The Influence of Fracturing Fluids on Fracturing Processes: A Comparison Between Water, Oil and SC-CO2

Jiehao Wang, Derek Elsworth, Yu Wu, Jishan Liu, Wancheng Zhu, Yu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional water-based fracturing treatments may not work well for many shale gas reservoirs. This is due to the fact that shale gas formations are much more sensitive to water because of the significant capillary effects and the potentially high contents of swelling clay, each of which may result in the impairment of productivity. As an alternative to water-based fluids, gaseous stimulants not only avoid this potential impairment in productivity, but also conserve water as a resource and may sequester greenhouse gases underground. However, experimental observations have shown that different fracturing fluids yield variations in the induced fracture. During the hydraulic fracturing process, fracturing fluids will penetrate into the borehole wall, and the evolution of the fracture(s) then results from the coupled phenomena of fluid flow, solid deformation and damage. To represent this, coupled models of rock damage mechanics and fluid flow for both slightly compressible fluids and CO2 are presented. We investigate the fracturing processes driven by pressurization of three kinds of fluids: water, viscous oil and supercritical CO2. Simulation results indicate that SC-CO2-based fracturing indeed has a lower breakdown pressure, as observed in experiments, and may develop fractures with greater complexity than those developed with water-based and oil-based fracturing. We explore the relation between the breakdown pressure to both the dynamic viscosity and the interfacial tension of the fracturing fluids. Modeling demonstrates an increase in the breakdown pressure with an increase both in the dynamic viscosity and in the interfacial tension, consistent with experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Fracturing (fossil fuel deposits)
Fracturing fluids
fluid
oil
Water
water
Fluids
fluid flow
Surface tension
Flow of fluids
viscosity
Productivity
Viscosity
damage mechanics
productivity
Hydraulic fracturing
Pressurization
rock mechanics
Boreholes
Greenhouse gases

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

Cite this

Wang, Jiehao ; Elsworth, Derek ; Wu, Yu ; Liu, Jishan ; Zhu, Wancheng ; Liu, Yu. / The Influence of Fracturing Fluids on Fracturing Processes : A Comparison Between Water, Oil and SC-CO2. In: Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. 2018 ; Vol. 51, No. 1. pp. 299-313.
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The Influence of Fracturing Fluids on Fracturing Processes : A Comparison Between Water, Oil and SC-CO2. / Wang, Jiehao; Elsworth, Derek; Wu, Yu; Liu, Jishan; Zhu, Wancheng; Liu, Yu.

In: Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Vol. 51, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 299-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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