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HYDRAULIC FRACTURING 1

TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung

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LESSON OUTCOME

• At the end of this section, the students will be able to : • Understand different fracturing fluids. • Design hydraulic fracturing treatment. • Identify selection criteria for fracturing.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• Naturally occuring underground stresses resist wellbore fracturing. • The general stress condition underground can be defined in terms of the effective stresses, Ϭz, along the vertical Z axis and Ϭx and Ϭy along the horizontal X and Y axes. • In the absence of external forces, the stress at any point is due to the weight of the overburden. • Using an average density rock to be 144 lbm per cu ft, the vertical stress at any point is expressed by the equation

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

(4.1)

• Where D is the depth in feet. • Under the influence of this vertical stress, the rock tends to expand laterally but is prevented from doing so by the surrounding rock. • In the elastic zones of the earth’s crust, since no horizontal movement has occured. • According to Hooke’s law, the horizontal strain is expressed

(4.2)

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• Where E is Young’s modulus. • For rock in compression, εx is essentially zero and since the lateral stress Ϭx equals the lateral stress Ϭy,

(4.3)

• Where Ϭhis the horizontal stress in general. • Since Poisson’s ratio μ for consolidated sedimentary rocks ranges from 0.18 to 0.27, the horizontal compressive stress is between 0.22 and 0.37 psi per ft of depth. • In the absence of external forces the horizontal stress is 5 always less than the TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung vertical stress.

MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• If fluid pressure is applied within rocks and increased until parting of the rocks occurs that plane along which fracture or parting may first occur is the one perpendicular to the least principal stress (Fig 4.1). • When a well is drilled in the preexisting stress field, the rock is distorted. • An approximate calculation of this distortion has been made by assuming the rock to be elastic, the borehole smooth and cylindrical, and the borehole axis vertical.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

Fig. 4.1 Stress element and preferred plane of fracture

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• The pressure that will fracture the borehole vertically is the sum of that required in order to reduce the compressive stresses on the wall of the hole to zero plus the tensile strength of the rock, or

(4.4)

**• where pf is the internal pressure in pounds per square inch. • St is the tensile strength of the rock.
**

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• Using 0 to 500 psi as the range of tensile strenghts for competent sandstones and limestones, the pressure necessary to induce vertical fracturing should lie between.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

and

Find the same for the pressures like 220, 138, 590, 660 and 870 as the range of tensile strenghts for competent sandstones and limestones

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• Once a fracture has been started, the pressure is applied to the walls of the fracture. • According to Hubbert and Willis, the minimum down-thehole injection pressure requried to hold open and extend a fracture is slightly in excess of the original stress normal to the plane of the fracture. • Loss of fluid slightly decreases the pressure required to produce vertical fractures.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• In the case of horizontal fractures, the confining stress holding the fracture planes together is equal to the effective overburden at the depth of the fracture. • In the case of vertical fractures, the confining stress holding the planes together is some function of the effective overburden. • In the lower limiting case, horizontal fracturing can take place when

(4.5)

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

• The approximate maximum depth at which horizontal fracturing should occur, can be determined from Eqn (4.4) and (4.5) by assuming

(4.6)

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PRODUCTION INCREASE FROM FRACTURING

• Reasons for production increases from fracturing are: 1. new zones exposed, 2. reduced permeability zone is bypassed, and 3. flow pattern in reservoir changed from “radial” to “linear”.

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**New Zones Exposed
**

• In a carbonate formation where productivity depends on porosity – or • in a fractured zone where primary flow capacity is related to the fracture system – or • in a deltaic sand formation where permeability is related to regional depositional geometry, • the possibility of increasing well productivity by fracturing into a new zone may be significant. • In some situation, however, the “new zone” might be water or gas.

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**By-passed Damage
**

• Production increase from bypassing reduced permeability zone is a function of the depth of the damaged zone and the ratio of damaged to undamaged permeability. • Production increase can be estimated more effectively from pressure transient tests. • Only a short fracture is needed to bypass most damage zones, but it is very important to prop the fracture in the area near the well-bore to provide a highly conductive path through the damaged zone.

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Radial Flow pattern changed to Linear Pattern

• Production increase from changing the flow pattern results from creation of a high conductivity fracture (relative to the formation), extending a long distance from the wellbore. • For vertical fractures the productivity increase depends primarily upon the formation permeability.

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

• Productivity ratio is the ratio of the productivity index of the well after fracturing to that of the well before fracturing, Jf /J. • For the case of a horizontal fracture (fracture gradient ≥ 1.0 psi per ft), an equation for the productivity ratio can be obtained provided it is assumed that there is zero vertical permeability in the fracture zone. • It has been shown that

(4.7)

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

• where • kavg is the average permeability of the fractured formation • k is the permeability of the unfractured formation • From Fig. (1.5) that the average permeability of the fracture zone is equal to the average permeability predicted for radial flow in parallel beds.

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

Fig.1.5

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

(4.8)

Where • kfz is the average permeability of the fracture zone • kf is the permeability of the fracture • W is width of the fracture • k is the formation permeability

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

• The average permeability of the fractured formation, kavg, is equal to the average permeability predicted for series beds in radial flow:

(4.9)

**Where • re is the drainage radius of the well • rw is the wellbore radius • rf is the radius of the fracture
**

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

(4.10)

Prove this equation…….??????? Also…….in terms of radii;

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PRODUCTIVITY RATIO

• To facilitate rapid calculation of the productivity ratio of horizontal fractures, Fig (4.6) was constructed.

• Fig (4.7) shows the permeability of commonly used fracture sands.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

Fig. 4.6 Estimated productivity ratio after fracturing (horizontal fractures)

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

Fig. Estimated productivity ratio after fracturing (vertical fracture)

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

Fig. 4.7 Effect of pressure on frac-sand permeability

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Example (4.1)

• Calculate the productivity ratio for a horizontal fracture, given:

— — — — — — Fracture width = 0.1 in Net pay thickness = 50 ft Permeability of propping agent = 32500 md Horizontal permeability of formation = 0.54 md re / rw = 2000 Fracture penetration rf / re = 0.40

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Example (4.1)

• Solution • The value of kf W / k h is • The term ln (re / rw) in Eq (4.10) can be expressed as

• Then substituting in Eq (4.10),

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Example (4.1)

• In Fig (4.6), the PR is 5.0 • It is also desirable to estimate the productivity ratio for the vertical fractures (fracture gradient ≥ 0.7 psi per ft). • The Mobil Oil Company correlated productivity ratios for various fracture penetrations with the factor C = kf W / k, where W is the fracture width in feet and kf and k are the effective fracture and formation permeability in millidarcies respectively.

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**PROPPING THE FRACTURE
**

• The object of propping is to maintain desired fracture conductivity economically. • Fracture conductivity depends upon a number of interrelated factors: type, size, and uniformity of the proppant; degree of embedment, crushing, and/or deformation; and amount of proppant with the manner of placement. • Commonly used proppant types and size ranges are:

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**PROPPING THE FRACTURE
**

• Commonly used proppant types and size ranges are:

• Placement of propping agent in a fracture (either vertical or horizontal) in any pattern other than a packed condition is difficult to achieve with low viscosity fluids.

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FRACTURE AREA

• • • During the fracturing process, the fracture fluid is injected at the well head at a constant rate qi. In the fracture this injection, rate is split up into two components as shown in Fig (4.8). Part of the liquid, ql, enters the formation as a result of the differential pressure (pi - pe) between the fracture and the external boundary, and the remainder, qf, increases the fracture area, i.e., it increase the volume of the fracture.

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FRACTURE AREA

An expression for the fracture area at any time may be derived by using this basic concept and the following assumptions: 1. The fracture is of uniform width. 2. The flow of fracture fluid into the formation is linear and the direction of flow is perpendicular to the fracture face Fig (4.8). 3. The velocity function v = f(t) is the same for every point in the formation, but the zero time for any point is defined as the instant that the fracturing fluid first reaches it.

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MECHANICS OF FRACTURING

Fig. 4.8

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FRACTURE AREA

• Fracture area can be expressed as follow:

(4.11)

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Error Function of X

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FRACTURING FLUIDS

• • • Oil or water fluids are used to create, extend, and place proppant in the fracture. Two-thirds of fracture treatments use water base fluids and one-third oil base fluids. Recent innovations include gelled alcohol, LPG-CO2, or aerated foam fluids.

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FRACTURING FLUIDS

• Generally these comparative statements can be made: 1. Oil fluids are cheap and have inherent viscosity which makes them advantageous for relatively low injection rate, shallow to medium depth fracturing. 2. Gelled water fluids have special advantages due to their higher density and lower friction loss in deeper wells with high temperatures above 250oF. 3. Alcohol, LPG-CO2 and Aerated fluids have limited application due to cost, safety and/or complexity. Usefulness is primarily in gas or low permeability zones where cleanup is paramount.

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FRACTURING FLUIDS

• The constant C in Eq (4.11) is the fracturing fluid coefficient, and for any given type of flow system it depends upon the characteristics of the fracturing fluid, the reservoir fluids, and the rock. The fracturing fluid coefficient is the only term which reflects the properties of the fracturing fluid and is therefore a measure of their relative effectiveness. A low fracturing fluid coefficient means low fluid-loss properties and thus a larger fracture area for a given fluid volume and injection rate.

TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung

•

•

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FRACTURING FLUIDS

•

Fracturing fluids fall into three distinct categories: 1. Viscosity-controlled fluids 2. Reservoir-controlled fluids 3. Wall-building fluids.

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**Viscosity-controlled Fluids
**

• • The viscosity of the fracture fluid controls the amount of fluid loss to the formation. The coefficient for this type of fracturing fluid is expressed by

(4.12)

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Example (4.2)

• Calculate the fracturing fluid coefficient of an oil (Cv), given: • • • • • • • Fracture gradient = 0.7 psi per foot Depth = 4000 ft Bottom-hole pressure = 1800 psi Bottom-hole temperature = 100oF Porosity = 20 per cent Permeability perpendicular to fracture face = 10 md Fracturing fluid viscosity at 100oF = 500 cp

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Example (4.2)

• Solution • The differential pressure is

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Reservoir-controlled Fluids

•

This group includes those fracturing fluids that have low viscosity and high fluid-loss characteristics, i.e., physical properties identical or nearly identical with those of the reservoir fluid. Fracturing fluids which fall into this classification are lease crude and water, which do not contain additives to reduce fluid loss.

TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung

•

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**Reservoir-controlled Fluids
**

• The equation for the fluid-loss coefficient is

(4.13)

•

Noted that quantities μ and cf in the above equation are properties of the reservoir fluid and not of the fracturing TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung 46 fluid.

**Wall-building Fluids
**

The use of modern additives to limit fluid loss (asphaltictype materials, synthetic gums, and insoluble solids added to oil or water). These fluids build a temporary filter cake or wall on the face of the fracture as it is exposed. While a small amount of fluid leaks through to form the wall, once formed, the wall presents quite an effective barrier to further leak-off due to its low permeability.

•

• •

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**Wall-building Fluids
**

• The volume of fluid which has leaked off through the filter cake at any times is proportional to the volume of the filter cake at that time, or

(4.14) where V = volume of fluid Af= cross sectional area of filter cake L = thickness of filter cake C = proportional constant

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Wall-building Fluids

(4.15)

•

In case of spurt loss the equation is;

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Wall-building Fluids

• • •

Consider a fracture of area Af with a spurt loss of Vsp. The volume of the fracture is Af W where W is the true fracture width. If we define a quantity W' such that the product Af W' is equal to the volume of the fracture without a spurt loss, then

TUNIO, May' 2011,,, Courtesy AP Aung

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Wall-building Fluids

•

If W and W' are expressed in inches, with Af in square centimeters and Vsp in cubic centimeters, then

(4.17)

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Example (4.3)

• Calculate the fluid-loss coefficient of a wall-building fluid, Cw, given:

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Example (4.3)

• Solution

• The spurt loss is used in correcting the fracture width by Eq (4.17). If the fracture width is 0.2 in. The corrected fracture width(W’) is

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FRACTURE AREA

• Once fracturing fluid coefficient is calculated, fracture area can be determined from the basic equation

(4.11)

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FRACTURE EFFICIENCY

• If we define the efficiency of a fracture job as the volume of the fracture divided by the volume of fluid pumped, then

(4.18)

**Efficiency as a function of x alone can be written as:
**

(4.19)

**Then efficiency vs. x can be plotted as shown in Fig. (4.11)
**

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FRACTURE EFFICIENCY

Fig. 4.11 Plot of fracturing efficiency against its function “x”

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Example (4.4)

• Calculate the fracture efficiency and fracture area, given:

• Solution • The fracture time is

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Example (4.4)

• and

**• From Table (4.1), erfc (2.67) = 0.00016, so that the efficiency is; Eff = 31 per cent • Fracture Area ????
**

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