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Energies 2018, 11(3), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11030557

An Experimental Investigation of Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Considering Anisotropy and Using Freshwater and Supercritical CO2

1,2,3,* , 1,2,3,* , 1,2,3
and
1,2,3
1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Institutions of Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract

The process of hydraulic fracturing makes use of a liquid to fracture reservoir rocks for the exploitation of unconventional resources. Hence, it is vital to understand the processes that produce the fracture networks that occur during hydraulic fracturing. A shale reservoir is one of the largest unconventional resources and it displays obvious anisotropic characteristics due to its inherent sedimentary structures. The viscosity and flow ability of the fracturing fluid plays an important role in this process. We conducted a series of hydraulic fracturing tests on shale cores (from the southern Sichuan Basin) using freshwater and supercritical CO2 (SCO2) as fracturing fluids to investigate the different modes of fracture propagation. The pump pressure curves that we obtained during the fracturing experiment show how the shale responded to each of the fracturing fluids. We examined the influence of the anisotropic characteristics on the propagation of hydraulic fractures by conducting a series of hydraulic fracturing experiments on the shale cores using different bedding orientations. The bedding orientation of the shale had a profound influence on the fracture propagation when using either freshwater or a SCO2 fluid. The breakdown pressure of the shale core was affected not only by the bedding orientation but also by the fracturing fluid. A macroscopic observation of the fractures revealed different fracture geometries and propagation patterns. The results demonstrated that the anisotropic structures and the fracturing fluids could influence the path of the hydraulic fracture. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale; anisotropy; bedding orientation; fracture propagation; supercritical CO2 (SCO2) shale; anisotropy; bedding orientation; fracture propagation; supercritical CO2 (SCO2)
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He, J.; Afolagboye, L.O.; Lin, C.; Wan, X. An Experimental Investigation of Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Considering Anisotropy and Using Freshwater and Supercritical CO2. Energies 2018, 11, 557.

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