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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

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

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

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.

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

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

all!!!

v = Poisson ratio

α = Biot’s poroelastic constant

Pf = Pore pressure

Breckels and van Eekelen (1982)

D > 3,500 m:

h 0.0264D 31.7 0.46 Pf Pf ,n

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

re

ln

Jf

rw

J re

ln S f

rw

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

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