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Energies 2016, 9(12), 1018; doi:10.3390/en9121018

Experimental Investigation of Crack Extension Patterns in Hydraulic Fracturing with Shale, Sandstone and Granite Cores

1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alireza Bahadori
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oil and Gas Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [14659 KB, uploaded 1 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing is an important method of reservoir stimulation in the exploitation of geothermal resources, and conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources. In this article, hydraulic fracturing experiments with shale, sandstone cores (from southern Sichuan Basin), and granite cores (from Inner Mongolia) were conducted to investigate the different hydraulic fracture extension patterns in these three reservoir rocks. The different reactions between reservoir lithology and pump pressure can be reflected by the pump pressure monitoring curves of hydraulic fracture experiments. An X-ray computer tomography (CT) scanner was employed to obtain the spatial distribution of hydraulic fractures in fractured shale, sandstone, and granite cores. From the microscopic and macroscopic observation of hydraulic fractures, different extension patterns of the hydraulic fracture can be analyzed. In fractured sandstone, symmetrical hydraulic fracture morphology could be formed, while some micro cracks were also induced near the injection hole. Although the macroscopic cracks in fractured granite cores are barely observed by naked eye, the results of X-ray CT scanning obviously show the morphology of hydraulic fractures. It is indicated that the typical bedding planes well developed in shale formation play an important role in the propagation of hydraulic fractures in shale cores. The results also demonstrated that heterogeneity influenced the pathway of the hydraulic fracture in granite cores. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic fracture; anisotropy; heterogeneity; crack extension; fracture distribution hydraulic fracture; anisotropy; heterogeneity; crack extension; fracture distribution
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He, J.; Lin, C.; Li, X.; Wan, X. Experimental Investigation of Crack Extension Patterns in Hydraulic Fracturing with Shale, Sandstone and Granite Cores. Energies 2016, 9, 1018.

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