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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 664; doi:10.3390/app7070664

Investigation of Depth and Injection Pressure Effects on Breakdown Pressure and Fracture Permeability of Shale Reservoirs: An Experimental Study

1
Deep Earth Energy Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Building 60, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia
2
Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Building 175, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
3
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, China
4
Petroleum Engineering Department, University of Technology Petronas, Teronoh 32610, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify the influence of reservoir depth on reservoir rock mass breakdown pressure and the influence of reservoir depth and injecting fluid pressure on the flow ability of reservoirs before and after the hydraulic fracturing process. A series of fracturing tests was conducted under a range of confining pressures (1, 3, 5 and 7 MPa) to simulate various depths. In addition, permeability tests were conducted on intact and fractured samples under 1 and 7 MPa confining pressures to determine the flow characteristic variations upon fracturing of the reservoir, depending on the reservoir depth and injecting fluid pressure. N2 permeability was tested under a series of confining pressures (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 MPa) and injection pressures (1–10 MPa). According to the results, shale reservoir flow ability for gas movement may reduce with increasing injection pressure and reservoir depth, due to the Klinkenberg phenomenon and pore structure shrinkage, respectively. The breakdown pressure of the reservoir rock linearly increases with increasing reservoir depth (confining pressure). Interestingly, 81% permeability reduction was observed in the fractured rock mass due to high (25 MPa) confinement, which shows the importance of proppants in the fracturing process. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic fracturing; siltstone; breakdown pressure; fracture permeability; shale gas; unconventional oil and gas hydraulic fracturing; siltstone; breakdown pressure; fracture permeability; shale gas; unconventional oil and gas
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wanniarachchi, W.A.M.; Gamage, R.P.; Perera, M.S.A.; Rathnaweera, T.D.; Gao, M.; Padmanabhan, E. Investigation of Depth and Injection Pressure Effects on Breakdown Pressure and Fracture Permeability of Shale Reservoirs: An Experimental Study. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 664.

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