Evaluation and Effect of Fracturing Fluids on Fracture Conductivity in Tight Gas Reservoirs Using Dynamic Fracture Conductivity Test
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Unconventional gas has become an important resource to help meet our future energy demands. Although plentiful, it is difficult to produce this resource, when locked in a massive sedimentary formation. Among all unconventional gas resources, tight gas sands represent a big fraction and are often characterized by very low porosity and permeability associated with their producing formations, resulting in extremely low production rate. The low flow properties and the recovery factors of these sands make necessary continuous efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency in all aspects of drilling, completion and production techniques. Many of the recent improvements have been in well completions and hydraulic fracturing. Thus, the main goal of a hydraulic fracture is to create a long, highly conductive fracture to facilitate the gas flow from the reservoir to the wellbore to obtain commercial production rates. Fracture conductivity depends on several factors, such as like the damage created by the gel during the treatment and the gel clean-up after the treatment. This research is focused on predicting more accurately the fracture conductivity, the gel damage created in fractures, and the fracture cleanup after a hydraulic fracture treatment under certain pressure and temperature conditions. Parameters that alter fracture conductivity, such as polymer concentration, breaker concentration and gas flow rate, are also examined in this study. A series of experiments, using a procedure of “dynamical fracture conductivity test”, were carried out. This procedure simulates the proppant/frac fluid slurries flow into the fractures in a low-permeability rock, as it occurs in the field, using different combinations of polymer and breaker concentrations under reservoirs conditions. The result of this study provides the basis to optimize the fracturing fluids and the polymer loading at different reservoir conditions, which may result in a clean and conductive fracture. Success in improving this process will help to decrease capital expenditures and increase the production in unconventional tight gas reservoirs.
Correa Castro, Juan (2011). Evaluation and Effect of Fracturing Fluids on Fracture Conductivity in Tight Gas Reservoirs Using Dynamic Fracture Conductivity Test. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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