Modeling Acid Transport and Non-Uniform Etching in a Stochastic Domain in Acid Fracturing
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Success of acid fracturing depends on uneven etching along the fracture surfaces caused by heterogeneities such as variations in local mineralogy and variations in leakoff behavior. The heterogeneities tend to create channeling characteristics, which provide lasting conductivity after fracture closure, and occur on a scale that is neither used in laboratory measurements of acid fracture conductivity, which use core samples that are too small to observe such a feature, nor in typical acid fracture simulations in which the grid block size is much larger than the scale of local heterogeneities. Acid fracture conductivity depends on fracture surface etching patterns. Existing acid fracture conductivity correlations are for random asperity distributions and do not consider the contribution of channels to the conductivity. An acid fracture conductivity correlation needs the average fracture width at zero closure stress. Existing correlations calculate average fracture width using dissolved rock equivalent width without considering the effect of reservoir characteristics. The purpose of this work is to develop an intermediate-scale acid fracture model with grid size small enough and the whole dimension big enough to capture local and macro heterogeneity effects and channeling characteristics in acid fracturing. The model predicts pressure field, flow field, acid concentration profiles, and fracture surface profiles as a function of acid contact time. By extensive numerical experiments with the model, we develop correlations of fracture conductivity and average fracture width at zero closure stress as a function of statistical parameters of permeability and mineralogy distributions. With the model, we analyzed the relationships among fracture surface etching patterns, conductivities, and the distributions of permeability and mineralogy. From result analysis, we found that a fracture with channels extending from the inlet to the outlet of the fracture has a high conductivity because fluid flow in deep channels needs a very small pressure drop. Such long and highly conductive channels can be created by acids if the formation has heterogeneities in either permeability or mineralogy, or both, with high correlation length in the direction of the fracture, which is the case in laminated formations.
Acid Fracture Conductivity Correlation
Spatial Characteristics of properties
Mou, Jianye (2009). Modeling Acid Transport and Non-Uniform Etching in a Stochastic Domain in Acid Fracturing. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from