You are on page 1of 8

. .

:, ,

,, ,

, ;, Sand Movement in Horizontal Fractures



ABSTRACT estimating sand p!acetnent ej?ciencies have related friction losses to Reyn-
during a treatment and the resulting olds number in both circular and non-
This ktudy extends our information
sand distribution in the fracture. The circular conduits. These results are
on solid-liquid slurries to the fiow oj
results show that sand placement el7i- widely used and are not reviewed here,
sand in horizontal fractures. Inasmuch
ciencies are low under typical treat- Huitt4 iswestigated the effect of sur-
as this is basicallylan unsteady-state
tnent conditions. A brief de~cription face roughness on fluid flow in simu-
process, a comprehensive photograph-
of the effects of overflushing (s also lated fractures. He concluded that
ic study ;was undertaken in a 10-ft
included. tlui~ Row in fractures may be treated
windowed cell to determine if the
basic jiow regimes described jor similarly to fluid flow in circular con-
steady-state flow in pipes applied to INTRODUCTION duits, This work, together with that
the sub]ect process. Sincethe number of Nikuradse~ shows that surface
The flow of sand-oil s[urries in frac- roughness has no appreciative effect
of, potential variables jar exceeds the tures is an area in which little basic
capacity o] a single study, emphasis upon the resistance to flow in the vis-
knowledge is available. This stems to cous flow region. In the region @ tur-
has been placed ontheeflectsof sand some degree from the fact that it is
concentration, oil viscosity and oil bulent flow, .surfase roughness is a
impossible to duplicate fractures at prominent factor,
flow rate. the surface. They occur in various
The extensive photographic evi- shapes and sizes with an infinite com- Hydraulic conveyance literature is
denee obtained has proven very valu- bination of irregularities. Unfortu-. another important source of informat-
able its gaining an insight into the nately, we cw never see these ftac- ~ ion. Durand has attempted to or-
hrrsic flow mechflnistns. Being able to tures except in cores and by indirect ganize systematically the variables in-
folbjw visuall ytheffo wcharacteristics means of measurement. In spite of volved in hydraulic-solid transport in
that dccompany the quantitative data this inherent difficulty, it is desirable pipes, He has classified the modes of
is valuable in the application pf the to develop some basic concepts that flow into three types according to the
results. will provide a better understanding size of the particles in the mixture
Although the usqof dimensionless of the sand tratiport mechanism. homogeneous mixtures, intermediary
mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures.
parameters was ca)ikfully investigated, An insight into tbe problem is pro-
it was found, r)at )he aata obtained
With the usual concentrations and
vided by investigations of fluid #low flow rates used in hydraulic transpor-
could, be tnore easily+ and as accu- in rectangular conduits., Several studies
. rately; correlated by jltdicibus use of
tation, particles with diameters of less
on the flow of liquids in non-circular than 20 or 30 microns form essen-
the dimensional variables h@tigated. conduits ashow that a Reynolds num-
tially homogeneous mixture8 with wa-
Howgver, a study into the feasibility of ber-Fanning friction factor ~relation-
dealing slurry jlow was titade itt- the
ter. The data show, however, that even
ship can be written if the hydraulic
small mqterials will tend to settle out
event this technique is justified:in diameter is substituted for the regular
under iaminar flow conditions.
future investigations. diameter in a circular pipe. ,This hy-
The data presented show that the draulic, or equivalent, diameter is Mixtures containing solids over 50
pressure behavior observed in solids taken as four times the cross-sectional microns in diameter do not achieve
area occupied by the flowing fluid total homo@en&ty bven under turbu-
wansport in pipes basicaily applies to
slurry flow inhorizontal fractures. The divided by the wetted perimeter. Eq. 1 lent flow conditions. Particles from 50
roles of the parameters are dered expresses an extension of this same microns to 0.2 mm in diameter may
but. a basic equivalence exists. T,he work when applied to infinite parallel be transported in fully suspended flow
most significant correlating parattteter planes b distance apart. at normal transport velocities although
was the oil viscosity (p,,) and the bulk
the concentration in the vertical plane
12/.L 24 is not uniform. Above 2 mm in diam-
velocity of the slurry (vJ, expressed f==. (1)
.bvp Re : eter solid materials. are transported
as pv product.
2bvp along the bottom of the coqduit at a
The most sigtti,fcant correlation ex- where Re equals . velocity substantially less. than that of
presses the rate of. advance of the P
Eq, 1 is a theoretical equation ex- the liquid itself. Between 0.2 and 2
sand as a function of tie variables mm in diameter, the particles tend to
investigated. There are many practical pressing the friction factor as a func-
tion of the Reynolds number for be in a transitl%. zone between hete:
ramifications of this phase of tite in- rogeneous suspended flow and deposit
vestigation that .shotdd aid in better laminar single-phase fluid flow. Thfs
. expression has been verified experi- fiow at normal hydraulic transport ve-
, treatmenf design. Evaluation of sand locities. The sand sizes used in frac-
advance rates provides a means-of shentally. The equivalent expression
for a smooth circular conduit differs turing. usually fall in this 8ize. range.
Ori in~l manuscript rqceived in Society of -only in that the value of the constant It is interesting to note that the
f Engineers oEice April 26,196% Re-
vised manuwript received Sept. 30, 1963. Pa- is 16 instead of 24, Numerous studies grain size range designated by Durand
per presented at SPE-U. of Oklnhonm Produc- for this transition zone corresponds
tion Raearch Sympoeium hesd AwU 29-80.
190S, In Norman, Okla. ZRetcrencesgiven at end of paper. closely to the transition zone between
NOVEMBER, 1968 12S9

.: ,. .-. #i


the laws governing the settiing veloc- basis for the planning phase of this equipment. Sand injection was accom-
ity of quartz grains in water proposed study, plished by advancing a floating piston
by Stokes and Newton. Dorozhkin, Zheltov and Zheltov in a cyiinder at a constant rate. This
In the design of hydraulic convey- studied the flow of sand-liquid slur- forced liquid-saturated sand placed
ance systems, pressure is an important ries in a horizontal linear flow model. above the piston into the fluid stream
factor. At a constant solids concentra- Ail tests were made under iaminar at a constant rate, Constant liquid
tion, power requirements to transport flow conditions. The quantitative in- flow rates were obtained by self-
a given volume of solids is at a mini- formation was restricted primariiy to adjusting flow regulators, Provisions
mum when head loss is at a minimum. data on the thicknesses of the sand were made so the flow rates of the
This minimum roughly corresponds to deposits formed at the bottom of the two phases could be calibrated before
the point. separating flow with and fracture, the slurry was introduced into the
without deposits, on the bottom of the model.
pipe, Several methods of predicting EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN An overhead sequence camera was
critical design velocities in pipelines used to record the data during the.
have been proposed: These corre- The literature research revealed that tests, In the deposit ffow regime, the
lations are largely empirical and have limited quantitative information appli- position of the sand front couId be
no direct application to fracture cable to slurry flow in horizontal frac- read from the fifm However, for SUS:
systems. tures is available. This lack of basic pended flow the leading edge of the
Newit~ ako investigated head losses information indicated that a linear slurry had to be: recorded manually,
incurred when pumping heterogeneous flow system should be studied before A motion picture camera, focused on
mixtures. He obtained results which the more complex radial patterns were a single panel, recorded the details of
basically cont3rmed the work of Dur- investigated. It was considered im- the sand movement,
and in the area where their work over- perative that the modei be transparent Because of the number of parame-
lapped. However, for Iarge diameter so. that sand movement could be ob- ters Meeting sand movemen[ in frac-
pipes a large amount of discrepancy served during the tests. This was im- twes, it was necessaqi to limit the
exists. portant not only from a qualitative scope of ti& study, Some Imitations
Sand movement in vertical frac- standpoint but was necessary in deter- were imposed by the design of the
tures has been studied by Kern, et alf mining the rate of advance of the flow cell, The configuration of the
A simuiated fracture %4 in, wide was sand during the test. model defines a linear flow system
formed between two transparent plas- The 10% ft long flow cell was con- and establishes the width of the flow
tic plates 22 in. long and 71A in. structed in four sections. Each section channel. In addition, the simulated
high. The top and bottom of the frac- consisted of five: 1-ft square glass fracture surfaces are smooth and hori-
ture were sealed so that the fluid windows set in a metal frame, The zontal. Selection of the test variables
moved hor@ontally, It was observed bottom rmd the top. of the simulated from those remaining was based not
that the sand tended to settle to the fracture were formed by bolting two oniy on the effect they would have on ,
bottom of the fracture before moving sections together. Steel spacerz were sand transpo~ but also on the degree
very far. When the fluid velocity ex- used to obtain the desired separation of variance in hydraulic fracturing
ceeded a certain critical value, all of between the plates. O-rings around treatments in the field. Propping agent
the sand injected [began moving the periphery of the model were used characteristics were eliminated as a
through the crack even though it had to obtain a fiuid seaI when ,the upper variable since the majority of fractur-
settled to the bottom. Although thk and Iower sections were bolted to- ing treatments are performed using
study does not apply directiy to hori- gether. Flow entered verticality at the 20-40 mesh round Ottawa sand. The.
zontal fractures, the semiquantitative infet header and discharged to the propping agent selected for these tests
results ob}ained are of sigriltlcance, atmosphere, at the end. Pressure taps was a 20-40 mesh glass bead. SVch
along the, length of the model were beads have approximately the same,
In consideration of the differences
provided so that. pressure data could density as sand and a sphericity. of
between horizontal and verticaf frac-
be obtained. almo$t 1.0. Similarly, oil density was
tures, it must be remembered that if
The flow equipment was designed eliminated as a variable because of the
the horizontal fracture is created in a
so that the tests couId be performed limited range of wdues encountered.
more or iess radial pattern, the veloc- The remai~ing pertinent variables
ity is a function of the distance from under constant-flow-rate- condit iens,
This was selected instead of the sim- were fluid flow rate, oil viscosity, cim-
the wellbore. In this respect the data centration of the propping agent and
would be more complex to obtain pler condition of. constant pressure
since -the data would be more useful, fracture thicknbss. Through necessity,
than for a restricted vertical fracture
one of these parameters had to be
wherein the velocity should be sub- The primary problem in the experi- eliminated. The one selected was
sta@ially constant, provided the frac- mental design was maintenance of fracture thickness.
ture width wti.s constant. constant sand concentration in the
Izyumova and Sharfgirf investigated flow stream. Preliminary tests indi-
cated that wide variations in sand MODES OF FLOW
the movement of sand in horizontal
fractures using a transparent pie- concentration existed witen pumping The experimental, tests investigated
shaped flow model to simulate a pre-blended slurries. Except for the the viscosity of the o% fluid flow rat,?
radial flow syst~m. The model con- high-viscosity oils, it was impossible and the volumetric concentration of
sisted of two parallel transparent io maintain a uniformly suspended the propping agent as the prim~
plates 7 ft long. The maj6rity of the slurry in the mixing tank. variables. During the majority of tests,
rdns were made Wing 20-40 mesh Ideaiiy, the best system is the injec- fracture thickness was set at 1/4,J in.
sand as the propping agent. Water tion of sand into the fluid s~eam just and 20-40 mesh round glass.,beads
and a 60-catk viscosity fluid were the ahead of the model entrance. No com- were used ai the propping agent. The
fracturing fluids employed. Although mercial equipment was available for glass bead concentration was varied
the data were limited, especially in a this type of systwm, tiviirefore, it was from % to 8 lb/gal of clear liquid.
quantitative sense, they served as a necessary to construct the injection Fhdd flow. rates from % to S gal/rein


.. .--, ,, ... ,-.
. ..

were tested, These runs were per- r~ge of pa~icle sizes and fracture occurred, With the 488 cp oil, only
formed using three different oils- thicknesses. suspended flow was observed. The
6,96, 57,8 and 487,9 cm Densitv was A better understanding of the trans- glass beads were trans ortid by the
essentially constant in- the range of port mechanisms is afforded by tori. intermediate viscosity 01 Y in both the
0.85 to 0,88 gin/cc. sidering a concentration of 1 lb/gal deposit and suspended flow regimes,
Fig, 1 illustrates the different re- and describing the change in the flow depending upon the specific ts%t . ~
gimes devised to describe the transport characteristics as the y.v~ ratio in- condhions,
mechanisms observed in this study. creases. ,Region II(c) in Fig, 1 rep- Fig. 2 shows the wave action of the
The regions in which the flow re- resents that area of the deposit flow glass beads in the four test runs using
gimes dominate are described in terms regime wherein the sand body either the 7 cp oil at a liquid flow rate of
of the three basic test parameters, The does not move or its motion is erratic. 1 gal/min, In these overh~ad views
total flow pattern. can be divided bas- The deposit is extended primarily by of the model, the first and last panels
ically into two regimes-deposit flow beads moving rdong the solid surface. are not shown, This t?gure illustrates
and. suspended flow. Suspended flow Bead transport to the front is in the the effect of sand concentration on .,
may be defined as that flow regime form of narrow particle waves, the character of the sand transport
wherein each particle is primarily mechanism. In each run, narrow par-
The dashed line shown in the mid-
propelled by the direct action of the ticle waves transported the beads to
dle of Region H(c) represents the
fluid acting on its surface. This defini. the deposit edge. Increases in sand
tion does not preclude the presence of point, at the specified concentration,
where the sand body starts to pulsate. concentration increase the frequency
a vertical gradient in the liquid stream. and intensity of the wave action. I
The pulsations increase in frequency
Deposit flow,, on the. other hand, is
and intensity until Region H(b) is Fig. 3 shows the effect of flow rate
defined as that flow regime wherein
reached. At .thk point a slow but on the modes Gf flow at a bdad con-
the solid particles settle to form at
steady advance of the sand deposit centration of 1 lb/gal. As the flow
least a full monolayer pack at the
occurs. if rate is increased the mode of flow
bottom of the fracture. The rate of
Region II(b) represents the general changes. At the lower flow rates
advance of the leading edge of the
sand deposit is normally much less area wherein narrow particle waves there is definite wave action but it is
than the superffciaf velocity of the are active in the transport of the sol- localized. As the flow rate is inc&sed
transporting fluids. Although the ids over the sliding deposit. As the to 4 gal/rein, the waves no longer
movement of the solids is a function ~v product is increased, the breadth narrow but extend across the entire
of, the movement of the tluid, the of these warns increases until Region panel. These waves have. a fairly con- ,,.
front either moves due to the sand II(a) is entered. In this region of the stant frequency which was lacking
flowing above the solid surface and deposit flow regime, broad waves in localized wave action. At a flow 4
depositing on the front edge or by transport the solids over a moving rate of 8 gal/rein suspended flow
the movement of the solid deposit deposit. conditions are being approached. The
itself. Region I represents heterogeneous details are not evident in still pho- ~
The, lines shown in Fig. 1 represent suspended flow. There is a, definite tography but there is an underlying
the general position of the transition concentration gradient in the vertical rolling wave action which normally
zone between regimes, and not unique direction but the flow satisfies, the de-. precedes the advent of suspend~d flow<
values, The numbers used in Fig. 1 finition of suspended flow stated pre- Fig. 4(a) shows the mode of flow:__,
are based on this., specific study and viously. Homogeneous suspended flow obtained when the test conditions in
apply only to the particle size and was never attained in these tests, Fig. 2(b) are duplicated with the 58
fracture thickness used. However, the For every combination of flow rate cp oil. This picture demonstrates that
general relationship, of the areas to and sand concentration tested with the increases in fluid viscosity have essen-
each other shouId apply to a large 7 cp oil, some form of deposit flow tially the same effect on the trarisport


ml 3 ,8 .8,0 68
ibi.dl *IG*$ :.,, .,., ,;> :. . ~..,..
....? - .:.- ,;:-.,.

(b= 1A IN., 20.40 MESH BEADS). CONCENTRATION. (w.= 7 CP, Q= I GAL/MIN, b =- ~ IN., 20.40 BIESHBEADS). ,
NCIVEMBER, 1963 .,. I&l
,.. .
.1 ,.
+. . . >.J; .... ---- -i- .ZA.
.. , ---- -. :.-
, ,. ., ,,
. .
.. .

mechanism as increases in fluid ply properly the results to large hori- paper once the sand front had passed
velocity. zontal fractures. the particular gimge in question. The
In Fig. 4(b)i 20-40 mesh Ottawa A plot of pressure readings vs time pressure curve for a given gauge was
sand was used, Its mode of flow dif- was also a straight line on coordinate a horizontal line (parallel to the time
fered from that obtained with the I
. round beads in that less wave ftction
was associated with the transport of
sand to the leading edge of the front.
Instead, flow channels, developed {0) Q= IM.sPm
within the pack. The bulk of the sand ,. ,, ., ,
was carried in these channels with
very little being transported above
the deposit. The characier of the
. channels is easily distinguished in Fig.
4(c). This picture was obtained by
overtlushing the sand pack with cledr
liquid at the sanle flow rate ~used for
its emplacement.
For each run, an over flush was per-
formed at the end, of the initial sand
.,, ?. ,.
placement. This was accomplished by <
simply stopping sand injection while
maintaining the liquid flow rate,
The effects of overflushing under
these conditions can be correlated to
the mode of sand transport during ld10.8avm

the initial sand placement. In cases Fm. 37MODEL VIEWSSIiOWISG WAYKt~w~s Yr V.mocs FLCNY Rxm.
where the sand is transported in susp- 20.40 MESH BEADS).
(NO-7 ~P, C=] LI1/Gi,L, b= ~ IN.,
ension, this flow mechanism persists
during the overtlush, Thus, the model
is quickly cleared of sand.
in tests where the initial transport
was in Region II(a), the broad wave
action continued in the eariy stage of
the overflush. In the latter stages, a
thin V-shaped pack remained in the
center of the flow channel. This be-
havior is illustrated in Figs. 5(a) and
Overtlushing of tes;s originally in
Regions H(h) and II(c) resulted in the
immediate termination of the localized
waw action. Beads continued to be
transported along the surface of the
sand pack and many narrow randomly ~i, FIG.4--IMODEL VnxVs~~ VARIOUSTw COSDITIOXS;
aIigned channels were quickly devel-
oped. As flow continued, certain
channels dominated the flow and were
widened and deepened. This is ilhr-
strated in Figs. 5(c) and 5(d): [al OV.5RFLWH

Sand front position was plotted vs
elapsed time for each run. Withqut
exception, this resulted in a straight
line on coordinate paper, i.e., sand
velocity was a linear function of time.
Some slight curvature was found in
the vic~nity of time equals zero, but
this was a result of a small in~erent
delay representing the time required
for the sand to reach the fracture
The continual recurrence of the
straight line is a c[ear indication that it
is unne~ssary to lengthen the model
physically or to scalef~ length to ap- WA 5-.MoDEu VIEWS lhmi$% OvERFI.USH. J -
-2 .. .-

.,.:. . ~. , .= .,- ,- ,., ..

. .....,
.j - I


axis) until the sand front reached it. knowledge in thi; area, it was neces- tween 10 and 100 cp-ft/min. How-
A rapid increase then occurred ril- sary to correlate the data empirically. ever, this transition occurred at a rate
most immediately. In each experi- There are numerous dimensionless of approximately 2 gal/rein with the
mental run, the curves for all gauge! groupings which contain these three 58 cp oil. These conditions correspond
were parallel: variables. It was determined that sev- to a pv product of approximately
Because of the small differentials eral combinations of these could be S00, Thus, the change from the de-
involved when flowing clean oil, a @ed to correlate the data, However, posit to the suspended flow regime
series of calibration tests was under- such groups contained other variables deviates significantly from the value
taken. The value of the fracture open- that were held constant in the inves- observed in circuhw pipes. -.
ing calculated from these tests, using tigation, To use them would involve As viscosity and/or superficial buJk
Eq. 1, deviated from the nominal implications that could not be sup- velocity increases, the pressure gradi-
value of spacer thickness tiied by less ported by the data proper; Such a ents for the various concentrations ~
than 0.003 in. This not only confirmed procedure, though commosi, is not a tend t~ reach a parallel ,asymptote of
Eq. 1 but attested to the careful con- kound one. Therefore, correlation was
struction of the model, made on a dimensional basis. caiion that these lines will eventuality .,
Since the plots of both sand front It has been found that a plot of coincide with the clear fluid line. Ad- I
position and pressur~ vs time yielded P.vfi vs APIL, as shown in Fig. 6, ditional data are required to clarify .
straight lines, the singe result was yields an excellent correlation. This this. . .
obtained when plotting pressure drop combhsation of viscosity and velocity Straight-line relationships are obt-
vs sand front position. Once again appears desirable since the theoretical ained on Cartesian coordinate paper.
the pressure drops remained con;tant pressure drop for clear liquid is a Log-log paper is used because detail
until the sand front had passed, and straight-line function of this grouping. is not lost at low values of pv. Al-
then increased. The fact that pressure drop increases though the pressure gradient may in-
The straight-line sections of each with an increase, i,p either velocity or crease at lower values of yv, the data
curve were also paralleI to each other. v$scosity shows that a Reynolds num- obtained in these tests do not support
Th~ slope of these curves represents ber alone would not kk a suitable this hypothesis. Therefore, it is as- ~
the increased pressure gradient due replacement, since viscosity appears sumed that the pressure gradient at ~
to the sand. Thk quantity is desig- in the denominator of that expression, low flow rates reaches a constant
nated in this work as (dP/dL), to ob- The equaticm of the clear fluid line minimum value. These minimum val-
tain the pressure gradient of the flowy in Fig. 6 is: ues are equivalent to the ordinate
ing slurry, the pressure gradient due AP intercept of the straight lines obtained
= (1.069X 104)/LOV,,. (4)
to the liquid must be added to this L on Cartesian coordinate paper. The
quantity. The parameter in Fig. 6 is sand equations of these curves are:
,concentration in po!mds per gallon. ~ AP
PRESSURE BEHAVIOR , = a+nl (pvu) . . . (5)
Carves are drawn for %, * and 4 lb/ L
Analysis of ~he pressure behavior gal. Although the general character of The values of both a and m may he

from the standpoint of the amount of these curves is similar to those ob- evahlated graphically. An equation for
energy consumed in transporting the tained by Durand and others for solids each constant concentration curve >
sand in the fracture is relatively uninl- transport in pipes, there are distinct was obtained expressing pressure
portant. However, such data may be differences. Concentration of the solids gradient as a function of oil viscosity
used to obtain more accurate esti- does not affect pressure drop to the and bulk velocity,
mates of fracture thickness during degree reported in those investiga-
tions. These curves tend to flatten out It was found thht the value of m
treatments using the work of Perkins
#md reacl; a minimum as the value was constant and had a value of
and Kern, From their work with
of wv decreases. However, no rise in 1.35 X 10-, provided that the viscosity
brittle and plastic materials they con- of the slurry was used rather than the .
chrded that fracture thickness is a pressure occurred at low values of YV.
viscosity of the oil. There are several ,
function of the pressure drop within According to previous work in hy- correlations for. slurry viscosity avail-
the fracture. Since thefe are no data draulic conveyance, the transition be- able, but that developed by Einstein
other than tfiose presented here for tween deposit and suspended flow is simple and basically as good as ,,
the deposit flow regime, they are of should exist near the minimum head any available. It is ,
particular engineering value. loss value occurring somewhere be-
In terms of \he variables investi- p: = P. (1 I-2.5 C) . . (6)
, , 1
gated, the following equation may be

,0.,, ..,,. w
--m where C is the volumetric concentra-
. . ,,.
. . ,,,
tion of the solid p~ase in the slurry.

Concentrations of ?4, 1. and 4 lb of
=t(/L, Q,, q .. . (2)
* . .
sand/ gal of pure liquid are equiva-
L /
,, . lent to volumetric concentrations of
From an analysis of these data and
~ / O.011~, 0.04S6 and 0.1606, respec-
those av?ilabIe for the multiphase .7 tively.
flow of liquids, it seems apparent ;

that thp system behavior involves a

. In order of increasing concentra- 1

transfer of momentum between ., . .

/_. .=
. ./-+ ..oo tion, the values obtained for the con-
. . . . . . --------- #

phases. Consequently, it has bpen de- 3 stant A were 0,75, 1.1 and 1,6. Thg~e
duced that the expression of flbw rate va!ucs readily Iend themselves to $x- :1
in terms- of velocity is. desirable, or pssion iq terms of volumetric con-:
, /8, ,88., centration, The general form, used
.,, . :?-. was a constant times concentration
+,, I ,, .!/... ,

FIG. 6-PRESSLIRE BEHAVIORIN THE BASIC raised to power. It was found that I
Because of the lack of fundamental TEST SERIES. (b= 1A IN., 2050 MESHBEADS), a ==2.79 tY, Thus. the zeneral ex-
,, NO VEMil ER, 1963 . 1243
. ,-

., ..-s , ... .:, x., : ... .,. ~, . .. .

:. I
f, ., ,,
,, ,

me~sion for the Pressure gradient un- turing fluid leak-off to the formation, sidered the base line m this collapsing
~er these test c&ditions is may be used to estimate the portion tech~ique.
AP of the created fracture area contain- It was found that the value of x
= 2,79 ~+(1.35X 104)JL.VII ing propping agent. Secondly, the rate was essentially constant for each spe-
of advance of the sand in the frac- cific oil. The small random variations
. . . . . . . (7) obtained were not a function of flow
ture, for a given flow rate and sand
This empirical equation is only concentration, fixes the amount of rate or concentration, The average
valid for the specific conditions of sand distributed in the fracture. The values of x calculated for the 7} 58
this test series. A limitation is readily areal extent of the sand pack and its and 488 cp oils yere 0.61, 0,45 and
seen when considering clear fluid thickness are imp~rtant quantities in ~0,33, respectively, The significant fea-
flow. When C=O and K.= P., the ex- fracture d~ign procedures. ture of these calcidations was that a
pression obtained for the pressure gra- k in the case of pressure behavior~ plot of v, vs vA7 on log-log paper
dient. is simply the sand velocity data were correlated (Fig. 8) resulted i-..ja single straight .
AP line rather than individual lines for
= (1.35X lo) Vp. against dimensional parameters rather
each oil. The slope of the line best
L than dimensionless groupings. Thus,
matching the points is 1.35. This sin-
for the basic test series, the following
The constant (1.35 X 10~ does not cor- gle-line correlation indicates that solid
general expression may be writterx
respond to the valve calculrtted using concentration and. fluid viscosity are
~q. 1. At extended values of the YV v, = f(v,,, c, J&,) , . . . (8) interrelated. The ex~~ent x may be
product, the predicted pressure gra- The initial phase of correlating the expressed as a function of ~.. The
dients should be fairly accurate. How- data consisted of plotting v. vs the expression obtained is x= 0.791P.-,
ever, pressure drops calculated at val- superficial bulk velocity on log-log and
ues lower than those tested may in- ~8c 0.705V**1.4$C1.U7P
.Q,~u. , (9)
paper. As expected, there was a high
troduce appreciable error. degree of scatter among the points; Due to the incorporation of additional
The pressure increase due to the however, for a given concentration data, this equation differs slightly from
presence of the sand divided by the and a given oil, a straight-line rela- the relationship originally reported.
clear fluid presstwe drop (dP/dL),/ tionship was definitely indicated. There is an alternative in deriving ~
(dP/dL), is plotted against the pv These lines were generally parallel an expression for x. Under these test
product in Fig. 7. The ordinate is and had slopes from 1.3 to 1.4, Thus, condhions a correlation can be ob-
equivalent to the term ~ used by Dur- at comtant oil viscosities and sand tained by using v,, the terminal veloc-
and in his correlations. concentrations, v, =A.v. where .4. ity of, the 20-40 mesh glass beads,
In Fig. ~7 a straight-line relatism- is constant and d is approximately rather than oil viscosity, This is pos-
sbip is obtained at low values of PV. 1.36. sible since the rates of fall in the in-
At high vahles each curve approaches The most reliable data were ob- termediate and heavy oils are gov-
a constant value of ~. In order of tained at glass bead concentrations of erned by Stokes law, while terminal
increasing concentration; these values 1 lb/gal, since more tests were made velocity in the fight oil may be Rea-
are 0.29, 0.4 and O.. J, Thk charac- at this concentration. Also, the experi- sonably approximated by Stokes law.
teristic arises from the fact that, at mental error was lower because the However, based on ,these data there is ,
high flow rates the pressure gradient test equipment was designed to handle no advantage to be ~ained by using v,.
curves approach a parallel asymptote mode%ate sand concentrations. There. are many possible WbYSto
of the clear fluid line. This feature of In order to incorporate sand con- correlatd these data. Several attempts
slurry flow with coarse sands was ob- centration into the equation it was as- were made to obtain a realistic repre-
served by Durand but ignored in his sumed that the form C raised to an sentation of the experimental result&
correlation. This discrepancy in Dur- exponential power x was applicable. In the initial correlation the following
ands correlation is probably due to The values of x would not necessarily expression was obtained:
the number of variables investigated be constant, but could be a function , V, = 0.235vu@~-~XM
. -. (10)
and the wide range of data corre- of one or more variables. In this cor- However, the per cent deviation of ,
lated. Data points were widely scat- relation scheme, each oil was consid- experimental to predicted values of v.
tered in his work. ered separately. ,For each individual is substantially increased. The average
data point, the value of x was calcu- deviation for this linear equation is
lated such that (v,C9, = (VRC-), at approximately 15 per cent, contrasted
equal values of v.. Thus, the line at ,m I :., /,
The nmst significant quantity ob- 1 lb/gal sand concentration was con- WtiLCn=rmvam /
a . t ,,/w!
e . t SB,w

tained from the experimental data is
the rate of advance of the sand in the
. > , !,h,, ,,
fracture. In the deposit flow regime,
this quantity is equivalent to the rate . --
of adyance of the sand pack formed
on the bottom of the fracture. In the
.[ 4 :g
tests where heterogeneous suspended *
flow occurred, v. denotes the rate of
the advance; of the leading solid par- >,0-
ticles in the shrrry. , ./
\ i -
The rate of sand advance is import- .
ant from. two standpoints. Fhst, the . .. ... :
! ratio of v, to the bulk velocity v~
yields an &tllciency factor for the
sand transport mechanism. T& fac- FIc, 7:iHE J3FFEcToF SOLIDS oN FIG, g.-COIHIF,LATION OS,DATA ON RATE or .
-, tor, coupled
,. with knowledge of frac- PRESSURE.BEHAVIOR. SAND ADVANCE.

. ./
. .. ,, .. :!. . . .. . . ...=.
, - -.. ., ,.:- .-. ..- -

r! ,,
-,6, ~.

/ ,,

.~ /

to 7 per cent for Eq. 9. In other cor- the test range. As a matter of physical Aa injection rate of 8 lb/rein is equiv-. ,
relation attempts, satisfactory fits were practicality the maximum efficiency alent to a bulk flow rate of 0.606
not obtained. cannot exceed 100 per cent. There- gal/rein. The volumetric concentra-
fore, I&f. 11 has as its effective upper tion of the solid phase under this I
SAND PLACEMENT EFFICIENCY condition is 0.632, The three ciwves
limit a ;alue of;;= 1. The value of in Fig. 11 originate at this common
I To evaluate sand transport efficien- point. When small amounts of liquid
cy in these tests, the following expres- C* must be between O and 1. The are added to the slurries, the transport
sion is obtained from Eq. 9: limiting values of v. are therefore efficiencies drop rapidly. However, as

.,.,,:1 zero and the value of v~~=
that yields more liquid is added and the flow
~ = 0.705 V,P;C (11)
Vn a value of ~ =1. Consequently, any rate increases, the rate of decline of
Figs. 9, 10 and ! 1 demonstrate the
~ becomes small. In this nnrtion of
effect of sand concentration, oil vi;-
cosity, and flow rate on the value of value of ~ over 1 generated from
the curves, an increase in flow rate
. The points shown are experi-
mental while the curves were con-
this correlation may be considered to
represent ideal sand placement condi-
will cause essentially a proportionate
increase in the rate of sand advance.

structed using Eq, 11. In Fig. 9, this
efficiency ratio is p!ottsd against sand
concentration at various flow rates for
7 cp oil. This figure shows that con-
Fig; 10 shows that the sand place-
ment efficiency is not directly propor-
tional to the ratio of oil viscosities,
but that high sand placement efficien-
Sand distribution within a fracture
is important in designing Iiydraulic
centration has a marked effect on the cies may be obtained with high-vis- fracturing treatments. This quantity,
cosity oils, This means that the use of and data on irnbedment and crushing
ratio. Assuming a radial flow pat- gels can be effective in placing sand, of the propping agent, may be used
Vu to estimate the flow capacity of an
assuming that the non-Newtonian be-
tern, the superficial bulk velocities in induced fracture. The concentratkm
bavior does not greatly alter the flow
these tests would exist 17, 35 and 133 of sand within the simulated fracture
characteristics of the slurry. High sand
ft from the wellbore for a pump rate
placement efficiencies are particularly during a test run is equal to~. If
of 20 bbl/min. Fhsid loss during a
critical in the placement of partial
hydraulic fracturing treatment would
cauke these velocities to be attained monolayer. Attempts to place a par- this quantity is multiplied by 1.58,
tial monolayer sand pack at these the fraction of the fracture thickness
nearer the ,wellbore.
velocities with a 7 cp oil would result occupied by the bulk sand is obtained,
Fig. 10; demonstrates the effect of in a multilayer sand pack of limited
, For the three oils tested, both the
extent, maximum and the . minimum bead
viscosity on & at a flewrate of 4
In Fig. 11, the effect of liquid flow pack thickness occurred at the same
g~l/min. Again, sand p!acement effi- rate and oil viscosity on transport effi- flow conditions. A maximum degree
ciency is plotted against sand concen- ciency is demonstrated. These curves of packing was obtained at a flow rate
tration. High efficiencies are obtained were obtained at a constant sand in- of, 1 gaI/min and a sand concentra-
at high sand concentrations with the jection rate of 8 lb/rein. Thus, as tion of 8 lb/gal. The minimum was
more viscous oil. In fact, Eq. 11 pred- flow rate increases, sand concentration obtained at a flow rate of 8 gal/rein
icts over 100 per cent efficiency at a decreases; and more fluid is used to and M lb/gal sand. As shown in
sand concentration of 4 lb/gaL This transport the identicaI amount of sand. Table 1, the maximums ranged from
region of the curve is beyond the ,- 0.875 to 0.529 while the minimums
range of the test data. This is not un- By definition, ~ = 1 is obtained varied from 0.234 to. 0.043.
expected since the equation is empir- In these tests, a single layer of
ical a,nd-only applies rigorously within when liquid-saturated sand is pumped.
beads occupies approximately 10 per
,., I


(b=- ~ Ix., 20-40 MESH BEADSt, (b= % & 20.40 JIESH lwADS) .


. ..-. ..-: .. .. ..... -,._



cent of the fracture thickness, Values model, L, represent four times its L = length in flow ,
less than 0.1 indicate a partial mono- length in the prototype, the L/L ratio channel, ft
layer pack. The last column in the is 4. Since gravitational forces cannot P = pressure, oz/ili
table represents the thickness of the he altered, the t/t ratio is 2. If the Q. = slurry tlow rate,.
sand pack when the transport is 100 materials used in the model are iden- gal/rein
per cent efficient. These values rep- tical to those assumed to exist in the
resent a minimum possible thickness prototype, the nt/nl ratio is 64. From v = liquid velocity
and are a function only of the con- ~ these three basic relationships, scaled v,, = velocity of sluyry,
centration of sand in the introduced values for the pertinent variables can ft /rein
slurry. These minimum values indicate be determined. A list of the scaling v. = rate of advance of
that although the sand pack is thicker ratios includes: ~~p = 8, v/v = 2, solids front, ftlmin
at the highest sand concentrations, the P/P = 4, Q/Q = 32. Re = Reynolds number
transport mechanism is more eficient.
A series of runs w~ made using a t = time
, This provides an insight into the rea-
L/L ratio of 4 .yhile holding fracture m = mass
son sand concentration has a great
thickness, oil wscosity and bead size
effect on transport efficiency. The rein-~ constant. By -application of the scal- P = ]iquid viscosity
imurn possible transport efficiency = oil viscosity, cp
ing factors outlined above it was pos- w.
may be obtained by dividing the mini- sible to duplicate the total befiavior P. = slurry viscosity, cp ,
mum sand pack thickness. by one. At
of the 58 cp oil, including modes of , = individual point
8 lb/gal the transport efficiency must
flow, with the 7 cp oil. These results , = liquid
be at least 43 per cent, while at V4
are encouraging and indicate that the
lb/gal the ratio is approximately 2 a = sand
above procedure may be realistically
per cent, = prototype
applied to horizontal fractures. These
The last three rows of l~gures in this principles may prove useful in exten-
tahie demonstrate the effect of fiow sions of thh work. REFERENCES
rate on sand pack thickness when the
sand concentration of the flowing
stream is 1 lb/gal. This is a more CONCLUSIONS
typical concentration encountered in It has been found that a basic equiv-
the field. At a flow rate of 1 gal/rein alence exists between slurry flow in
with light oil the sand pack thickness horizontal fractures and in pipes from
is 66 per cent of the total fracture the standpoint of pressure behavior. . . .. . ... ...... ....
thickness, while at 8 gal/min with The data presented on rate of satid rvw Ndtemssnomi Plasta. Akad. Nauk. 1
the thick oil approximately a full advance (sand placement efficiency)
monolayer is obtained. and the role of the parameters affect-
A description- of the flow of 20-40 ing it, gives us an insight into the be- .3.Dumrd, R.: Basic Relationships of
mesh Ottawa sand is given in a pre- havior of these systems. Although the
vious section. Although the transport transport of solids in fractures is a
I mechanism was altered when the nat- complex process, a relatively simple 4. Jiuitt, j. L.: Fluid Flow in Siroukcf .1
ural sand was substituted for glass empirical approach was successfully ~actures, AIChE four. (June, 195~ ~,
~beads, the change in the quantitative used to correlate the data. The corre-
results was small. Both pressure drop Iatiozy and visual observations pre- 5. Izymova, .4. ill. and Shangin, N. N.: -
Dvizhenie Peske v Gorizuntalnoi
and rate of sand front advance_. in- sented will enable the engineer to de- Ohrw~oYavsheisya, pri Sid- ,
Treschchine, I
creased approximately 5 Per cent. sign fracture treatments better, A1- rorazryve, Nejtyanoe Khozyaistco I
This magfi~ude bf de;iation is within th&gh the number of variables inves- (April,.1958)36, No. 4.
the experimental error of the test. Al- tigated had to be necessarily limited,
though these data in$lcate that a cor- the ramifications of the work extend
respondence exists, additional confirm- beyorid the. limits investigated. 1.:
ing data are required. sound basis has been provided for fur- i.Knud&n, J. G. and Katz. D. L.: Fluid
ther work in the area. ,
During the experimental design, a
detailed study was made of the feas- The authors acknowledge the man-
ibility of scaling slurry flow. Because agement of the Continental Oil Co.
of lack of kn~wledge in tftis area, the who supported this work and permit- 9. Nikuradse, J.: Forsek. Gcbiete lage- 1
use of dimensionless groups was aban- nieurw Forschurursheft ( Sept.-Ott.
ted its publication. The assistance of
doned. Instead, the individual param- Bill Moyer and .Ralph Strode in the
eters were scaled in terms of mass, construction and operation of the test
length and time, If i{ is desired in equipment is .particuhrly appreciated.
this approach to (et length. in the .--- ,
11.SneHs.K.. E.: Correlations for Uee in I
OCCUPIED SY TRANSPORTED SOLIDS cl,d, m, A., x = empirical comtaofs Instn, Chem. Engrsj-(1955j, 33.
>..-;> .
7.cp 5:I:P. 4S:,,CP Mi;:w:m h = fracture thickness, in. 12. Wahl, H. A.: Ph.D. Dissertation, U. of ,,
(s$h [Ib;swl) OO
Is O:;<: o~ Ti?iF 0;::: C-= volumetric solids cofi. Oklaho.rna,.11963J.. I
s y .043* .,.
1 .656 .338 .204 .071 centration in slurry,
4 1 .397 .207 w, .071 ft/ff
SI .30s .160, .071
*Nof confirmed experimentally f = Fanniri$ friction factor
{ .:1
.- . ..
. . . . .. . . .. . .. ... . .. . .. . . I