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James A.

Craig
 Introduction
 Job Procedures
 Hydraulic Fracturing Materials
 In-situ Stresses
 Fracture Initiation
 Fracture Geometry
 PKN Model
 KGD Model
 Conductivity & Equivalent Skin Factor
 Hydraulic fracturing occurs when the well pressure
gets high enough to split the surrounding formation
apart.
 Unintentional fracturing leads to:
 Lost circulation
 Hydrostatic pressure loss in the well
 Blowout
 Intentional fracturing (well stimulation):
 Pumping fluid and solids (proppants)
 To increase permeability of the reservoir.
 Heavy equipment involved in hydraulic fracturing jobs
include:

 Truck-mounted pumps
 Blenders
 Fluid tanks
 Proppant tanks
 A hydraulic fracturing job is divided into 2 stages:

 Pad stage
 Slurry stage
Fracturing fluid only is injected to break down the
formation & create a pad.

Pad Stage
Fracture 1/2"
width

Open fracture Fracture tends to close


during job once the pressure has
been released
Fracturing fluid is mixed with sand/proppant in
a blender & the mixture is injected into the fracture.
Slurry Stage
Propped Fracture Acid Fracture

Proppant/sand is Acid etched in


used to keep the frac the walls keep
open the frac open
After filling the fracture with proppant, the
fracturing job is over & the pump is shut down.
 Base fluid systems

 Chemical additives

 Proppants
Slickwater Applications Linear Gel Applications
 Low Friction  Mild Friction Pressures
 Low Viscosity (<5cp)  Adjustable Viscosity
 Low Residue, less (10<x<60cp)
damaging  High Residue, more
 Low Proppant Transport damaging
capabilities
Crosslinked Applications Energized Fluid
 High Friction Applications
 High Viscosity (>100cp)  Carbon Dioxide
 Excellent Proppant  Nitrogen
Transport capabilities  Water Sensitive
 High Residue, more Formations
damaging  Depleted Under
 Expensive pressured wells
 Complex Chemical  Low Permeable Gas
Systems Formations
 pH & Temperature  High Proppant
dependent Transport capabilities

 Gelled Oil Fluids

 Acidizing Services
 Gelling Agents  Oxygen Scavengers
 Friction Reducers  Surfactants
 Crosslinker Control  Recovery Agents
 pH Adjusting Agents  Foaming Agents
 Clay Control  Acids
 Breakers  Anti-Sludge Agents
 Scale Inhibitors  Emulsifiers
 Corrosion Inhibitors  Fluid Loss Agents
 Bactericide  Resin Activator
Frac Sand (<6,000 psi) Intermediate Strentgh
 Jordan Ceramics (<10,000 psi)
 Ottawa
 Brady  Carbo Ceramics
 Norton-Alcoa
Resin-Coated Frac Sand
(<8,000 psi) High Strength Ceramics
 Santrol
 Cureable (<15,000 psi)
 Borden  Carbo Ceramics
 Precured  Sintex

17
Strength
comparison of
various types of
proppants
Ceramic Proppants Ultra Light-Weight
Proppants
 There are always 3 mutually orthogonal principal
stresses. Rock stresses within the earth also follow this
basic rule.
 The 3 stresses within the earth are:
 Vertical stress
 Pore pressure
 Horizontal stresses
 These stresses are normally compressive, anisotropy,
and non-homogeneous.
 The magnitude and direction of the principal stresses
are important because:
 They control the pressure required to create & propagate
a fracture.
 The shape & vertical extent of the fracture
 The direction of the fracture..
 The stresses trying to crush and/or embed the propping
agent during production.
 At some depth gravity has a main control on the stress
state.
 Vertical stress is a principal stress
 Vertical stress is given by the weight of overburden.

D
 v     z  gdz
0

 v   gD
 ρ = density of the material
 g = acceleration due to gravity
 D = depth in z-axis pointing vertically downward.

 Average overburden density ≈ 15 – 19.2 ppg.

 Note:   f  z
 It increases slightly with depth (≈ 1 psi/ft).
 Upper sediments have high porosity, hence low density
 At greater depth, density is high because porosity is
reduced by compaction and diagenesis.
 σv or σ1 represents vertical stress.
 Pore pressure is derived from the pore fluid trapped in
the void spaces of rocks.
 The pore fluid carries part of the total stresses applied
to the system, while the matrix carries the rest.
 Pore pressure can be normal or abnormal.

Pf ,n   f gD

 ρf = density of the fluid


 Average pore fluid density for brine ≈ 8.76 ppg.
 Normal pore pressure ranges from ≈ 0.447 – 0.465 psi/ft.
 It averages 0.0105 MPa/m.
Gullfaks field in Valhall field in
Statfjord Ekofisk
 They are to some extent also caused by gravity.
 In the ocean, horizontal stress equals vertical stress
 Ocean consists of only fluid and no shear stress (no
rigidity).
 In a formation (with a certain rigidity), horizontal
stress is different from vertical stress.
 σH or σ2 represents maximum horizontal stress.
 σh or σ3 represents minimum horizontal stress.
 σtect represents tectonic stress.

 H   h   tect
σv or σ1

σv >σH > σh

σh or σ3

σH or σ2

 Hooke’s law  h   V
1 

 h   h   Pf  v   v   Pf

 Should be used with extreme caution! Or not used at


all!!!
 v = Poisson ratio
 α = Biot’s poroelastic constant
 Pf = Pore pressure
 Breckels and van Eekelen (1982)

 D < 3,500 m:  h  0.0053D1.145  0.46  Pf  Pf ,n 

 D > 3,500 m:
 h  0.0264D  31.7  0.46  Pf  Pf ,n 

 Derived from fracture (leak-off test) data in GoM (Gulf


of Mexico) region.
 Often used in tectonically relaxed areas like the North
Sea.
 Abnormal pore pressure taken into account.
 In general, σH > σh because of plate tectonics and
structural heterogeneities.
 Plate tectonics include:
 Spreading ridge
 Subduction zone
 Transform fault
Vertical stress (ρ = 2.1 g/cm3)

Horizontal stress
(from Breckels and
van Eekelen)

Pore pressure (ρf =


1.05 g/cm3)
 Fractures develop in the direction perpendicular to the
least principal stress.
 This is the direction of least resistance.
 Smallest principal stress is horizontal stress.
 Therefore, resulting fractures will be vertical.
Vertical well

Vertical
fracture
 Conditions:
 A vertical borehole
 Poroelastic theory
 Hooke’s law of linear elasticity is obey
 Also called Fast Pressurization limit.
 Formation is assumed to be impermeable.
 Pore pressure is constant and unaffected by the well
pressure.
 Initiation/Breakdown Pressure(assume α = 1) :

Pw, frac  3 h   H  Pf  To

 To = tensile strength of the rock


 Also called Slow Pressurization (to ensure steady state
during pumping) limit.
 Formation is assumed to be permeable.
 Pore pressure near the borehole and the well pressure
are equal.
 Initiation/Breakdown Pressure(assume α = 1) :

Pw, frac 
 3 h   H 
2
 Fracture geometry include width, length and height of
the fracture.
 The information is necessary in stimulation design in
order to know what volume of fluid to pump.
 The 2 classical models are:
 PKN Model – Perkins-Kern-Nordgren
 KGD Model – Kristianovitch-Geertsma-de Klerk
 Newtonian fluid only is considered.
 2-D only is considered.
 Fracture height is constant and independent of the
fracture length.
 Appropriate when xf/hf > 1.
 Commonly used in conventional hydraulic fracture
modeling.
 Maximum width of the fracture, wm is:

 Q 1   x f 
1
4
wm  0.3  
 G 
 The rectangular shape of a cross section further from the
well has a smaller width, decreasing to zero at the
fracture length L, so assuming an elliptical shape, the
average width is:
wm  0.59wm

 Volume of fracture: V f  2  x f  h f  wm
 wm = maximum width of the fracture, in.
 Q = pumping rate, barrels/min
 μ = fluid viscosity, cp
 L = fracture half length, ft
 ν = Poisson’s ratio (dimensionless)
 G = Shear modulus, psi
E
G
2 1   

 E = Young’s modulus, psi


 Vm = volume of fracture, ft3
 Fracture height is constant and independent of the
fracture length.
 Appropriate when xf/hf < 1.
 Commonly used in open hole stress tests.
 Not interesting from a production point of view.
 Maximum width of the fracture, wm is:

1
 Q 1   x 2
 4

wm  0.29  f

 Gh f 

 The rectangular shape of a cross section further from the


well has a smaller width, decreasing to zero at the
fracture length L, so assuming an elliptical shape, the
average width is:

wm  0.79wm

 Volume of fracture: V f  2  L  H  wm
 Hydraulic fracturing does not change the permeability
of the given formation.
 It creates a permeable channel for reservoir fluids to
contact the wellbore.
 The primary purpose of hydraulic fracturing is to
increase the effective wellbore area by creating a
fracture of given geometry, whose conductivity is
greater than the formation.
 Productivity of fractured wells depends on 2 steps:
 Receiving fluids from formation.
 Transporting the received fluid to the wellbore.
 The efficiency of the first step depends on fracture
dimension (length & height)
 The efficiency of the second step depends on fracture
permeability.
k w
 Fracture conductivity is given as: FCD  f f
ke x f

 FCD of 10 – 30 is considered optimal.


Damage
ke

kf wf

xf
 kf = Fracture permeability
 ke = Formation permeability
 In hydraulic fracturing,
 xf = Fracture half-length
damage is not an issue.
 wf = Fracture width
 Sf = equivalent skin factor

 The Cinco-Ley chart is converted into a correlation as


follows:
 xf  1.65  0.328u  0.116u 2
S f  ln  
 rw  1  0.18u  0.064u 2
 0.05u 3

 Where u  ln  FCD 
 The inflow equation is given as:

kh  Pe  Pwf 
q
  re  
141.2 Bo o  ln    S f 
  rw  

 The fold of increase is given as:

 re 
ln  
Jf
  rw 
J  re 
ln    S f
 rw 

 Jf = PI of fractured well, STB/D/psi


 J = PI of non-fractured well, STB/D/psi