The Role of Acidizing in Proppant Fracturing in Carbonate Reservoirs
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Today, optimizing well stimulation techniques to obtain maximum return of investment is still a challenge. Hydraulic fracturing is a typical application to improve ultimate recovery from oil and gas reservoirs. Proppant fracturing has become one of the most widely considered alternatives for application in carbonate reservoirs. Especially in areas that have high closure stress, the non-smoothly etched surface created by acid fracturing may not remain open upon closing, resulting in decrease in fracture conductivity and unsuccessful stimulation treatment. In early years, because of the increase in the success of proppant fracturing, proppant partial monolayer has been put forward as a method that helps generate the maximum fracture conductivity from proppant fracturing treatment. However, this method was not widely successful because of proppant crushing and proppant embedment problems that result in losing conductivity. The ability to transport propping agents in available fracturing fluid was also poor and resulted in difficulties and failures to obtain proppant partial monolayer placement. For carbonate formations, acid fracturing is another effective stimulation method. Simpler operation and lower cost made the technique attractive in the field with plenty of successful experiences. The heterogeneity feature of carbonate formation brings a challenge to create sufficient conductivity. In cases of high closure formation, fracture conductivity is hard to sustain. This factor limited the applications of acid fracturing sometimes. In this study, laboratory tests were carried out using low concentrations of ultralightweight proppant to obtain partial monolayer proppant. Because of low specific gravity property of this proppant, it was claimed to help improve proppant transport inside the fracture. In this experimental study, the partial monolayer technique was examined with particular emphasis upon the impact of acid in possibly improving fracture conductivity of carbonate rocks. The technique is referred as "closed fracture acidizing". After obtaining a partial monolayer distribution on the fracture face, gelled acid was injected through the fracture face. Fracture conductivity before and after acid injection were evaluated. Experimental results showed clearly that acid injection does not enhance fracture conductivity of partial monolayer proppant fracturing. The more the volume of acid injection, the more rapidly fracture conductivity declines.
Densirimongkol, Jurairat (2009). The Role of Acidizing in Proppant Fracturing in Carbonate Reservoirs. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from