depth of the second series of injections is located at a suitable distance above the first injection depth. The repeated use of the injection well distributes the cost of construction of injection and monitoring wells over many injections, thereby making hydraulic fracturing and grout injection economically attractive as a method for disposal of radioactive wastes. Theoretical considerations of inducing nearly horizontal bedding-plane fractures in shale and field procedures for site selection, safety, monitoring and operation of radioactive waste disposal are discussed. Case histories are used as examples to demonstrate the theoretical applications and field operations.

  8. CO2 laser irradiation on vertical root fracture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, Luciana X.; Aun, Carlos E.; de Campos Ferraz, Jussara

    1997-05-01

    Vertical root fracture has been requested tooth extraction or root hemisection. There is no conservative treatment. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the CO2 laser effects on root fracture, associated with other materials. Forty two extracted human canines divided into 6 groups have their root vertically fractured. In groups A and B the CO2 laser was used with power of 5 W and 7 W respectively and the fracture line was covered with glass ionomer cement. In groups C and D the laser was used with 5 and 7 W and fracture line was covered with a dual composite. Groups E and F were controls, treated with glass ionomer cement and FLC dual composite. The teeth were placed in 5 percent methylene blue dye for 48 hs. The dye penetration was lowest in groups with glass ionomer cement and laser (A and B), at about (1.06mm). The difference between groups was statistically significant at 1 percent. All experimental groups showed dye penetration. The laser seemed to favor the sealing of the fracture line.

  9. Periodontal healing after bonding treatment of vertical root fracture.

    PubMed

    Sugaya, T; Kawanami, M; Noguchi, H; Kato, H; Masaka, N

    2001-08-01

    Vertical root fractures lead to advanced periodontal breakdown with deep periodontal pockets and vertical bone defects. The purpose of this study is to evaluate clinically the periodontal healing of root fracture treatment using adhesive resin cement. In 22 patients, 23 teeth with vertical root fractures were treated with 4-META/MMA-TBB resin cement. Eleven fractured roots were bonded through the root canal (group A) and 12 fractured roots were bonded extra-orally and replanted (group B). All teeth were then restored with full cast crowns (n=20) or coping (n=3). Mean probing depth was 6.6 mm at pre-treatment and 4.4 mm 6 months after the treatment in group A, and 7.4 mm and 4.6 mm, respectively, in group B. Bleeding scores were 100% at pre-treatment and 36.4% after 6 months in group A and 91.7% and 8.3%, respectively in group B. Radiographic bone level was 56.8% at pretreatment and 59.1% after 6 months in group A, and 18.8% and 29.2%, respectively, in group B. Two roots of group A and three roots of group B were extracted due to refracture, deterioration of periodontal inflammation, mobility, and luxation. The remaining roots (n=18) presented no discomfort to the patients and there was no deterioration of periodontal conditions over a mean period of 33 months (range 14-74 months) in group A and over a mean period of 22 months (range 6-48 months) in group B. There was no ankylosed teeth nor was any root resorption detected. The results suggested that the treatment of vertical root fracture using 4-META/MMA-TBB resin has good prognostic possibilities. PMID:11585144

  10. Approach to estimating the maximum depth for glacially induced hydraulic jacking in fractured crystalline rock at Forsmark, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lönnqvist, M.; Hökmark, H.

    2013-09-01

    Hydraulic jacking is a significant dilation of a fracture that occurs when the pore pressure within it exceeds the sum of the fracture's normal stress and tensile strength. This phenomenon may occur during a glacial period because of changes in hydraulic and mechanical boundary conditions. Since hydraulic jacking may alter flow patterns and the transport capacity of the rock mass, its possible effects on the long-term performance of a nuclear waste repository should be considered. We develop an approach to assess glacially induced hydraulic jacking in fractured crystalline rock and establish bounding estimates of the maximum jacking depth for the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company's (SKB) repository site at Forsmark. The pore pressure is estimated using mechanically uncoupled two-dimensional poroelastic continuum models with hydraulic and mechanical conditions based on SKB's reconstruction of the Weichselian glaciation at this site (120-0 ka B.P.). For warm-based conditions, the water pressure at the ice/bed interface is set at 98% of the mechanical load, whereas for glacial conditions with extensive proglacial permafrost, the corresponding water pressure is set at a (lower) annual average value. We demonstrate that the pore pressure within the uppermost kilometer of rock is mainly governed by the water pressure at the ice/bed interface and that the mechanical impact of the ice load on the pore pressure is sufficiently small to be ignored. Given the current and estimated future stress conditions at Forsmark, hydraulic jacking is mainly of concern for subhorizontal fractures, i.e., it is sufficient to consider situations when the pore pressure exceeds the vertical stress. We conclude that hydraulic jacking at Forsmark will be confined to the uppermost 200 m of the rock mass.

  11. a Mixed-Fractal Flow Model for Stimulated Fractured Vertical Wells in Tight Oil Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Yuliang; Sheng, Guanglong; Wang, Wendong; Zhang, Qi; Lu, Mingjing; Ren, Long

    2016-02-01

    Stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) with large fracture networks can be generated near hydraulic fractured vertical wells (HFVWs) in tight oil reservoirs. Statistics show that natural microfractures and fracture networks stimulated by SRV were self-similar in statistical sense. Currently, various analytical models have been presented to study pressure behaviors of HFVWs in tight oil reservoirs. However, most of the existing models did not take the distribution and self-similarity of fractures into consideration. To account for stimulated characteristic and self-similarity of fractures in tight oil reservoirs, a mixed-fractal flow model was presented. In this model, there are two distinct regions, stimulated region and unstimulated region. Dual-porosity model and single porosity model were used to model stimulated and unstimulated regions, respectively. Fractal geometry is employed to describe fractal permeability and porosity relationship (FPPR) in tight oil reservoirs. Solutions for the mixed-fractal flow model were derived in the Laplace domain and were validated among range of the reservoir parameters. The pressure transient behavior and production rate derivative were used to analyze flow regimes. The type curves show that the fluid flow in HFVWs can be divided into six main flow periods. Finally, effect of fractal parameters and SRV size on flow periods were also discussed. The results show that the SRV size and fractal parameters of fracture network have great effect on the former periods and fractal parameters of matrix mainly influence the later flow periods.

  12. Hydraulic fracturing and wellbore completion of coalbed methane wells in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming: Implications for water and gas production

    SciTech Connect

    Colmenares, L.B.; Zoback, M.D.

    2007-01-15

    Excessive water production (more than 7000 bbl/month per well) from many coalbed methane (CBM) wells in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming is also associated with significant delays in the time it takes for gas production to begin. Analysis of about 550 water-enhancement activities carried out during well completion demonstrates that such activities result in hydraulic fracturing of the coal. Water-enhancement activities, consists of pumping 60 bbl of water/min into the coal seam during approximately 15 min. This is done to clean the well-bore and to enhance CBM production. Hydraulic fracturing is of concern because vertical hydraulic fracture growth could extend into adjacent formations and potentially result in excess CBM water production and inefficient depressurization of coals. Analysis of the pressure-time records of the water-enhancement tests enabled us to determine the magnitude of the least principal stress (S{sub 3}) in the coal seams of 372 wells. These data reveal that because S{sub 3} switches between the minimum horizontal stress and the overburden at different locations, both vertical and horizontal hydraulic fracture growth is inferred to occur in the basin, depending on the exact location and coal layer. Relatively low water production is observed for wells with inferred horizontal fractures, whereas all of the wells associated with excessive water production are characterized by inferred vertical hydraulic fractures. The reason wells with exceptionally high water production show delays in gas production appears to be inefficient depressurization of the coal caused by water production from the formations outside the coal. To minimize CBM water production, we recommend that in areas of known vertical fracture propagation, the injection rate during the water-enhancement tests should be reduced to prevent the propagation of induced fractures into adjacent water-bearing formations.

  13. Hydraulic characterization for steam enhanced remediation conducted in fractured rock.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Kyle M; Novakowski, Kent; Davis, Eva; Heron, Gorm

    2006-01-10

    To explore the viability of Steam Enhanced Remediation (SER) in fractured rock a small-scale steam injection and water/vapour extraction pilot study was conducted at the former Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine, USA. A detailed well testing program was undertaken to assist in the design of the injection and extraction well array, and to assess the possibility of off-site heat and contaminant migration. A structurally complex limestone having low matrix porosity and a sparse distribution of fractures underlies the study site. To characterize the groundwater and steam flow pathways, single-well slug tests and more than 100 pulse interference tests were conducted. The results of the well testing indicate that the study site is dominated by steeply dipping bedding plane fractures that are interconnected only between some wells in the injection/extraction array. The SER system was designed to take advantage of interconnected fractures located at depth in the eastern end of the site. An array of 29 wells located in an area of 60 by 40 m was used for steam injection and water/vapour extraction. The migration of heat was monitored in several wells using thermistor arrays having a 1.5 m vertical spacing. Temperature measurements obtained during and after the 3 month steam injection period showed that heat migration generally occurred along those fracture features identified by the pulse interference testing. Based on these results, it is concluded that the pulse interference tests were valuable in assisting with the design of the injection/extraction well geometry and in predicting the migration pathways of the hot water associated with the steam injection. The pulse interference test method should also prove useful in support of any other remedial method dependant on the fracture network for delivery of remedial fluid or extraction of contaminants. PMID:16310888

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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....

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling Studies to Constrain Fluid and Gas Migration Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajaram, H.; Birdsell, D.; Lackey, G.; Karra, S.; Viswanathan, H. S.; Dempsey, D.

    2015-12-01

    The dramatic increase in the extraction of unconventional oil and gas resources using horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technologies has raised concerns about potential environmental impacts. Large volumes of hydraulic fracturing fluids are injected during fracking. Incidents of stray gas occurrence in shallow aquifers overlying shale gas reservoirs have been reported; whether these are in any way related to fracking continues to be debated. Computational models serve as useful tools for evaluating potential environmental impacts. We present modeling studies of hydraulic fracturing fluid and gas migration during the various stages of well operation, production, and subsequent plugging. The fluid migration models account for overpressure in the gas reservoir, density contrast between injected fluids and brine, imbibition into partially saturated shale, and well operations. Our results highlight the importance of representing the different stages of well operation consistently. Most importantly, well suction and imbibition both play a significant role in limiting upward migration of injected fluids, even in the presence of permeable connecting pathways. In an overall assessment, our fluid migration simulations suggest very low risk to groundwater aquifers when the vertical separation from a shale gas reservoir is of the order of 1000' or more. Multi-phase models of gas migration were developed to couple flow and transport in compromised wellbores and subsurface formations. These models are useful for evaluating both short-term and long-term scenarios of stray methane release. We present simulation results to evaluate mechanisms controlling stray gas migration, and explore relationships between bradenhead pressures and the likelihood of methane release and transport.

  4. 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...

  5. Selection and investigation of sites for the disposal of radioactive wastes in hydraulically induced subsurface fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, R.J.

    1982-01-01

    Injection of intermediate-level radioactive wastes (specific activity of less than 6 x 10/sup 3/ ..mu..Ci/mL, consisting mainly of radionuclides, such as strontium and cesium, having half-lives of less than 50 years) mixed with cement into a thick shale formation is a promising and feasible disposal method. Hydraulic fracturing provides openings in the shale to accommodate the wastes. Ion exchange and radionuclide-adsorption materials can be added to the grout during mixing to further increase the radionuclide-retaining capacity of the grout. After solidification of the grout, the injected wastes become an integral part of the shale formation, and therefore the wastes will remain at depth and in place as long as the injection zone is not subjected to erosion and dissolution. Problems concerning safety of the disposal method are (1) the potential for inducing vertical fractures, (2) phase separation during and after the injections, (3) the reliability of methods for determining the orientation of induced fractures, (4) the possibility of triggering earthquakes, and (5) radionuclides being leached and transported by ground water. Theoretical considerations about inducing nearly horizontal bedding-plane fractures in shale are discussed, as are field procedures for site selection, safety, and the monitoring and operation of radioactive waste disposal. Case histories are used as examples to demonstrate the application of the theory and techniques of field operations. (JMT)

  6. Selection and investigation of sites for the disposal of radioactive wastes in hydraulically induced subsurface fractures

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, R.J.

    1982-01-01

    Injection of intermediate-level radioactive wastes (specific activity of less than 6 x 10/sup 3/..mu..Ci/mL, consisting mainly of radionuclides, such as strontium and cesium, having half-lives of less than 50 years) mixed with cement into a thick shale formation is a promising and feasible disposal method. Hydraulic fracturing provides openings in the shale to accommodate the wastes. Ion exchange and radionuclide-adsorption materials can be added to the grout during mixing to further increase the radionuclide-retaining capacity of the grout. After solidification of the grout, the injected wastes become an integral part of the shale formation, and therefore the wastes will remain at depth and in place as long as the injection zone is not subjected to erosion or dissolution. Problems concerning safety of the disposal method are: (1) the potential for inducing vertical fractures, (2) phase separation during and after the injections, (3) the reliability of methods for determining the orientation of induced fractures, (4) the possibility of triggering earthquakes, and (5) radionuclides being leached and transported by ground water. Theoretical considerations about inducing nearly horizontal bedding-plane fractures in shale are discussed, as are field procedures for site selection, safety, and the monitoring and operation of radioactive waste disposal. Case histories are used as examples to demonstrate the application of the theory and techniques of field operations.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. Vertical arrays for fracture mapping in geothermal systems

    SciTech Connect

    Albright, J.N.; Rutledge, J.T.; Fairbanks, T.D.; Thomson, J.C.; Stevenson, M.A.

    1998-12-01

    In collaboration with UNOCAL Geothermal Operations, Los Alamos National Laboratory assessed the feasibility of using vertical arrays of borehole seismic sensors for mapping of microseismicity in The Geysers geothermal field. Seismicity which arises from minute displacements along fracture or fault surfaces has been shown in studies of seismically active oil reservoirs to be useful in identifying fractures affected by and possibly contributing to production. Use of retrievable borehole seismic packages at The Geysers was found to reduce the threshold for detection of microearthquakes by an estimated 2--3 orders of magnitude in comparison to surface-based sensors. These studies led to the design, materials selection, fabrication, and installation of a permanent array of geophones intended for long term seismic monitoring and mapping of fractures in the vicinity of the array at The Geysers.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Source analysis of a potential hydraulic-fracturing-induced earthquake near Fox Creek, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruijia; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Schultz, Ryan; Kim, Ahyi; Atkinson, Gail

    2016-01-01

    An earthquake with a reported magnitude of 4.4 (ML) was detected on 13 June 2015 in western central Alberta, Canada. This event was the third felt earthquake this year near Fox Creek, a shale gas exploration region. Our results from full moment tensor inversions of regional broadband data show a strong strike-slip mechanism with near-vertical fault plane solutions. The decomposition of the moment tensor solution is overwhelmingly double couple, while only a modest (˜20%) contribution is attributed to compensated-linear-vector-dipole. The depth of this earthquake is 3-4 km, near the base of the sedimentary layer, and the moment magnitude (M = 3.9) of this event is considerably smaller than the initial reported ML value. The hypocenter location, depth, and mechanism are favorable to a possible association between this earthquake and hydraulic fracturing operations within the Duvernay shale.

  5. Shallow hydraulic fracturing measurements in Korea support tectonic and seismic indicators of regional stress.

    SciTech Connect

    Haimson, Bezalel Cecil; Lee, Moo Yul; Song, I.

    2003-07-01

    We have conducted five hydraulic fracturing stress measurement campaigns in Korea, involving 13 test holes ranging in depth from 30 to 250 m, at locations from North Seoul to the southern coast of the peninsula. The measurements reveal consistent crustal stress magnitudes and directions that suggest persistence throughout western and southern Korea. The maximum horizontal stress {sigma}{sub H} is oriented between ENE-WSW and E-W, in accord with plate movement and deformation, and with directions indicated by both focal mechanism solutions from earthquakes inland and offshore as well as borehole breakouts in mainland China close to its eastern coast. With respect to magnitudes, the vertical stress is the overall minimum stress at all tested locations, suggesting a thrust faulting regime within the relatively shallow depths reached by our tests. Typically, such a stress regime becomes one favoring strike-slip at greater depths, as is also indicated by the focal mechanism solutions around Korea.

  6. 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

  7. Preliminary stress measurements in central California using the hydraulic fracturing technique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zoback, M.D.; Healy, J.H.; Roller, J.C.

    1977-01-01

    Use of the hydraulic fracturing technique for determining in situ stress is reviewed, and stress measurements in wells near the towns of Livermore, San Ardo, and Menlo Park, California are described in detail. In the Livermore well, four measurements at depths between 110 and 155 m indicate that the least principal compressive stress is horizontal and increases from 1.62 to 2.66 MPa. The apparent direction of maximum compression is N 70?? E (??40??). At the San Ardo site the least principal stress is that due to the overburden weight. At depths of 240.2 and 270.7 m the minimum and maximum horizontal stresses are estimated to be 11.4 and 22.5 MPa, and 12.0 (??1.1) and 15.8 (??3.3) MPa, respectively. From an impression of the fracture at 240.2 m, the direction of maximum compression appears to be about N 15?? E. The rock in the Menlo Park well is too highly fractured to yield a reliable measurement of the horizontal stresses. The data indicate, however, that the least principal stress is vertical (due to the overburden weight) to a depth of 250 m. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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