Sample records for hydraulic rock fracturing

  1. Hydraulic fracturing of rock-fill dam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Jie WANG


    Full Text Available The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing was suggested,from which mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in the core of rock-fill damwere discussed. The results indicated that factors such as angle betweencrack surface and direction of principal stress, local stress state at thecrack, and fracture toughness KIC of core soil may largely affect theinduction of hydraulic fracturing and the mode of the propagation of thecrack.The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing

  2. An XFEM Model for Hydraulic Fracturing in Partially Saturated Rocks

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    Salimzadeh Saeed


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing is a complex multi-physics phenomenon. Numerous analytical and numerical models of hydraulic fracturing processes have been proposed. Analytical solutions commonly are able to model the growth of a single hydraulic fracture into an initially intact, homogeneous rock mass. Numerical models are able to analyse complex problems such as multiple hydraulic fractures and fracturing in heterogeneous media. However, majority of available models are restricted to single-phase flow through fracture and permeable porous rock. This is not compatible with actual field conditions where the injected fluid does not have similar properties as the host fluid. In this study we present a fully coupled hydro-poroelastic model which incorporates two fluids i.e. fracturing fluid and host fluid. Flow through fracture is defined based on lubrication assumption, while flow through matrix is defined as Darcy flow. The fracture discontinuity in the mechanical model is captured using eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM while the fracture propagation criterion is defined through cohesive fracture model. The discontinuous matrix fluid velocity across fracture is modelled using leak-off loading which couples fracture flow and matrix flow. The proposed model has been discretised using standard Galerkin method, implemented in Matlab and verified against several published solutions. Multiple hydraulic fracturing simulations are performed to show the model robustness and to illustrate how problem parameters such as injection rate and rock permeability affect the hydraulic fracturing variables i.e. injection pressure, fracture aperture and fracture length. The results show the impact of partial saturation on leak-off and the fact that single-phase models may underestimate the leak-off.

  3. XFEM modeling of hydraulic fracture in porous rocks with natural fractures (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Liu, ZhanLi; Zeng, QingLei; Gao, Yue; Zhuang, Zhuo


    Hydraulic fracture (HF) in porous rocks is a complex multi-physics coupling process which involves fluid flow, diffusion and solid deformation. In this paper, the extended finite element method (XFEM) coupling with Biot theory is developed to study the HF in permeable rocks with natural fractures (NFs). In the recent XFEM based computational HF models, the fluid flow in fractures and interstitials of the porous media are mostly solved separately, which brings difficulties in dealing with complex fracture morphology. In our new model the fluid flow is solved in a unified framework by considering the fractures as a kind of special porous media and introducing Poiseuille-type flow inside them instead of Darcy-type flow. The most advantage is that it is very convenient to deal with fluid flow inside the complex fracture network, which is important in shale gas extraction. The weak formulation for the new coupled model is derived based on virtual work principle, which includes the XFEM formulation for multiple fractures and fractures intersection in porous media and finite element formulation for the unified fluid flow. Then the plane strain Kristianovic-Geertsma-de Klerk (KGD) model and the fluid flow inside the fracture network are simulated to validate the accuracy and applicability of this method. The numerical results show that large injection rate, low rock permeability and isotropic in-situ stresses tend to lead to a more uniform and productive fracture network.

  4. Hydraulic sealing due to pressure solution contact zone growth in siliciclastic rock fractures

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lang, P. S; Paluszny, A; Zimmerman, R. W


    Thermo‐hydro‐mechanical‐chemical simulations at the pore scale are conducted to study the hydraulic sealing of siliciclastic rock fractures as contact zones grow driven by pressure dissolution. The evolving fluid‐saturated three...

  5. Numerical evaluation of effective unsaturated hydraulic properties for fractured rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Zhiming [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kwicklis, Edward M [Los Alamos National Laboratory


    To represent a heterogeneous unsaturated fractured rock by its homogeneous equivalent, Monte Carlo simulations are used to obtain upscaled (effective) flow properties. In this study, we present a numerical procedure for upscaling the van Genuchten parameters of unsaturated fractured rocks by conducting Monte Carlo simulations of the unsaturated flow in a domain under gravity-dominated regime. The simulation domain can be chosen as the scale of block size in the field-scale modeling. The effective conductivity is computed from the steady-state flux at the lower boundary and plotted as a function of the averaging pressure head or saturation over the domain. The scatter plot is then fitted using van Genuchten model and three parameters, i.e., the saturated conductivity K{sub s}, the air-entry parameter {alpha}, the pore-size distribution parameter n, corresponding to this model are considered as the effective K{sub s}, effective {alpha}, and effective n, respectively.

  6. Inverse modeling of hydraulic tests in fractured crystalline rock based on a transition probability geostatistical approach (United States)

    Blessent, Daniela; Therrien, René; Lemieux, Jean-Michel


    This paper presents numerical simulations of a series of hydraulic interference tests conducted in crystalline bedrock at Olkiluoto (Finland), a potential site for the disposal of the Finnish high-level nuclear waste. The tests are in a block of crystalline bedrock of about 0.03 km3 that contains low-transmissivity fractures. Fracture density, orientation, and fracture transmissivity are estimated from Posiva Flow Log (PFL) measurements in boreholes drilled in the rock block. On the basis of those data, a geostatistical approach relying on a transitional probability and Markov chain models is used to define a conceptual model based on stochastic fractured rock facies. Four facies are defined, from sparsely fractured bedrock to highly fractured bedrock. Using this conceptual model, three-dimensional groundwater flow is then simulated to reproduce interference pumping tests in either open or packed-off boreholes. Hydraulic conductivities of the fracture facies are estimated through automatic calibration using either hydraulic heads or both hydraulic heads and PFL flow rates as targets for calibration. The latter option produces a narrower confidence interval for the calibrated hydraulic conductivities, therefore reducing the associated uncertainty and demonstrating the usefulness of the measured PFL flow rates. Furthermore, the stochastic facies conceptual model is a suitable alternative to discrete fracture network models to simulate fluid flow in fractured geological media.

  7. Three-Dimensional poroelastic effects during hydraulic fracturing in permeable rocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salimzadeh, Saeed; Paluszny, Adriana; Zimmerman, Robert W.


    -dominated, and leakoff-dominated regimes. However, for intermediate regimes, these analytical solutions cannot be used to predict the key hydraulic fracturing variables, i.e. injection pressure, fracture aperture, and length. For leakoff-dominated cases in permeable rocks, the asymptotic solutions fail to accurately...... predict the lower-bound for fracture radius and apertures, and the upper-bound for fracture pressure. This is due to the poroelastic effects in the dilated rock matrix, as well as due to the multi-dimensional flow within matrix, which in many simulation codes is idealised as being one-dimensional, normal......A fully coupled three-dimensional finite-element model for hydraulic fractures in permeable rocks is presented, and used to investigate the ranges of applicability of the classical analytical solutions that are known to be valid in limiting cases. This model simultaneously accounts for fluid flow...

  8. Finite element simulations of interactions between multiple hydraulic fractures in a poroelastic rock

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salimzadeh, Saeed; Usui, Tomoya; Paluszny, Adriana


    -dominated, and leakoff-dominated regimes. However, for intermediate regimes, these analytical solutions cannot be used to predict the key hydraulic fracturing variables, i.e. injection pressure, fracture aperture, and length. For leakoff-dominated cases in permeable rocks, the asymptotic solutions fail to accurately...... predict the lower-bound for fracture radius and apertures, and the upper-bound for fracture pressure. This is due to the poroelastic effects in the dilated rock matrix, as well as due to the multi-dimensional flow within matrix, which in many simulation codes is idealised as being one-dimensional, normal......A fully coupled three-dimensional finite-element model for hydraulic fractures in permeable rocks is presented, and used to investigate the ranges of applicability of the classical analytical solutions that are known to be valid in limiting cases. This model simultaneously accounts for fluid flow...

  9. Implementation of Linear Pipe Channel Network to Estimate Hydraulic Parameters of Fractured Rock Masses (United States)

    Han, J.; Um, J. G.; Wang, S.


    Modeling of fluid flow is important in geological, petroleum, environmental, civil and mining engineering. Fluid flow through fractured hard rock is very much dependent on the fracture network pattern in the rock mass and on the flow behavior through these fractures. This research deals with fluid flow behavior through fractures at an abandoned copper mine in southeast Korea. An injection well and three observation wells were installed at the mine site to monitor the hydraulic heads induced by injection of fresh water. A series of packer tests were performed to estimate the rock mass permeability and corresponding effective hydraulic aperture of the fractures. The three dimensional stochastic fracture network model was built and validated for the mine site. The two dimensional linear pipe network systems were constructed in directions of the observation wells using the fracture network model. A procedure of the fluid flow analysis on two dimensional discrete domain was applied to estimate the conductance, flow quantity and nodal head in the 2-D linear pipe channel network. The present results indicate that fracture geometry parameters (orientation, density and size) play an important role in the hydraulic characteristics of fractured rock masses.

  10. Interpretation of hydraulic conductivity in a fractured-rock aquifer over increasingly larger length dimensions (United States)

    Shapiro, Allen M.; Ladderud, Jeffery; Yager, Richard M.


    A comparison of the hydraulic conductivity over increasingly larger volumes of crystalline rock was conducted in the Piedmont physiographic region near Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Fluid-injection tests were conducted on intervals of boreholes isolating closely spaced fractures. Single-hole tests were conducted by pumping in open boreholes for approximately 30 min, and an interference test was conducted by pumping a single borehole over 3 days while monitoring nearby boreholes. An estimate of the hydraulic conductivity of the rock over hundreds of meters was inferred from simulating groundwater inflow into a kilometer-long section of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority tunnel in the study area, and a groundwater modeling investigation over the Rock Creek watershed provided an estimate of the hydraulic conductivity over kilometers. The majority of groundwater flow is confined to relatively few fractures at a given location. Boreholes installed to depths of approximately 50 m have one or two highly transmissive fractures; the transmissivity of the remaining fractures ranges over five orders of magnitude. Estimates of hydraulic conductivity over increasingly larger rock volumes varied by less than half an order of magnitude. While many investigations point to increasing hydraulic conductivity as a function of the measurement scale, a comparison with selected investigations shows that the effective hydraulic conductivity estimated over larger volumes of rock can either increase, decrease, or remain stable as a function of the measurement scale. Caution needs to be exhibited in characterizing effective hydraulic properties in fractured rock for the purposes of groundwater management.

  11. Effect of rock rheology on fluid leak- off during hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Yarushina, V. M.; Bercovici, D.; Oristaglio, M. L.


    In this communication, we evaluate the effect of rock rheology on fluid leak­off during hydraulic fracturing of reservoirs. Fluid leak-off in hydraulic fracturing is often nonlinear. The simple linear model developed by Carter (1957) for flow of fracturing fluid into a reservoir has three different regions in the fractured zone: a filter cake on the fracture face, formed by solid additives from the fracturing fluid; a filtrate zone affected by invasion of the fracturing fluid; and a reservoir zone with the original formation fluid. The width of each zone, as well as its permeability and pressure drop, is assumed to remain constant. Physical intuition suggests some straightforward corrections to this classical theory to take into account the pressure dependence of permeability, the compressibility or non-Newtonian rheology of fracturing fluid, and the radial (versus linear) geometry of fluid leak­off from the borehole. All of these refinements, however, still assume that the reservoir rock adjacent to the fracture face is non­deformable. Although the effect of poroelastic stress changes on leak-off is usually thought to be negligible, at the very high fluid pressures used in hydraulic fracturing, where the stresses exceed the rock strength, elastic rheology may not be the best choice. For example, calculations show that perfectly elastic rock formations do not undergo the degree of compaction typically seen in sedimentary basins. Therefore, pseudo-elastic or elastoplastic models are used to fit observed porosity profiles with depth. Starting from balance equations for mass and momentum for fluid and rock, we derive a hydraulic flow equation coupled with a porosity equation describing rock compaction. The result resembles a pressure diffusion equation with the total compressibility being a sum of fluid, rock and pore-space compressibilities. With linear elastic rheology, the bulk formation compressibility is dominated by fluid compressibility. But the possibility

  12. Mechanical and hydraulic behavior of a rock fracture under shear deformation (United States)

    Nishiyama, Satoshi; Ohnishi, Yuzo; Ito, Hisao; Yano, Takao


    With regard to crystalline rock that constitutes deep geology, attempts have been made to explore its hydraulic characteristics by focusing on the network of numerous fractures within. As the hydraulic characteristics of a rock are the accumulation of hydraulic characteristics of each fracture, it is necessary to develop the hydraulic model of a single fracture to predict the large-scale hydraulic behavior. To this end, a simultaneous permeability and shear test device is developed, and shear-flow coupling tests are conducted on specimens having fractures with varied levels of surface roughness in the constant normal stiffness conditions. The results show that the permeability characteristics in the relation between shear displacement and transmissivity change greatly at the point where the stress path reaches the Mohr-Coulomb failure curve. It is also found that there exists a range in which transmissivity is not proportional to the cube of mechanical aperture width, which seems to be because of the occurrence of channeling phenomenon at small mechanical aperture widths. This channeling flow disappears with increasing shear and is transformed into a uniform flow. We develop a simulation technique to evaluate the macroscopic permeability characteristics by the lattice gas cellular automaton method, considering the microstructure of fracture, namely the fracture surface roughness. With this technique, it is shown that the formation of the Hagen-Poiseuille flow is affected by the fracture microstructure under shear, which as a result determines the relationship between the mechanical aperture width and transmissivity.

  13. Does hydraulic-fracturing theory work in jointed rock masses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, H.D.; Keppler, H.; Dash, Z.V.


    The hypocenter locations of micro-earthquakes (acoustic emissions) generated during fracturing typically are distributed three-dimensionally suggesting that fracturing stimulates a volumetric region, rather than the planar fracture theoretically expected. The hypocenter maps generated at six operating, or potential, HDR reservoirs in the US, Europe and Japan are examined in detail and the fracture dimensions are correlated with fracture injection volumes and formation permeability. Depsite the volumetric appearance of the maps we infer that the induced fractures are mainly planar and may propagate aseismically. The induced seismicity stems from nearby joints, which are not opened significantly by fracturing, but are caused to shear-slip because of local pore pressure.

  14. Laboratory hydraulic fracturing experiments in intact and pre-fractured rock (United States)

    Zoback, M.D.; Rummel, F.; Jung, R.; Raleigh, C.B.


    Laboratory hydraulic fracturing experiments were conducted to investigate two factors which could influence the use of the hydrofrac technique for in-situ stress determinations; the possible dependence of the breakdown pressure upon the rate of borehole pressurization, and the influence of pre-existing cracks on the orientation of generated fractures. The experiments have shown that while the rate of borehole pressurization has a marked effect on breakdown pressures, the pressure at which hydraulic fractures initiate (and thus tensile strength) is independent of the rate of borehole pressurization when the effect of fluid penetration is negligible. Thus, the experiments indicate that use of breakdown pressures rather than fracture initiation pressures may lead to an erroneous estimate of tectonic stresses. A conceptual model is proposed to explain anomalously high breakdown pressures observed when fracturing with high viscosity fluids. In this model, initial fracture propagation is presumed to be stable due to large differences between the borehole pressure and that within the fracture. In samples which contained pre-existing fractures which were 'leaky' to water, we found it possible to generate hydraulic fractures oriented parallel to the direction of maximum compression if high viscosity drilling mud was used as the fracturing fluid. ?? 1977.

  15. The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing (United States)

    Hydraulic fracturing, know as fracking or hydrofracking, produces fractures in a rock formation by pumping fluids (water, proppant, and chemical additives) at high pressure down a wellbore. These fractures stimulate the flow of natural gas or oil.

  16. Numerical Study of Critical Role of Rock Heterogeneity in Hydraulic Fracture Propagation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Zhou; H. Huang; M. Deo


    Log and seismic data indicate that most shale formations have strong heterogeneity. Conventional analytical and semi-analytical fracture models are not enough to simulate the complex fracture propagation in these highly heterogeneous formation. Without considering the intrinsic heterogeneity, predicted morphology of hydraulic fracture may be biased and misleading in optimizing the completion strategy. In this paper, a fully coupling fluid flow and geomechanics hydraulic fracture simulator based on dual-lattice Discrete Element Method (DEM) is used to predict the hydraulic fracture propagation in heterogeneous reservoir. The heterogeneity of rock is simulated by assigning different material force constant and critical strain to different particles and is adjusted by conditioning to the measured data and observed geological features. Based on proposed model, the effects of heterogeneity at different scale on micromechanical behavior and induced macroscopic fractures are examined. From the numerical results, the microcrack will be more inclined to form at the grain weaker interface. The conventional simulator with homogeneous assumption is not applicable for highly heterogeneous shale formation.

  17. Characterization of Hydraulic Fractures Growth During the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory Experiment (Sweden) (United States)

    López-Comino, J. A.; Cesca, S.; Heimann, S.; Grigoli, F.; Milkereit, C.; Dahm, T.; Zang, A.


    A crucial issue to characterize hydraulic fractures is the robust, accurate and automated detection and location of acoustic emissions (AE) associated with the fracture nucleation and growth process. Waveform stacking and coherence analysis techniques are here adapted using massive datasets with very high sampling (1 MHz) from a hydraulic fracturing experiment that took place 410 m below surface in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (Sweden). We present the results obtained during the conventional, continuous water injection experiment Hydraulic Fracture 2. The resulting catalogue is composed of more than 4000 AEs. Frequency-magnitude distribution from AE magnitudes (MAE) reveals a high b value of 2.4. The magnitude of completeness is also estimated approximately MAE 1.1, and we observe an interval range of MAE between 0.77 and 2.79. The hydraulic fractures growth is then characterized by mapping the spatiotemporal evolution of AE hypocentres. The AE activity is spatially clustered in a prolate ellipsoid, resembling the main activated fracture volume ( 105 m3), where the lengths of the principal axes ( a = 10 m; b = 5 m; c = 4 m) define its size and its orientation can be estimated for a rupture plane (strike 123°, dip 60°). An asymmetric rupture process regarding to the fracturing borehole is clearly exhibited. AE events migrate upwards covering the depth interval between 404 and 414 m. After completing each injection and reinjection phase, the AE activity decreases and appears located in the same area of the initial fracture phase, suggesting a crack-closing effect.

  18. Coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical modeling of hydraulic fracturing in quasi-brittle rocks using BPM-DEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Tomac


    Full Text Available This paper presents an improved understanding of coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical (HTM hydraulic fracturing of quasi-brittle rock using the bonded particle model (BPM within the discrete element method (DEM. BPM has been recently extended by the authors to account for coupled convective–conductive heat flow and transport, and to enable full hydro-thermal fluid–solid coupled modeling. The application of the work is on enhanced geothermal systems (EGSs, and hydraulic fracturing of hot dry rock (HDR is studied in terms of the impact of temperature difference between rock and a flowing fracturing fluid. Micro-mechanical investigation of temperature and fracturing fluid effects on hydraulic fracturing damage in rocks is presented. It was found that fracture is shorter with pronounced secondary microcracking along the main fracture for the case when the convective–conductive thermal heat exchange is considered. First, the convection heat exchange during low-viscosity fluid infiltration in permeable rock around the wellbore causes significant rock cooling, where a finger-like fluid infiltration was observed. Second, fluid infiltration inhibits pressure rise during pumping and delays fracture initiation and propagation. Additionally, thermal damage occurs in the whole area around the wellbore due to rock cooling and cold fluid infiltration. The size of a damaged area around the wellbore increases with decreasing fluid dynamic viscosity. Fluid and rock compressibility ratio was found to have significant effect on the fracture propagation velocity.

  19. Back Analysis of Rock Hydraulic Fracturing by Coupling Numerical Model and Computational Intelligent Technology

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    Shaojun Li


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing is widely used to determine in situ stress of rock engineering. In this paper we propose a new method for simultaneously determining the in situ stress and elastic parameters of rock. The method utilizing the hydraulic fracturing numerical model and a computational intelligent method is proposed and verified. The hydraulic fracturing numerical model provides the samples which include borehole pressure, in situ stress, and elastic parameters. A computational intelligent method is applied in back analysis. A multioutput support vector machine is used to map the complex, nonlinear relationship between the in situ stress, elastic parameters, and borehole pressure. The artificial bee colony algorithm is applied in back analysis to find the optimal in situ stress and elastic parameters. The in situ stress is determined using the proposed method and the results are compared with those of the classic breakdown formula. The proposed method provides a good estimate of the relationship between the in situ stress and borehole pressure and predicts the maximum horizontal in situ stress with high precision while considering the influence of pore pressure without the need to estimate Biot’s coefficient and other parameters.

  20. Pore Pressure and Stress Distributions Around a Hydraulic Fracture in Heterogeneous Rock (United States)

    Gao, Qian; Ghassemi, Ahmad


    One of the most significant characteristics of unconventional petroleum bearing formations is their heterogeneity, which affects the stress distribution, hydraulic fracture propagation and also fluid flow. This study focuses on the stress and pore pressure redistributions during hydraulic stimulation in a heterogeneous poroelastic rock. Lognormal random distributions of Young's modulus and permeability are generated to simulate the heterogeneous distributions of material properties. A 3D fully coupled poroelastic model based on the finite element method is presented utilizing a displacement-pressure formulation. In order to verify the model, numerical results are compared with analytical solutions showing excellent agreements. The effects of heterogeneities on stress and pore pressure distributions around a penny-shaped fracture in poroelastic rock are then analyzed. Results indicate that the stress and pore pressure distributions are more complex in a heterogeneous reservoir than in a homogeneous one. The spatial extent of stress reorientation during hydraulic stimulations is a function of time and is continuously changing due to the diffusion of pore pressure in the heterogeneous system. In contrast to the stress distributions in homogeneous media, irregular distributions of stresses and pore pressure are observed. Due to the change of material properties, shear stresses and nonuniform deformations are generated. The induced shear stresses in heterogeneous rock cause the initial horizontal principal stresses to rotate out of horizontal planes.

  1. Flexible parallel implicit modelling of coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical processes in fractured rocks (United States)

    Cacace, Mauro; Jacquey, Antoine B.


    Theory and numerical implementation describing groundwater flow and the transport of heat and solute mass in fully saturated fractured rocks with elasto-plastic mechanical feedbacks are developed. In our formulation, fractures are considered as being of lower dimension than the hosting deformable porous rock and we consider their hydraulic and mechanical apertures as scaling parameters to ensure continuous exchange of fluid mass and energy within the fracture-solid matrix system. The coupled system of equations is implemented in a new simulator code that makes use of a Galerkin finite-element technique. The code builds on a flexible, object-oriented numerical framework (MOOSE, Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment) which provides an extensive scalable parallel and implicit coupling to solve for the multiphysics problem. The governing equations of groundwater flow, heat and mass transport, and rock deformation are solved in a weak sense (either by classical Newton-Raphson or by free Jacobian inexact Newton-Krylow schemes) on an underlying unstructured mesh. Nonlinear feedbacks among the active processes are enforced by considering evolving fluid and rock properties depending on the thermo-hydro-mechanical state of the system and the local structure, i.e. degree of connectivity, of the fracture system. A suite of applications is presented to illustrate the flexibility and capability of the new simulator to address problems of increasing complexity and occurring at different spatial (from centimetres to tens of kilometres) and temporal scales (from minutes to hundreds of years).

  2. Hydraulic sealing due to pressure solution contact zone growth in siliciclastic rock fractures (United States)

    Lang, P. S.; Paluszny, A.; Zimmerman, R. W.


    Thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical simulations at the pore scale are conducted to study the hydraulic sealing of siliciclastic rock fractures as contact zones grow driven by pressure dissolution. The evolving fluid-saturated three-dimensional pore space of the fracture results from the elastic contact between self-affine, randomly rough surfaces in response to the effective confining pressure. A diffusion-reaction equation controls pressure solution over contact zones as a function of their emergent geometry and stress variations. Results show that three coupled processes govern the evolution of the fracture's hydraulic properties: (1) the dissolution-driven convergence of the opposing fracture walls acts to compact the pore space; (2) the growth of contact zones reduces the elastic compression of the pore space; and (3) the growth of contact zones leads to flow channeling and the presence of stagnant zones in the flow field. The dominant early time compaction mechanism is the elastic compression of the fracture void space, but this eventually becomes overshadowed by the irreversible process of pressure dissolution. Growing contact zones isolate void space and cause an increasing disproportion between average and hydraulic aperture. This results in the loss of hydraulic conductivity when the mean aperture is a third of its initial value and the contact ratio approaches the characteristic value of one half. Convergence rates depend on small-wavelength roughness initially and on long-wavelength roughness in the late time. The assumption of a characteristic roughness length scale, therefore, leads to a characteristic time scale with an underestimation of dissolution rates before and an overestimation thereafter.

  3. Approach to estimating the maximum depth for glacially induced hydraulic jacking in fractured crystalline rock at Forsmark, Sweden (United States)

    Lönnqvist, M.; Hökmark, H.


    Hydraulic jacking is a significant dilation of a fracture that occurs when the pore pressure within it exceeds the sum of the fracture's normal stress and tensile strength. This phenomenon may occur during a glacial period because of changes in hydraulic and mechanical boundary conditions. Since hydraulic jacking may alter flow patterns and the transport capacity of the rock mass, its possible effects on the long-term performance of a nuclear waste repository should be considered. We develop an approach to assess glacially induced hydraulic jacking in fractured crystalline rock and establish bounding estimates of the maximum jacking depth for the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company's (SKB) repository site at Forsmark. The pore pressure is estimated using mechanically uncoupled two-dimensional poroelastic continuum models with hydraulic and mechanical conditions based on SKB's reconstruction of the Weichselian glaciation at this site (120-0 ka B.P.). For warm-based conditions, the water pressure at the ice/bed interface is set at 98% of the mechanical load, whereas for glacial conditions with extensive proglacial permafrost, the corresponding water pressure is set at a (lower) annual average value. We demonstrate that the pore pressure within the uppermost kilometer of rock is mainly governed by the water pressure at the ice/bed interface and that the mechanical impact of the ice load on the pore pressure is sufficiently small to be ignored. Given the current and estimated future stress conditions at Forsmark, hydraulic jacking is mainly of concern for subhorizontal fractures, i.e., it is sufficient to consider situations when the pore pressure exceeds the vertical stress. We conclude that hydraulic jacking at Forsmark will be confined to the uppermost 200 m of the rock mass.

  4. Mechanical and hydraulic behavior of a rock fracture under shear deformation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nishiyama, Satoshi; Ohnishi, Yuzo; Ito, Hisao; Yano, Takao


    ...-scale hydraulic behavior. To this end, a simultaneous permeability and shear test device is developed, and shear-flow coupling tests are conducted on specimens having fractures with varied levels of surface roughness...

  5. Rock Springs Site 12 hydraulic/explosive true in situ oil shale fracturing experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrish, R.L.; Boade, R.R.; Stevens, A.L.; Long, A. Jr.; Turner, T.F.


    The experiment plan involved the creation and characterization of three horizontal hydraulic fractures, followed by the insertion and simultaneous detonation of slurry explosive in the two lower fractures. Core analyses, wellbore logging, and airflow and /sup 85/Kr tracer tests were used for site characterization and assessment of the hydraulic and explosive fracturing. Tiltmeters, wellhead pressure and flow gages, and in-formation pressure, flow and crack-opening sensors were used to monitor hydrofracture creation and explosive insertion. Explosive detonation diagnostic data were taken with stress and time-of-arrival gages and surface and in-formation accelerometers. The post-fracturing assessments indicated that: (1) hydrofracture creation and explosive insertion and detonation were accomplished essentially as planned; (2) induced fractures were randomly distributed through the shale with no extensively fractured regions or dislocation of shale; and (3) enhancement of permeability was limited to enlargement of the explosive-filled fractures.

  6. Combined use of straddle packer testing and FLUTe profiling for hydraulic testing in fractured rock boreholes (United States)

    Quinn, Patryk; Cherry, John A.; Parker, Beth L.


    A combination of high resolution hydraulic tests using straddle packers and transmissivity (T) profiling using the FLUTe flexible liner method (liner profiling) in densely fractured rock boreholes is shown to be efficient for the determination of the vertical distribution of T along the entire hole. The liner T profiling method takes a few hours or less to scan the entire borehole length resulting in a T profile. Under favorable conditions this method has good reliability for identifying the highest T zones identified by distinct decreases in liner velocity when these zones are covered by the descending liner. In contrast, for one short test interval (e.g., 1-2 m) the multiple-test, straddle-packer method takes a few hours to measure T with good precision and accuracy using a combination of steady-state and transient tests (e.g., constant head step tests, slug tests, and constant rate pumping tests). Because of the time consuming aspect of this multiple-test method, it is most efficient in each borehole to conduct straddle packer testing only in priority zones selected after assessment of other borehole data collected prior to packer testing. The T profile from the liner method is instrumental in selecting high permeable zones for application of the multiple-test method using straddle packers, which in turn, refines the T estimation from the liner profile. Results from three boreholes in densely fractured sandstone demonstrate this approach showing the synergistic use of the methods with emphasis on information important for determining hydraulic apertures.

  7. Combined interpretation of radar, hydraulic, and tracer data from a fractured-rock aquifer near Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, USA (United States)

    Day-Lewis, F. D.; Lane, J.W.; Gorelick, S.M.


    An integrated interpretation of field experimental cross-hole radar, tracer, and hydraulic data demonstrates the value of combining time-lapse geophysical monitoring with conventional hydrologic measurements for improved characterization of a fractured-rock aquifer. Time-lapse difference-attenuation radar tomography was conducted during saline tracer experiments at the US Geological Survey Fractured Rock Hydrology Research Site near Mirror Lake, Grafton County, New Hampshire, USA. The presence of electrically conductive saline tracer effectively illuminates permeable fractures or pathways for geophysical imaging. The geophysical results guide the construction of three-dimensional numerical models of ground-water flow and solute transport. In an effort to explore alternative explanations for the tracer and tomographic data, a suite of conceptual models involving heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity fields and rate-limited mass transfer are considered. Calibration data include tracer concentrations, the arrival time of peak concentration at the outlet, and steady-state hydraulic head. Results from the coupled inversion procedure suggest that much of the tracer mass migrated outside the three tomographic image planes, and that solute is likely transported by two pathways through the system. This work provides basic and site-specific insights into the control of permeability heterogeneity on ground-water flow and solute transport in fractured rock. ?? Springer-Verlag 2004.

  8. Near Wellbore Hydraulic Fracture Propagation from Perforations in Tight Rocks: The Roles of Fracturing Fluid Viscosity and Injection Rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Hassan Fallahzadeh


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracture initiation and near wellbore propagation is governed by complex failure mechanisms, especially in cased perforated wellbores. Various parameters affect such mechanisms, including fracturing fluid viscosity and injection rate. In this study, three different fracturing fluids with viscosities ranging from 20 to 600 Pa.s were used to investigate the effects of varying fracturing fluid viscosities and fluid injection rates on the fracturing mechanisms. Hydraulic fracturing tests were conducted in cased perforated boreholes made in tight 150 mm synthetic cubic samples. A true tri-axial stress cell was used to simulate real far field stress conditions. In addition, dimensional analyses were performed to correspond the results of lab experiments to field-scale operations. The results indicated that by increasing the fracturing fluid viscosity and injection rate, the fracturing energy increased, and consequently, higher fracturing pressures were observed. However, when the fracturing energy was transferred to a borehole at a faster rate, the fracture initiation angle also increased. This resulted in more curved fracture planes. Accordingly, a new parameter, called fracturing power, was introduced to relate fracture geometry to fluid viscosity and injection rate. Furthermore, it was observed that the presence of casing in the wellbore impacted the stress distribution around the casing in such a way that the fracture propagation deviated from the wellbore vicinity.

  9. Geochemical simulation of fluid rock interactions to predict flowback water compostions during hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Kühn, Michael; Vieth-Hillebrand, Andrea; Wilke, Franziska D. H.


    Black shales are a heterogeneous mixture of minerals, organic matter and formation water and little is actually known about the fluid-rock interactions during hydraulic fracturing and their effects on composition of flowback and produced water. Geochemical simulations have been performed based on the analyses of "real" flowback water samples and artificial stimulation fluids from lab experiments with the aim to set up a chemical process model for shale gas reservoirs. Prediction of flowback water compositions for potential or already chosen sites requires validated and parameterized geochemical models. For the software "Geochemist's Workbench" (GWB) data bases are adapted and amended based on a literature review. Evaluation of the system has been performed in comparison with the results from laboratory experiments. Parameterization was done in regard to field data provided. Finally, reaction path models are applied for quantitative information about the mobility of compounds in specific settings. Our work leads to quantitative estimates of reservoir compounds in the flowback based on calibrations by laboratory experiments. Such information is crucial for the assessment of environmental impacts as well as to estimate human- and ecotoxicological effects of the flowback waters from a variety of natural gas shales. With a comprehensive knowledge about potential composition and mobility of flowback water, selection of water treatment techniques will become easier.

  10. The Geothermic Fatigue Hydraulic Fracturing Experiment in Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden: New Insights Into Fracture Process through In-situ AE Monitoring (United States)

    Kwiatek, G.; Plenkers, K.; Zang, A.; Stephansson, O.; Stenberg, L.


    The geothermic Fatigue Hydraulic Fracturing (FHF) in situ experiment (Nova project 54-14-1) took place in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory/Sweden in a 1.8 Ma old granitic to dioritic rock mass. The experiment aims at optimizing geothermal heat exchange in crystalline rock mass by multistage hydraulic fracturing at 10 m scale. Six fractures are driven by three different water injection schemes (continuous, cyclic, pulse pressurization) inside a 28 m long, horizontal borehole at depth level 410 m. The rock volume subject to hydraulic fracturing and monitored by three different networks with acoustic emission (AE), micro-seismicity and electromagnetic sensors is about 30 m x 30 m x 30 m in size. The 16-channel In-situ AE monitoring network by GMuG monitored the rupture generation and propagation in the frequency range 1000 Hz to 100,000 Hz corresponding to rupture dimensions from cm- to dm-scale. The in-situ AE monitoring system detected and analyzed AE activity in-situ (P- and S-wave picking, localization). The results were used to review the ongoing microfracturing activity in near real-time. The in-situ AE monitoring network successfully recorded and localized 196 seismic events for most, but not all, hydraulic fractures. All AE events detected in-situ occurred during fracturing time periods. The source parameters (fracture sizes, moment magnitudes, static stress drop) of AE events framing injection periods were calculated using the combined spectral fitting/spectra ratio techniques. The AE activity is clustered in space and clearly outline the fractures location, its orientation, and expansion as well as their temporal evolution. The outward migration of AE events away from the borehole is observed. Fractures extend up to 7 m from the injection interval in the horizontal borehole. The fractures orientation and location correlate for most fractures roughly with the results gained by image packer. Clear differences in seismic response between hydraulic fractures in

  11. Hydraulic fracturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clampitt, R.L.


    A method of fracturing a subterranean porous formation penetrated by a well bore consists of injecting down the well and into the formation, at a pressure sufficient to fracture the formation, a fracturing fluid comprising an aqueous gel. This gel is composed of water to which there has been added: a water-thickening amount of a water-dispersible polymer selected from the group consisting of polyacrylamides and polymethacrylamides; crosslinked polyacrylamides and crosslinked polyacrylamides; polyacrylic acid and polymethacrylic acid; polyacrylates; polymers of N-substituted acrylamides; copolymers of acrylamide with another ethylenically unsaturated monomer copolymerizable therewith; mixtures of the polymers; a water-soluble compound of a polyvalent metal which is capable of gelling the water when the valence of the metal is reduced to a lower valence state; and a water-soluble reducing agent. (31 claims)

  12. Introduction of water from halogen layers to lower reservoirs under high pressure and by hydraulic fracturing of rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prozoravich, G.E.; Skrynnik, Z.B.


    A petrographic study of the distribution characteristics of chemogenic cements and oil-bearing Cambrian and gas-bearing Triassic granular reservoirs of the Khassi-Messaud and Khassi R'mel fields has made it possible to establish that these cements were formed from halogenic Triassic waters which were squeezed downward under high pressure, and filtered through the rock. This process was accompanied by the natural hydraulic fracturing of rock. During periods of tectonic activation, these waters penetrated downward through fractures which intersected the layer, and brought liquid petroleum with them. This explains the presence of oil in rocks of a significantly lower water--oil layer contact in the foundation. 5 references.

  13. Blade-shaped (PKN) Hydraulic Fracture Driven By A Turbulent Fluid In An Impermeable Rock

    CERN Document Server

    Zolfaghari, Navid; Bunger, Andrew P


    High flow rate, water-driven hydraulic fractures are more common now than ever in the oil and gas industry. Although the fractures are small, the high injection rate and low viscosity of the water, lead to high Reynolds numbers and potentially turbulence in the fracture. Here we present a semi-analytical solution for a blade-shaped (PKN) geometry hydraulic fracture driven by a turbulent fluid in the limit of zero fluid leak-off to the formation. We model the turbulence in the PKN fracture using the Gaukler-Manning-Strickler parametrization, which relates the the flow rate of the water to the pressure gradient along the fracture. The key parameter in this relation is the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor for the roughness of the crack wall. Coupling this turbulence parametrization with conservation of mass allows us to write a nonlinear pde for the crack width as a function of space and time. By way of a similarity ansatz, we obtain a semi-analytical solution using an orthogonal polynomial series. Embedding the a...

  14. Critical hydraulic gradient for nonlinear flow through rock fracture networks: The roles of aperture, surface roughness, and number of intersections (United States)

    Liu, Richeng; Li, Bo; Jiang, Yujing


    Transition of fluid flow from the linear to the nonlinear regime has been confirmed in single rock fractures when the Reynolds number (Re) exceeds some critical values, yet the criterion for such a transition in discrete fracture networks (DFNs) has received little attention. This study conducted flow tests on crossed fracture models with a single intersection and performed numerical simulations on fluid flow through DFNs of various geometric characteristics. The roles of aperture, surface roughness, and number of intersections of fractures on the variation of the critical hydraulic gradient (Jc) for the onset of nonlinear flow through DFNs were systematically investigated. The results showed that the relationship between hydraulic gradient (J) and flow rate can be well quantified by Forchheimer's law; when J drops below Jc, it reduces to the widely used cubic law, by diminishing the nonlinear term. Larger apertures, rougher fracture surfaces, and a greater number of intersections in a DFN would result in the onset of nonlinear flow at a lower Jc. Mathematical expressions of Jc and the coefficients involved in Forchheimer's law were developed based on multi-variable regressions of simulation results, which can help to choose proper governing equations when solving problems associated with fluid flow in fracture networks.

  15. Mechanical interactions between proppants and rock and their effect on hydraulic fracture performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Legarth, B.A.; Raab, S.; Huenges, E. [GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (Germany)


    Proppants interact mechanically with the rock matrix. This causes damage to the fracture face and influences propped fracture performance. Therefore, proppant embedment and proppant crushing phenomena were analysed in laboratory under simulated in situ conditions. The embedment tests were performed in a conductivity cell using reassembled core halves. Embedment features in the rock matrix were optically analyzed. In a separate unit single grain strength tests were performed on a wide range of ceramic proppant types (AI203-based, coated/uncoated) and sizes (diameter 0,2-1,6 mm). The experiment showed that areas in the fracture with low proppant concentration revealed severe proppant crushing and embedment that occurred already at low effective stress. Punctual loading was identified as reason for premature proppant failure. Grain strength testing showed that compressive fracture force increases with grain diameter, is influenced by the presence of a coating and might be additionally controlled by grain surface structure. Compressive fracture strength is largely independent from size for same proppant types. A contact model introduced by Hertz was applied to retrieve the stress magnitudes at grain failure. Proppant crushing leads to generation of fines in the matrix and the proppant pack. These fines can be transported and plug pore-throats and flow channels. Dependent on completion type and expected fracture widths proppant grain size should be maximized for higher fracture conductivity. Proppant crushing and embedment processes are enforced by decreasing proppant concentration. Considering natural conditions in a fracture - rough surfaces, tortuous-twisted paths that hinder even proppant distribution - low proppant concentrations appear to be very real, maybe even the normal case in nature. Thus, high proppant concentration is the key issue to mitigate fracture impairment. (orig.)

  16. Rock specific hydraulic fracturing and matrix acidizing to enhance a geothermal system — Concepts and field results (United States)

    Zimmermann, Günter; Blöcher, Guido; Reinicke, Andreas; Brandt, Wulf


    Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) are engineered reservoirs developed to extract economic amounts of heat from low permeability and/or porosity geothermal resources. To enhance the productivity of reservoirs, a site specific concept is necessary to actively make reservoir conditions profitable using specially adjusted stimulation treatments, such as multi fracture concepts and site specific well path design. The results of previously performed stimulation treatments in the geothermal research well GtGrSk4/05 at Groß Schönebeck, Germany are presented. The reservoir is located at a 4100-4300 m depth within the Lower Permian of the NE German Basin with a bottom-hole temperature of 150 °C. The reservoir rock is classified by two lithological units from bottom to top: volcanic rocks (andesitic rocks) and siliciclastics ranging from conglomerates to fine-grained sandstones (fluvial sediments). The stimulation treatments included multiple hydraulic stimulations and an acid treatment. In order to initiate a cross-flow from the sandstone layer, the hydraulic stimulations were performed in different depth sections (two in the sandstone section and one in the underlying volcanic section). In low permeability volcanic rocks, a cyclic hydraulic fracturing treatment was performed over 6 days in conjunction with adding quartz in low concentrations to maintain a sustainable fracture performance. Flow rates of up to 150 l/s were realized, and a total of 13,170 m 3 of water was injected. A hydraulic connection to the sandstone layer was successfully achieved in this way. However, monitoring of the water level in the offsetting well EGrSk3/90, which is 475 m apart at the final depth, showed a very rapid water level increase due to the stimulation treatment. This can be explained by a connected fault zone within the volcanic rocks. Two gel-proppant treatments were performed in the slightly higher permeability sandstones to obtain long-term access to the reservoir rocks. During each

  17. Hydraulic Properties of Fractured Rock Samples at In-Situ Conditions - Insights from Lab Experiments Using X-Ray Tomography (United States)

    Nehler, Mathias; Stöckhert, Ferdinand; Duda, Mandy; Renner, Jörg; Bracke, Rolf


    The hydraulic properties of low-porosity rock formations are controlled by the geometry of open fractures, joints and faults. Aperture, surface roughness, accessible length, and thus, the volume available for fluids associated of such interfaces are strongly affected by their state of stress. Moreover, these properties may evolve with time in particular due to processes involving chemically active fluids. Understanding the physico-chemical interactions of rocks with fluids at reservoir conditions will help to predict the long-term reservoir development and to increase the efficiency of geothermal power plants. We designed an x-ray transparent flow-through cell. Confining pressure can be up to 50 MPa and pore fluid can currently be circulated through the sample with pressures of up to 25 MPa. All wetted parts are made of PEEK to avoid corrosion when using highly saline fluids. Laboratory experiments were performed to investigate hydraulic properties of fractured low-porosity samples under reservoir conditions while x-rays transmit the sample. The cell is placed inside a µCT scanner with a 225 kV multifocal x-ray tube for high resolution x-ray tomography. Samples measure 10 mm in diameter and 25 mm in length resulting in a voxel resolution of approximately 10 µm. Samples with single natural as well as artificial fractures were subjected to various confining pressures ranging from 2.5 MPa to 25 MPa. At each pressure level, effective permeability was determined from steady-state flow relying on Darcy's law. In addition, a full 3D image was recorded by the µCT scanner to gain information on the fracture aperture and geometry. Subvolumes (400x400x400 voxels) of the images were analyzed to reduce computational cost. The subvolumes were filtered in 3D with an edge preserving non-local means filter. Further quantification algorithms were implemented in Matlab. Segmentation into pore space and minerals was done automatically for all datasets by a peak finder algorithm

  18. Hydraulic fracture monitoring in hard rock at 410 m depth with an advanced fluid-injection protocol and extensive sensor array (United States)

    Zang, Arno; Stephansson, Ove; Stenberg, Leif; Plenkers, Katrin; Specht, Sebastian; Milkereit, Claus; Schill, Eva; Kwiatek, Grzegorz; Dresen, Georg; Zimmermann, Günter; Dahm, Torsten; Weber, Michael


    In this paper, an underground experiment at the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) is described. Main goal is optimizing geothermal heat exchange in crystalline rock mass at depth by multistage hydraulic fracturing with minimal impact on the environment, that is, seismic events. For this, three arrays with acoustic emission, microseismicity and electromagnetic sensors are installed mapping hydraulic fracture initiation and growth. Fractures are driven by three different water injection schemes (continuous, progressive and pulse pressurization). After a brief review of hydraulic fracture operations in crystalline rock mass at mine scale, the site geology and the stress conditions at Äspö HRL are described. Then, the continuous, single-flow rate and alternative, multiple-flow rate fracture breakdown tests in a horizontal borehole at depth level 410 m are described together with the monitoring networks and sensitivity. Monitoring results include the primary catalogue of acoustic emission hypocentres obtained from four hydraulic fractures with the in situ trigger and localizing network. The continuous versus alternative water injection schemes are discussed in terms of the fracture breakdown pressure, the fracture pattern from impression packer result and the monitoring at the arrays. An example of multistage hydraulic fracturing with several phases of opening and closing of fracture walls is evaluated using data from acoustic emissions, seismic broad-band recordings and electromagnetic signal response. Based on our limited amount of in situ tests (six) and evaluation of three tests in Ävrö granodiorite, in the multiple-flow rate test with progressively increasing target pressure, the acoustic emission activity starts at a later stage in the fracturing process compared to the conventional fracturing case with continuous water injection. In tendency, also the total number and magnitude of acoustic events are found to be smaller in the progressive treatment with

  19. Hydraulic Conductivity Modeling of Fractured Rock at Grasberg Surface Mine, Papua-Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tedy Agung Cahyadi


    Full Text Available Packer tests and slug tests were conducted at 49 points at the Grasberg surface mine, Indonesia to obtain hydraulic conductivity data. The HC-system approach, which relies on rock quality designation, lithology permeability index, depth index, and gouge content designation, was applied. Geotechnical drill holes in 441 locations, consisting of 4,850 points of information, were used to determine the K values using the equation K = 2x10-6x HC0.5571. The K values, which were within the range of 10-8 and 10-5 m/s, were distributed into five alternative 3D distributions using Ordinary Kriging (OK and Artificial Neural Network (ANN. The result of the ANN modeling showed that some of the K values, with log K varying from -10.51 m/s to -3.09 m/s, were outside the range of the observed K values. The OK modeling results of K values, with log K varying from -8.12 m/s to -5.75 m/s, were within the range of the observed K values. The ANN modeled K values were slightly more varied than the OK modeled values. The result of an alternative OK modeling was chosen to represent the existing data population of flow media because it fits well to the geological conditions.

  20. Database for hydraulically conductive fractures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tammisto, E.; Palmen, J.; Ahokas, H. (Poeyry Environment Oy, Vantaa (Finland))


    Posiva flow logging (PFL) with a 0.5 m test interval and made in 10 cm steps can be used for the determination of the depth of hydraulically conductive fractures. Together with drillhole wall images and fracture data from core logging, PFL provides possibilities to detect individual conductive fractures. In this report, the results of PFL are combined with fracture data on drillholes OL-KR1 - OL-KR40, OL-KR15B - KR20B, OL-KR22B - KR23B, OL-KR25B, OL-KR27B, OL-KR29B, OL-KR31B, OLKR33B, OL-KR37B and OL-KR39B - KR40B and pilot holes OL-PH1 and ONK-PH2 - ONK-PH7. The conductive fractures were first recognised from PFL data and digital drillhole images and then the fractures from the core logging that correspond to the ones picked from the digital drillhole images were identified. The conductive fractures were primarily recognised in the images based on the openness of fractures or a visible flow in the image. In most of the cases, no tails of flow were seen in the image. In these cases the conductive fractures were recognised in the image based on the openness of fractures and a matching depth. On the basis of the results hydraulically conductive fractures/zones could in most cases be distinguished in the drillhole wall images. An important phase in the work is the calibration of the depth of the image and flow logging with the sample length. Hydraulic conductivity is clearly higher in the upper part of the bedrock in the depth range 0-150 m below sea level than deeper in the bedrock. The frequency of hydraulically conductive fractures (T > 10-10-10-9 m2/s) in depth range 0-150 m varies between 0.06 and 0.78 fractures/metre of sample length. Deeper in the rock conductive fractures are less frequent, but often occur in groups of a few fractures. About 10% of the conductive fractures are within HZ-structures and 6% within BFZ-structures. 3% of the conductive fractures are within HZ- and BFZ-structures. (orig.)

  1. Relation between mass balance aperture and hydraulic properties from field experiments in fractured rock in Sweden (United States)

    Hjerne, Calle; Nordqvist, Rune


    Results from tracer tests are often used to infer connectivity and transport properties in bedrock. However, the amount of site-specific data from tracer tests is often very limited, while data from hydraulic tests are more abundant. It is therefore of great interest for predictive transport modeling to use hydraulic data to infer transport properties. In this study, data from cross-hole tracer tests carried out in crystalline bedrock in Sweden were compiled and analysed. The tests were performed within investigations made by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) between 1978 and 2009 at five different locations. An empirical relationship between mass balance aperture and transmissivity was found and quantified by using 74 observations. The empirical relationship deviates considerably from the cubic law aperture, as mass balance aperture is found to be at least one order of magnitude larger than cubic law aperture. Hence, usage of cubic law aperture, derived from hydraulic testing, for transport predictions is unsuitable, as the advective transport time will be considerably underestimated. Another result, from the data set studied, is that mass balance aperture appears to correlate better to apparent storativity than to transmissivity.

  2. Review of Hydraulic Fracturing for Preconditioning in Cave Mining (United States)

    He, Q.; Suorineni, F. T.; Oh, J.


    Hydraulic fracturing has been used in cave mining for preconditioning the orebody following its successful application in the oil and gas industries. In this paper, the state of the art of hydraulic fracturing as a preconditioning method in cave mining is presented. Procedures are provided on how to implement prescribed hydraulic fracturing by which effective preconditioning can be realized in any in situ stress condition. Preconditioning is effective in cave mining when an additional fracture set is introduced into the rock mass. Previous studies on cave mining hydraulic fracturing focused on field applications, hydraulic fracture growth measurement and the interaction between hydraulic fractures and natural fractures. The review in this paper reveals that the orientation of the current cave mining hydraulic fractures is dictated by and is perpendicular to the minimum in situ stress orientation. In some geotechnical conditions, these orientation-uncontrollable hydraulic fractures have limited preconditioning efficiency because they do not necessarily result in reduced fragmentation sizes and a blocky orebody through the introduction of an additional fracture set. This implies that if the minimum in situ stress orientation is vertical and favors the creation of horizontal hydraulic fractures, in a rock mass that is already dominated by horizontal joints, no additional fracture set is added to that rock mass to increase its blockiness to enable it cave. Therefore, two approaches that have the potential to create orientation-controllable hydraulic fractures in cave mining with the potential to introduce additional fracture set as desired are proposed to fill this gap. These approaches take advantage of directional hydraulic fracturing and the stress shadow effect, which can re-orientate the hydraulic fracture propagation trajectory against its theoretical predicted direction. Proppants are suggested to be introduced into the cave mining industry to enhance the

  3. Comparison of alternative representations of hydraulic-conductivity anisotropy in folded fractured-sedimentary rock: Modeling groundwater flow in the Shenandoah Valley (USA) (United States)

    Yager, R.M.; Voss, C.I.; Southworth, S.


    A numerical representation that explicitly represents the generalized three-dimensional anisotropy of folded fractured-sedimentary rocks in a groundwater model best reproduces the salient features of the flow system in the Shenandoah Valley, USA. This conclusion results from a comparison of four alternative representations of anisotropy in which the hydraulic-conductivity tensor represents the bedrock structure as (model A) anisotropic with variable strikes and dips, (model B) horizontally anisotropic with a uniform strike, (model C) horizontally anisotropic with variable strikes, and (model D) isotropic. Simulations using the US Geological Survey groundwater flow and transport model SUTRA are based on a representation of hydraulic conductivity that conforms to bedding planes in a three-dimensional structural model of the valley that duplicates the pattern of folded sedimentary rocks. In the most general representation, (model A), the directions of maximum and medium hydraulic conductivity conform to the strike and dip of bedding, respectively, while the minimum hydraulic-conductivity direction is perpendicular to bedding. Model A produced a physically realistic flow system that reflects the underlying bedrock structure, with a flow field that is significantly different from those produced by the other three models. ?? Springer-Verlag 2009.

  4. Discrete Fracture Network Characterization of Fractured Shale Reservoirs with Implications to Hydraulic Fracturing Optimization (United States)

    Jin, G.


    Shales are important petroleum source rocks and reservoir seals. Recent developments in hydraulic fracturing technology have facilitated high gas production rates from shale and have had a strong impact on the U.S. gas supply and markets. Modeling of effective permeability for fractured shale reservoirs has been challenging because the presence of a fracture network significantly alters the reservoir hydrologic properties. Due to the frequent occurrence of fracture networks, it is of vital importance to characterize fracture networks and to investigate how these networks can be used to optimize the hydraulic fracturing. We have conducted basic research on 3-D fracture permeability characterization and compartmentization analyses for fractured shale formations, which takes the advantages of the discrete fracture networks (DFN). The DFN modeling is a stochastic modeling approach using the probabilistic density functions of fractures. Three common scenarios of DFN models have been studied for fracture permeability mapping using our previously proposed techniques. In DFN models with moderately to highly concentrated fractures, there exists a representative element volume (REV) for fracture permeability characterization, which indicates that the fractured reservoirs can be treated as anisotropic homogeneous media. Hydraulic fracturing will be most effective if the orientation of the hydraulic fracture is perpendicular to the mean direction of the fractures. A DFN model with randomized fracture orientations, on the other hand, lacks an REV for fracture characterization. Therefore, a fracture permeability tensor has to be computed from each element. Modeling of fracture interconnectivity indicates that there exists no preferred direction for hydraulic fracturing to be most effective oweing to the interconnected pathways of the fracture network. 3-D fracture permeability mapping has been applied to the Devonian Chattanooga Shale in Alabama and the results suggest that an

  5. Mechanics and direction of hydraulic fracturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daneshy, A.A.


    Use of the in situ principal stresses greatly simplifies the problems of hydraulic fracturing. For one thing, it reduces the number of stresses to 3, thus simplifying the mathematics. Besides, this choice is in harmony with laboratory observations of fracture propagation perpendicular to the least principal stress. In addition to underground stresses, hydraulic stress is also influenced by the mechanical properties of the formation rock. In this discussion, it is assumed that the formation to be fractured is isotropic, homogeneous, and brittle-elastic. The initiation of hydraulic fractures is synonymous with the rupture of rock adjacent to the borehole wall. This rupture can occur only if the induced stresses exceed the strength of the formation. During fracturing treatments, fracture initiation is identified by a sudden drop in borehole fluid pressure accompanied by an increase in the injection rate. Continued injection of fluid after fracture initiation will result in its extension. The fracture will propagate in such a way that it will require the least possible amount of energy for its extension.

  6. Self-potential observations during hydraulic fracturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Jeffrey R.; Glaser, Steven D.


    The self-potential (SP) response during hydraulic fracturing of intact Sierra granite was investigated in the laboratory. Excellent correlation of pressure drop and SP suggests that the SP response is created primarily by electrokinetic coupling. For low pressures, the variation of SP with pressure drop is linear, indicating a constant coupling coefficient (Cc) of -200 mV/MPa. However for pressure drops >2 MPa, the magnitude of the Cc increases by 80% in an exponential trend. This increasing Cc is related to increasing permeability at high pore pressures caused by dilatancy of micro-cracks, and is explained by a decrease in the hydraulic tortuosity. Resistivity measurements reveal a decrease of 2% prior to hydraulic fracturing and a decrease of {approx}35% after fracturing. An asymmetric spatial SP response created by injectate diffusion into dilatant zones is observed prior to hydraulic fracturing, and in most cases this SP variation revealed the impending crack geometry seconds before failure. At rupture, injectate rushes into the new fracture area where the zeta potential is different than in the rock porosity, and an anomalous SP spike is observed. After fracturing, the spatial SP distribution reveals the direction of fracture propagation. Finally, during tensile cracking in a point load device with no water flow, a SP spike is observed that is caused by contact electrification. However, the time constant of this event is much less than that for transients observed during hydraulic fracturing, suggesting that SP created solely from material fracture does not contribute to the SP response during hydraulic fracturing.

  7. Effect of Poroelasticity on Hydraulic Fracture Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Usui, Tomoya; Salimzadeh, Saeed; Paluszny, Adriana


    This study investigates, by performing finite element-based simulations, the influence of fluid leak-off and poroelasticity on growth of multiple hydraulic fractures that initiate from a single horizontal well. In this research, poroelastic deformation of the matrix is coupled with fluid flow...... in the fractures, and fluid flow in the rock matrix, in three dimensions. Effects of the fluid leakoff and poroelasticity on the propagation of the neighboring fractures are studied by varying the matrix permeability, and the Biot coefficient. Simulation results show that the stress induced by the opening...... of the fractures, and the stress induced by the fluid leak-off, each have the effect of locally altering the magnitudes and orientations of the principal stresses, hence altering the propagation direction of the fractures. The stress induced by the opening of the fractures tends to propagate both of the fractures...

  8. Complex Fluids and Hydraulic Fracturing. (United States)

    Barbati, Alexander C; Desroches, Jean; Robisson, Agathe; McKinley, Gareth H


    Nearly 70 years old, hydraulic fracturing is a core technique for stimulating hydrocarbon production in a majority of oil and gas reservoirs. Complex fluids are implemented in nearly every step of the fracturing process, most significantly to generate and sustain fractures and transport and distribute proppant particles during and following fluid injection. An extremely wide range of complex fluids are used: naturally occurring polysaccharide and synthetic polymer solutions, aqueous physical and chemical gels, organic gels, micellar surfactant solutions, emulsions, and foams. These fluids are loaded over a wide range of concentrations with particles of varying sizes and aspect ratios and are subjected to extreme mechanical and environmental conditions. We describe the settings of hydraulic fracturing (framed by geology), fracturing mechanics and physics, and the critical role that non-Newtonian fluid dynamics and complex fluids play in the hydraulic fracturing process.

  9. Strategies for Creating Prescribed Hydraulic Fractures in Cave Mining (United States)

    He, Q.; Suorineni, F. T.; Oh, J.


    The cave mining method was traditionally applied to massive low-grade, weak orebodies at shallow depths (less than 500 m) that favour cave propagation under gravity. Currently, this method is being applied to stronger orebodies and is taking place at depths of up to 2000 m below the surface. To ensure continuous cave propagation, preconditioning of the orebody is essential in this latter caving environment to improve rock mass caveability and to decrease fragmentation sizes. Hydraulic fracturing was initiated in the oil industry and is now being used in the cave mining industry as a preconditioning method and for stalled caves reactivation. A limitation of conventional hydraulic fracturing in the cave mining industry is that the hydraulic fracture orientation is uncontrollable and is dictated by the minimum in situ stress orientation. The preconditioning effectiveness of orientation-uncontrollable hydraulic fractures is limited in some geotechnical conditions, and the concept of creating orientation-controllable hydraulic fractures, here termed prescribed hydraulic fractures, is proposed to fill this gap. In this paper, the feasibility of the proposed approaches to creating prescribed hydraulic fractures is presented based on previous studies and numerical modelling. The numerical modelling code reliability in simulating the hydraulic fracture propagation and reorientation process was validated by comparing with laboratory results in the reported literature. In addition, the sensitivity of the prescribed hydraulic fracturing to the in situ stress condition and rock mass properties is examined.

  10. Deterioration of surface roughness and hydraulic transmissivity of a rock fracture due to pressure-solution compaction (United States)

    Paluszny, A.; Lang, P. S.; Zimmerman, R. W.


    Results of three-dimensional hydro-mechanical-chemical (HMC) pore-scale simulations of fractures in siliciclastic rocks are presented. The coupled processes of pressure-solution at contacting asperities, diffusion of dissolved mass in the pore-fluid, and precipitation-dissolution at the free pore space, are modelled in pore and contact regions defined by self-affine fracture surfaces under confining pressure. The governing equations derive from the Boussinesq solution for elastic contact between rough surfaces and diffusion-reaction equations. No constitutive relationships are assumed relating dissolution/precipitation to changes in surface geometry and contact area; these changes arise as a direct result of the simulation. Results are compared against existing conceptual models derived from pressure solution experiments to assess the effect of scale dependency, and against theoretical models to assess the effect of assuming an idealized surface geometry. Results suggest that when using realistic stress distributions, local concentration of contact pressure leads to rapid compaction at early times, compared to the lower dissolution rates obtained by applying averaged pressures. The geomechanical model confirms that the increase in contact area reduces the energy available to deform the free fracture surface, thereby reducing elastic compaction, and leading to a non-linear relationship between dissolved asperity height, pore-volume, and transmissivity. The complex effect on static friction is discussed by quantifying two contrasting phenomena: the increase in contact area over which adhesive forces act, and the concurrent reduction in surface roughness that is responsible for interlocking between the surfaces.

  11. Demonstration and Validation of a Fractured Rock Passive Flux Meter (United States)


    orientation. After determining the direction of the hydraulic gradient and individual fracture orientations, measured local groundwater fluxes can be...comparisons made between FRPFM measures for each qualitative performance objective and those obtained by alternative fracture rock technologies in section 6 of...1555; Shapiro, 2008). 15 The NAWC site provided the challenges of demonstrating the FRPFM in fractured bedded mudstones under induced hydraulic

  12. Database for Hydraulically Conductive Fractures. Update 2010

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tammisto, E.; Palmen, J. (Poeyry Finland Oy, Espoo (Finland))


    Posiva flow logging (PFL) with 0.5 m test interval and made in 10 cm steps can be used for exact depth determination of hydraulically conductive fractures. Together with drillhole wall images and fracture data from core logging PFL provides possibilities to detect single conductive fractures. In this report, the results of PFL are combined to the fracture data in drillholes OL-KR49 .. OL-KR53, OL-KR50B, OL-KR52B and OLKR53B and pilot holes ONK-PH11 - ONK-PH13. The results are used mainly in development of hydroDFN- models. The conductive fractures were first recognised from the PFL data and digital drillhole images and then the fractures from the core logging corresponding to the ones picked from the digital drillhole images were identified. The conductive fractures were recognised from the images primarily based on openness of fractures or a visible flow in the image. In most of the cases of measured flow, no tails of flow were seen in the image. In these cases, the conductive fractures were recognised from the image based on openness of fractures and a matching depth. According to the results the hydraulically conductive fractures/zones can be distinguished from the drillhole wall images in most cases. An important phase in the work is to calibrate the depth of the image and the flow logging with the sample length. The hydraulic conductivity is clearly higher in the upper part of the bedrock in the depth range 0-150 m below sea level than deeper in the bedrock. The frequency of hydraulically conductive fractures detected in flow logging (T > 10 -10-10-9 m2/s) in depth range 0-150 m varies from 0.07 to 0.84 fractures/meter of sample length. Deeper in the rock the conductive fractures are less frequent, but occur often in groups of few fractures. In drillholes OL-KR49 .. OL-KR53, OL-KR50B, OL-KR52B and OL-KR53B about 8.5 % of all fractures and 4.4 % of the conductive fractures are within HZ-structures. (orig.)

  13. Method for hydraulically fracturing strata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petryashin, L.F.; Zheltoukhov, V.V.


    The proposed method for the hydraulic fracture of strata involves the input of ground magnesium and an inert substance in the bore hole, the latter being pumped under pressure into the strata. In order to improve the quality of the fracture, crystallized chloroacetic acid is used. This acid, prior to its injection into the bore hole, is mixed with the magnesium and starch. This method allows hydraulic fracturing to be conducted in a simpler, more economical, more effective manner as well as in intervals.

  14. Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing. (United States)

    Sarge, Melanie A; VanDyke, Matthew S; King, Andy J; White, Shawna R


    Hydraulic fracturing (HF) is a focal topic in discussions about domestic energy production, yet the American public is largely unfamiliar and undecided about the practice. This study sheds light on how individuals may come to understand hydraulic fracturing as this unconventional production technology becomes more prominent in the United States. For the study, a thorough search of HF photographs was performed, and a systematic evaluation of 40 images using an online experimental design involving N = 250 participants was conducted. Key indicators of hydraulic fracturing support and beliefs were identified. Participants showed diversity in their support for the practice, with 47 percent expressing low support, 22 percent high support, and 31 percent undecided. Support for HF was positively associated with beliefs that hydraulic fracturing is primarily an economic issue and negatively associated with beliefs that it is an environmental issue. Level of support was also investigated as a perceptual filter that facilitates biased issue perceptions and affective evaluations of economic benefit and environmental cost frames presented in visual content of hydraulic fracturing. Results suggested an interactive relationship between visual framing and level of support, pointing to a substantial barrier to common understanding about the issue that strategic communicators should consider.

  15. Hydraulic fracturing in granite under geothermal conditions (United States)

    Solberg, P.; Lockner, D.; Byerlee, J.D.


    The experimental hydraulic fracturing of granite under geothermal conditions produces tensile fracture at rapid fluid injection rates and shear fracture at slow injection rates and elevated differential stress levels. A sudden burst of acoustic emission activity accompanies tensile fracture formation whereas the acoustic emission rate increases exponentially prior to shear fracture. Temperature does not significantly affect the failure mechanism, and the experimental results have not demonstrated the occurrence of thermal fracturing. A critical result of these experiments is that fluid injection at intermediate rates and elevated differential stress levels increases permeability by more than an order of magnitude without producing macroscopic fractures, and low-level acoustic emission activity occurs simultaneously near the borehole and propagates outward into the specimen with time. Permeability measurements conducted at atmospheric pressure both before and after these experiments show that increased permeability is produced by permanent structural changes in the rock. Although results of this study have not demonstrated the occurrence of thermal fracturing, they suggest that fluid injection at certain rates in situ may markedly increase local permeability. This could prove critical to increasing the efficiency of heat exchange for geothermal energy extraction from hot dry rock. ?? 1980.

  16. Hydraulic fracturing system and method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciezobka, Jordan; Maity, Debotyam


    A hydraulic fracturing system and method for enhancing effective permeability of earth formations to increase hydrocarbon production, enhance operation efficiency by reducing fluid entry friction due to tortuosity and perforation, and to open perforations that are either unopened or not effective using traditional techniques, by varying a pump rate and/or a flow rate to a wellbore.

  17. Hydraulic fracturing system and method (United States)

    Ciezobka, Jordan; Salehi, Iraj


    A hydraulic fracturing system and method for enhancing effective permeability of earth formations to increase hydrocarbon production, enhance operation efficiency by reducing fluid entry friction due to tortuosity and perforation, and to open perforations that are either unopened or not effective using traditional techniques, by varying a pump rate and/or a flow rate to a wellbore.

  18. Optimisation of the Near-Wellbore Geometry of Hydraulic Fractures Propagating from Cased Perforated Completions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Ketterij, R.G.


    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique frequently used to stimulate the production of an oil or gas well by creating a fracture in the porous rock around the wellbore. The success of a hydraulic fracture treatment depends heavily on the created fracture geometry. The optimum situation arises when a

  19. Hydraulic fracturing - an attempt of DEM simulation (United States)

    Kosmala, Alicja; Foltyn, Natalia; Klejment, Piotr; Dębski, Wojciech


    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique widely used in oil, gas and unconventional reservoirs exploitation in order to enable the oil/gas to flow more easily and enhance the production. It relays on pumping into a rock a special fluid under a high pressure which creates a set of microcracks which enhance porosity of the reservoir rock. In this research, attempt of simulation of such hydrofracturing process using the Discrete Element Method approach is presented. The basic assumption of this approach is that the rock can be represented as an assembly of discrete particles cemented into a rigid sample (Potyondy 2004). An existence of voids among particles simulates then a pore system which can be filled out by fracturing fluid, numerically represented by much smaller particles. Following this microscopic point of view and its numerical representation by DEM method we present primary results of numerical analysis of hydrofracturing phenomena, using the ESyS-Particle Software. In particular, we consider what is happening in distinct vicinity of the border between rock sample and fracking particles, how cracks are creating and evolving by breaking bonds between particles, how acoustic/seismic energy is releasing and so on. D.O. Potyondy, P.A. Cundall. A bonded-particle model for rock. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 41 (2004), pp. 1329-1364.

  20. Mechanical and hydraulic properties of rocks related to induced seismicity (United States)

    Witherspoon, P.A.; Gale, J.E.


    Witherspoon, P.A. and Gale, J.E., 1977. Mechanical and hydraulic properties of rocks related to induced seismicity. Eng. Geol., 11(1): 23-55. The mechanical and hydraulic properties of fractured rocks are considered with regard to the role they play in induced seismicity. In many cases, the mechanical properties of fractures determine the stability of a rock mass. The problems of sampling and testing these rock discontinuities and interpreting their non-linear behavior are reviewed. Stick slip has been proposed as the failure mechanism in earthquake events. Because of the complex interactions that are inherent in the mechanical behavior of fractured rocks, there seems to be no simple way to combine the deformation characteristics of several sets of fractures when there are significant perturbations of existing conditions. Thus, the more important fractures must be treated as individual components in the rock mass. In considering the hydraulic properties, it has been customary to treat a fracture as a parallel-plate conduit and a number of mathematical models of fracture systems have adopted this approach. Non-steady flow in fractured systems has usually been based on a two-porosity model, which assumes the primary (intergranular) porosity contributes only to storage and the secondary (fracture) porosity contributes only to the overall conductivity. Using such a model, it has been found that the time required to achieve quasi-steady state flow in a fractured reservoir is one or two orders of magnitude greater than it is in a homogeneous system. In essentially all of this work, the assumption has generally been made that the fractures are rigid. However, it is clear from a review of the mechanical and hydraulic properties that not only are fractures easily deformed but they constitute the main flow paths in many rock masses. This means that one must consider the interaction of mechanical and hydraulic effects. A considerable amount of laboratory and field data is now

  1. Numerical Analysis on the Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaobin Zhang


    Full Text Available The clear understanding of hydraulic fracture network complexity and the optimization of fracture network configuration are important to the hydraulic fracturing treatment of shale gas reservoirs. For the prediction of hydraulic fracture network configuration, one of the problems is the accurate representation of natural fractures. In this work, a real natural fracture network is reconstructed from shale samples. Moreover, a virtual fracture system is proposed to simulate the large number of small fractures that are difficult to identify. A numerical model based on the displacement discontinuity method is developed to simulate the fluid-rock coupling system. A dimensionless stress difference that is normalized by rock strength is proposed to quantify the anisotropy of crustal stress. The hydraulic fracturing processes under different stress conditions are simulated. The most complex fracture configurations are obtained when the maximum principle stress direction is perpendicular to the principle natural fracture direction. In contrast, the worst results are obtained when these two directions are parallel to each other. Moreover, the side effects of the unfavorable geological conditions caused by crustal stress anisotropy can be partly suppressed by increasing the viscous effect of the fluid.

  2. Impact of ductility on hydraulic fracturing in shales (United States)

    MacMinn, Chris; Auton, Lucy


    Hydraulic fracturing is a method for extracting natural gas and oil from low-permeability rocks such as shale via the high-pressure injection of fluid into the bulk of the rock. The goal is to initiate and propagate fractures that will provide hydraulic access deeper into the reservoir, enabling gas or oil to be collected from a larger region of the rock. Fracture is the tensile failure of a brittle material upon reaching a threshold tensile stress, but some shales have a high clay content and may yield plastically before fracturing. Plastic deformation is the shear failure of a ductile material, during which stress relaxes through irreversible rearrangements of the particles of the material. Here, we investigate the impact of the ductility of shales on hydraulic fracturing. We first consider a simple, axisymmetric model for radially outward fluid injection from a wellbore into a ductile porous rock. We use this model to show that plastic deformation greatly reduces the maximum tensile stress, and that this maximum stress does not always occur at the wellbore. We then complement these results with laboratory experiments in an analogue system, and with numerical simulations based on the discrete element method (DEM), both of which suggest that ductile failure can indeed dramatically change the resulting deformation pattern. These results imply that hydraulic fracturing may fail in ductile rocks, or that the required injection rate for fracking may be much larger than the rate predicted from models that assume purely elastic mechanical behavior.

  3. Numerical Analysis on the Formation of Fracture Network during the Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale with Pre-Existing Fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianming He


    Full Text Available In this paper, configurations of pre-existing fractures in cubic rock blocks were investigated and reconstructed for the modeling of experimental hydraulic fracturing. The fluid-rock coupling process of hydraulic fracturing was simulated based on the displacement discontinuities method. The numerical model was validated against the related laboratory experiments. The stimulated fracture configurations under different conditions can be clearly shown using the validated numerical model. First, a dominated fracture along the maximum principle stress direction is always formed when the stress difference is large enough. Second, there are less reopened pre-existing fractures, more newly formed fractures and less shear fractures with the increase of the cohesion value of pre-existing fractures. Third, the length of the stimulated shear fracture decreases rapidly with the increase of the friction coefficient, while the length of the tensile fracture has no correlation to the fiction coefficient. Finally, the increase of the fluid injection rate is favorable to the formation of a fracture network. The unfavorable effects of the large stress difference and the large cohesion of pre-existing fractures can be partly suppressed by an increase of the injection rate in the hydraulic fracturing treatment. The results of this paper are useful for understanding fracture propagation behaviors during the hydraulic fracturing of shale reservoirs with pre-existing fractures.

  4. A Thermoelastic Hydraulic Fracture Design Tool for Geothermal Reservoir Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmad Ghassemi


    Geothermal energy is recovered by circulating water through heat exchange areas within a hot rock mass. Geothermal reservoir rock masses generally consist of igneous and metamorphic rocks that have low matrix permeability. Therefore, cracks and fractures play a significant role in extraction of geothermal energy by providing the major pathways for fluid flow and heat exchange. Thus, knowledge of conditions leading to formation of fractures and fracture networks is of paramount importance. Furthermore, in the absence of natural fractures or adequate connectivity, artificial fracture are created in the reservoir using hydraulic fracturing. At times, the practice aims to create a number of parallel fractures connecting a pair of wells. Multiple fractures are preferred because of the large size necessary when using only a single fracture. Although the basic idea is rather simple, hydraulic fracturing is a complex process involving interactions of high pressure fluid injections with a stressed hot rock mass, mechanical interaction of induced fractures with existing natural fractures, and the spatial and temporal variations of in-situ stress. As a result it is necessary to develop tools that can be used to study these interactions as an integral part of a comprehensive approach to geothermal reservoir development, particularly enhanced geothermal systems. In response to this need we have set out to develop advanced thermo-mechanical models for design of artificial fractures and rock fracture research in geothermal reservoirs. These models consider the significant hydraulic and thermo-mechanical processes and their interaction with the in-situ stress state. Wellbore failure and fracture initiation is studied using a model that fully couples poro-mechanical and thermo-mechanical effects. The fracture propagation model is based on a complex variable and regular displacement discontinuity formulations. In the complex variable approach the displacement discontinuities are

  5. Fracture opening/propagation behavior and their significance on pressure-time records during hydraulic fracturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takashi Kojima; Yasuhiko Nakagawa; Koji Matsuki; Toshiyuki Hashida


    Hydraulic fracturing with constant fluid injection rate was numerically modeled for a pair of rectangular longitudinal fractures intersecting a wellbore in an impermeable rock mass, and numerical calculations have been performed to investigate the relations among the form of pressure-time curves, fracture opening/propagation behavior and permeability of the mechanically closed fractures. The results have shown that both permeability of the fractures and fluid injection rate significantly influence the form of the pressure-time relations on the early stage of fracture opening. Furthermore it has been shown that wellbore pressure during fracture propagation is affected by the pre-existing fracture length.

  6. Quantifying Representative Hydraulic Conductivity for Three-Dimensional Fractured Formations (United States)

    Lee, I.; Ni, C.


    The fractures and pores in rock formations are the fundamental units for flow and contaminant transport simulations. Due to technical and logical limitations it is difficult in reality to account for such small units to model flow and transport in large-scale problems. The concept of continuum representations of fractured rocks is then used as an alternative to solve for flow and transport in complex fractured formations. For these types of approaches the determinations of the representative parameters such as hydraulic conductivity and dispersion coefficient play important roles in controlling the accuracy of simulation results for large-scale problems. The objective of this study is to develop a discrete fracture network (DFN) model and the associated unstructured mesh generation system to characterize the continuum hydraulic conductivity for fractured rocks on different scales. In this study a coupled three-dimensional model of water flow, thermal transport, solute transport, and geochemical kinetic/equilibrium reactions in saturated/unsaturated porous media (HYDROGEOCHEM) is employed to be the flow simulator to analyze the flow behaviors in fracture formations. The fracture network model and the corresponding continuum model are simulated for same scale problems. Based on the concept of mass conservation in flow, the correlations between statistics of fracture structure and the representative continuum parameters are quantified for a variety of fracture distribution scenarios and scales. The results of this study are expected to provide general insight into the procedures and the associated techniques for analyzing flow in complex large-scale fractured rock systems.

  7. Hydraulic fracturing with distinct element method

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pruiksma, J.P.; Bezuijen, A.


    In this report, hydraulic fracturing is investigated using the distinct element code PFC2D from Itasca. Special routines were written to be able to model hydraulic fracturing. These include adding fluid flow to PFC2D and updating the fluid flow domains when fractures appear. A brief description of

  8. Influence of pressure change during hydraulic tests on fracture aperture. (United States)

    Ji, Sung-Hoon; Koh, Yong-Kwon; Kuhlman, Kristopher L; Lee, Moo Yul; Choi, Jong Won


    In a series of field experiments, we evaluate the influence of a small water pressure change on fracture aperture during a hydraulic test. An experimental borehole is instrumented at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) Underground Research Tunnel (KURT). The target fracture for testing was found from the analyses of borehole logging and hydraulic tests. A double packer system was developed and installed in the test borehole to directly observe the aperture change due to water pressure change. Using this packer system, both aperture and flow rate are directly observed under various water pressures. Results indicate a slight change in fracture hydraulic head leads to an observable change in aperture. This suggests that aperture change should be considered when analyzing hydraulic test data from a sparsely fractured rock aquifer. © 2012, The Author(s). Groundwater © 2012, National Ground Water Association.

  9. The Criteria for the Selection of Wells for Hydraulic Fracturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.V. Salimov


    Full Text Available Various methods of selection of wells for hydraulic fracturing are analyzed. It is established that all methods can be divided into three large groups: criteria in the table form of boundary values of parameters, statistical methods of pattern recognition, methods of engineering calculation. The complication or use of additional parameters only leads to a reduction in the number of wells at which hydraulic fracturing is possible. It is shown that the use of reservoir properties of rocks, which are already used by hydraulic fracturing simulators, is not practicable as selection criteria. It is required to include in the selection criteria only those additional factors on which the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing depends directly.

  10. Demonstration of a Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox (FRGT) for Characterization and Monitoring of DNAPL Biodegradation in Fractured Rock Aquifers (United States)


    estimates of hydraulic conductivity using Schlumberger Doll vi Research (SDR) and sum of echoes (SOE) equations. NMR logs compare well with fracture ...image for slice 85-83-87 with fracture intersection depths, packers and strike/dip of formation noted, showing alternating conductive and resistive...biodegradation occurring in fractured rock whilst maintaining hydraulically and electrically isolated intervals in all seven boreholes. 3 The demonstration

  11. Hydraulic fracture experiments in GT-1 and GT-2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aamodt, R.L.


    Hydraulic fracturing experiments were conducted in granite rock, at temperatures near 100 and 150/sup 0/C, in two wells 0.785 km (2575 ft) and 1.98 km (6500 ft) deep near Los Alamos, New Mexico. No unusual difficulty was observed in fracturing crystalline rock hydraulically. The apparent surface energy (energy required to create new fracture surface by breaking the rock) was measured as 100 J/m/sup 2/. Orientation of the deeper fracture was measured as N35/sup 0/E (+-5/sup 0/). The fraction of fluid injected into the rock that could be recovered at hydrostatic surface pressure was measured. The efficiency of recovery was as high as 92 percent after the fracture impedance was lowered by ''propping'' the fracture with sand. Permeability of the rock over the face of the fracture was compatible with laboratory measurements (10/sup -7/ to 10/sup -8/ darcys). Downhole pressures required to extend the fractures were about 150 and 340 bars (2175 and 4900 psi), respectively.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianming He


    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Electrical and Magnetic Imaging of Proppants in Shallow Hydraulic Fractures (United States)

    Denison, J. L. S.; Murdoch, L. C.; LaBrecque, D. J.; Slack, W. W.


    Hydraulic fracturing is an important tool to increase the productivity of wells used for oil and gas production, water resources, and environmental remediation. Currently there are relatively few tools available to monitor the distribution of proppants within a hydraulic fracture, or the propagation of the fracture itself. We have been developing techniques for monitoring hydraulic fractures by injecting electrically conductive, dielectric, or magnetically permeable proppants. We then use the resulting contrast with the enveloping rock to image the proppants using geophysical methods. Based on coupled laboratory and numerical modeling studies, three types of proppants were selected for field evaluation. Eight hydraulic fractures were created near Clemson, SC in May of 2015 by injecting specialized proppants at a depth of 1.5 m. The injections created shallow sub-horizontal fractures extending several meters from the injection point.Each cell had a dense array of electrodes and magnetic sensors on the surface and four shallow vertical electrode arrays that were used to obtain data before and after hydraulic fracturing. Net vertical displacement and transient tilts were also measured. Cores from 130 boreholes were used to characterize the general geometries, and trenching was used to characterize the forms of two of the fractures in detail. Hydraulic fracture geometries were estimated by inverting pre- and post-injection geophysical data. Data from cores and trenching show that the hydraulic fractures were saucer-shaped with a preferred propagation direction. The geophysical inversions generated images that were remarkably similar in form, size, and location to the ground truth from direct observation. Displacement and tilt data appear promising as a constraint on fracture geometry.

  14. Evaluation of hydraulic properties in fractured rockmass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, E. Y.; Jang, G. M. [Korea Nuclear Environment Technology Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)


    Borehole packer test and fracture survey using borehole acoustic scanning method was performed in order to evaluate hydraulic characteristics of Tuff distributed in northern Yeosu area. Total of 303 fractures were detected and then orientation, aperture size of each fracture are analyzed. Only 12 % of detected fractures were identified as open fractures and others were filled with minerals such as calcite. This indicates that the hydraulic property of rockmass is influenced by fillings as well as aperture size. Mean of hydraulic conductivity of rockmass based on stochastic continuum theory was 5x 10{sup -9}m/s and it was coincident with harmonic mean. Anisotropy of hydraulic conductivity was analyzed by fracture network modeling interpretation. The result showed that horizontal and vertical components conductivity values were nearly same, therefore it might be concluded that the rockmass was hydraulically isotropic.

  15. Hydraulic fracturing near domestic groundwater wells. (United States)

    Jasechko, Scott; Perrone, Debra


    Hydraulic fracturing operations are generating considerable discussion about their potential to contaminate aquifers tapped by domestic groundwater wells. Groundwater wells located closer to hydraulically fractured wells are more likely to be exposed to contaminants derived from on-site spills and well-bore failures, should they occur. Nevertheless, the proximity of hydraulic fracturing operations to domestic groundwater wells is unknown. Here, we analyze the distance between domestic groundwater wells (public and self-supply) constructed between 2000 and 2014 and hydraulically fractured wells stimulated in 2014 in 14 states. We show that 37% of all recorded hydraulically fractured wells stimulated during 2014 exist within 2 km of at least one recently constructed (2000-2014) domestic groundwater well. Furthermore, we identify 11 counties where most ([Formula: see text]50%) recorded domestic groundwater wells exist within 2 km of one or more hydraulically fractured wells stimulated during 2014. Our findings suggest that understanding how frequently hydraulic fracturing operations impact groundwater quality is of widespread importance to drinking water safety in many areas where hydraulic fracturing is common. We also identify 236 counties where most recorded domestic groundwater wells exist within 2 km of one or more recorded oil and gas wells producing during 2014. Our analysis identifies hotspots where both conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells frequently exist near recorded domestic groundwater wells that may be targeted for further water-quality monitoring.

  16. Mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in cohesive soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-jie Wang


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing in the soil core of earth-rockfill dams is a common problem affecting the safety of the dams. Based on fracture tests, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing in cohesive soil was suggested. Using this criterion, the mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in cubic soil specimens were investigated. The results indicate that the propagation of the crack in a cubic specimen under water pressure occurs in a mixed mode I-II if the crack face is not perpendicular to any of the principal stresses, and the crack most likely to propagate is the one that is perpendicular to the minor principal stress and propagates in mode I.

  17. Hydraulic fracturing chemicals and fluids technology

    CERN Document Server

    Fink, Johannes


    When classifying fracturing fluids and their additives, it is important that production, operation, and completion engineers understand which chemical should be utilized in different well environments. A user's guide to the many chemicals and chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing operations, Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Fluids Technology provides an easy-to-use manual to create fluid formulations that will meet project-specific needs while protecting the environment and the life of the well. Fink creates a concise and comprehensive reference that enables the engineer to logically select and use the appropriate chemicals on any hydraulic fracturing job. The first book devoted entirely to hydraulic fracturing chemicals, Fink eliminates the guesswork so the engineer can select the best chemicals needed on the job while providing the best protection for the well, workers and environment. Pinpoints the specific compounds used in any given fracturing operation Provides a systematic approach to class...

  18. TOUGH-RBSN simulator for hydraulic fracture propagation within fractured media: Model validations against laboratory experiments (United States)

    Kim, Kunhwi; Rutqvist, Jonny; Nakagawa, Seiji; Birkholzer, Jens


    This paper presents coupled hydro-mechanical modeling of hydraulic fracturing processes in complex fractured media using a discrete fracture network (DFN) approach. The individual physical processes in the fracture propagation are represented by separate program modules: the TOUGH2 code for multiphase flow and mass transport based on the finite volume approach; and the rigid-body-spring network (RBSN) model for mechanical and fracture-damage behavior, which are coupled with each other. Fractures are modeled as discrete features, of which the hydrological properties are evaluated from the fracture deformation and aperture change. The verification of the TOUGH-RBSN code is performed against a 2D analytical model for single hydraulic fracture propagation. Subsequently, modeling capabilities for hydraulic fracturing are demonstrated through simulations of laboratory experiments conducted on rock-analogue (soda-lime glass) samples containing a designed network of pre-existing fractures. Sensitivity analyses are also conducted by changing the modeling parameters, such as viscosity of injected fluid, strength of pre-existing fractures, and confining stress conditions. The hydraulic fracturing characteristics attributed to the modeling parameters are investigated through comparisons of the simulation results.


    Hydraulic fracturing is a physical process that creates fractures in silty clay soil to enhance its permeability. The technology, developed by the Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory (RREL) and the University of Cincinnati, creates sand-filled horizontal fractures up to 1 in. i...

  20. Hydraulic Fracturing and the Environment (United States)

    Ayatollahy Tafti, T.; Aminzadeh, F.; Jafarpour, B.; de Barros, F.


    In this presentation, we highlight two key environmental concerns of hydraulic fracturing (HF), namely induced seismicity and groundwater contamination (GC). We examine the induced seismicity (IS) associated with different subsurface fluid injection and production (SFIP) operations and the key operational parameters of SFIP impacting it. In addition we review the key potential sources for possible water contamination. Both in the case of IS and GC we propose modeling and data analysis methods to quantify the risk factors to be used for monitoring and risk reduction. SFIP include presents a risk in hydraulic fracturing, waste water injection, enhanced oil recovery as well as geothermal energy operations. Although a recent report (NRC 2012) documents that HF is not responsible for most of the induced seismicities, we primarily focus on HF here. We look into vaious operational parameters such as volume and rate of water injection, the direction of the well versus the natural fracture network, the depth of the target and the local stress field and fault system, as well as other geological features. The latter would determine the potential for triggering tectonic related events by small induced seismicity events. We provide the building blocks for IS risk assessment and monitoring. The system we propose will involve adequate layers of complexity based on mapped seismic attributes as well as results from ANN and probabilistic predictive modeling workflows. This leads to a set of guidelines which further defines 'safe operating conditions' and 'safe operating zones' which will be a valuable reference for future SFIP operations. We also illustrate how HF can lead to groundwater aquifer contamination. The source of aquifer contamination can be the hydrocarbon gas or the chemicals used in the injected liquid in the formation. We explore possible pathways of contamination within and discuss the likelihood of contamination from each source. Many of the chemical compounds used

  1. The seismogenic Gole Larghe Fault Zone (Italian Southern Alps): quantitative 3D characterization of the fault/fracture network, mapping of evidences of fluid-rock interaction, and modelling of the hydraulic structure through the seismic cycle (United States)

    Bistacchi, A.; Mittempergher, S.; Di Toro, G.; Smith, S. A. F.; Garofalo, P. S.


    The Gole Larghe Fault Zone (GLFZ) was exhumed from 8 km depth, where it was characterized by seismic activity (pseudotachylytes) and hydrous fluid flow (alteration halos and precipitation of hydrothermal minerals in veins and cataclasites). Thanks to glacier-polished outcrops exposing the 400 m-thick fault zone over a continuous area > 1.5 km2, the fault zone architecture has been quantitatively described with an unprecedented detail, providing a rich dataset to generate 3D Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) models and simulate the fault zone hydraulic properties. The fault and fracture network has been characterized combining > 2 km of scanlines and semi-automatic mapping of faults and fractures on several photogrammetric 3D Digital Outcrop Models (3D DOMs). This allowed obtaining robust probability density functions for parameters of fault and fracture sets: orientation, fracture intensity and density, spacing, persistency, length, thickness/aperture, termination. The spatial distribution of fractures (random, clustered, anticlustered…) has been characterized with geostatistics. Evidences of fluid/rock interaction (alteration halos, hydrothermal veins, etc.) have been mapped on the same outcrops, revealing sectors of the fault zone strongly impacted, vs. completely unaffected, by fluid/rock interaction, separated by convolute infiltration fronts. Field and microstructural evidence revealed that higher permeability was obtained in the syn- to early post-seismic period, when fractures were (re)opened by off-fault deformation. We have developed a parametric hydraulic model of the GLFZ and calibrated it, varying the fraction of faults/fractures that were open in the post-seismic, with the goal of obtaining realistic fluid flow and permeability values, and a flow pattern consistent with the observed alteration/mineralization pattern. The fraction of open fractures is very close to the percolation threshold of the DFN, and the permeability tensor is strongly anisotropic

  2. Toxicity Assessment for EPA's Hydraulic Fracturing Study (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This dataset contains data used to develop multiple manuscripts on the toxicity of chemicals associated with the hydraulic fracturing industry. These manuscripts...

  3. Data Analytics of Hydraulic Fracturing Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Jovan Yang [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Viswanathan, Hari [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Hyman, Jeffery [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Middleton, Richard [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)


    These are a set of slides on the data analytics of hydraulic fracturing data. The conclusions from this research are the following: they proposed a permeability evolution as a new mechanism to explain hydraulic fracturing trends; they created a model to include this mechanism and it showed promising results; the paper from this research is ready for submission; they devised a way to identify and sort refractures in order to study their effects, and this paper is currently being written.

  4. Comparison of Laboratory, in Situ, and Rock Mass Measurements of the Hydraulic Conductivity of Metamorphic Rock at the Savannah River Plant Near Aiken, South Carolina (United States)

    Marine, I. Wendell


    In situ testing of exploratory wells in metamorphic rock indicates that two types of fracturing occur in the rock mass. Rock containing small openings that permit only extremely slow movement of water is termed virtually impermeable rock. Rock containing openings of sufficient size to permit transmission of water at a significantly faster rate is termed hydraulically transmissive rock. Laboratory methods are unsuitable for measuring hydraulic conductivity in hydraulically transmissive rock; however, for the virtually impermeable rock, values comparable to those of the in situ tests are obtained. The hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass over a large region is calculated by using the hydraulic gradient, porosity, and regional velocity. This velocity is determined by dividing the inferred travel distance by the age of water, which is determined by the helium content of the water. This rock mass hydraulic conductivity value is between the values measured for the two types of fractures but is closer to the measured value for the virtually impermeable rock. This relationship is attributed to the control of the regional flow rate by the virtually impermeable rock where the discrete fractures do not form a continuous open connection through the entire rock mass. Thus laboratory methods of measuring permeability in metamorphic rock are of value if they are properly applied.

  5. influence of pressure gradients and fracturing in oil field rocks on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing but records exist for improvement of permeabilities for values less than 0.1 md to as high as 910md. CONCLUSIONS. Pressure gradients in rock masses particularly in reservoir rocks are responsible for fracturing of rock masses to form joints and faults. Temperature gradients and tectonic ...

  6. Characterizing Hydraulic Properties and Ground-Water Chemistry in Fractured-Rock Aquifers: A User's Manual for the Multifunction Bedrock-Aquifer Transportable Testing Tool (BAT3) (United States)

    Shapiro, Allen M.


    packers, the submersible pump, and other downhole components to land surface. Borehole geophysical logging must be conducted prior to deploying the Multifunction BAT3 in bedrock boreholes. In particular, it is important to identify the borehole diameter as a function of depth to avoid placing the packers over rough sections of the borehole, where they may be damaged during inflation. In addition, it is advantageous to identify the location of fractures intersecting the borehole wall, for example, using an acoustic televiewer log or a borehole camera. A knowledge of fracture locations is helpful in designing the length of the test interval and the locations where hydraulic tests and geochemical sampling are to be conducted. The Multifunction BAT3 is configured to conduct both fluid-injection and fluid-withdrawal tests. Fluid-injection tests are used to estimate the hydraulic properties of low-permeability fractures intersecting the borehole. The lower limit of the transmissivity that can be estimated using the configuration of the Multifunction BAT3 described in this report is approximately 10-3 square feet per day (ft2/d). Fluid-withdrawal tests are used to collect water samples for geochemical analyses and estimate the hydraulic properties of high-permeability fractures intersecting the borehole. The Multifunction BAT3 is configured with a submersible pump that can support pumping rates ranging from approximately 0.05 to 2.5 gallons per minute, and the upper limit of the of the transmissivity that can be estimated is approximately 104 ft2/d. The Multifunction BAT3 also can be used to measure the ambient hydraulic head of a section of a bedrock borehole, and to conduct single-hole tracer tests by injecting and later withdrawing a tracer solution.

  7. Hydraulic Fracture Extending into Network in Shale: Reviewing Influence Factors and Their Mechanism (United States)

    Ren, Lan; Zhao, Jinzhou; Hu, Yongquan


    Hydraulic fracture in shale reservoir presents complex network propagation, which has essential difference with traditional plane biwing fracture at forming mechanism. Based on the research results of experiments, field fracturing practice, theory analysis, and numerical simulation, the influence factors and their mechanism of hydraulic fracture extending into network in shale have been systematically analyzed and discussed. Research results show that the fracture propagation in shale reservoir is influenced by the geological and the engineering factors, which includes rock mineral composition, rock mechanical properties, horizontal stress field, natural fractures, treating net pressure, fracturing fluid viscosity, and fracturing scale. This study has important theoretical value and practical significance to understand fracture network propagation mechanism in shale reservoir and contributes to improving the science and efficiency of shale reservoir fracturing design. PMID:25032240

  8. Occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. (United States)

    Esswein, Eric J; Breitenstein, Michael; Snawder, John; Kiefer, Max; Sieber, W Karl


    This report describes a previously uncharacterized occupational health hazard: work crew exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing involves high pressure injection of large volumes of water and sand, and smaller quantities of well treatment chemicals, into a gas or oil well to fracture shale or other rock formations, allowing more efficient recovery of hydrocarbons from a petroleum-bearing reservoir. Crystalline silica ("frac sand") is commonly used as a proppant to hold open cracks and fissures created by hydraulic pressure. Each stage of the process requires hundreds of thousands of pounds of quartz-containing sand; millions of pounds may be needed for all zones of a well. Mechanical handling of frac sand creates respirable crystalline silica dust, a potential exposure hazard for workers. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health collected 111 personal breathing zone samples at 11 sites in five states to evaluate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. At each of the 11 sites, full-shift samples exceeded occupational health criteria (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calculated permissible exposure limit, the NIOSH recommended exposure limit, or the ACGIH threshold limit value), in some cases, by 10 or more times the occupational health criteria. Based on these evaluations, an occupational health hazard was determined to exist for workplace exposures to crystalline silica. Seven points of dust generation were identified, including sand handling machinery and dust generated from the work site itself. Recommendations to control exposures include product substitution (when feasible), engineering controls or modifications to sand handling machinery, administrative controls, and use of personal protective equipment. To our knowledge, this represents the first systematic study of work crew exposures to crystalline silica during

  9. A 2D Model of Hydraulic Fracturing, Damage and Microseismicity (United States)

    Wangen, Magnus


    We present a model for hydraulic fracturing and damage of low-permeable rock. It computes the intermittent propagation of rock damage, microseismic event locations, microseismic frequency-magnitude distributions, stimulated rock volume and the injection pressure. The model uses a regular 2D grid and is based on ideas from invasion percolation. All damaged and connected cells during a time step constitute a microseismic event, where the size of the event is the number of cells in the cluster. The magnitude of the event is the log _{10} of the event size. The model produces events with a magnitude-frequency distribution having a b value that is approximately 0.8. The model is studied with respect to the physical parameters: permeability of damaged rock and the rock strength. "High" permeabilities of the damaged rock give the same b value ≈ 0.8 , but "moderate" permeabilities give higher b values. Another difference is that "high" permeabilities produce a percolation-like fracture network, while "moderate" permeabilities result in damage zones that expand circularly away from the injection point. In the latter case of "moderate" permeabilities, the injection pressure increases substantially beyond the fracturing level. The rock strength and the time step do not change the observed b value of the model for moderate changes.

  10. Failure Mode of the Water-filled Fractures under Hydraulic Pressure in Karst Tunnels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Xin


    Full Text Available Water-filled fractures continue to grow after the excavation of karst tunnels, and the hydraulic pressure in these fractures changes along with such growth. This paper simplifies the fractures in the surrounding rock as flat ellipses and then identifies the critical hydraulic pressure values required for the occurrence of tensile-shear and compression-shear failures in water-filled fractures in the case of plane stress. The occurrence of tensile-shear fracture requires a larger critical hydraulic pressure than compression-shear failure in the same fracture. This paper examines the effects of fracture strike and lateral pressure coefficient on critical hydraulic pressure, and identifies compression-shear failure as the main failure mode of water-filled fractures. This paper also analyses the hydraulic pressure distribution in fractures with different extensions, and reveals that hydraulic pressure decreases along with the continuous growth of fractures and cannot completely fill a newly formed fracture with water. Fracture growth may be interrupted under the effect of hydraulic tensile shear.

  11. Recent Developments in Multiscale and Multiphase Modelling of the Hydraulic Fracturing Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Sheng


    Full Text Available Recently hydraulic fracturing of rocks has received much attention not only for its economic importance but also for its potential environmental impact. The hydraulically fracturing technique has been widely used in the oil (EOR and gas (EGR industries, especially in the USA, to extract more oil/gas through the deep rock formations. Also there have been increasing interests in utilising the hydraulic fracturing technique in geological storage of CO2 in recent years. In all cases, the design and implementation of the hydraulic fracturing process play a central role, highlighting the significance of research and development of this technique. However, the uncertainty behind the fracking mechanism has triggered public debates regarding the possible effect of this technique on human health and the environment. This has presented new challenges in the study of the hydraulic fracturing process. This paper describes the hydraulic fracturing mechanism and provides an overview of past and recent developments of the research performed towards better understandings of the hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts, with particular emphasis on the development of modelling techniques and their implementation on the hydraulic fracturing.

  12. Characterisation of hydraulically-active fractures in a fractured ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... in the initial stage of a site investigation to select the optimal site location or to evaluate the hydrogeological properties of fractures in underground exploration studies, such as those related geothermal reservoir evaluation and radioactive waste disposal. Keywords: self-potential method, hydraulically-conductive fractures, ...

  13. Analysis of multi-factor coupling effect on hydraulic fracture network in shale reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuzhang Liu


    Full Text Available Based on the research results of lab triaxial hydraulic fracturing simulation experiments, field fracturing practice, and theory analysis, the factors affecting the growth of hydraulic fracture network in shale reservoirs, including brittleness, difference of horizontal stress, distribution and mechanical characteristics of natural fractures, fluid viscosity and fracturing parameters, etc are analyzed in this study. The results show that the growth of fracture network in shale reservoirs is affected by geological factors and engineering factors jointly. From the perspective of reservoir geological factors, the higher the rock brittleness, the more developed the natural fractures, and the poorer the natural fracture consolidation, the more likely hydraulic fracture network will be formed. From the perspective of fracturing engineering factors, lower fluid viscosity and larger fracturing scale will be more helpful to the formation of extensive fracture network. On the basis of the analysis of single factors, a multi-factor coupling index has been established to characterize the growth degree of hydraulic fracture network and evaluate the complexity of hydraulic fractures after the fracturing of shale reservoirs.

  14. Anomalous fracture-extension pressure in granitic rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aamodt, R.L.; Potter, R.M.


    Fracture-extension pressures appreciably higher than the least principal earth-stress were observed in hydraulic fractures formed in a pair of 3 km (9600 ft) deep boreholes drilled near the Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico. Pressurization of open wellbores in rock containing preexisting fractures may open these fractures, instead of creating new fractures at right angles to the least principal stress. The pressure necessary to flow into these fractures may be appreciably higher than the least principal stress. Upon sand-propping one such pre-existing fracture, a lower fracture extension pressure was observed. A second fracture in a parallel well-bore 92 m (300 ft) away, at the same depth of 2 km (6500 ft) exhibited the lower fracture extension pressure without propping, but with about 90/sup 0/ difference in fracture direction. Fractures created through perforations at a depth of 3 km (9600 ft) not only exhibited breakdown pressures upon initial pressurization, but sometimes even higher ''breakdown'' pressures upon repressurization. These phenomena may be of interest in the interpretation of earth stress measurements made by hydraulic fracturing.

  15. Discrete Fracture Networks Groundwater Modelling at Bedding Control Fractured Sedimentary Rock mass (United States)

    Pin, Yeh; Yuan-Chieh, Wu


    Groundwater flow modelling in fractured rock mass is an important challenging work in predicting the transport of contamination. So far as we know about the numerical analysis method was consider for crystalline rock, which means discontinuous are treated as stochastic distribution in homogeneous rock mass. Based on the understanding of geology in Taiwan in past few decades, we know that the hydraulic conductivities of Quaternary and Tertiary system rock mass are strongly controlled by development of sedimentary structures (bedding plane). The main purpose of this study is to understand how Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) affects numerical results in terms of hydraulic behavior using different DFN generation methods. Base on surface geology investigation and core drilling work (3 boreholes with a total length of 120m), small scale fracture properties with in Cho-lan formation (muddy sandstone) are defined, including gently dip of bedding and 2 sub-vertical joint sets. Two FracMan/MAFIC numerical modellings are conducted, using ECPM approach (Equivalent Continuum Porous Media); case A considered all fracture were Power law distribution with Poisson fracture center; case B considered all bedding plans penetrate into modelling region, and remove the bedding count to recalculate joint fracture parameters. Modelling results show that Case B gives stronger groundwater pathways than Case A and have impact on flow field. This preliminary modelling result implicates the groundwater flow modelling work in some fractured sedimentary rock mass, might be considerate to rock sedimentary structure development itself, discontinuous maybe not follow the same stochastic DFN parameter.

  16. Understanding hydraulic fracturing: a multi-scale problem (United States)

    Hyman, J. D.; Jiménez-Martínez, J.; Viswanathan, H. S.; Carey, J. W.; Porter, M. L.; Rougier, E.; Karra, S.; Kang, Q.; Frash, L.; Chen, L.; Lei, Z.; O’Malley, D.; Makedonska, N.


    Despite the impact that hydraulic fracturing has had on the energy sector, the physical mechanisms that control its efficiency and environmental impacts remain poorly understood in part because the length scales involved range from nanometres to kilometres. We characterize flow and transport in shale formations across and between these scales using integrated computational, theoretical and experimental efforts/methods. At the field scale, we use discrete fracture network modelling to simulate production of a hydraulically fractured well from a fracture network that is based on the site characterization of a shale gas reservoir. At the core scale, we use triaxial fracture experiments and a finite-discrete element model to study dynamic fracture/crack propagation in low permeability shale. We use lattice Boltzmann pore-scale simulations and microfluidic experiments in both synthetic and shale rock micromodels to study pore-scale flow and transport phenomena, including multi-phase flow and fluids mixing. A mechanistic description and integration of these multiple scales is required for accurate predictions of production and the eventual optimization of hydrocarbon extraction from unconventional reservoirs. Finally, we discuss the potential of CO2 as an alternative working fluid, both in fracturing and re-stimulating activities, beyond its environmental advantages. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Energy and the subsurface’. PMID:27597789

  17. 3D Numerical Modeling of the Propagation of Hydraulic Fracture at Its Intersection with Natural (Pre-existing) Fracture (United States)

    Dehghan, Ali Naghi; Goshtasbi, Kamran; Ahangari, Kaveh; Jin, Yan; Bahmani, Aram


    A variety of 3D numerical models were developed based on hydraulic fracture experiments to simulate the propagation of hydraulic fracture at its intersection with natural (pre-existing) fracture. Since the interaction between hydraulic and pre-existing fractures is a key condition that causes complex fracture patterns, the extended finite element method was employed in ABAQUS software to simulate the problem. The propagation of hydraulic fracture in a fractured medium was modeled in two horizontal differential stresses (Δ σ) of 5e6 and 10e6 Pa considering different strike and dip angles of pre-existing fracture. The rate of energy release was calculated in the directions of hydraulic and pre-existing fractures (G_{{frac}} /G_{{rock}}) at their intersection point to determine the fracture behavior. Opening and crossing were two dominant fracture behaviors during the hydraulic and pre-existing fracture interaction at low and high differential stress conditions, respectively. The results of numerical studies were compared with those of experimental models, showing a good agreement between the two to validate the accuracy of the models. Besides the horizontal differential stress, strike and dip angles of the natural (pre-existing) fracture, the key finding of this research was the significant effect of the energy release rate on the propagation behavior of the hydraulic fracture. This effect was more prominent under the influence of strike and dip angles, as well as differential stress. The obtained results can be used to predict and interpret the generation of complex hydraulic fracture patterns in field conditions.

  18. Fluid driven fracture mechanics in highly anisotropic shale: a laboratory study with application to hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Gehne, Stephan; Benson, Philip; Koor, Nick; Enfield, Mark


    The finding of considerable volumes of hydrocarbon resources within tight sedimentary rock formations in the UK led to focused attention on the fundamental fracture properties of low permeability rock types and hydraulic fracturing. Despite much research in these fields, there remains a scarcity of available experimental data concerning the fracture mechanics of fluid driven fracturing and the fracture properties of anisotropic, low permeability rock types. In this study, hydraulic fracturing is simulated in a controlled laboratory environment to track fracture nucleation (location) and propagation (velocity) in space and time and assess how environmental factors and rock properties influence the fracture process and the developing fracture network. Here we report data on employing fluid overpressure to generate a permeable network of micro tensile fractures in a highly anisotropic shale ( 50% P-wave velocity anisotropy). Experiments are carried out in a triaxial deformation apparatus using cylindrical samples. The bedding planes are orientated either parallel or normal to the major principal stress direction (σ1). A newly developed technique, using a steel guide arrangement to direct pressurised fluid into a sealed section of an axially drilled conduit, allows the pore fluid to contact the rock directly and to initiate tensile fractures from the pre-defined zone inside the sample. Acoustic Emission location is used to record and map the nucleation and development of the micro-fracture network. Indirect tensile strength measurements at atmospheric pressure show a high tensile strength anisotropy ( 60%) of the shale. Depending on the relative bedding orientation within the stress field, we find that fluid induced fractures in the sample propagate in two of the three principal fracture orientations: Divider and Short-Transverse. The fracture progresses parallel to the bedding plane (Short-Transverse orientation) if the bedding plane is aligned (parallel) with the

  19. Hydraulic Fracture Propagation Through an Orthogonal Discontinuity: A Laboratory, Analytical and Numerical Study (United States)

    Llanos, Ella María; Jeffrey, Robert G.; Hillis, Richard; Zhang, Xi


    Rocks are naturally fractured, and lack of knowledge of hydraulic fracture growth through the pre-existing discontinuities in rocks has impeded enhancing hydrocarbon extraction. This paper presents experimental results from uniaxial and biaxial tests, combined with numerical and analytical modelling results to develop a criterion for predicting whether a hydraulic fracture will cross a discontinuity, represented at the laboratory by unbonded machined frictional interfaces. The experimental results provide the first evidence for the impact of viscous fluid flow on the orthogonal fracture crossing. The fracture elliptical footprint also reflects the importance of both the applied loading stress and the viscosity in fracture propagation. The hydraulic fractures extend both in the direction of maximum compressive stress and in the direction with discontinuities that are arranged to be normal to the maximum compressive stress. The modelling results of fracture growth across discontinuities are obtained for the locations of slip starting points in initiating fracture crossing. Our analysis, in contrast to previous work on the prediction of frictional crossing, includes the non-singular stresses generated by the finite pressurised hydraulic fracture. Experimental and theoretical outcomes herein suggest that hydraulic fracture growth through an orthogonal discontinuity does not depend primarily on the interface friction coefficient.

  20. Multiphase flow models for hydraulic fracturing technology (United States)

    Osiptsov, Andrei A.


    The technology of hydraulic fracturing of a hydrocarbon-bearing formation is based on pumping a fluid with particles into a well to create fractures in porous medium. After the end of pumping, the fractures filled with closely packed proppant particles create highly conductive channels for hydrocarbon flow from far-field reservoir to the well to surface. The design of the hydraulic fracturing treatment is carried out with a simulator. Those simulators are based on mathematical models, which need to be accurate and close to physical reality. The entire process of fracture placement and flowback/cleanup can be conventionally split into the following four stages: (i) quasi-steady state effectively single-phase suspension flow down the wellbore, (ii) particle transport in an open vertical fracture, (iii) displacement of fracturing fluid by hydrocarbons from the closed fracture filled with a random close pack of proppant particles, and, finally, (iv) highly transient gas-liquid flow in a well during cleanup. The stage (i) is relatively well described by the existing hydralics models, while the models for the other three stages of the process need revisiting and considerable improvement, which was the focus of the author’s research presented in this review paper. For stage (ii), we consider the derivation of a multi-fluid model for suspension flow in a narrow vertical hydraulic fracture at moderate Re on the scale of fracture height and length and also the migration of particles across the flow on the scale of fracture width. At the stage of fracture cleanaup (iii), a novel multi-continua model for suspension filtration is developed. To provide closure relationships for permeability of proppant packings to be used in this model, a 3D direct numerical simulation of single phase flow is carried out using the lattice-Boltzmann method. For wellbore cleanup (iv), we present a combined 1D model for highly-transient gas-liquid flow based on the combination of multi-fluid and

  1. Database for hydraulically conductive fractures. Update 2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palmen, J.; Tammisto, E.; Ahokas, H. (Poeyry Finland Oy, Espoo (Finland))


    Posiva flow logging (PFL) with a 0.5 m test interval and made in 10 cm steps can be used for the determination of the depth of hydraulically conductive fractures. Together with drillhole wall images and fracture data from core logging, PFL provides possibilities to detect individual conductive fractures. In this report, the results of PFL are combined with fracture data on drillholes OL-KR41 - OL-KR48, OL-KR41B - OLKR45B and pilot holes ONK-PH8 - ONK-PH10. In addition, HTU-data measured by 2 m section length and 2 m steps in holes OL-KR39 and OL-KR40 at depths 300-700 m were analyzed and combined with fracture data in a similar way. The conductive fractures were first recognised from PFL data and digital drillhole images and then the fractures from the core logging that correspond to the ones picked from the digital drillhole images were identified. The conductive fractures were primarily recognised in the images based on the openness of fractures or a visible flow in the image. In most of the cases, no tails of flow were seen in the image. In these cases the conductive fractures were recognised in the image based on the openness of fractures and a matching depth. On the basis of the results hydraulically conductive fractures/zones could in most cases be distinguished in the drillhole wall images. An important phase in the work is the calibration of the depth of the image, flow logging and the HTU logging with the sample length. In addition to results of PFL-correlation, Hydraulic Testing Unit (HTU) data measured by 2 m section length and 2 m steps was studied at selected depths for holes OL-KR39, OL-KR40, OL-KR42 and OL-KR45. Due to low HTU section depth accuracy the conducting fractures were successfully correlated with Fracture Data Base (FDB) fractures only in drillholes OL-KR39 and OL-KR40. HTU-data depth matching in these two drillholes was performed using geophysical Single Point Resistance (SPR) data both from geophysical and PFL measurements as a depth

  2. Review of Well Operator Files for Hydraulically Fractured Oil and Gas Production Wells: Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (United States)

    EPA conducted a survey of oil and gas production wells hydraulically fractured by nine oil and gas service companies in the United States during 2009 and 2010. This is the second well file review report.

  3. Percolation Theory and Modern Hydraulic Fracturing (United States)

    Norris, J. Q.; Turcotte, D. L.; Rundle, J. B.


    During the past few years, we have been developing a percolation model for fracking. This model provides a powerful tool for understanding the growth and properties of the complex fracture networks generated during a modern high volume hydraulic fracture stimulations of tight shale reservoirs. The model can also be used to understand the interaction between the growing fracture network and natural reservoir features such as joint sets and faults. Additionally, the model produces a power-law distribution of bursts which can easily be compared to observed microseismicity.

  4. Mapping the Isotropic Component of Focal Mechanisms in Hydraulic Fractures (United States)

    Baig, A. M.; Urbancic, T. I.


    We present the results of a hydraulic fracture monitoring study where the events induced by the treatment are recorded with a three-dimensional sensor distribution. The fact that the microseismicity is recorded over multiple azimuths allows not only for better convergence of the location algorithm, but also acheives sufficient coverage of the focal sphere to reliably invert for the full moment tensor. Unlike in tectonic settings, many of these focal mechanisms have very strong non-double-couple components, due to the intrusion of proppants into the surrounding rock, and are thus characterized by mechanisms consistant with tensile cracks opening or closing. Mapping these mechanisms in time and space offers insight into both the processes responsible for the fracturing, but also how effectively the treatment propped open the rock and identifying which areas may have opened and subsequently closed.

  5. Periodic Hydraulic Tests in a Bedrock Fracture Network (United States)

    Cole, M. C.; Becker, M.; Ciervo, C.


    Better understanding of groundwater flow through bedrock fracture networks is critical for the emerging field of enhanced geothermal systems, as well as traditional hydrogeologic characterization. Periodic hydraulic testing has shown promise for its sensitivity to local heterogeneity and, therefore, may provide useful information about flow channelization and short circuiting. Unlike conventional steady-rate pumping or injection tests, periodic tests create a disturbance such that heads in the pumping and observation wells are always in the transient state. The volume of hydraulic influence of the oscillating flow increases with period of oscillation. Thus, different portions of the formation may be interrogated even with a single well pair. We recently performed periodic pumping tests at the Mirror Lake experimental fractured rock hydrology field site in the Northeastern United States. Head in one well was oscillated while heads in five monitoring wells 30 to 60 m away were monitored. Head oscillation was accomplished through alternating injection and pumping from a surface tank and pressure was measured using a network of transducers in zones isolated by pneumatic packers. Periodicity of the induced signal was varied in order to investigate different volumes of the formation. Drawdown data from the monitoring wells were digitally filtered, which enabled use of responses that were too small or noisy for curve fitting methods. As expected, the volume of hydraulic influence increased with period, but well response was not strictly a function of distance from the source well. This anomalous response is attributed to variation in fracture network hydraulic connectivity. The ability to vary the effective penetration distance of hydraulic influence provided more information about network connectivity than from a constant rate pumping test. Estimates of hydraulic parameters displayed a decreasing trend with period length, which has been noted in previous periodic tests

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianming He


    Full Text Available 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.

  7. The Shear Mechanisms of Natural Fractures during the Hydraulic Stimulation of Shale Gas Reservoirs. (United States)

    Zhang, Zhaobin; Li, Xiao


    The shearing of natural fractures is important in the permeability enhancement of shale gas reservoirs during hydraulic fracturing treatment. In this work, the shearing mechanisms of natural fractures are analyzed using a newly proposed numerical model based on the displacement discontinuities method. The fluid-rock coupling system of the model is carefully designed to calculate the shearing of fractures. Both a single fracture and a complex fracture network are used to investigate the shear mechanisms. The investigation based on a single fracture shows that the non-ignorable shearing length of a natural fracture could be formed before the natural fracture is filled by pressurized fluid. Therefore, for the hydraulic fracturing treatment of the naturally fractured shale gas reservoirs, the shear strength of shale is generally more important than the tensile strength. The fluid-rock coupling propagation processes of a complex fracture network are simulated under different crustal stress conditions and the results agree well with those of the single fracture. The propagation processes of complex fracture network show that a smaller crustal stress difference is unfavorable to the shearing of natural fractures, but is favorable to the formation of complex fracture network.

  8. The Shear Mechanisms of Natural Fractures during the Hydraulic Stimulation of Shale Gas Reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaobin Zhang


    Full Text Available The shearing of natural fractures is important in the permeability enhancement of shale gas reservoirs during hydraulic fracturing treatment. In this work, the shearing mechanisms of natural fractures are analyzed using a newly proposed numerical model based on the displacement discontinuities method. The fluid-rock coupling system of the model is carefully designed to calculate the shearing of fractures. Both a single fracture and a complex fracture network are used to investigate the shear mechanisms. The investigation based on a single fracture shows that the non-ignorable shearing length of a natural fracture could be formed before the natural fracture is filled by pressurized fluid. Therefore, for the hydraulic fracturing treatment of the naturally fractured shale gas reservoirs, the shear strength of shale is generally more important than the tensile strength. The fluid-rock coupling propagation processes of a complex fracture network are simulated under different crustal stress conditions and the results agree well with those of the single fracture. The propagation processes of complex fracture network show that a smaller crustal stress difference is unfavorable to the shearing of natural fractures, but is favorable to the formation of complex fracture network.

  9. A reassessment of in situ stress determination by hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Lakirouhani, A.; Detournay, E.; Bunger, A. P.


    Estimating in situ stress based on hydraulic fracturing data typically depends on interpretation of the breakdown, secondary breakdown (`reopening') and shut-in pressure. While it has been recognized that the near-wellbore stress field should be taken into account and that the compressibility of the injection system and the viscous flow of the fluid can diminish the accuracy of stress estimates, these issues have not been well quantified. A coupled numerical model that includes the compressibility of the injection system and the flow of a viscous fluid in a plane-strain hydraulic fracture extending from a wellbore, in an impermeable rock, and in the presence of a non-isotropic in situ stress field provides a basic tool for estimating the order of the error associated with hydraulic fracturing stress measurements under non-ideal conditions. The main findings of this work are model-based guidelines on the values of relevant dimensionless parameter groups to ensure sufficient accuracy of stress estimates that use idealized models. When these guidelines cannot be met under field conditions, the model can be further applied to obtain first-order corrections that account for compressibility, viscosity and near-wellbore effects.

  10. Chemical Degradation of Polyacrylamide during Hydraulic Fracturing. (United States)

    Xiong, Boya; Miller, Zachary; Roman-White, Selina; Tasker, Travis L; Farina, Benjamin; Piechowicz, Bethany; Joshi, Prachi; Zhu, Liang; Gorski, Christopher A; Burgos, William D; Zydney, Andrew L; Kumar, Manish


    Polyacrylamide (PAM) based friction reducers are a primary ingredient of slickwater hydraulic fracturing fluids. Little is known regarding the fate of these polymers under downhole conditions, which could have important environmental impacts including strategies for reuse or treatment of flowback water. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical degradation of high molecular weight PAM, including the effects of shale, oxygen, temperature, pressure, and salinity. Data were obtained with a slickwater fracturing fluid exposed to both a shale sample collected from a Marcellus shale outcrop and to Marcellus core samples at high pressures/temperatures (HPT) simulating downhole conditions. Based on size exclusion chromatography analyses, the peak molecular weight of the PAM was reduced by two orders of magnitude, from roughly 10 MDa to 200 kDa under typical HPT fracturing conditions. The rate of degradation was independent of pressure and salinity but increased significantly at high temperatures and in the presence of oxygen dissolved in fracturing fluid. Results were consistent with a free radical chain scission mechanism, supported by measurements of sub-μM hydroxyl radical concentrations. The shale sample adsorbed some PAM (~35%), but importantly it catalyzed the chemical degradation of PAM, likely due to dissolution of Fe2+ at low pH. These results provide the first evidence of radical-induced degradation of PAM under HPT hydraulic fracturing conditions without additional oxidative breaker.

  11. Acoustic Resonance Characteristics of Rock and Concrete Containing Fractures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakagawa, Seiji [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)


    In recent years, acoustic resonance has drawn great attention as a quantitative tool for characterizing properties of materials and detecting defects in both engineering and geological materials. In quasi-brittle materials such as rock and concrete, inherent fractures have a significant influence on their mechanical and hydraulic properties. Most of these fractures are partially open, providing internal boundaries that are visible to propagating seismic waves. Acoustic resonance occurs as a result of constructive and destructive interferences of propagating waves. Therefore the geometrical and mechanical properties of the fracture are also interrogated by the acoustic resonance characteristics of materials. The objective of this dissertation is to understand the acoustic resonance characteristics of fractured rock and concrete.

  12. Radium release mechanisms during hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale (United States)

    Sharma, M.; Landis, J. D.; Renock, D. J.


    Wastewater co-produced with methane from Devonian Marcellus Shale is hypersaline and enriched in Ra. Recent studies find that water injected during hydraulic fracturing can leach out significant quantities of Na, Ca, Ba and Sr from solid phases in the shale over just hours to days. Here, we show with water-rock leaching experiments that the measured 226Ra/228Ra ratios of Marcellus wastewater could also derive from rapid leaching of mineral and organic phases of the shale. Radium isotopes 226Ra (t1/2 = 1600 a) and 228Ra (t1/2 = 5.8 a) are produced through radioactive decay of 238U (t1/2 = 4.5 Ga) and 232Th (t1/2 = 14 Ga), respectively. In the absence of processes that fractionate U, Th and Ra from one another, the decay rates of each parent-daughter pair become identical over 5 half-lives of the daughter radionuclide reaching a condition of secular equilibrium. Water-rock interaction may induce pronounced deviations from secular equilibrium in the water phase, however. Such is the case during hydraulic fracturing, where Ra is soluble and mobile, and is orphaned from insoluble U and Th parents. Once 226Ra and 228Ra are mobilized no fractionation between these isotopes is expected during their transport to the surface. Thus the 226Ra/228Ra ratio in wastewater provides a fingerprint of Ra source(s). Leaching Marcellus Shale with pure water under anoxic conditions releases mainly 228Ra from clays; extraction of 228Ra from radiation damaged sites is likely the dominant contributing mechanism. Using a novel isotope dilution technique we find that 90% of the Ra released in pure water partitions back onto rock (possibly clays). In comparison, leaching with high ionic strength solutions induces the release of 226Ra from mainly organics; the breakdown of organic matter in these solutions may be the driving mechanism controlling 226Ra release in solution. Radium released by high ionic strength solutions strongly partitions into water and results in the development of leachates

  13. The EPA's Study on the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources (United States)

    Burden, Susan


    Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future. The United States has vast reserves of natural gas that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, which enable greater access to gas in rock formations deep underground. These advances have spurred a significant increase in the production of both natural gas and oil across the country. However, as the use of hydraulic fracturing has increased, so have concerns about its potential human health and environmental impacts, especially for drinking water. In response to public concern, the US Congress requested that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. In 2011, the EPA began research to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts. The study is organized around the five stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle, from water acquisition through the mixing of chemicals and the injection of fracturing fluid to post-fracturing treatment and/or disposal of wastewater. EPA scientists are using a transdisciplinary research approach involving laboratory studies, computer modeling, toxicity assessments, and case studies to answer research questions associated with each stage of the water cycle. This talk will provide an overview of the EPA's study, including a description of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle and a summary of the ongoing research projects.

  14. First results of infrared thermography applied to the evaluation of hydraulic conductivity in rock masses (United States)

    Pappalardo, Giovanna


    An innovative methodological approach using infrared thermography (IRT) provides a potential contribution to the indirect assessment of hydraulic conductivity of jointed rock masses. This technique proved a suitable tool to evaluate the degree of fracturing of rock masses along with their discontinuity systems, which expedite water flow within the rock mass itself. First, based on the latest scientific outcomes on the application of IRT to the geomechanics of rock systems, rock mass surveys were carried out at different outcrops (dolostone, limestone and porphyroid) and hydraulic conductivity was empirically assessed through approaches well known in the international literature. Then, IRT campaigns were performed at each surveyed rock mass, with the purpose of evaluating the corresponding Cooling Rate Index, strictly linked to the cooling attitude of the rock. Such index was correlated with the assessed hydraulic conductivity and satisfactory regression equations were achieved. The interesting results show that hydraulic conductivity values are likely to be linked with the cooling behavior of rock masses, which, in turn, is affected by spacing, aperture and persistence of discontinuities.

  15. The elastic properties of fractured rocks (United States)

    Darcel, C.; Le Goc, R.; Davy, P.


    The consequences of fracturing on rock mass strength still remain an issue for rock engineering practices, including excavation or repository design, support design, slope stability and caving in mines. The difficulty is twice and concerns both the description of the fracturing pattern, and the relationship between fracture characteristics and rock mass mechanical properties. This is generally assessed by empirical knowledge but no complete quantitative and theoretical relations are yet established. To our knowledge, the only theoretical work was to found a relationship between the elastic strength and the percolation parameter (i.e. a normalized sum of the cube of fracture radius) for 3D frictionless fracture networks. The relationship has been demonstrated for Poissonian (randomly distributed) low-density (i.e. where fractures are not almost intersecting) networks, with a narrow range of fracture radius. By means of finite-element models and Green's function methods, we extend the analysis to fracture networks with geologically realistic geometry: i.e. non-Poissonian, relatively high densities, and power-law length distributions. The elastic strength of the fractured rock mass is still found to decrease exponentially with the percolation parameter on average. But large deviations from the mean exist for heavy tailed fracture length distribution, i.e. when the probability of having fractures of the order of the system size is no more negligible. We discuss the way to ameliorate the prediction by taking into account configuration details that are not described by statistical parameters.

  16. Comparison of methods for measuring vertical hydraulic properties in a sedimentary rock aquifer (United States)

    Novakowski, Kent; Worley, Jessica


    The characterization of groundwater flow in fractured bedrock aquifers is presently based on a variety of hydraulic testing methods. Pumping tests are often employed, the interpretation of which are based on models derived for porous media environments that do not fully represent the complexities of fractured rock settings. In this paper, we measure aquifer properties using a variety of testing methods in order to evaluate which methods are best capable of producing reliable parameter estimates. The study was performed in a fractured sedimentary rock aquifer using four different field methods: constant head tests conducted using a straddle-packer system, pulse interference tests conducted under open-hole conditions, 12-hour isolated interval pumping tests and 48-hour open-hole pumping tests. Using the results of the constant head tests as the most reliable method for estimation of hydraulic conductivity and specific yield, the results obtained using the other three methods were compared with particular emphasis on the estimation of vertical hydraulic parameters in this setting. The effects of test measurement scale on hydraulic parameter estimates were also investigated. Evaluation of the open-hole pumping test data was performed using an analytical model that accommodates multiple horizontal fractures and a connection to a free surface boundary. The comparison shows that estimates of horizontal hydraulic conductivity were not dependent on test method with all methods providing equivalent results. Open-well pumping tests, however, were found not to reliably estimate values of vertical hydraulic conductivity and specific yield for this setting. Alternatively, pulse interference tests conducted under open-hole conditions may offer a less time-intensive option to constant head injection tests for determining vertical hydraulic parameters in a sedimentary rock setting.

  17. Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources: Update on EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study (United States)

    Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing (HF) is one way of accessing that resource. Over the past few years, several key technical, economic, and energy developments have spurred increased use of HF for gas extracti...

  18. An analytical model for hydraulic fracturing in shallow bedrock formations. (United States)

    dos Santos, José Sérgio; Ballestero, Thomas Paul; Pitombeira, Ernesto da Silva


    A theoretical method is proposed to estimate post-fracturing fracture size and transmissivity, and as a test of the methodology, data collected from two wells were used for verification. This method can be employed before hydrofracturing in order to obtain estimates of the potential hydraulic benefits of hydraulic fracturing. Five different pumping test analysis methods were used to evaluate the well hydraulic data. The most effective methods were the Papadopulos-Cooper model (1967), which includes wellbore storage effects, and the Gringarten-Ramey model (1974), known as the single horizontal fracture model. The hydraulic parameters resulting from fitting these models to the field data revealed that as a result of hydraulic fracturing, the transmissivity increased more than 46 times in one well and increased 285 times in the other well. The model developed by dos Santos (2008), which considers horizontal radial fracture propagation from the hydraulically fractured well, was used to estimate potential fracture geometry after hydrofracturing. For the two studied wells, their fractures could have propagated to distances of almost 175 m or more and developed maximum apertures of about 2.20 mm and hydraulic apertures close to 0.30 mm. Fracturing at this site appears to have expanded and propagated existing fractures and not created new fractures. Hydraulic apertures calculated from pumping test analyses closely matched the results obtained from the hydraulic fracturing model. As a result of this model, post-fracturing geometry and resulting post-fracturing well yield can be estimated before the actual hydrofracturing. Copyright © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 National Ground Water Association.

  19. Reservoir Stimulation Experiments at the Grimsel Test Site: Stress Measurements using Hydraulic fracturing, Hydraulic Tests on Pre-existing Fractures and Overcoring (United States)

    Doetsch, J.; Gischig, V.; Amann, F.; Madonna, C.; Jalali, M.; Valley, B.; Evans, K. F.


    A decameter-scale in-situ hydraulic stimulation and circulation experiment has been planned in the Deep Underground rock Laboratory (DUG Lab) at the Grimsel Test Site, Switzerland. The general objective of this experiment is to improve our understanding of the pressure, temperature and stress changes in the rock mass due to hydraulic stimulation. In this context, the main goal is to investigate the effect of hydro-shearing on the local stress variation as well as transient and permanent permeability changes with comprehensive thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) and acoustic emission monitoring. This experiment is designed such that stimulation processes are recorded in a dataset that is unique in THM coupled processes and induced seismicity research. In preparation to the hydro-shearing experiments, the experimental rock volume has been studied in detail using geological tunnel mapping, optical televiewer in existing boreholes, hydraulic tests, geophysical imaging and review of the extensive literature on experiments at the Grimsel Test Site. The geophysical investigations include reflection and transmission ground penetrating radar (GPR) and seismic measurements between the tunnels to image shear zones and reveal heterogeneity of the rock mass. The orientation and magnitude of the principal stresses of the rock volume and its surroundings has been analyzed using hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic tests on pre-existing fractures and overcoring. The hydraulic fracturing tests for stress measurements were monitored using a 32-channel acoustic emission monitoring system and a regional seismic monitoring network. Here, we present the results of the pre-investigations and stress measurements, and give an outlook for the hydro-shearing experiments planned for spring 2016.

  20. Investigation of possible wellbore cement failures during hydraulic fracturing operations (United States)

    Researchers used the peer-reviewed TOUGH+ geomechanics computational software and simulation system to investigate the possibility of fractures and shear failure along vertical wells during hydraulic fracturing operations.

  1. Characterizing hydraulic fractures in shale gas reservoirs using transient pressure tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cong Wang


    This work presents an unconventional gas reservoir simulator and its application to quantify hydraulic fractures in shale gas reservoirs using transient pressure data. The numerical model incorporates most known physical processes for gas production from unconventional reservoirs, including two-phase flow of liquid and gas, Klinkenberg effect, non-Darcy flow, and nonlinear adsorption. In addition, the model is able to handle various types and scales of fractures or heterogeneity using continuum, discrete or hybrid modeling approaches under different well production conditions of varying rate or pressure. Our modeling studies indicate that the most sensitive parameter of hydraulic fractures to early transient gas flow through extremely low permeability rock is actually the fracture-matrix contacting area, generated by fracturing stimulation. Based on this observation, it is possible to use transient pressure testing data to estimate the area of fractures generated from fracturing operations. We will conduct a series of modeling studies and present a methodology using typical transient pressure responses, simulated by the numerical model, to estimate fracture areas created or to quantity hydraulic fractures with traditional well testing technology. The type curves of pressure transients from this study can be used to quantify hydraulic fractures in field application.

  2. Fracturing Fluid Leak-off for Deep Volcanic Rock in Zhungeer Basin: Mechanism and Control Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Bo


    Full Text Available The deep volcanic reservoir in Zhungeer Basin is buried in over 4000m depth, which is characterized by complex lithology (breccia, andesite, basalt, etc., high elastic modulus and massive natural fractures. During hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic fracture will propagate and natural fractures will be triggered by the increasing net pressure. However, the extension of fractures, especially natural fractures, would aggravate the leak-off effect of fracturing fluid, and consequently decrease the fracturing success rate. 4 out of 12 fracturing wells in the field have failed to add enough proppants due to fluid loss. In order to increase the success rate and efficiency of hydraulic fracturing for deep volcanic reservoir, based on theoretical and experimental method, the mechanism of fracturing fluid leak-off is deeply studied. We propose a dualistic proppant scheme and employ the fluid loss reducer to control the fluid leak-off in macro-fractures and micro-fractures respectively. The proposed technique remarkably improved the success rate in deep volcanic rock fracturing. It bears important theoretical value and practical significance to improve the hydraulic fracturing design for deep volcanic reservoir.

  3. The Effect of Loading Rate on Hydraulic Fracturing in Synthetic Granite - a Discrete Element Study (United States)

    Tomac, I.; Gutierrez, M.


    Hydraulic fracture initiation and propagation from a borehole in hard synthetic rock is modeled using the two dimensional Discrete Element Method (DEM). DEM uses previously established procedure for modeling the strength and deformation parameters of quasi-brittle rocks with the Bonded Particle Model (Itasca, 2004). A series of simulations of laboratory tests on granite in DEM serve as a reference for synthetic rock behavior. Fracturing is enabled by breaking parallel bonds between DEM particles as a result of the local stress state. Subsequent bond breakage induces fracture propagation during a time-stepping procedure. Hydraulic fracturing occurs when pressurized fluid induces hoop stresses around the wellbore which cause rock fracturing and serves for geo-reservoir permeability enhancement in oil, gas and geothermal industries. In DEM, a network of fluid pipes and reservoirs is used for mathematical calculation of fluid flow through narrow channels between DEM particles, where the hydro-mechanical coupling is fully enabled. The fluid flow calculation is superimposed with DEM stress-strain calculation at each time step. As a result, the fluid pressures during borehole pressurization in hydraulic fracturing, as well as, during the fracture propagation from the borehole, can be simulated. The objective of this study is to investigate numerically a hypothesis that fluid pressurization rate, or the fluid flow rate, influences upon character, shape and velocity of fracture propagation in rock. The second objective is to better understand and define constraints which are important for successful fracture propagation in quasi-brittle rock from the perspective of flow rate, fluid density, viscosity and compressibility relative to the rock physical properties. Results from this study indicate that not only too high fluid flow rates cause fracture arrest and multiple fracture branching from the borehole, but also that the relative compressibility of fracturing fluid and

  4. Addresing environmental challenges to shale gas and hydraulic fracturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vadillo Fernandez, L.; Rodriguez Gomez, V.; Fernadez Naranjo, F.J.


    This article reviews the main issues of unconventional gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing techniques. Topics such as technology, fracturing stages, flowback characterization and alternatives of disposal and reuse, water consumption, physicochemical features of the geological formations, development of the fractures performed by hydraulic fracturing, well flow decline, land use and occupation and induced seismicity are presented, as well as the scientific debate: the potential steps of methane gas and groundwater contamination. (Author)

  5. What can we learn from ultrasonic velocities monitoring during hydraulic fracturing of tight shale ? (United States)

    Fortin, Jérôme; Stanchits, Sergei


    Methods of prediction the size and aperture of created hydraulic fracture are essential for a proper design of unconventional reservoir well stimulation. Several theoretical models describing hydraulic fracture propagation have been developed. However, there is a lack of direct field measurements of hydraulic fracture dimensions, verifying results of these models. Monitoring of elastic wave parameters may be a useful tool to estimate fracture dimensions. Indeed, the elastic wave velocity in a medium containing a fracture is sensitive to the fracture geometry and its conditions: dry fracture or saturated with fluid. In this paper, we focus on ultrasonic velocities monitoring during hydraulic fracturing of tight shale. We report the results of hydraulic fracturing of Niobrara shale outcrop block of 279 x 279 x 381 mm size from Colorado, USA. In this experiment, the block was loaded in a polyaxial loading frame made by TerraTek, a Schlumberger Company. Stresses were applied to the rock blocks independently in three directions using flat jacks. Then viscous fluid was injected into borehole at a constant flow rate. 20 PZT sensors were embedded into pockets drilled in the rock. They were used for registration of Acoustic Emission (AE) signals and for periodical ultrasonic transmissions to measure P-wave velocities in different directions. Our results show that ultrasonic measurements can be useful for understanding the mechanics of the crack growth. More precisely, from the evolution of the P-velocities and their amplitudes during the loading, we are able: (i) to estimate the velocity of the hydraulic fracture which was found to be 0.15 mm/s (that is close to the fracture velocity inferred from the dynamic of AE spatial evolution). (ii) In addition, the evolution of the P-velocities during the loading shows that a liquid-free crack always precedes the liquid front. In our experiment, the lag is estimated to be 15 mm. (iii) Finally, at fixed distances from the borehole

  6. Analytical Modeling of Shale Hydraulic Fracturing and Gas Production (United States)

    Xu, W.


    Shale gas is abundant all over the world. Due to its extremely low permeability, extensive stimulation of a shale reservoir is always required for its economic production. Hydraulic fracturing has been the primary method of shale reservoir stimulation. Consequently the design and optimization of a hydraulic fracturing treatment plays a vital role insuring job success and economic production. Due to the many variables involved and the lack of a simple yet robust tool based on fundamental physics, horizontal well placement and fracturing job designs have to certain degree been a guessing game built on previous trial and error experience. This paper presents a method for hydraulic fracturing design and optimization in these environments. The growth of a complex hydraulic fracture network (HFN) during a fracturing job is equivalently represented by a wiremesh fracturing model (WFM) constructed on the basis of fracture mechanics and mass balance. The model also simulates proppant transport and placement during HFN growth. Results of WFM simulations can then be used as the input into a wiremesh production model (WPM) constructed based on WFM. WPM represents gas flow through the wiremesh HFN by an elliptic flow and the flow of gas in shale matrix by a novel analytical solution accounting for contributions from both free and adsorbed gases stored in the pore space. WPM simulation is validated by testing against numerical simulations using a commercially available reservoir production simulator. Due to the analytical nature of WFM and WPM, both hydraulic fracturing and gas production simulations run very fast on a regular personal computer and are suitable for hydraulic fracturing job design and optimization. A case study is presented to demonstrate how a non-optimized hydraulic fracturing job might have been optimized using WFM and WPM simulations.Fig. 1. Ellipsoidal representation of (a) stimulated reservoir and (b) hydraulic fracture network created by hydraulic

  7. A review on hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quanshu Li


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing is widely accepted and applied to improve the gas recovery in unconventional reservoirs. Unconventional reservoirs to be addressed here are with very low permeability, complicated geological settings and in-situ stress field etc. All of these make the hydraulic fracturing process a challenging task. In order to effectively and economically recover gas from such reservoirs, the initiation and propagation of hydraulic fracturing in the heterogeneous fractured/porous media under such complicated conditions should be mastered. In this paper, some issues related to hydraulic fracturing have been reviewed, including the experimental study, field study and numerical simulation. Finally the existing problems that need to be solved on the subject of hydraulic fracturing have been proposed.

  8. Disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluid chemical additives: analysis of regulations. (United States)

    Maule, Alexis L; Makey, Colleen M; Benson, Eugene B; Burrows, Isaac J; Scammell, Madeleine K


    Hydraulic fracturing is used to extract natural gas from shale formations. The process involves injecting into the ground fracturing fluids that contain thousands of gallons of chemical additives. Companies are not mandated by federal regulations to disclose the identities or quantities of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing operations on private or public lands. States have begun to regulate hydraulic fracturing fluids by mandating chemical disclosure. These laws have shortcomings including nondisclosure of proprietary or "trade secret" mixtures, insufficient penalties for reporting inaccurate or incomplete information, and timelines that allow for after-the-fact reporting. These limitations leave lawmakers, regulators, public safety officers, and the public uninformed and ill-prepared to anticipate and respond to possible environmental and human health hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing fluids. We explore hydraulic fracturing exemptions from federal regulations, as well as current and future efforts to mandate chemical disclosure at the federal and state level.

  9. Laboratory tests of hydraulic fracturing and swell healing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thunbo, Christensen Claes; Foged, Christensen Helle; Foged, Niels


    New laboratory test set-ups and test procedures are described - for testing the formation of hydraulically induced fractures as well as the potential for subsequent fracture closurefrom the relase of a swelling potential. The main purpose with the tests is to provide information on fracturing...... stresses and whether or not the material in question possesses the potential for fracture closure....

  10. [Hydraulic fracturing - a hazard for drinking water?]. (United States)

    Ewers, U; Gordalla, B; Frimmel, F


    Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a technique used to release and promote the extraction of natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal bed methane) from deep natural gas deposits. Among the German public there is great concern with regard to the potential environmental impacts of fracking including the contamination of ground water, the most important source of drinking water in Germany. In the present article the risks of ground water contamination through fracking are discussed. Due to the present safety requirements and the obligatory geological and hydrogeological scrutiny of the underground, which has to be performed prior to fracking, the risk of ground water contamination by fracking can be regarded as very low. The toxicity of chemical additives of fracking fluids is discussed. It is recommended that in the future environmental impact assessment and approval of fracs should be performed by the mining authorities in close cooperation with the water authorities. Furthermore, it is recommended that hydraulic fracturing in the future should be accompanied by obligatory ground water monitoring. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  11. 78 FR 55253 - Notification of Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel (United States)


    ... AGENCY Notification of Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel AGENCY...) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing... information related to hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. DATES: The public teleconference...

  12. Numerical Analysis on the Stability of Hydraulic Fracture Propagation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaobin Zhang


    Full Text Available The formation of dense spacing fracture network is crucial to the hydraulic fracturing treatment of unconventional reservoir. However, one difficulty for fracturing treatment is the lack of clear understanding on the nature of fracture complexity created during the treatment. In this paper, fracture propagation is numerically investigated to find the conditions needed for the stable propagation of complex fracture network. Firstly, starting from a parallel fracture system, the stability of fracture propagation is analyzed and a dimensionless number M is obtained. Then, by developing a hydraulic fracturing simulation model based on displacement discontinuity method, the propagation of parallel fractures is simulated and a clear relation between M and the stability of parallel fractures is obtained. Finally, the investigation on parallel fractures is extended to complex fracture networks. The propagation of complex fracture networks is simulated and the results show that the effects of M on complex fracture networks is the same to that of parallel fractures. The clear relation between M and fracture propagation stability is important for the optimization of hydraulic fracturing operation.

  13. Laboratory Visualization Experiments of Temperature-induced Fractures Around a Borehole (Cryogenic Fracturing) in Shale and Analogue Rock Samples (United States)

    Kneafsey, T. J.; Nakagawa, S.; Wu, Y. S.; Mukhopadhyay, S.


    In tight shales, hydraulic fracturing is the dominant method for improving reservoir permeability. However, injecting water-based liquids can induce formation damage and disposal problems, thus other techniques are being sought. One alternative to hydraulic fracturing is producing fractures thermally, using low-temperature fluids (cryogens). The primary consequence of thermal stimulation is that shrinkage fractures are produced around the borehole wall. Recently, cryogenic stimulation produced some promising results when the cryogen (typically liquid nitrogen and cold nitrogen gas) could be brought to reservoir depth. Numerical modeling also showed possible significant increases in gas production from a shale reservoir after cryogenic stimulation. However, geometry and the dynamic behavior of these thermally induced fractures under different stress regimes and rock anisotropy and heterogeneity is not yet well understood.Currently, we are conducting a series of laboratory thermal fracturing experiments on Mancos Shale and transparent glass blocks, by injecting liquid nitrogen under atmospheric pressure into room temperature blocks under various anisotropic stress states. The glass blocks allow clear optical visualization of fracture development and final fracturing patterns. For the shale blocks, X-ray CT is used to image both pre-existing and induced fractures. Also, the effect of borehole orientation with respect to the bedding planes and aligned preexisting fractures is examined. Our initial experiment on a uniaxially compressed glass block showed fracturing behavior which was distinctly different from conventional hydraulic fracturing. In addition to tensile fractures in the maximum principal stress directions, the thermal contraction by the cryogen induced (1) chaotic, spalling fractures around the borehole wall, and (2) a series of disk-shaped annular fractures perpendicular to the borehole. When applied to a horizontal borehole, the propagation plane of the

  14. Seismological investigation of crack formation in hydraulic rock fracturing experiments and in natural geothermal environments. Progress report, September 1, 1979-August 31, 1980

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aki, K.


    Progress is reported in the following research areas: a synthesis of seismic experiments at the Fenton Hill Hot-Dry-Rock System; attenuation of high-frequency shear waves in the lithosphere; a new kinematic source model for deep volcanic tremors; ground motion in the near-field of a fluid-driven crack and its interpretation in the study of shallow volcanic tremor; low-velocity bodies under geothermal areas; and operation of event recorders in Mt. St. Helens and Newberry Peak with preliminary results from them. (MHR)


    Hydraulic fracturing, a technique commonly used to increase the yields of oil wells, could improve the effectiveness of several methods of in situ remediation. This project consisted of laboratory and field tests in which hydraulic fractures were created in soil. Laboratory te...

  16. Simulation of quasi-static hydraulic fracture propagation in porous media with XFEM (United States)

    Juan-Lien Ramirez, Alina; Neuweiler, Insa; Löhnert, Stefan


    Hydraulic fracturing is the injection of a fracking fluid at high pressures into the underground. Its goal is to create and expand fracture networks to increase the rock permeability. It is a technique used, for example, for oil and gas recovery and for geothermal energy extraction, since higher rock permeability improves production. Many physical processes take place when it comes to fracking; rock deformation, fluid flow within the fractures, as well as into and through the porous rock. All these processes are strongly coupled, what makes its numerical simulation rather challenging. We present a 2D numerical model that simulates the hydraulic propagation of an embedded fracture quasi-statically in a poroelastic, fully saturated material. Fluid flow within the porous rock is described by Darcy's law and the flow within the fracture is approximated by a parallel plate model. Additionally, the effect of leak-off is taken into consideration. The solid component of the porous medium is assumed to be linear elastic and the propagation criteria are given by the energy release rate and the stress intensity factors [1]. The used numerical method for the spatial discretization is the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) [2]. It is based on the standard Finite Element Method, but introduces additional degrees of freedom and enrichment functions to describe discontinuities locally in a system. Through them the geometry of the discontinuity (e.g. a fracture) becomes independent of the mesh allowing it to move freely through the domain without a mesh-adapting step. With this numerical model we are able to simulate hydraulic fracture propagation with different initial fracture geometries and material parameters. Results from these simulations will also be presented. References [1] D. Gross and T. Seelig. Fracture Mechanics with an Introduction to Micromechanics. Springer, 2nd edition, (2011) [2] T. Belytschko and T. Black. Elastic crack growth in finite elements with minimal

  17. Induced seismicity caused by hydraulic fracturing in deep geothermal wells in Germany and adjacent areas (United States)

    Plenefisch, Thomas; Brückner, Lisa; Ceranna, Lars; Gestermann, Nicolai; Houben, Georg; Tischner, Torsten; Wegler, Ulrich; Wellbrink, Matthias; Bönnemann, Christian; Bertram, Andreas; Kirschbaum, Bernd


    Recently, the BGR has worked out a study on the potential environmental impact caused by hydraulic fracturing or chemical stimulations in deep geothermal reservoirs in Germany and adjacent areas. The investigations and analyses are based on existing studies and information provided by operators. The two environmental impacts being essentially considered in the report are induced seismicity and possible contamination of the groundwater reservoirs which serve for drinking water supply. Altogether, in this study, information on 30 hydraulic frac operations and 26 chemical stimulations including information from neighboring countries were compiled and analyzed. Out of the hydraulic stimulations two thirds were carried out as waterfracs and one third as fracturing with proppants. Parameters used in the study to characterize the induced seismicity are maximum magnitude, number of seismic events, size of the seismically active volume, and the relation of this volume to fault zones and the cap rock, as well as, finally, the impacts at the Earth's surface. The response of the subsurface to hydraulic fracturing is variable: There are some activities, which cause perceptible seismic events, others, where no perceptible but instrumentally detected events occurred, and moreover activities without even any instrumentally detected events. A classification of seismic hazard with respect to tectonic region, geology, or depth of the layer is still difficult, since the number of hydraulic fracturing measures in deep geothermal wells is small making a statistically sound analysis impossible. However, there are some indications, that hydraulic fracturing in granite in tectonically active regions like the Upper Rhine Graben results in comparatively stronger, perceptible seismicity compared to hydraulic fracturing in the sedimentary rocks of the North German basin. The maximum magnitudes of induced earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing of deep geothermal wells in Germany are

  18. Seismological investigation of crack formation in hydraulic rock fracturing experiments and in natural geothermal environments. Progress report, September 1, 1978-August 31, 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aki, K.


    An interpretation theory based on the fluid-filled crack model of geothermal systems is being developed and tested against a variety of data from various geothermal areas. Progress is reported on the following subjects: (1) analysis and interpretation of seismic data obtained from the bore holes at the LASL Hot Dry Rock geothermal site. (2) Collection, analysis and interpretation of data on deep volcanic tremors at the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory. (3) Development of a new method for determining seismic attenuation at frequencies higher than 1HZ, and initiation of a cooperative work with Mexican seismologists on the attenuation measurements at various geothermal areas in Baja, California using the method. (4) Installation of 3-component digital event-recorders at four stations in the Newberry Peak volcano, Oregon. (5) Developing a computer program for calculating seismic motion generated by the vibration of fluid-filled crack in a layered medium.

  19. Is in situ stress important to groundwater flow in shallow fractured rock aquifers? (United States)

    Mortimer, L.; Aydin, A.; Simmons, C. T.; Love, A. J.


    SummaryIn situ stress affects the permeability tensor of fractured rock masses at depth but its effect on shallow to near-surface fractured rock aquifers has received little attention. This is partly because stress-related effects on groundwater flow at shallow depths are difficult to identify and characterise due to the complex interactions between all of the inherent properties of a fractured rock aquifer. These properties include the factors that dominantly control groundwater flow: fracture network density, geometry, connectivity and infill. Furthermore, surface processes such as weathering, erosion and unloading alter the original hydraulic nature (connectivity, transmissivity) of fractured rock masses resulting in higher degrees of spatial heterogeneity within shallow flow systems. These processes and interactions often mask the influence of in situ stress fields on fracture network permeability and groundwater flow. In this study, an integrated analysis of local area fracture networks, borehole geophysical logs, borehole groundwater yields and hydromechanical models demonstrate that in situ stress does affect groundwater flow in shallow (fractured rock aquifers by altering fracture hydraulic aperture distributions, fracture network connectivity and groundwater flow rates via fracture deformation processes. In particular, a comparison between representative models of deformed (stressed state) and undeformed (zero stress state) fracture networks showed that below 100 m depth, groundwater flow rates could decrease several fold under the influence of the contemporary stress field. This prediction was highly consistent with the field observations. In contrast, groundwater flow modelling of shallow fractured rock aquifers is typically conducted under the assumption that permeability is independent of the state of stress. A key finding of this study is that in situ stress may be a more important control on both local and regional scale shallow groundwater flow

  20. Permeability Enhancement in Enhanced Geothermal System as a result of Hydraulic Fracturing and Jacking (United States)

    Jalali, Mohammadreza; Klepikova, Maria; Fisch, Hansruedi; Amann, Florian; Loew, Simon


    A decameter-scale in-situ hydraulic stimulation and circulation (ISC) experiment has been initiated by the newly-founded Swiss Competence Centre for Energy Research - Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) at Nagra's Grimsel Test Site (GTS) as a part of the work-package WP1 of the Deep Underground Laboratory (DUG-Lab) initiative. The experiment area is situated in the southern part of the GTS in a low fracture density volume of the Grimsel granodiorite. The hydraulic properties of the granitic rock mass are supposed to be similar to those expected in the crystalline basement of the alpine foreland where deep enhanced geothermal systems might be developed in future. The main objectives of the multi-disciplinary experiment are to provide a high resolution pre- and post-stimulation characterization of fracture permeability and connectivity, to investigate patterns of preferential flow paths, to describe the pressure propagation during the stimulation phases and to evaluate the efficiency of the fracture-matrix heat exchanger. A comprehensive test & monitoring layout including a fair number of boreholes instrumented with a variety of sensors (e.g. pressure, strain, displacement, temperature, and seismic sensors) is designed to collect detailed data during multiple hydraulic stimulation runs. The diffusion of fluid pressure is expected to be governed mainly by the properties and geometry of the existent fracture network. The hydraulic transmissivity of fractures are in the range of 10-7 to 10-9 m2/s whereas the matrix rock has a very low hydraulic conductivity (K ˜ 10-12 m/s). As part of the stress measurement campaign during the pre-stimulation phase of the ISC experiment, a series of hydraulic fracturing (HF) and hydraulic tests in pre-existing fractures (HTPF) were conducted. The tests were accompanied by micro-seismic monitoring within several observation boreholes to investigate the initiation and propagation of the induced fractures. Together with results from over

  1. Fatigue hydraulic fracturing by cyclic reservoir treatment enhances permeability and reduces induced seismicity (United States)

    Zang, Arno; Yoon, Jeoung Seok; Stephansson, Ove; Heidbach, Oliver


    The occurrence of induced seismic events during hydraulic fracturing of reservoirs to enhance permeability is an unavoidable process. Due to the increased public concern with respect to the risks imposed by induced seismicity, however, the development of a soft stimulation method is needed creating higher permeability with less induced seismicity. We use a discrete element model of naturally fractured rock with pore fluid flow algorithm in order to analyse two scenarios of high-pressure fluid injection (hydraulic fracturing) at depth and associated induced seismicity. The ratio of pumped-in energy to released seismic energy is in agreement with field data. Our results suggest that cyclic reservoir treatment is a safer alternative to conventional hydraulic fracture stimulation as both, the total number of induced events as well as the occurrence of larger magnitude events are lowered. This work is motivated by results of laboratory triaxial indenter tests on granite rock samples where continuous loading leads to a wide fracture process zone while cyclic treatment with frequent starting and stopping of loading fatigues the rock, resulting in smaller damage volume and more persistent fracture growth.

  2. Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for ... (United States)

    This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identifies factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential impacts. The scope of this assessment is defined by the hydraulic fracturing water cycle which includes five main activities: Water acquisition – the withdrawal of ground or surface water needed for hydraulic fracturing fluids;Chemical mixing – the mixing of water, chemicals, and proppant on the well pad to create the hydraulic fracturing fluid;Well injection – the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into the well to fracture the geologic formation; Flowback and Produced water – the return of injected fluid and water produced from the formation to the surface, and subsequent transport for reuse, treatment, or disposal; andWastewater treatment and waste disposal – the reuse, treatment and release, or disposal of wastewater generated at the well pad, including produced water. This report can be used by federal, tribal, state, and local officials; industry; and the public to better understand and address vulnerabilities of drinking water resources to hydraulic fracturing activities. To assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of s

  3. Research on fracture analysis, groundwater flow and sorption processes in fractured rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Dae Ha [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (Korea)


    Due to increasing demand for numerous industrial facilities including nuclear power plants and waste repositories, the feasibility of rocks masses as sites for the facilities has been a geological issue of concern. Rock masses, in general, comprises systems of fractures which can provide pathways for groundwater flow and may also affect the stability of engineered structures. such properties of fractures stimulate a synthetic study on (1) analyses of fracture systems, and (2) characterization of groundwater flow and sorption processes in fractured rocks to establish a preliminary model for assessing suitable sites for industrial facilities. The analyses of fracture systems cover (1) reconstruction of the Cenozoic tectonic movements and estimation of frequency indices for the Holocene tectonic movements, (2) determination of distributions and block movements of the Quaternary marine terraces, (3) investigation of lithologic and geotechnical nature of study area, and (4) examination of the Cenozoic volcanic activities and determination of age of the dike swarms. Using data obtained from above mentioned analyses along with data related to earthquakes and active faults, probabilistic approach is performed to determine various potential hazards which may result from the Quaternary or the Holocene tectonic movements. In addition, stepwise and careful integration of various data obtained from field works and laboratory experiments are carried out to analyze groundwater flow in fractures rocks as follows; (1) investigation of geological feature of the site, (2) identification and characterization of fracture systems using core and televiewer logs, (3) determination of conductive fractures using electrical conductivity, temperature, and flow logs, (4) identification of hydraulic connections between fractures using televiewer logs with tracer tests within specific zones. The results obtained from these processes allow a qualitative interpretation of groundwater flow patterns

  4. Boundary element simulation of petroleum reservoirs with hydraulically fractured wells (United States)

    Pecher, Radek

    The boundary element method is applied to solve the linear pressure-diffusion equation of fluid-flow in porous media. The governing parabolic partial differential equation is transformed into the Laplace space to obtain the elliptic modified-Helmholtz equation including the homogeneous initial condition. The free- space Green's functions, satisfying this equation for anisotropic media in two and three dimensions, are combined with the generalized form of the Green's second identity. The resulting boundary integral equation is solved by following the collocation technique and applying the given time-dependent boundary conditions of the Dirichlet or Neumann type. The boundary integrals are approximated by the Gaussian quadrature along each element of the discretized domain boundary. Heterogeneous regions are represented by the sectionally-homogeneous zones of different rock and fluid properties. The final values of the interior pressure and velocity fields and of their time-derivatives are found by numerically inverting the solutions from the Laplace space by using the Stehfest's algorithm. The main extension of the mostly standard BEM-procedure is achieved in the modelling of the production and injection wells represented by internal sources and sinks. They are treated as part of the boundary by means of special single-node and both-sided elements, corresponding to the line and plane sources respectively. The wellbore skin and storage effects are considered for the line and cylindrical sources. Hydraulically fractured wells of infinite conductivity are handled directly according to the specified constraint type, out of the four alternatives. Fractures of finite conductivity are simulated by coupling the finite element model of their 1D-interior with the boundary element model of their 2D- exterior. Variable fracture width, fractures crossing zone boundaries, ``networking'' of fractures, fracture-tip singularity handling, or the 3D-description are additional advanced

  5. Hydraulic properties of 3D rough-walled fractures during shearing: An experimental study (United States)

    Yin, Qian; Ma, Guowei; Jing, Hongwen; Wang, Huidong; Su, Haijian; Wang, Yingchao; Liu, Richeng


    This study experimentally analyzed the influence of shear processes on nonlinear flow behavior through 3D rough-walled rock fractures. A high-precision apparatus was developed to perform stress-dependent fluid flow tests of fractured rocks. Then, water flow tests on rough-walled fractures with different mechanical displacements were conducted. At each shear level, the hydraulic pressure ranged from 0 to 0.6 MPa, and the normal load varied from 7 to 35 kN. The results show that (i) the relationship between the volumetric flow rate and hydraulic gradient of rough-walled fractures can be well fit using Forchheimer's law. Notably, both the linear and nonlinear coefficients in Forchheimer's law decrease during shearing; (ii) a sixth-order polynomial function is used to evaluate the transmissivity based on the Reynolds number of fractures during shearing. The transmissivity exhibits a decreasing trend as the Reynolds number increases and an increasing trend as the shear displacement increases; (iii) the critical hydraulic gradient, critical Reynolds number and equivalent hydraulic aperture of the rock fractures all increase as the shear displacement increases. When the shear displacement varies from 0 to 15 mm, the critical hydraulic gradient ranges from 0.3 to 2.2 for a normal load of 7 kN and increases to 1.8-8.6 for a normal load of 35 kN; and (iv) the Forchheimer law results are evaluated by plotting the normalized transmissivity of the fractures during shearing against the Reynolds number. An increase in the normal load shifts the fitted curves downward. Additionally, the Forchheimer coefficient β decreases with the shear displacement but increases with the applied normal load.

  6. Groundwater flow and sorption processes in fractured rocks (I)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Won Young; Woo, Nam Chul; Yum, Byoung Woo; Choi, Young Sub; Chae, Byoung Kon; Kim, Jung Yul; Kim, Yoo Sung; Hyun, Hye Ja; Lee, Kil Yong; Lee, Seung Gu; Youn, Youn Yul; Choon, Sang Ki [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)


    This study is objected to characterize groundwater flow and sorption processes of the contaminants (ground-water solutes) along the fractured crystalline rocks in Korea. Considering that crystalline rock mass is an essential condition for using underground space cannot be overemphasized the significance of the characterizing fractured crystalline rocks. the behavior of the groundwater contaminants is studied in related to the subsurface structure, and eventually a quantitative technique will be developed to evaluate the impacts of the contaminants on the subsurface environments. The study has been carried at the Samkwang mine area in the Chung-Nam Province. The site has Pre-Cambrian crystalline gneiss as a bedrock and the groundwater flow system through the bedrock fractures seemed to be understandable with the study on the subsurface geologic structure through the mining tunnels. Borehole tests included core logging, televiewer logging, constant pressure fixed interval length tests and tracer tests. The results is summarized as follows; 1) To determine the hydraulic parameters of the fractured rock, the transient flow analysis produce better results than the steady - state flow analysis. 2) Based on the relationship between fracture distribution and transmissivities measured, the shallow part of the system could be considered as a porous and continuous medium due to the well developed fractures and weathering. However, the deeper part shows flow characteristics of the fracture dominant system, satisfying the assumptions of the Cubic law. 3) Transmissivities from the FIL test were averaged to be 6.12 x 10{sup -7}{sub m}{sup 2}{sub /s}. 4) Tracer tests result indicates groundwater flow in the study area is controlled by the connection, extension and geometry of fractures in the bedrock. 5) Hydraulic conductivity of the tracer-test interval was in maximum of 7.2 x 10{sup -6}{sub m/sec}, and the effective porosity of 1.8 %. 6) Composition of the groundwater varies

  7. Dry and hydraulic extensile fracturing of porous impermeable materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, J.H.M.; Van Mier, J.C.M.


    Extensile hydraulic fracturing of mortar is investigated and compared to extensile dry fracturing of sandstone. The extensile fracture experiments have been performed in a Hookean cell in deformation control. The cell allows for axial loading and radial fluid pressure loading of cylindrical

  8. Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Analysis for Regulatory Parameters - A Progress Report (United States)

    This presentation is a progress report on the analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids for regulatory compounds outlined in the various US EPA methodologies. Fracturing fluids vary significantly in consistency and viscosity prior to fracturing. Due to the nature of the fluids the analytical challenges will have to be addressed. This presentation also outlines the sampling issues associated with the collection of dissolved gas samples.

  9. Hydraulic Fracturing: Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangang Chen


    Full Text Available With the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, the United States has become the largest natural gas producer in the world with a substantial portion of the production coming from shale plays. In this review, we examined current hydraulic fracturing literature including associated wastewater management on quantity and quality of groundwater. We conclude that proper documentation/reporting systems for wastewater discharge and spills need to be enforced at the federal, state, and industrial level. Furthermore, Underground Injection Control (UIC requirements under SDWA should be extended to hydraulic fracturing operations regardless if diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid or not. One of the biggest barriers that hinder the advancement of our knowledge on the hydraulic fracturing process is the lack of transparency of chemicals used in the practice. Federal laws mandating hydraulic companies to disclose fracturing fluid composition and concentration not only to federal and state regulatory agencies but also to health care professionals would encourage this practice. The full disclosure of fracturing chemicals will allow future research to fill knowledge gaps for a better understanding of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on human health and the environment.

  10. Hydraulic fracturing: paving the way for a sustainable future? (United States)

    Chen, Jiangang; Al-Wadei, Mohammed H; Kennedy, Rebekah C M; Terry, Paul D


    With the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, the United States has become the largest natural gas producer in the world with a substantial portion of the production coming from shale plays. In this review, we examined current hydraulic fracturing literature including associated wastewater management on quantity and quality of groundwater. We conclude that proper documentation/reporting systems for wastewater discharge and spills need to be enforced at the federal, state, and industrial level. Furthermore, Underground Injection Control (UIC) requirements under SDWA should be extended to hydraulic fracturing operations regardless if diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid or not. One of the biggest barriers that hinder the advancement of our knowledge on the hydraulic fracturing process is the lack of transparency of chemicals used in the practice. Federal laws mandating hydraulic companies to disclose fracturing fluid composition and concentration not only to federal and state regulatory agencies but also to health care professionals would encourage this practice. The full disclosure of fracturing chemicals will allow future research to fill knowledge gaps for a better understanding of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on human health and the environment.

  11. Fractures and Rock Mechanics, Phase 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Havmøller, Ole; Krogsbøll, Anette


    The main objectives of the project are to combine geological description of fractures, chalk types and rock mechanical properties, and to investigate whether the chosen outcrops can be used as analogues to reservoir chalks. Five chalk types, representing two outcrop localities: Stevns and Hillers......The main objectives of the project are to combine geological description of fractures, chalk types and rock mechanical properties, and to investigate whether the chosen outcrops can be used as analogues to reservoir chalks. Five chalk types, representing two outcrop localities: Stevns...

  12. Transport efficiency and dynamics of hydraulic fracture networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Till eSachau


    Full Text Available Intermittent fluid pulses in the Earth's crust can explain a variety of geological phenomena, for instance the occurrence of hydraulic breccia. Fluid transport in the crust is usually modeled as continuous darcian flow, ignoring that sufficient fluid overpressure can cause hydraulic fractures as fluid pathways with very dynamic behavior. Resulting hydraulic fracture networks are largely self-organized: opening and healing of hydraulic fractures depends on local fluid pressure, which is, in turn, largely controlled by the fracture network. We develop a crustal-scale 2D computer model designed to simulate this process. To focus on the dynamics of the process we chose a setup as simple as possible. Control factors are constant overpressure at a basal fluid source and a constant 'viscous' parameter controlling fracture-healing. Our results indicate that at large healing rates hydraulic fractures are mobile, transporting fluid in intermittent pulses to the surface and displaying a 1/fα behavior. Low healing rates result in stable networks and constant flow. The efficiency of the fluid transport is independent from the closure dynamics of veins or fractures. More important than preexisting fracture networks is the distribution of fluid pressure. A key requirement for dynamic fracture networks is the presence of a fluid pressure gradient.

  13. Transport efficiency and dynamics of hydraulic fracture networks (United States)

    Sachau, Till; Bons, Paul; Gomez-Rivas, Enrique


    Intermittent fluid pulses in the Earth's crust can explain a variety of geological phenomena, for instance the occurrence of hydraulic breccia. Fluid transport in the crust is usually modeled as continuous darcian flow, ignoring that sufficient fluid overpressure can cause hydraulic fractures as fluid pathways with very dynamic behavior. Resulting hydraulic fracture networks are largely self-organized: opening and healing of hydraulic fractures depends on local fluid pressure, which is, in turn, largely controlled by the fracture network. We develop a crustal-scale 2D computer model designed to simulate this process. To focus on the dynamics of the process we chose a setup as simple as possible. Control factors are constant overpressure at a basal fluid source and a constant 'viscous' parameter controlling fracture-healing. Our results indicate that at large healing rates hydraulic fractures are mobile, transporting fluid in intermittent pulses to the surface and displaying a 1/fα behavior. Low healing rates result in stable networks and constant flow. The efficiency of the fluid transport is independent from the closure dynamics of veins or fractures. More important than preexisting fracture networks is the distribution of fluid pressure. A key requirement for dynamic fracture networks is the presence of a fluid pressure gradient.

  14. Simultaneous initiation and growth of multiple radial hydraulic fractures from a horizontal wellbore (United States)

    Lecampion, Brice; Desroches, Jean


    Multi-stage fracturing is the current preferred method of completion of horizontal wells in unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. Its core component consists in simultaneously initiating and propagating an array of hydraulic fractures. We develop a numerical model for the initiation and growth of an array of parallel radial hydraulic fractures. The solution accounts for fracture growth, coupling between elastic deformation and fluid flow in the fractures, elastic stress interactions between fractures and fluid flow in the wellbore. We also take into account the presence of a local pressure drop (function of the entering flow rate) at the connection between the well and the fracture, i.e., a choke-like effect due to current well completion practices, also referred to as entry friction. The partitioning of the fluid into the different fractures at any given time is part of the solution and is a critical indicator of simultaneous (balanced fluid partitioning) versus preferential growth. We validate our numerical model against reference solutions and a laboratory experiment for the initiation and growth of a single radial hydraulic fracture. We then investigate the impact of stress interaction on preferential growth of a subset of fractures in the array. Our results show that a sufficiently large local entry friction provides a strong feedback in the system and thus can counteract elastic stress interaction between fractures, thereby ensuring simultaneous growth. We propose a dimensionless number capturing the competition between stress interaction and local entry friction. This dimensionless number is a function of rock properties, fracture spacing and injection parameters. We verify that it captures the transition from the case of simultaneous growth (entry friction larger than interaction stress) to the case of preferential growth of some fractures (interaction stress larger than entry friction). We also discuss the implication of these results for multi

  15. Numerical analysis of fracture propagation during hydraulic fracturing operations in shale gas systems (United States)

    Researchers used the TOUGH+ geomechanics computational software and simulation system to examine the likelihood of hydraulic fracture propagation (the spread of fractures) traveling long distances to connect with drinking water aquifers.

  16. A review of numerical simulation strategies for hydraulic fracturing, natural fracture reactivation and induced microseismicity prediction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shahid, A.S.A.; Fokker, P.A.; Rocca, V.


    Hydraulic fracturing, natural fracture reactivation and resulting induced microseismicity are interconnected phenomena involved in shale gas exploitation. Due to their multi-physics and their complexity, deep understanding of these phenomena as well as their mutual interaction require the adoption

  17. The subsurface impact of hydraulic fracturing in shales- Perspectives from the well and reservoir (United States)

    ter Heege, Jan; Coles, Rhys


    It has been identified that the main risks of subsurface shale gas operations in the U.S.A. and Canada are associated with (1) drilling and well integrity, (2) hydraulic fracturing, and (3) induced seismicity. Although it is unlikely that hydraulic fracturing operations result in direct pathways of enhanced migration between stimulated fracture disturbed rock volume and shallow aquifers, operations may jeopardize well integrity or induce seismicity. From the well perspective, it is often assumed that fluid injection leads to the initiation of tensile (mode I) fractures at different perforation intervals along the horizontal sections of shale gas wells if pore pressure exceeds the minimum principal stress. From the reservoir perspective, rise in pore pressure resulting from fluid injection may lead to initiation of tensile fractures, reactivation of shear (mode II) fractures if the criterion for failure in shear is exceeded, or combinations of different fracturing modes. In this study, we compare tensile fracturing simulations using conventional well-based models with shear fracturing simulations using a fractured shale model with characteristic fault populations. In the fractured shale model, stimulated permeability is described by an analytical model that incorporates populations of reactivated faults and that combines 3D permeability tensors for layered shale matrix, damage zone and fault core. Well-based models applied to wells crosscutting the Posidonia Shale Formation are compared to generic fractured shale models, and fractured shale models are compared to micro-seismic data from the Marcellus Shale. Focus is on comparing the spatial distribution of permeability, stimulated reservoir volume and seismicity, and on differences in fracture initiation pressure and fracture orientation for tensile and shear fracturing end-members. It is shown that incorporation of fault populations (for example resulting from analysis of 3D seismics or outcrops) in hydraulic

  18. QAPP for Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) Surface Spills Data Analysis (United States)

    This QAPP provides information concerning the analysis of spills associated with hydraulic fracturing. This project is relevant to both the chemical mixing and flowback and produced water stages of the HF water cycle as found in the HF Study Plan.

  19. Hydraulic fracturing: paving the way for a sustainable future?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chen, Jiangang; Al-Wadei, Mohammed H; Kennedy, Rebekah C M; Terry, Paul D


    With the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, the United States has become the largest natural gas producer in the world with a substantial portion of the production coming from shale plays...

  20. EPA Published Research Related to the Hydraulic Fracturing Study (United States)

    A list of publications that will support the draft assessment report on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. These publications have undergone peer review through the journal where the paper has been published.

  1. EPA Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources (United States)

    In its FY2010 Appropriations Committee Conference Report, Congress directed EPA to study the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, using: • Best available science • Independent sources of information • Transparent, peer-reviewed process • Consultatio...

  2. Hydraulic Fracturing in Coalbed Methane Development, Raton Basin, Southern Colorado (United States)

    Pioneer Natural Resources has performed hydraulic fractures on 2400 shallow CBM wells in the Raton Basin with no impact to drinking water. This presentation, given by Pioneer Natural Resources, discusses why might be.

  3. Executive Summary, Hydraulic Fracturing Study - Draft Assessment 2015 (United States)

    In this Executive Summary of the HF Draft report, EPA highlights the reviews of scientific literature to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to change the quality or quantity of drinking water resources.

  4. Fractures and Rock Mechanics, Phase 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogsbøll, Anette; Jakobsen, Finn; Madsen, Lena


    The main objective of the project is to combine geological descriptions of fractures, chalk types and rock mechanical properties in order to investigate whether the chosen outcrops can be used as analogues to reservoir chalks. This report deals with 1) geological descriptions of outcrop locality...

  5. Evaluating petrophysical relationships in fractured rock using geophysical measurements (United States)

    Robinson, J.; Slater, L. D.; Keating, K.; Parker, B. L.; Rose, C.; Meyer, J. R.; Johnson, C. D.; Robinson, T.; Pehme, P.; Chapman, S.; Day-Lewis, F. D.


    Quantification of the pore geometric properties controlling mass transfer rates in fractured rock aquifers is a challenging characterization problem, especially given the scales of heterogeneity. The efficiency of in-situ remediation efforts that target hydraulically connected and dead-end fracture zones is limited, in part, due to the diffusion of aqueous phase contaminants into and out of the less-mobile pore spaces in the matrix surrounding fractures. Two geophysical technologies, complex resistivity (CR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are sensitive to pore geometry and may provide key information on transport parameters where diffusion can be a limiting factor in and around boreholes. We present laboratory CR and NMR data from cores collected from field sites with variable lithologies and examine the sensitivity of these measurements to less-mobile versus mobile porosity. Supporting data include surface area measurements using the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method, pore size distributions from mercury porosimetry, gravimetric measurements of matrix total porosity and gas permeability. We examine the predictive capability of CR and NMR to determine these pore scale properties as a function of geological setting. The petrophysical relationships illustrate the potential for use of new borehole logging tools to determine the spatial variability of physical properties controlling mass transfer close to fractures. The correlations of measurements to rock-type specific relations indicate that minimal core measurements might be needed to calibrate the results to a specific site.

  6. Hydraulically conductive fractures and their properties in boreholes KR4 and KR7 - KR10 at Olkiluoto site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hellae, P.; Tammisto, E.; Ahokas, H. [JP-Fintact Oy (Finland)


    As part of the program for the final disposal of the nuclear fuel waste, Posiva Oy investigates the prevailing hydrological conditions at the Olkiluoto island. Hydraulic properties of fractures are of interest for the groundwater flow modelling and for planning of grouting and analysis of leakages etc. The detailed flow logging with 0.5 m test interval and made in 10 cm steps is used for exact depth determination of hydraulically conductive fractures or fracture zones. Together with borehole wall images flow logging provides possibilities to detect single conductive fractures. The results of flow logging are combined to the fracture data and other rock properties. Boreholes KR4, KR7, KR8, KR9 and KR10 have been selected as pilot holes. The conductive fractures were recognised from the images primarily based on a visible flow traces along the image. In most of the cases of measured flow, no visible flow traces were seen in the image. In these cases the most probable fracture(s) to conduct the flow were picked using the single point resistance measurements as supportive information. In order to be able to analyse the properties of the hydraulically conductive fractures, the fractures in the mineralogical/drilling report corresponding to the ones picked from the borehole wall image were identified. The combination was done based on matching the depth, intersection angle and other fracture properties (reported large aperture or thickness etc.). The results from boreholes KR7 and KR8 were checked also from the core sample. According to the results the hydraulically conductive fractures/zones could be distinguished from the borehole wall images in most cases. An important phase in the work is to calibrate the depth of the image and the flow logging with the sample length. Checking results from the core samples is essential in order to reliably correlate the borehole wall fractures to the core sample mappings. The hydraulic conductivity is clearly higher in the upper part

  7. Microbial processes in fractured rock environments (United States)

    Kinner, Nancy E.; Eighmy, T. Taylor; Mills, M.; Coulburn, J.; Tisa, L.

    Little is known about the types and activities of microbes in fractured rock environments, but recent studies in a variety of bedrock formations have documented the presence of a diverse array of prokaryotes (Eubacteria and Archaea) and some protists. The prokaryotes appear to live in both diffusion-dominated microfractures and larger, more conductive open fractures. Some of the prokaryotes are associated with the surfaces of the host rock and mineral precipitates, while other planktonic forms are floating/moving in the groundwater filling the fractures. Studies indicate that the surface-associated and planktonic communities are distinct, and their importance in microbially mediated processes occurring in the bedrock environment may vary, depending on the availability of electron donors/acceptors and nutrients needed by the cells. In general, abundances of microbes are low compared with other environments, because of the paucity of these substances that are transported into the deeper subsurface where most bedrock occurs, unless there is significant pollution with an electron donor. To obtain a complete picture of the microbes present and their metabolic activity, it is usually necessary to sample formation water from specific fractures (versus open boreholes), and fracture surfaces (i.e., cores). Transport of the microbes through the major fracture pathways can be rapid, but may be quite limited in the microfractures. Very low abundances of small ( 2-3 μm) flagellated protists, which appear to prey upon planktonic bacteria, have been found in a bedrock aquifer. Much more research is needed to expand the understanding of all microbial processes in fractured rock environments.

  8. Impact of Partially Cemented and Non-persistent Natural Fractures on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation (United States)

    Fu, Wei; Ames, Brandon C.; Bunger, Andrew P.; Savitski, Alexei A.


    This paper presents laboratory experiments exploring the interaction between hydraulic fractures and preexisting natural fractures that are strongly cemented relative to the host material strength but over only a portion of the natural fracture. Two sets of experiments were conducted, including the central region cemented case and the top-bottom region cemented case. Three main patterns are observed for the interaction between hydraulic fractures and partially cemented natural fractures: (1) complete crossing, (2) crossing with mismatched crack path and (3) no crossing. The results show that a hydraulic fracture penetrates directly through a fully and strongly cemented preexisting natural fracture. When the proportion of the strongly cemented region decreases or the height of the weak natural fracture increases, the hydraulic fracture is observed to persist through the entire height of the specimen both before and after the interface. However, the fracture path proceeds directly through strongly cemented portions while causing mismatched crack path at uncemented portions. No crossing results are obtained when the strongly cemented region is sufficiently small, around 30 % of the natural fracture's height. Results of this seldom considered but almost certainly realistic configuration of partial cementing suggest that the hydraulic fracture path is strongly influenced by the size of the cemented region of the natural fracture.

  9. Characterization on the Fracture system in jurassic granitic rocks: Kosung and Yusung areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Kyung Su; Bae, Dae Seok; Kim, Chun Soo; Park, Byung Yoon; Koh, Yong Kweon


    The safety of waste disposal can be achieved by a complete isolation of radioactive wastes from biosphere or by a retardation of nuclide migration to reach an acceptable dose level. For the deep geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, the potential pathways of nuclide primarily depend on the spatial distribution characteristics of conductive fractures in rock mass. Major key issues in the quantification of fracture system for a disposal site are involved in classification criteria, hydraulic parameters, geometry, field investigation methods etc. This research aims to characterize the spatial distribution characteristics of regional lineaments and background fractures in eastern and western-type granite rock mass.

  10. Rock fracture grouting with microbially induced carbonate precipitation (United States)

    Minto, James M.; MacLachlan, Erica; El Mountassir, Gráinne; Lunn, Rebecca J.


    Microbially induced carbonate precipitation has been proposed for soil stabilization, soil strengthening, and permeability reduction as an alternative to traditional cement and chemical grouts. In this paper, we evaluate the grouting of fine aperture rock fractures with calcium carbonate, precipitated through urea hydrolysis, by the bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii. Calcium carbonate was precipitated within a small-scale and a near field-scale (3.1 m2) artificial fracture consisting of a rough rock lower surfaces and clear polycarbonate upper surfaces. The spatial distribution of the calcium carbonate precipitation was imaged using time-lapse photography and the influence on flow pathways revealed from tracer transport imaging. In the large-scale experiment, hydraulic aperture was reduced from 276 to 22 μm, corresponding to a transmissivity reduction of 1.71 × 10-5 to 8.75 × 10-9 m2/s, over a period of 12 days under constantly flowing conditions. With a modified injection strategy a similar three orders of magnitude reduction in transmissivity was achieved over a period of 3 days. Calcium carbonate precipitated over the entire artificial fracture with strong adhesion to both upper and lower surfaces and precipitation was controlled to prevent clogging of the injection well by manipulating the injection fluid velocity. These experiments demonstrate that microbially induced carbonate precipitation can successfully be used to grout a fracture under constantly flowing conditions and may be a viable alternative to cement based grouts when a high level of hydraulic sealing is required and chemical grouts when a more durable grout is required.

  11. Hydraulic Fracture Growth in a Layered Formation based on Fracturing Experiments and Discrete Element Modeling (United States)

    Yushi, Zou; Xinfang, Ma; Tong, Zhou; Ning, Li; Ming, Chen; Sihai, Li; Yinuo, Zhang; Han, Li


    Hydraulic fracture (HF) height containment tends to occur in layered formations, and it significantly influences the entire HF geometry or the stimulated reservoir volume. This study aims to explore the influence of preexisting bedding planes (BPs) on the HF height growth in layered formations. Laboratory fracturing experiments were performed to confirm the occurrence of HF height containment in natural shale that contains multiple weak and high-permeability BPs under triaxial stresses. Numerical simulations were then conducted to further illustrate the manner in which vertical stress, BP permeability, BP density(or spacing), pump rate, and fluid viscosity control HF height growth using a 3D discrete element method-based fracturing model. In this model, the rock matrix was considered transversely isotropic and multiple BPs can be explicitly represented. Experimental and numerical results show that the vertically growing HF tends to be limited by multi-high-permeability BPs, even under higher vertical stress. When the vertically growing HF intersects with the multi-high-permeability BPs, the injection pressure will be sharply reduced. If a low pumping rate or a low-viscosity fluid is used, the excess fracturing fluid leak-off into the BPs obviously decreases the rate of pressure build up, which will then limit the growth of HF. Otherwise, a higher pumping rate and/or a higher viscosity will reduce the leak-off time and fluid volume, but increase the injection pressure to drive the HF to grow and to penetrate through the BPs.

  12. Characterization of hydraulic fractures and reservoir properties of shale using natural tracers (United States)

    Heath, J. E.; Gardner, P.; Kuhlman, K. L.; Malama, B.


    Hydraulic fracturing plays a major role in the economic production of hydrocarbon from shale. Current fracture characterization techniques are limited in diagnosing the transport properties of the fractures on the near wellbore scale to that of the entire stimulated reservoir volume. Microseismic reveals information on fracture geometries, but not transport properties. Production analysis (e.g., rate transient analysis using produced fluids) estimates fracture and reservoir flow characteristics, but often relies on simplified models in terms of fracture geometries and fluid storage and transport. We present the approach and potential benefits of incorporating natural tracers with production data analysis for fracture and reservoir characterization. Hydraulic fracturing releases omnipresent natural tracers that accumulate in low permeability rocks over geologic time (e.g., radiogenic 4He and 40Ar). Key reservoir characteristics govern the tracer release, which include: the number, connectivity, and geometry of fractures; the distribution of fracture-surface-area to matrix-block-volume; and the nature of hydrocarbon phases within the reservoir (e.g., methane dissolved in groundwater or present as a separate gas phase). We explore natural tracer systematics using numerical techniques under relevant shale-reservoir conditions. We evaluate the impact on natural tracer transport due to a variety of conceptual models of reservoir-transport properties and boundary conditions. Favorable attributes for analysis of natural tracers include the following: tracer concentrations start with a well-defined initial condition (i.e., equilibrium between matrix and any natural fractures); there is a large suite of tracers that cover a range of at least 7x in diffusion coefficients; and diffusive mass-transfer out of the matrix into hydraulic fractures will cause elemental and isotopic fractionation. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by

  13. Intermediate-Scale Hydraulic Fracturing in a Deep Mine - kISMET Project Summary 2016

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oldenburg, C. M. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Dobson, P. F. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Wu, Y. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Cook, P. J. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Kneafsey, T. J. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Nakagawa, S. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Ulrich, C. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Siler, D. L. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Guglielmi, Y. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Ajo-Franklin, J. B. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Rutqvist, J. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Daley, T. M. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Birkholzer, J. T. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Wang, H. F. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Lord, N. E. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Haimson, B. C. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Sone, H. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Vigilante, P. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Roggenthen, W. M. [South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD (United States); Doe, T. W. [Golder Associates Inc., Toronto, ON (Canada); Lee, M. Y. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Ingraham, M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Huang, H. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Mattson, E. D. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Zhou, J. [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Johnson, T. J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Morris, J. P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); White, J. A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Johnson, P. A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Coblentz, D. D. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Heise, J. [Stanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, SD (United States); Zoback, M. D. [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)


    In support of the U.S. DOE SubTER Crosscut initiative, we established a field test facility in a deep mine and designed and carried out in situ hydraulic fracturing experiments in the crystalline rock at the site to characterize the stress field, understand the effects of rock fabric on fracturing, and gain experience in monitoring using geophysical methods. The project also included pre- and post-fracturing simulation and analysis, laboratory measurements and experiments, and we conducted an extended analysis of the local stress state using previously collected data. Some of these activities are still ongoing. The kISMET (permeability (k) and Induced Seismicity Management for Energy Technologies) experiments meet objectives in SubTER’s “stress” pillar and the “new subsurface signals” pillar. The kISMET site was established in the West Access Drift of SURF 4850 ft (1478 m) below ground (on the 4850L) in phyllite of the Precambrian Poorman Formation. We drilled and cored five near-vertical boreholes in a line on 3 m spacing, deviating the two outermost boreholes slightly to create a five-spot pattern around the test borehole centered in the test volume at ~1528 m (5013 ft). Laboratory measurements of core from the center test borehole showed P-wave velocity heterogeneity along each core indicating strong, fine-scale (~1 cm or smaller) changes in the mechanical properties of the rock. The load-displacement record on the core suggests that the elastic stiffness is anisotropic. Tensile strength ranges between 3-7.5 MPa and 5-12 MPa. Permeability measurements are planned, as are two types of laboratory miniature hydraulic fracturing experiments to investigate the importance of rock fabric (anisotropy and heterogeneity) on near-borehole hydraulic fracture generation. Pre-fracturing numerical simulations with INL’s FALCON discrete element code predicted a fracture radius of 1.2 m for a corresponding injection volume of 1.2 L for the planned fractures, and

  14. Hydraulic conductivities of fractures and matrix in Slovenian carbonate aquifers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timotej Verbovšek


    Full Text Available Hydraulic conductivities and specific storage coefficients of fractures and matrix in Slovenian carbonate aquifers were determined by Barker’s method for pumping test analysis, based on fractional flow dimension. Values are presented for limestones and mainly for dolomites, and additionally for separate aquifers, divided by age andlithology in several groups. Data was obtained from hydrogeological reports for 397 water wells, and among these, 79 pumping tests were reinterpreted. Hydraulic conductivities of fractures are higher than the hydraulic conductivities of matrix, and the differences are highly statistically significant. Likewise, differences are significant for specific storage, and the values of these coefficients are higher in the matrix. Values of all coefficients vary in separate aquifers, and the differences can be explained by diagenetic effects, crystal size, degree of fracturing, andcarbonate purity. Comparison of the methods, used in the reports, and the Barker’s method (being more suitable for karstic and fractured aquifers, shows that the latter fits real data better.

  15. Imaging hydraulic fractures by microseismic migration for downhole monitoring system (United States)

    Lin, Ye; Zhang, Haijiang


    It has been a challenge to accurately characterize fracture zones created by hydraulic fracturing from microseismic event locations. This is because generally detected events are not complete due to the associated low signal to noise ratio and some fracturing stages may not produce microseismic events even if fractures are well developed. As a result, spatial distribution of microseismic events may not well represent fractured zones by hydraulic fracturing. Here, we propose a new way to characterize the fractured zones by reverse time migration (RTM) of microseismic waveforms from some events. This is based on the fact that fractures filled with proppants and other fluids can act as strong scatterers for seismic waves. Therefore, for multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, recorded waveforms from microseismic events induced in a more recent stage may be scattered by fractured zones from previous stages. Through RTM of microseismic waveforms in the current stage, we can determine fractured zones created in previous stages by imaging area of strong scattering. We test the feasibility of this method using synthetic models with different configurations of microseismic event locations and borehole sensor positions for a 2D downhole microseismic monitoring system. Synthetic tests show that with a few events fractured zones can be directly imaged and thus the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) can be estimated. Compared to the conventional location-based SRV estimation method, the proposed new method does not depend on the completeness of detected events and only a limited number of detected and located events are necessary for characterizing fracture distribution. For simplicity, the 2D model is used for illustrating the concept of microseismic RTM for imaging the fracture zone but the method can be adapted to real cases in the future.

  16. Fracture Initiation of an Inhomogeneous Shale Rock under a Pressurized Supercritical CO2 Jet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Hu


    Full Text Available Due to the advantages of good fracture performance and the application of carbon capture and storage (CCS, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2 is considered a promising alternative for hydraulic fracturing. However, the fracture initiation mechanism and its propagation under pressurized SC-CO2 jet are still unknown. To address these problems, a fluid–structure interaction (FSI-based numerical simulation model along with a user-defined code was used to investigate the fracture initiation in an inhomogeneous shale rock. The mechanism of fracturing under the effect of SC-CO2 jet was explored, and the effects of various influencing factors were analyzed and discussed. The results indicated that higher velocity jets of SC-CO2 not only caused hydraulic-fracturing ring, but also resulted in the increase of stress in the shale rock. It was found that, with the increase of perforation pressure, more cracks initiated at the tip. In contrast, the length of cracks at the root decreased. The length-to-diameter ratio and the aperture ratio distinctly affected the pressurization of SC-CO2 jet, and contributed to the non-linear distribution and various maximum values of the stress in shale rock. The results proved that Weibull probability distribution was appropriate for analysis of the fracture initiation. The studied parameters explain the distribution of weak elements, and they affect the stress field in shale rock.

  17. Hydraulic fracturing model based on the discrete fracture model and the generalized J integral (United States)

    Liu, Z. Q.; Liu, Z. F.; Wang, X. H.; Zeng, B.


    The hydraulic fracturing technique is an effective stimulation for low permeability reservoirs. In fracturing models, one key point is to accurately calculate the flux across the fracture surface and the stress intensity factor. To achieve high precision, the discrete fracture model is recommended to calculate the flux. Using the generalized J integral, the present work obtains an accurate simulation of the stress intensity factor. Based on the above factors, an alternative hydraulic fracturing model is presented. Examples are included to demonstrate the reliability of the proposed model and its ability to model the fracture propagation. Subsequently, the model is used to describe the relationship between the geometry of the fracture and the fracturing equipment parameters. The numerical results indicate that the working pressure and the pump power will significantly influence the fracturing process.

  18. Comment on "Depth-discrete specific storage in fractured sedimentary rock using steady-state and transient single-hole hydraulic tests" by Patryk M. Quinn, John A. Cherry, Beth L. Parker, J. Hydrol. 542 (2016) 756-771 (United States)

    Çimen, Mesut


    Quinn et al. (2016) presented a method to estimate storativity (S) of fractured sedimentary rock from straddle packer tests after transmissivity (T) of aquifer was determined from low-flow constant-head (CH) step tests. Constant-rate pumping tests were carried out to determine S by using the Cooper and Jacob (1946) approximation. Estimating the aquifer parameters depends on a matching of observation data to theoretical response which is mathematically obtained from a physical model. The results of both constant rate injection and withdrawal tests in the borehole C6zone17 cannot show this simulation. This comment proposes a reasonable procedure to estimate storativity.

  19. Rock fracture image acquisition with both visible and ultraviolet illuminations (United States)

    Wang, Weixing; Hakami, Eva


    Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) have identified the need for a better understanding of radionuclide transport and retention processes in fractured rock since 1994. In the study, the first hard problem is to obtain rock fracture images of a good quality, since rock surface is very rough, and composed of complicated and multiple fractures, as a result, image acquisition is the first important. As a cooperation project between Sweden and China, we sampled a number of rock specimens for analyzing rock fracture network by visible and ultraviolet image technique, in the field. The samples are resin injected, in which way; opened fractures can be seen clearly by means of UV light illumination, and the rock surface information can be obtained by using visible optical illumination. We used different digital cameras and microscope to take images by two illuminations. From the same samples; we found that UV illumination image gives the clear information of fracture opening or closing, and the visible optical illumination gives the information of the rock surface (e.g. filling materials inside of fractures). By applying this technique, the minimum width of rock fracture 0.01 mm can be analyzed. This paper presents: (1) Rock fracture image acquiring techniques; (2) Rock fracture image acquisition by using UV light illumination and visible optical illumination; and (3) Conclusions. The studied method can be used both in the field and a laboratory.

  20. Advanced Hydraulic Fracturing Technology for Unconventional Tight Gas Reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen Holditch; A. Daniel Hill; D. Zhu


    The objectives of this project are to develop and test new techniques for creating extensive, conductive hydraulic fractures in unconventional tight gas reservoirs by statistically assessing the productivity achieved in hundreds of field treatments with a variety of current fracturing practices ranging from 'water fracs' to conventional gel fracture treatments; by laboratory measurements of the conductivity created with high rate proppant fracturing using an entirely new conductivity test - the 'dynamic fracture conductivity test'; and by developing design models to implement the optimal fracture treatments determined from the field assessment and the laboratory measurements. One of the tasks of this project is to create an 'advisor' or expert system for completion, production and stimulation of tight gas reservoirs. A central part of this study is an extensive survey of the productivity of hundreds of tight gas wells that have been hydraulically fractured. We have been doing an extensive literature search of the SPE eLibrary, DOE, Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Bureau of Economic Geology and IHS Energy, for publicly available technical reports about procedures of drilling, completion and production of the tight gas wells. We have downloaded numerous papers and read and summarized the information to build a database that will contain field treatment data, organized by geographic location, and hydraulic fracture treatment design data, organized by the treatment type. We have conducted experimental study on 'dynamic fracture conductivity' created when proppant slurries are pumped into hydraulic fractures in tight gas sands. Unlike conventional fracture conductivity tests in which proppant is loaded into the fracture artificially; we pump proppant/frac fluid slurries into a fracture cell, dynamically placing the proppant just as it occurs in the field. From such tests, we expect to gain new insights into some of the critical

  1. Ensuring stability of maintained goaf by means of directional hydraulic fracturing (DHF) (United States)

    Klishin, V. I.; Opruk, G. Yu; Teleguz, A. S.


    The article describes how directional hydraulic fracturing (DHF) of roof rock was used while the longwall face was operating and airway for the isolated methane-air mixture drainage from the goaf was preserved. The authors give the reasons for using DHF in mining and geological conditions of Esaulskaya mine. They describe the sequence of the performed operations aimed at weakening roof rocks and also list the special equipment used during the process. Based on the results of the performed operations, the authors make a conclusion concerning the effectiveness of this work.

  2. Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada. (United States)

    Bao, Xuewei; Eaton, David W


    Hydraulic fracturing has been inferred to trigger the majority of injection-induced earthquakes in western Canada, in contrast to the Midwestern United States, where massive saltwater disposal is the dominant triggering mechanism. A template-based earthquake catalog from a seismically active Canadian shale play, combined with comprehensive injection data during a 4-month interval, shows that earthquakes are tightly clustered in space and time near hydraulic fracturing sites. The largest event [moment magnitude (MW) 3.9] occurred several weeks after injection along a fault that appears to extend from the injection zone into crystalline basement. Patterns of seismicity indicate that stress changes during operations can activate fault slip to an offset distance of >1 km, whereas pressurization by hydraulic fracturing into a fault yields episodic seismicity that can persist for months. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Microbially Induced Carbonate Precipitation For Engineered Sealing Of Fractured Rock (United States)

    Minto, J. M.; Lunn, R. J.; El Mountassir, G.


    ContextEngineering works in the subsurface often requires ground water ingress through fractures in the rock to be minimised. Traditionally cement based grouts have been used for this purpose, however chemical and alternative grouts are increasingly used. A promising alternative grout utilises bacteria to rapidly initiate the precipitation of calcium carbonate in a process termed microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP). Advantages of this process over conventional grouts are very low viscosity and small particle size allowing penetration into small aperture fractures, low toxicity and low associated carbon footprint. The use of MICP for soil stabilisation has been demonstrated and small scale fractures have been sealed in the lab, yet where the CaCO3 precipitates within large fractures is poorly understood. AimThe aim of this project was to assess the feasibility of MICP for large scale fracture sealing and to identify the optimum injection strategy that would allow controllable precipitation of CaCO3 over a large area and hence create a long-lasting reduction in fracture transmissivity. A 3m2 artificial fracture consisting of a rough-cut granite lower surface and transparent polycarbonate upper surface with a central injection well was created (Figure 1) and sealed twice with MICP: the first experiment to determine the transmissivity reduction achievable and the second experiment to optimise where CaCO3 precipitation occurred. The sealing process was then simulated in a model developed with CFD software OpenFOAM. ResultsThe transmissivity of the 300μm hydraulic aperture fracture was reduced from 1.7x10-5 to 8.8x10-9m2/s with 12 injections in the first experiment. A similar transmissivity reduction was achieved with only five injections in the second optimised experiment. Through the transparent upper fracture surface, CaCO3 precipitation was visible over the entire 3m2 fracture and attachment to both the top and bottom surfaces was very strong. This

  4. A Review of Critical Conditions for the Onset of Nonlinear Fluid Flow in Rock Fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyuan Yu


    Full Text Available Selecting appropriate governing equations for fluid flow in fractured rock masses is of special importance for estimating the permeability of rock fracture networks. When the flow velocity is small, the flow is in the linear regime and obeys the cubic law, whereas when the flow velocity is large, the flow is in the nonlinear regime and should be simulated by solving the complex Navier-Stokes equations. The critical conditions such as critical Reynolds number and critical hydraulic gradient are commonly defined in the previous works to quantify the onset of nonlinear fluid flow. This study reviews the simplifications of governing equations from the Navier-Stokes equations, Stokes equation, and Reynold equation to the cubic law and reviews the evolutions of critical Reynolds number and critical hydraulic gradient for fluid flow in rock fractures and fracture networks, considering the influences of shear displacement, normal stress and/or confining pressure, fracture surface roughness, aperture, and number of intersections. This review provides a reference for the engineers and hydrogeologists especially the beginners to thoroughly understand the nonlinear flow regimes/mechanisms within complex fractured rock masses.

  5. Environmentally Friendly, Rheoreversible, Hydraulic-fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shao, Hongbo; Kabilan, Senthil; Stephens, Sean A.; Suresh, Niraj; Beck, Anthon NR; Varga, Tamas; Martin, Paul F.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Jung, Hun Bok; Um, Wooyong; Bonneville, Alain; Heldebrant, David J.; Carroll, KC; Moore, Joseph; Fernandez, Carlos A.


    Cost-effective creation of high-permeability reservoirs inside deep crystalline bedrock is the primary challenge for the feasibility of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Current reservoir stimulation entails adverse environmental impacts and substantial economic costs due to the utilization of large volumes of water “doped” with chemicals including rheology modifiers, scale and corrosion inhibitors, biocides, friction reducers among others where, typically, little or no information of composition and toxicity is disclosed. An environmentally benign, CO2-activated, rheoreversible fracturing fluid has recently been developed that significantly enhances rock permeability at effective stress significantly lower than current technology. We evaluate the potential of this novel fracturing fluid for application on geothermal sites under different chemical and geomechanical conditions, by performing laboratory-scale fracturing experiments with different rock sources under different confining pressures, temperatures, and pH environments. The results demonstrate that CO2-reactive aqueous solutions of environmentally amenable Polyallylamine (PAA) represent a highly versatile fracturing fluid technology. This fracturing fluid creates/propagates fracture networks through highly impermeable crystalline rock at significantly lower effective stress as compared to control experiments where no PAA was present, and permeability enhancement was significantly increased for PAA compared to conventional hydraulic fracturing controls. This was evident in all experiments, including variable rock source/type, operation pressure and temperature (over the entire range for EGS applications), as well as over a wide range of formation-water pH values. This versatile novel fracturing fluid technology represents a great alternative to industrially available fracturing fluids for cost-effective and competitive geothermal energy production.

  6. Interaction of hydraulic and buckling mechanisms in blowout fractures. (United States)

    Nagasao, Tomohisa; Miyamoto, Junpei; Jiang, Hua; Tamaki, Tamotsu; Kaneko, Tsuyoshi


    The etiology of blowout fractures is generally attributed to 2 mechanisms--increase in the pressure of the orbital contents (the hydraulic mechanism) and direct transmission of impacts on the orbital walls (the buckling mechanism). The present study aims to elucidate whether or not an interaction exists between these 2 mechanisms. We performed a simulation experiment using 10 Computer-Aided-Design skull models. We applied destructive energy to the orbits of the 10 models in 3 different ways. First, to simulate pure hydraulic mechanism, energy was applied solely on the internal walls of the orbit. Second, to simulate pure buckling mechanism, energy was applied solely on the inferior rim of the orbit. Third, to simulate the combined effect of the hydraulic and buckling mechanisms, energy was applied both on the internal wall of the orbit and inferior rim of the orbit. After applying the energy, we calculated the areas of the regions where fracture occurred in the models. Thereafter, we compared the areas among the 3 energy application patterns. When the hydraulic and buckling mechanisms work simultaneously, fracture occurs on wider areas of the orbital walls than when each of these mechanisms works separately. The hydraulic and buckling mechanisms interact, enhancing each other's effect. This information should be taken into consideration when we examine patients in whom blowout fracture is suspected.

  7. Non-symmetry of a hydraulic fracture due to the inhomogeneity of the reservoir

    CERN Document Server

    Baykin, Alexey N


    It is usually assumed that hydraulic fracture has two symmetrical wings with respect to the fluid injection point. Hence, authors limit themselves to modelling of one half of the fracture. In our work we demonstrate that the case of a symmetrical fracture occurs only in a homogeneous reservoir with constant physical parameters and confining {\\it in situ} stress. Otherwise, inhomogeneity in the stress or the rock permeability can significantly change the dynamics of the fracture propagation. The mathematical model of the hydraulic fracturing used in the paper is adopted from our earlier work \\cite{Golovin_Baykin_2016_Pore}. In present paper we perform numerical experiments demonstrating that in case of non-constant confining stress or reservoir permeability the fracture is developing non-symmetrically. An important role is played by the action of the backstress that is formed near the fracture due to the pore pressure. To support this observation we give a formal definition of the backstress and compare the va...

  8. Fully coupled simulation of multiple hydraulic fractures to propagate simultaneously from a perforated horizontal wellbore (United States)

    Zeng, Qinglei; Liu, Zhanli; Wang, Tao; Gao, Yue; Zhuang, Zhuo


    In hydraulic fracturing process in shale rock, multiple fractures perpendicular to a horizontal wellbore are usually driven to propagate simultaneously by the pumping operation. In this paper, a numerical method is developed for the propagation of multiple hydraulic fractures (HFs) by fully coupling the deformation and fracturing of solid formation, fluid flow in fractures, fluid partitioning through a horizontal wellbore and perforation entry loss effect. The extended finite element method (XFEM) is adopted to model arbitrary growth of the fractures. Newton's iteration is proposed to solve these fully coupled nonlinear equations, which is more efficient comparing to the widely adopted fixed-point iteration in the literatures and avoids the need to impose fluid pressure boundary condition when solving flow equations. A secant iterative method based on the stress intensity factor (SIF) is proposed to capture different propagation velocities of multiple fractures. The numerical results are compared with theoretical solutions in literatures to verify the accuracy of the method. The simultaneous propagation of multiple HFs is simulated by the newly proposed algorithm. The coupled influences of propagation regime, stress interaction, wellbore pressure loss and perforation entry loss on simultaneous propagation of multiple HFs are investigated.

  9. Application of particle and lattice codes to simulation of hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Damjanac, Branko; Detournay, Christine; Cundall, Peter A.


    With the development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs over the last 15 years, the understanding and capability to model the propagation of hydraulic fractures in inhomogeneous and naturally fractured reservoirs has become very important for the petroleum industry (but also for some other industries like mining and geothermal). Particle-based models provide advantages over other models and solutions for the simulation of fracturing of rock masses that cannot be assumed to be continuous and homogeneous. It has been demonstrated (Potyondy and Cundall Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 41:1329-1364, 2004) that particle models based on a simple force criterion for fracture propagation match theoretical solutions and scale effects derived using the principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM). The challenge is how to apply these models effectively (i.e., with acceptable models sizes and computer run times) to the coupled hydro-mechanical problems of relevant time and length scales for practical field applications (i.e., reservoir scale and hours of injection time). A formulation of a fully coupled hydro-mechanical particle-based model and its application to the simulation of hydraulic treatment of unconventional reservoirs are presented. Model validation by comparing with available analytical asymptotic solutions (penny-shape crack) and some examples of field application (e.g., interaction with DFN) are also included.

  10. Overview of Chronic Oral Toxicity Values for Chemicals Present in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids, Flowback and Produced Waters (United States)

    as part of EPA's Hydraulic Fracturing Drinking Water Assessment, EPA is summarizing existing toxicity data for chemicals reported to be used in hydraulic fracturing fluids and/or found in flowback or produced waters from hydraulically fractured wells

  11. Triaxial coreflood study of the hydraulic fracturing of Utica Shale (United States)

    Carey, J. W.; Frash, L.; Viswanathan, H. S.


    One of the central questions in unconventional oil and gas production research is the cause of limited recovery of hydrocarbon. There are many hypotheses including: 1) inadequate penetration of fractures within the stimulated volume; 2) limited proppant delivery; 3) multiphase flow phenomena that blocks hydrocarbon migration; etc. Underlying any solution to this problem must be an understanding of the hydrologic properties of hydraulically fractured shale. In this study, we conduct triaxial coreflood experiments using a gasket sealing mechanism to characterize hydraulic fracture development and permeability of Utica Shale samples. Our approach also includes fracture propagation with proppants. The triaxial coreflood experiments were conducted with an integrated x-ray tomography system that allows direct observation of fracture development using x-ray video radiography and x-ray computed tomography at elevated pressure. A semi-circular, fracture initiation notch was cut into an end-face of the cylindrical samples (1"-diameter with lengths from 0.375 to 1"). The notch was aligned parallel with the x-ray beam to allow video radiography of fracture growth as a function of injection pressure. The proppants included tungsten powder that provided good x-ray contrast for tracing proppant delivery and distribution within the fracture system. Fractures were propagated at injection pressures in excess of the confining pressure and permeability measurements were made in samples where the fractures propagated through the length of the sample, ideally without penetrating the sample sides. Following fracture development, permeability was characterized as a function of hydrostatic pressure and injection pressure. X-ray video radioadiography was used to study changes in fracture aperture in relation to permeability and proppant embedment. X-ray tomography was collected at steady-state conditions to fully characterize fracture geometry and proppant distribution.

  12. Quantifying porosity and permeability of fractured carbonates and fault rocks in natural groundwater reservoirs (United States)

    Pirmoradi, Reza; Wolfmayr, Mariella; Bauer, Helene; Decker, Kurt


    This study presents porosity and permeability data for a suite of different carbonate rocks from two major groundwater reservoirs in eastern Austria that supply more than 60% of Vienna`s drinking water. Data includes a set of lithologically different, unfractured host rocks, fractured rocks with variable fracture intensities, and fault rocks such as dilation breccias, different cataclasites and dissolution-precipitation fault rocks. Fault rock properties are of particular importance, since fault zones play an important role in the hydrogeology of the reservoirs. The reservoir rocks are exposed at two major alpine karst plateaus in the Northern Calcareous Alps. They comprise of various Triassic calcareous strata of more than 2 km total thickness that reflect facies differentiation since Anisian times. Rocks are multiply deformed resulting in a partly dense network of fractures and faults. Faults differ in scale, fault rock content, and fault rock volumes. Methods used to quantify the porosity and permeability of samples include a standard industry procedure that uses the weight of water saturated samples under hydrostatic uplift and in air to determine the total effective (matrix and fracture) porosity of rocks, measurements on plugs with a fully automated gas porosity- and permeameter using N2 gas infiltrating plugs under a defined confining pressure (Coreval Poro 700 by Vinci technologies), and percolation tests. The latter were conducted in the field along well known fault zones in order to test the differences in fractured rock permeability in situ and on a representative volume, which is not ensured with plug measurements. To calculate hydraulic conductivity by the Darcy equation the measured elapsed time for infiltrating a standard volume of water into a small borehole has been used. In general, undisturbed host rock samples are all of low porosity (average around 1%). The open porosity of the undisturbed rocks belonging to diverse formations vary from 0

  13. 75 FR 36387 - Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study; Correction (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study; Correction AGENCY... Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study. The document contained an incorrect EPA Web site address in two places...

  14. Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications. (United States)

    Gallegos, Tanya J; Varela, Brian A; Haines, Seth S; Engle, Mark A


    A U.S. map of water volumes used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells, 2011-2014Hydraulic fracturing water volumes differ regionally across the U.S.Discussion of variation in water use and potential environmental implications.

  15. Estimates of hydraulic fracturing (Frac) sand production, consumption, and reserves in the United States (United States)

    Bleiwas, Donald I.


    The practice of fracturing reservoir rock in the United States as a method to increase the flow of oil and gas from wells has a relatively long history and can be traced back to 1858 in Fredonia, New York, when a gas well situated in shale of the Marcellus Formation was successfully fractured using black powder as a blasting agent. Nearly all domestic hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as hydrofracking or fracking, is a process where fluids are injected under high pressure through perforations in the horizontal portion of a well casing in order to generate fractures in reservoir rock with low permeability (“tight”). Because the fractures are in contact with the well bore they can serve as pathways for the recovery of gas and oil. To prevent the fractures generated by the fracking process from closing or becoming obstructed with debris, material termed “proppant,” most commonly high-silica sand, is injected along with water-rich fluids to maintain or “prop” open the fractures. The first commercial application of fracking in the oil and gas industry took place in Oklahoma and Texas during the 1940s. In 1949, over 300 wells, mostly vertical, were fracked (ALL Consulting, LLC, 2012; McGee, 2012; Veil, 2012) and used silica sand as a proppant (Fracline, 2011). The resulting increase in well productivity demonstrated the significant potential that fracking might have for the oil and gas industry.

  16. Aespoe Hard Rock Laboratory. Backfill and Plug test. Hydraulic testing of core drilled boreholes in the ZEDEX drift

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ludvigson, Jan-Erik; Nordqvist, Rune; Ekman, Lennart; Hansson, Kent (GEOSIGMA AB, Uppsala (Sweden))


    The present report documents the performance and results of hydraulic testing in selected core boreholes in the Zedex drift. The holes will be used as rock instrumentation boreholes during the Backfill and Plug Test at Aespoe HRL. The testing involves both 1 m long boreholes with 56 mm diameter as well as longer boreholes c. 5 m, 8 m and 25 m long with 56 mm or 76 mm diameter. Only single-hole tests were performed. The tests were carried out as short-time constant head injection tests since all boreholes tested (except one) were non-flowing before tests. The injection phase was followed by a pressure recovery phase. Furthermore, the tests were carried out as single-packer tests. A specially designed test system was used for the tests. The main evaluation of the tests was performed on data from the recovery phase by a new approach based on a non-linear regression technique combined with a flow simulation model (SUTRA). The tests in the 1 m-holes (testing the interval c. 0.3-0.7 m in the rock perpendicular to the tunnel face) show that the hydraulic conductivity of the superficial rock around the Zedex drift in general is low. However, during testing in some boreholes, visible leakage in the rock occurred through superficial fractures into the tunnel. These fractures were mainly located in the floor of the Zedex drift and are probably blast-induced. These fractures have a high hydraulic conductivity. The tests in the longer boreholes show that the hydraulic conductivity further into the rock in general is below c. 1x10-10 m/s. Increased hydraulic conductivity (c.1.5x10-8 m/s) was only observed in the flowing borehole KXZSD8HL.

  17. Combining periodic hydraulic tests and surface tilt measurements to explore in situ fracture hydromechanics (United States)

    Schuite, Jonathan; Longuevergne, Laurent; Bour, Olivier; Guihéneuf, Nicolas; Becker, Matthew W.; Cole, Matthew; Burbey, Thomas J.; Lavenant, Nicolas; Boudin, Frédéric


    Fractured bedrock reservoirs are of socio-economical importance, as they may be used for storage or retrieval of fluids and energy. In particular, the hydromechanical behavior of fractures needs to be understood as it has implications on flow and governs stability issues (e.g., microseismicity). Laboratory, numerical, or field experiments have brought considerable insights to this topic. Nevertheless, in situ hydromechanical experiments are relatively uncommon, mainly because of technical and instrumental limitations. Here we present the early stage development and validation of a novel approach aiming at capturing the integrated hydromechanical behavior of natural fractures. It combines the use of surface tiltmeters to monitor the deformation associated with the periodic pressurization of fractures at depth in crystalline rocks. Periodic injection and withdrawal advantageously avoids mobilizing or extracting significant amounts of fluid, and it hinders any risk of reservoir failure. The oscillatory perturbation is intended to (1) facilitate the recognition of its signature in tilt measurements and (2) vary the hydraulic penetration depth in order to sample different volumes of the fractured bedrock around the inlet and thereby assess scale effects typical of fractured systems. By stacking tilt signals, we managed to recover small tilt amplitudes associated with pressure-derived fracture deformation. Therewith, we distinguish differences in mechanical properties between the three tested fractures, but we show that tilt amplitudes are weakly dependent on pressure penetration depth. Using an elastic model, we obtain fracture stiffness estimates that are consistent with published data. Our results should encourage further improvement of the method.

  18. A study on the characteristics of site-scale fracture system in granite and volcanic rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Kyung Su; Kim, Chun Soo; Bae, Dae Seok; Park, Byoung Yoon; Koh, Young Kown [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejeon (Korea)


    The safety of waste disposal can be achieved by a complete isolation of radioactive wastes from biosphere or by a retardation of nuclide migration to reach an acceptable dose level. For the deep geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, the potential pathways of nuclide primarily depend on the spatial distribution characteristics of conductive fractures. Major key issues in the quantification of fracture system for a disposal site are involved in classification criteria, hydraulic parameters, geometry, field investigation methods etc. This research aims to characterize the spatial distribution characteristics of conductive fractures in granite and volcanic rock mass. 10 refs., 32 figs., 13 tabs. (Author)

  19. Hydraulic fracturing and environmental concerns : The role of local government

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschuuren, Jonathan


    This article discusses how local governments, in three different countries, challenge higher levels of government’s decision making that enables hydraulic fracturing, and it explores how these higher levels of government should respond. The article finds that in those countries where at the local

  20. Hydraulic fracturing, energy transition and political engagement in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rasch, Elisabet Dueholm; Köhne, Michiel


    This paper analyses how citizens (re)define their relation to the state in the contestation of hydraulic fracturing in the Noordoostpolder (the Netherlands) in the context of energy transition. It approaches citizenship as the negotiations between governments and citizens about in-and exclusion

  1. Nucleation of dynamic slip on a hydraulically fractured fault (United States)

    Azad, M.; Garagash, D. I.; Satish, M.


    This work is concerned with the relationship between hydraulic fracturing injection into a fault and the possibility of a seismic slip. The results of this study show that the nucleation of dynamic slip on a fault with slip-weakening friction is only weakly dependent on the magnitude of the stress perturbation ahead of the propagating hydraulic fracture (HF), or the HF propagation regime, and is mainly controlled by the hydraulic fracture length (i.e., the size of the fully unloaded fault segment at a given time). The growth of the fault slipping patch remains stable when the background shear stress τ0 is smaller than the residual fault strength τr under ambient conditions. Otherwise (τ0>τr), nucleation of dynamic slip takes place when the hydraulic fracture grows to the critical size ℓc, which is vanishingly small ∝τp-τ0 for critically stressed faults (i.e., when the background stress approaches the fault peak strength, τ0→τp) and is diverging as ∝1/(τ0-τr) when the stability boundary is approached (τ0→τr). Our solution for the critical HF size allows to infer the corresponding fluid injection volume that may lead to slip instability on a fault with given frictional properties and background stress.

  2. Potential Relationships Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water Resources (United States)

    The conferees urge the Agency to carry out a study on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, using a credible approach that relies on the best available science, as well as independent sources of information. The conferees expect the study to be conduct...

  3. 78 FR 31635 - Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands (United States)


    ... (Subcommittee) of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board to evaluate hydraulic fracturing issues. The... the Interior Bureau of Land Management 43 CFR Part 3160 Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal... [WO-300-L13100000.FJ0000] RIN 1004-AE26 Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands...

  4. 75 FR 35023 - Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study (United States)


    ... AGENCY Informational Public Meetings for Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study AGENCY: Environmental... meetings related to the Agency's proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study. The meetings are open to the.... Persons wishing to contribute comments to EPA regarding the proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study...

  5. 77 FR 38024 - Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands (United States)


    ... Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION...) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public land and Indian land. The rule would require disclosure to the public of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on...

  6. 78 FR 20637 - Notification of Public Meeting and a Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research... (United States)


    ... AGENCY Notification of Public Meeting and a Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research... teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to provide an opportunity for independent... Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources: Progress Report, which was released in December 2012. The...

  7. Demonstration of a Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox (FRGT) for Characterization and Monitoring of DNAPL Biodegradation in Fractured Rock Aquifers (United States)


    USER’S GUIDE Demonstration of a Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox (FRGT) for Characterization and Monitoring of DNAPL Biodegradation in...Fractured Rock Aquifers ESTCP Project ER-201118 JANUARY 2016 F.D. Day-Lewis C.D. Johnson U. S. Geological Survey, Office of Groundwater...RESPONSIBLE PERSON 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area code) 01/01/2016 Guidance July 2011 - January 2016 Demonstration of a Fractured Rock Geophysical

  8. Numerical Modeling of Fluid Migration and Propagation of Multiple Hydraulic Fractures in Crystalline Geothermal Reservoir (United States)

    Yoon, Jeoung Seok; Zang, Arno; Zimmermann, Günter; Stephansson, Ove; Min, Ki-Bok


    This paper presents discrete element based numerical model which is applied to simulation of multiple stage hydraulic fracturing in crystalline granitic geothermal reservoir. Target site modeled locates in south of state of Saxony Germany. Particle Flow Code 2D (Itasca) is used in which fluid flow algorithm and moment tensor based seismicity computation algorithm are implemented. Crystalline rock layer to be stimulated locates at 4-6 km depth with relative low density of pre-existing joints and faults. Hydraulic stimulation is modeled with five stages of fluid injection with distance of several hundreds of meters. Hydraulic fracturing is done on the stages from toe to heel direction along a series of sub-horizontally drilled wellbore with constant rate of fluid injection. Fracture propagation paths and induced seismic events are documented based on their time of occurrence and their magnitude. In addition to the evolution of the fracture propagation path and distribution of the induced events, migration of the injected fluid is investigated in space and time. This is to see how the results relate to the fluid migration front in low permeability crystalline reservoir subjected to multiple stage hydraulic fracturing. Moreover, this paper addresses advantages and disadvantages of the inclined drilling of the wellbore in low permeability reservoir and multi-stage fracturing setting. We try to seek an optimum inclination of the drilling in relation to the gradients and magnitudes of the in situ stresses, which are horizontal minimum and vertical stresses. Preliminary modeling results show that inclination angle of the drilling has a significant effect on lowering of the stress shadow effect and level of induced seismicity in terms of total number, magnitudes and the Gutenberg-Richter relation.

  9. A New Physics-Based Modeling of Multiple Non-Planar Hydraulic Fractures Propagation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Jing [University of Utah; Huang, Hai [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Deo, Milind [University of Utah; Jiang, Shu [Energy & Geoscience Institute


    Because of the low permeability in shale plays, closely spaced hydraulic fractures and multilateral horizontal wells are generally required to improve production. Therefore, understanding the potential fracture interaction and stress evolution is critical in optimizing fracture/well design and completion strategy in multi-stage horizontal wells. In this paper, a novel fully coupled reservoir flow and geomechanics model based on the dual-lattice system is developed to simulate multiple non-planar fractures propagation. The numerical model from Discrete Element Method (DEM) is used to simulate the mechanics of fracture propagations and interactions, while a conjugate irregular lattice network is generated to represent fluid flow in both fractures and formation. The fluid flow in the formation is controlled by Darcy’s law, but within fractures it is simulated by using cubic law for laminar flow through parallel plates. Initiation, growth and coalescence of the microcracks will lead to the generation of macroscopic fractures, which is explicitly mimicked by failure and removal of bonds between particles from the discrete element network. We investigate the fracture propagation path in both homogeneous and heterogeneous reservoirs using the simulator developed. Stress shadow caused by the transverse fracture will change the orientation of principal stress in the fracture neighborhood, which may inhibit or alter the growth direction of nearby fracture clusters. However, the initial in-situ stress anisotropy often helps overcome this phenomenon. Under large in-situ stress anisotropy, the hydraulic fractures are more likely to propagate in a direction that is perpendicular to the minimum horizontal stress. Under small in-situ stress anisotropy, there is a greater chance for fractures from nearby clusters to merge with each other. Then, we examine the differences in fracture geometry caused by fracturing in cemented or uncemented wellbore. Moreover, the impact of

  10. Analytic crack solutions for tilt fields around hydraulic fractures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warpinski, N.R.


    The recent development of downhole tiltmeter arrays for monitoring hydraulic fractures has provided new information on fracture growth and geometry. These downhole arrays offer the significant advantages of being close to the fracture (large signal) and being unaffected by the free surface. As with surface tiltmeter data, analysis of these measurements requires the inversion of a crack or dislocation model. To supplement the dislocation models of Davis [1983], Okada [1992] and others, this work has extended several elastic crack solutions to provide tilt calculations. The solutions include constant-pressure 2D, penny-shaped, and 3D-elliptic cracks and a 2D-variable-pressure crack. Equations are developed for an arbitrary inclined fracture in an infinite elastic space. Effects of fracture height, fracture length, fracture dip, fracture azimuth, fracture width and monitoring distance on the tilt distribution are given, as well as comparisons with the dislocation model. The results show that the tilt measurements are very sensitive to the fracture dimensions, but also that it is difficult to separate the competing effects of the various parameters.

  11. Quantitative Analysis Of Acoustic Emission From Rock Fracture Experiments (United States)

    Goodfellow, Sebastian David

    This thesis aims to advance the methods of quantitative acoustic emission (AE) analysis by calibrating sensors, characterizing sources, and applying the results to solve engi- neering problems. In the first part of this thesis, we built a calibration apparatus and successfully calibrated two commercial AE sensors. The ErgoTech sensor was found to have broadband velocity sensitivity and the Panametrics V103 was sensitive to surface normal displacement. These calibration results were applied to two AE data sets from rock fracture experiments in order to characterize the sources of AE events. The first data set was from an in situ rock fracture experiment conducted at the Underground Research Laboratory (URL). The Mine-By experiment was a large scale excavation response test where both AE (10 kHz - 1 MHz) and microseismicity (MS) (1 Hz - 10 kHz) were monitored. Using the calibration information, magnitude, stress drop, dimension and energy were successfully estimated for 21 AE events recorded in the tensile region of the tunnel wall. Magnitudes were in the range -7.5 seismicity in the field (0.1 - 10 MPa). The second data set was AE collected during a true-triaxial deformation experiment, where the objectives were to characterize laboratory AE sources and identify issues related to moving the analysis from ideal in situ conditions to more complex laboratory conditions in terms of the ability to conduct quantitative AE analysis. We found AE magnitudes in the range -7.8 seismic energy radiated is between 1e-7 % and 1e-3 % of the injection energy. We tested these findings by calculating the AE energy as a percentage of the injection energy and found that for eight laboratory hydraulic fracture experiments, the seismic energy ranged from 7.02e-08 % to 1.24e-04 % of the injection energy. These results support those made in the field, which concludes that seismic energy projection is a very small component of the hydraulic fracture energy budget and that the dominant energy

  12. Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas: Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources in the United States (Final Report) (United States)

    This final report provides a review and synthesis of available scientific information concerning the relationship between hydraulic fracturing activities and drinking water resources in the United States. The report is organized around activities in the hydraulic...

  13. Study on Initiation Mechanisms of Hydraulic Fracture Guided by Vertical Multi-radial Boreholes (United States)

    Guo, Tiankui; Liu, Binyan; Qu, Zhanqing; Gong, Diguang; Xin, Lei


    The conventional hydraulic fracturing fails in the target oil development zone (remaining oil or gas, closed reservoir, etc.) which is not located in the azimuth of maximum horizontal in situ stress of available wellbores. The technology of directional propagation of hydraulic fracture guided by vertical multi-radial boreholes is innovatively developed. The effects of in situ stress, wellbore internal pressure and fracturing fluid percolation effect on geostress field distribution are taken into account, a mechanical model of two radial boreholes (basic research unit) is established, and the distribution and change rule of the maximum principal stress on the various parameters have been studied. The results show that as the radial borehole azimuth increases, the preferential rock tensile fracturing in the axial plane of radial boreholes becomes increasingly difficult. When the radial borehole azimuth increases to a certain extent, the maximum principal stress no longer appears in the azimuth of the radial boreholes, but will go to other orientations outside the axial plane of radial boreholes and the maximum horizontal stress orientation. Therefore, by reducing the ratio between the distance of the radial boreholes and increasing the diameter of the radial boreholes can enhance the guiding strength. In the axial plane of the radical boreholes, particularly in the radial hole wall, position closer to the radial boreholes is more prone to rock tensile destruction. Even in the case of large radial borehole azimuth, rock still preferentially ruptures in this position. The more the position is perpendicularly far from the axis of the wellbore, the lesser it will be affected by wellbore, and the lesser the tensile stress of each point. Meanwhile, at a certain depth, due to the decrease in the impact of the wellbore and the impact of the two radial boreholes increases accordingly, at the further position from the wellbore axis, the tensile fracture is the most prone to

  14. Interaction between Hydraulic Fracturing Process and Pre-existing Natural Fractures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meng, C.


    Hydraulic fracturing is employed as a stimulation treatment by the oil and gas industry to enhance the hydro-carbon recoveries. The rationale is that by creating fractures from the wellbore into the surrounding formations, the conductivity between the well and reservoir is significantly increased

  15. Mechanism of the Two-Phase Flow Model for Water and Gas Based on Adsorption and Desorption in Fractured Coal and Rock (United States)

    Chen, Shikuo; Yang, Tianhong; Ranjith, P. G.; Wei, Chenhui


    Coalbed methane (CBM) is an important high-efficiency, clean-energy raw material with immense potential for application; however, its occurrence in low-permeability reservoirs limits its application. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in low-permeability CBM exploration and as a new technique for preventing gas hazards in coal mines. Fractures are the main pathways of fluid accumulation and migration, and they exert some control over the stability of rock mass. However, the differences in progression between the original fractures of the coal mass and the new discrete fractures caused by hydraulic fracturing remain unclear, and the unsaturated seepage flows require further study. Therefore, a cross-scale hydraulic fractured rock mass numerical model was developed by using the 3D fractured extrusion coupling variables reconstruction technique. This paper uses fracture surface parameters combined with the fractal dimension and multi-medium theory to provide a high-precision characterization and interpretation of the fracture mechanics. The mechanism of the permeability evolution of fractured coal and rock under stress-releasing mining combined with water injection was studied by considering gas adsorption and desorption as well as the coupling characteristic of seepage-stress in fractured rock masses. Aperture, contact area ratio, and stress in permeability and fracture development have a strong influence on the permeability and seepage path, which in turn control the effective radius by absolute water injection. All of these factors should be considered when studying the structural characteristics of rock masses.

  16. Characterizing fractures and shear zones in crystalline rock using seismic and GPR methods (United States)

    Doetsch, Joseph; Jordi, Claudio; Laaksonlaita, Niko; Gischig, Valentin; Schmelzbach, Cedric; Maurer, Hansruedi


    Understanding the natural or artificially created hydraulic conductivity of a rock mass is critical for the successful exploitation of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The hydraulic response of fractured crystalline rock is largely governed by the spatial organization of permeable fractures. Defining the 3D geometry of these fractures and their connectivity is extremely challenging, because fractures can only be observed directly at their intersections with tunnels or boreholes. Borehole-based and tunnel-based ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and seismic measurements have the potential to image fractures and other heterogeneities between and around boreholes and tunnels, and to monitor subtle time-lapse changes in great detail. We present the analysis of data acquired in the Grimsel rock laboratory as part of the In-situ Stimulation and Circulation (ISC) experiment, in which a series of stimulation experiments have been and will be performed. The experiments in the granitic rock range from hydraulic fracturing to controlled fault-slip experiments. The aim is to obtain a better understanding of coupled seismo-hydro-mechanical processes associated with high-pressure fluid injections in crystalline rocks and their impact on permeability creation and enhancement. GPR and seismic data have been recorded to improve the geological model and characterize permeable fractures and shear zones. The acquired and processed data include reflection GPR profiles measured from tunnel walls, single-borehole GPR images, and borehole-to-borehole and tunnel-to-tunnel seismic and GPR tomograms. The reflection GPR data reveal the geometry of shear zones up to a distance of 30 m from the tunnels and boreholes, but the interpretation is complicated by the geometrical ambiguity around tunnels and boreholes and by spurious reflections from man-made structures such as boreholes. The GPR and seismic traveltime tomography results reveal brittle fractured rock between two ductile shear zones. The

  17. Characterization of the Oriskany and Berea Sandstones: Evaluating Biogeochemical Reactions of Potential Sandstone–Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Interaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verba, Circe [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Albany, OR (United States); Harris, Aubrey [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Albany, OR (United States)


    The Marcellus shale, located in the mid-Atlantic Appalachian Basin, has been identified as a source for natural gas and targeted for hydraulic fracturing recovery methods. Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used by the oil and gas industry to access petroleum reserves in geologic formations that cannot be accessed with conventional drilling techniques (Capo et al., 2014). This unconventional technique fractures rock formations that have low permeability by pumping pressurized hydraulic fracturing fluids into the subsurface. Although the major components of hydraulic fracturing fluid are water and sand, chemicals, such as recalcitrant biocides and polyacrylamide, are also used (Frac Focus, 2015). There is domestic concern that the chemicals could reach groundwater or surface water during transport, storage, or the fracturing process (Chapman et al., 2012). In the event of a surface spill, understanding the natural attenuation of the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid, as well as the physical and chemical properties of the aquifers surrounding the spill site, will help mitigate potential dangers to drinking water. However, reports on the degradation pathways of these chemicals are limited in existing literature. The Appalachian Basin Marcellus shale and its surrounding sandstones host diverse mineralogical suites. During the hydraulic fracturing process, the hydraulic fracturing fluids come into contact with variable mineral compositions. The reactions between the fracturing fluid chemicals and the minerals are very diverse. This report: 1) describes common minerals (e.g. quartz, clay, pyrite, and carbonates) present in the Marcellus shale, as well as the Oriskany and Berea sandstones, which are located stratigraphically below and above the Marcellus shale; 2) summarizes the existing literature of the degradation pathways for common hydraulic fracturing fluid chemicals [polyacrylamide, ethylene glycol, poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride), glutaraldehyde

  18. Predictive permeability model of faults in crystalline rocks; verification by joint hydraulic factor (JH) obtained from water pressure tests (United States)

    Barani, Hamidreza Rostami; Lashkaripour, Gholamreza; Ghafoori, Mohammad


    In the present study, a new model is proposed to predict the permeability per fracture in the fault zones by a new parameter named joint hydraulic factor (JH). JH is obtained from Water Pressure Test (WPT) and modified by the degree of fracturing. The results of JH correspond with quantitative fault zone descriptions, qualitative fracture, and fault rock properties. In this respect, a case study was done based on the data collected from Seyahoo dam site located in the east of Iran to provide the permeability prediction model of fault zone structures. Datasets including scan-lines, drill cores, and water pressure tests in the terrain of Andesite and Basalt rocks were used to analyse the variability of in-site relative permeability of a range from fault zones to host rocks. The rock mass joint permeability quality, therefore, is defined by the JH. JH data analysis showed that the background sub-zone had commonly fracture, whereas the fault core had permeability characteristics nearly as low as the outer damage zone, represented by 8 Lu (1.3 ×10-4 m 3/s) per fracture, with occasional peaks towards 12 Lu (2 ×10-4 m 3/s) per fracture. The maximum JH value belongs to the inner damage zone, marginal to the fault core, with 14-22 Lu (2.3 ×10-4-3.6 ×10-4 m 3/s) per fracture, locally exceeding 25 Lu (4.1 ×10-4 m 3/s) per fracture. This gives a proportional relationship for JH approximately 1:4:2 between the fault core, inner damage zone, and outer damage zone of extensional fault zones in crystalline rocks. The results of the verification exercise revealed that the new approach would be efficient and that the JH parameter is a reliable scale for the fracture permeability change. It can be concluded that using short duration hydraulic tests (WPTs) and fracture frequency (FF) to calculate the JH parameter provides a possibility to describe a complex situation and compare, discuss, and weigh the hydraulic quality to make predictions as to the permeability models and

  19. Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas: impact on health and environment. (United States)

    Carpenter, David O


    Shale deposits exist in many parts of the world and contain relatively large amounts of natural gas and oil. Recent technological developments in the process of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracturing or fracking) have suddenly made it economically feasible to extract natural gas from shale. While natural gas is a much cleaner burning fuel than coal, there are a number of significant threats to human health from the extraction process as currently practiced. There are immediate threats to health resulting from air pollution from volatile organic compounds, which contain carcinogens such as benzene and ethyl-benzene, and which have adverse neurologic and respiratory effects. Hydrogen sulfide, a component of natural gas, is a potent neuro- and respiratory toxin. In addition, levels of formaldehyde are elevated around fracking sites due to truck traffic and conversion of methane to formaldehyde by sunlight. There are major concerns about water contamination because the chemicals used can get into both ground and surface water. Much of the produced water (up to 40% of what is injected) comes back out of the gas well with significant radioactivity because radium in subsurface rock is relatively water soluble. There are significant long-term threats beyond cancer, including exacerbation of climate change due to the release of methane into the atmosphere, and increased earthquake activity due to disruption of subsurface tectonic plates. While fracking for natural gas has significant economic benefits, and while natural gas is theoretically a better fossil fuel as compared to coal and oil, current fracking practices pose significant adverse health effects to workers and near-by residents. The health of the public should not be compromized simply for the economic benefits to the industry.

  20. Identifying aquifer type in fractured rock aquifers using harmonic analysis. (United States)

    Rahi, Khayyun A; Halihan, Todd


    Determining aquifer type, unconfined, semi-confined, or confined, by drilling or performing pumping tests has inherent problems (i.e., cost and complex field issues) while sometimes yielding inconclusive results. An improved method to cost-effectively determine aquifer type would be beneficial for hydraulic mapping of complex aquifer systems like fractured rock aquifers. Earth tides are known to influence water levels in wells penetrating confined aquifers or unconfined thick, low-porosity aquifers. Water-level fluctuations in wells tapping confined and unconfined aquifers are also influenced by changes in barometric pressure. Harmonic analyses of water-level fluctuations of a thick (~1000 m) carbonate aquifer located in south-central Oklahoma (Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer) were utilized in nine wells to identify aquifer type by evaluating the influence of earth tides and barometric-pressure variations using signal identification. On the basis of the results, portions of the aquifer responded hydraulically as each type of aquifer even though there was no significant variation in lithostratigraphy. The aquifer type was depth dependent with confined conditions becoming more prevalent with depth. The results demonstrate that harmonic analysis is an accurate and low-cost method to determine aquifer type. © 2012, The Author(s). Ground Water © 2012, National Ground Water Association.

  1. Fracture systems in the younger granite rocks around fobur, northern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Outcrop-scale fractures and associated veins found in the Younger Granite rocks around Fobur, Northern Nigeria were studied in relation to similar structures in their host rocks (Migmatites-gneisses -quartzite complex). Fractures and veins attitude (strike and dip) data were collected across the study area and subjected to ...

  2. Influences of Hydraulic Fracturing on Fluid Flow and Mineralization at the Vein-Type Tungsten Deposits in Southern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangchong Liu


    Full Text Available Wolframite is the main ore mineral at the vein-type tungsten deposits in the Nanling Range, which is a world-class tungsten province. It is disputed how wolframite is precipitated at these deposits and no one has yet studied the links of the mechanical processes to fluid flow and mineralization. Finite element-based numerical experiments are used to investigate the influences of a hydraulic fracturing process on fluid flow and solubility of CO2 and quartz. The fluids are aqueous NaCl solutions and fluid pressure is the only variable controlling solubility of CO2 and quartz in the numerical experiments. Significant fluctuations of fluid pressure and high-velocity hydrothermal pulse are found once rock is fractured by high-pressure fluids. The fluid pressure drop induced by hydraulic fracturing could cause a 9% decrease of quartz solubility. This amount of quartz deposition may not cause a significant decrease in rock permeability. The fluid pressure decrease after hydraulic fracturing also reduces solubility of CO2 by 36% and increases pH. Because an increase in pH would cause a major decrease in solubility of tungsten, the fluid pressure drop accompanying a hydraulic fracturing process facilitates wolframite precipitation. Our numerical experiments provide insight into the mechanisms precipitating wolframite at the tungsten deposits in the Nanling Range as well as other metals whose solubility is strongly dependent on pH.

  3. Hydraulic Fracturing and Microseismicity: Global Perspective in Oil Exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.R. Kayal


    Full Text Available Induced microseismicity is a common phenomenon in oil and gas reservoirs due to changes in internal stress accompanied by hydraulic fracturing and oil-gas extraction. These microseismicity can be monitored to understand the direction and type of hydraulic fracturing and pre-existing faults by precise hypocenter location and focal mechanism studies. Normal as well as strike-slip faulting earthquakes occur due to opening up of new cracks/fractures, and thrust/reverse faulting earthquakes due to compaction or closing of existing fractures. Further, frequency-magnitude relation (b-value and fractal dimension (D-value of the spatial and temporal clusterization of induced microseismicity may be much useful to characterize the fractures / existing faults and the stress regimes. Seismic tomography, on the other hand, can image the heterogeneous velocity structures / perturbations in the reservoir due to fractures and oil-gas-water contents. A few global case studies are illustrated to understand these processes and to draw attention towards importance of these studies in oil industries.

  4. Modelling stress-dependent permeability in fractured rock including effects of propagating and bending fractures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Latham, J.P.; Xiang, J.; Belayneh, M.; Nick, H.M.; Tsang, C.F.; Blunt, M.J.


    The influence of in-situ stresses on flow processes in fractured rock is investigated using a novel modelling approach. The combined finite-discrete element method (FEMDEM) is used to model the deformation of a fractured rock mass. The fracture wall displacements and aperture changes are modelled in

  5. Aerobic biodegradation of organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids. (United States)

    Kekacs, Daniel; Drollette, Brian D; Brooker, Michael; Plata, Desiree L; Mouser, Paula J


    Little is known of the attenuation of chemical mixtures created for hydraulic fracturing within the natural environment. A synthetic hydraulic fracturing fluid was developed from disclosed industry formulas and produced for laboratory experiments using commercial additives in use by Marcellus shale field crews. The experiments employed an internationally accepted standard method (OECD 301A) to evaluate aerobic biodegradation potential of the fluid mixture by monitoring the removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from an aqueous solution by activated sludge and lake water microbial consortia for two substrate concentrations and four salinities. Microbial degradation removed from 57 % to more than 90 % of added DOC within 6.5 days, with higher removal efficiency at more dilute concentrations and little difference in overall removal extent between sludge and lake microbe treatments. The alcohols isopropanol and octanol were degraded to levels below detection limits while the solvent acetone accumulated in biological treatments through time. Salinity concentrations of 40 g/L or more completely inhibited degradation during the first 6.5 days of incubation with the synthetic hydraulic fracturing fluid even though communities were pre-acclimated to salt. Initially diverse microbial communities became dominated by 16S rRNA sequences affiliated with Pseudomonas and other Pseudomonadaceae after incubation with the synthetic fracturing fluid, taxa which may be involved in acetone production. These data expand our understanding of constraints on the biodegradation potential of organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids under aerobic conditions in the event that they are accidentally released to surface waters and shallow soils.

  6. The water footprint of hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin, China. (United States)

    Zou, Caineng; Ni, Yunyan; Li, Jian; Kondash, Andrew; Coyte, Rachel; Lauer, Nancy; Cui, Huiying; Liao, Fengrong; Vengosh, Avner


    Shale gas is likely to play a major role in China's transition away from coal. In addition to technological and infrastructural constraints, the main challenges to China's sustainable shale gas development are sufficient shale gas production, water availability, and adequate wastewater management. Here we present, for the first time, actual data of shale gas production and its water footprint from the Weiyuan gas field, one of the major gas fields in Sichuan Basin. We show that shale gas production rates during the first 12 months (24 million m 3 per well) are similar to gas production rates in U.S. shale basins. The amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing (34,000 m 3 per well) and the volume of flowback and produced (FP) water in the first 12 months (19,800 m 3 per well) in Sichuan Basin are also similar to the current water footprints of hydraulic fracturing in U.S. basins. We present salinity data of the FP water (5000 to 40,000 mgCl/L) in Sichuan Basin and the treatment operations, which include sedimentation, dilution with fresh water, and recycling of the FP water for hydraulic fracturing. We utilize the water use data, empirical decline rates of shale gas and FP water productions in Sichuan Basin to generate two prediction models for water use for hydraulic fracturing and FP water production upon achieving China's goals to generate 100 billion m 3 of shale gas by 2030. The first model utilizes the current water use and FP production data, and the second assumes a yearly 5% intensification of the hydraulic fracturing process. The predicted water use for hydraulic fracturing in 2030 (50-65 million m 3 per year), FP water production (50-55 million m 3 per year), and fresh water dilution of FP water (25 million m 3 per year) constitute a water footprint that is much smaller than current water consumption and wastewater generation for coal mining, but higher than those of conventional gas production in China. Given estimates

  7. Numerical modeling of the productivity of vertical to shallowly dipping fractured zones in crystalline rocks (United States)

    Leray, S.; de Dreuzy, J.-R.; Bour, O.; Bresciani, E.


    SummaryGroundwater resources in crystalline rock are typically associated with the weathered zone and regional sub-vertical faults that are well connected to the surface. However, some sub-horizontal and shallowly dipping fractured zones can also be highly-productive aquifers. In this paper, numerical simulations of a conceptual hydrogeological model show that the flow to such strongly transmissive fractured zones is controlled by their transmissivity or by their deepening structure. While leakage through the overlying rock units is generally the limiting factor, recharge always occurs at least close to the outcrop of the fractured zone where the overlying rock is thinner and guarantees the availability of some groundwater. At small dip angles, recharge extends spatially and the flow within the fractured zone may even become the limiting factor when the hydraulic conductivity of the overlying rock is not less than two orders of magnitude smaller than the fractured zone transmissivity. This is precisely the case of the Plœmeur aquifer (Brittany, France) located in a crystalline rock geologic setting, where groundwater in a shallowly dipping fractured zone is used as the source of water supply for a nearby city of 20,000 people. Simulation results show that the fractured zones may represent potential aquifers under a large variety of hydrogeological conditions. Aquifers in shallowly dipping structures differ strongly from those located in regional sub-vertical fault zones in terms of flow patterns, and thus supposedly in terms of management of the groundwater resource. They are more local than regional in scale, and consequently do not require regional fracture connectivity. The leakage through the overlying rock unit enhances water quality. Finally, we argue that the potential widespread occurrence of these alternative and possibly less accessible resources should promote the development of appropriate identification methods.

  8. Mechanisms for fast flow in unsaturated fractured rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tokunaga, Tetsu K.; Wan, Jiamin


    Although fractures in rock are well-recognized as pathways for fast percolation of water, the possibility that fast flow could occur along unsaturated fracture pathways is commonly not considered in vadose zone hydrology. In this study, two mechanisms for fast flow along unsaturated fractures were investigated, film flow and surface zone flow. The importance of fracture surface roughness was demonstrated through experiments conducted on ceramic blocks having simple surface topographies. Those experiments showed that film flow on fracture surfaces is largely due to flow along continuous surface channels which become water-filled at near-zero matric (capillary) potentials. The second mechanism, surface zone flow, is important when the permeability of the rock along fractures (fracture skin) is significantly greater than that of the bulk rock matrix. Surface zone fast flow was demonstrated through water imbibition (sorptivity) experiments. These mechanisms help explain observations of rapid solute transport in unsaturated subsurface environments.

  9. Experimental study on the mechanism of hydraulic fracture growth in a glutenite reservoir (United States)

    Ma, Xinfang; Zou, Yushi; Li, Ning; Chen, Ming; Zhang, Yinuo; Liu, Zizhong


    Glutenite reservoirs are frequently significantly heterogeneous because of their unique depositional environment. The presence of gravel in this type of formation complicates the growth path of hydraulic fracture (HF). In this study, laboratory fracturing experiments were conducted on six large natural glutenite specimens (300 mm × 300 mm × 300 mm) using a true triaxial hydraulic fracturing system to investigate the growth law of HF in glutenite reservoirs. Before the experiments were performed, the rock properties of the gravel particles and matrix in the glutenite specimens were determined using various apparatuses. The effects of gravel size, horizontal differential stress, fracturing fluid type (or viscosity), and flow rate on the HF growth pattern, fracture width, and injection pressure were examined in detail. Similar to previous studies, four types of HF intersections with gravel particles, namely, termination, penetration, deflection, and attraction, were observed. The HF growth path in the glutenite specimens with large gravel (40 mm-100 mm) is likely branched and tortuous even under high horizontal differential stress. The HF growth path in the glutenite specimens with small gravel (less than 20 mm) is simple, but a process zone with multiple thin fractures may be created. Breakdown pressure may increase significantly when HF initiates from high-strength gravel particles, which are mainly composed of quartz. HF propagation is likely limited within high-strength gravel particles, thereby resulting in narrow fractures and even termination. The use of low-viscosity fluids, such as slickwater, and the low injection rate can further limit HF growth, particularly its width. As a response, high extension pressure builds up during fracturing.

  10. Folding and Fracturing of Rocks: the background (United States)

    Ramsay, John G.


    This book was generated by structural geology teaching classes at Imperial College. I was appointed lecturer during 1957 and worked together with Dr Gilbert Wilson teaching basic structural geology at B.Sc level. I became convinced that the subject, being essentially based on geometric field observations, required a firm mathematical basis for its future development. In particular it seemed to me to require a very sound understanding of stress and strain. My field experience suggested that a knowledge of two- and three-demensional strain was critical in understanding natural tectonic processes. I found a rich confirmation for this in early publications of deformed fossils, oolitic limestones and spotted slates made by several geologists around the beginning of the 20th century (Sorby, Philips, Haughton, Harker) often using surprisingly sophisticated mathematical methods. These methods were discussed and elaborated in Folding and Fracturing of Rocks in a practical way. The geometric features of folds were related to folding mechanisms and the fold related small scale structures such as cleavage, schistosity and lineation explained in terms of rock strain. My work in the Scottish Highlands had shown just how repeated fold superposition could produce very complex geometric features, while further work in other localities suggested that such geometric complications are common in many orogenic zones. From the development of structural geological studies over the past decades it seems that the readers of this book have found many of the ideas set out are still of practical application. The mapping of these outcrop-scale structures should be emphasised in all field studies because they can be seen as ''fingerprints'' of regional scale tectonic processes. My own understanding of structural geology has been inspired by field work and I am of the opinion that future progress in understanding will be likewise based on careful observation and measurement of the features of

  11. The risk of hydraulic fracturing on public health in the UK and the UK's fracking legislation. (United States)

    Reap, Elisabeth


    Hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale rock is a new, rapidly expanding industry in the United States (US). However, there is concern that these operations could be having large negative impacts such as groundwater contamination, increased air pollution and seismic events. The United Kingdom (UK) is looking at the potential for emulating the success of 'shale gas' in the US. Differences in population density and geological conditions mean that the public health impacts recorded in the US cannot be directly extrapolated to the UK. There is limited academic literature available but findings suggest that the UK government is not fully recognising the inherent risks of hydraulic fracturing exposed by this literature. Government reports suggest a reliance on engineering solutions and better practice to overcome problems found in the US when evidence suggests that there are inherent risks and impacts that cannot be eliminated. This study applies US results to approximate the impact of one exposure pathway, inhalation of hydrocarbons by the public from operational air emissions over the 30 year lifetime of a well and finds that 7.2 extra cancer cases from exposure to air contamination would be expected in the UK if all test sites, approved test sites and test sites awaiting approval as of January 2015 went on to extract gas. In conclusion, limited assessment of the public health implications of hydraulic fracturing operations is available but the UK government appears to not be applying the precautionary principle to potentially significant legislation.

  12. Modeling the Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation performed for Reservoir Permeability Enhancement at the Grimsel Test Site, Switzerland (United States)

    Vogler, D.; Settgast, R.; Gischig, V.; Jalali, M.; Doetsch, J.; Valley, B.; Evans, K. F.; Sherman, C.; Saar, M. O.; Amann, F.


    In-situ hydraulic stimulation has been performed on the decameter scale in the Deep Underground rock Laboratory (DUG Lab) at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS), Switzerland. The test site consists of granodiorite with a low fracture density and has been well characterized. The GTS is chosen as it represents physical properties representative for crystalline basement where the development of deep enhanced geothermal systems are planned for the future. Conducted stimulation was performed in a number of boreholes, with 3-4 packer intervals in each borehole subjected to repeated stimulation. During each stimulation event, fluid injection pressure, injection flow rate and microseismic events were recorded amongst others. Fully coupled 3D simulations have been performed with the LLNL's GEOS simulation framework. The methods applied in the simulation of the experiments address physical processes such as rock deformation/stress, LEFM fracture mechanics, fluid flow in the fracture and matrix, and the generation of micro-seismic events. This allows investigation in which we may estimate the distance of fracture penetration during the injection phase and correlate the simulated injection pressure with experimental data during injection, as well as post shut-in. Additionally, the extent of the fracture resulting from the numerical model are compared with the spatial distribution of the microseismic events recorded in the experiment.

  13. The quasi-one-dimensional hyperbolic model of hydraulic fracturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aidar M. Il'yasov


    Full Text Available The paper describes a quasi-one-dimensional hyperbolic model of hydraulic fracture growth assuming for the hydraulic fracturing that stress intensity is much higher than fracture resistance. The mode under analysis, which accounts for convective and unsteady terms in the fluid flow equation, is a generalization of the Perkins–Kern–Nordgren local model. It has been proved that the obtained system of differential equations is a quasi-linear strictly hyperbolic system, for which the characteristics were found as well as their correlations. For the case of the Coriolis correction neglect, the Riemann invariants were found. Neglecting the injected fluid leak-off and viscosity, the Riemann waves, similar to simple plane waves in gas dynamics, were defined and their properties were studied. The evolutionism of fracture boundaries was investigated. The initial boundary value problem was set for fracture growth. It has been shown that the neglect of dissipative terms in the presented model allows constructing a simple wave theory analogous to the theory of one-dimensional gas dynamics for isentropic plane waves.

  14. Investigation of Possible Wellbore Cement Failures During Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Moridis, George


    We model and assess the possibility of shear failure, using the Mohr-Coulomb model ? along the vertical well by employing a rigorous coupled flow-geomechanic analysis. To this end, we vary the values of cohesion between the well casing and the surrounding cement to representing different quality levels of the cementing operation (low cohesion corresponds to low-quality cement and/or incomplete cementing). The simulation results show that there is very little fracturing when the cement is of high quality.. Conversely, incomplete cementing and/or weak cement can causes significant shear failure and the evolution of long fractures/cracks along the vertical well. Specifically, low cohesion between the well and cemented areas can cause significant shear failure along the well, but the same cohesion as the cemented zone does not cause shear failure. When the hydraulic fracturing pressure is high, low cohesion of the cement can causes fast propagation of shear failure and of the resulting fracture/crack, but a high-quality cement with no weak zones exhibits limited shear failure that is concentrated near the bottom of the vertical part of the well. Thus, high-quality cement and complete cementing along the vertical well appears to be the strongest protection against shear failure of the wellbore cement and, consequently, against contamination hazards to drinking water aquifers during hydraulic fracturing operations.

  15. Scintillation gamma spectrometer for analysis of hydraulic fracturing waste products. (United States)

    Ying, Leong; O'Connor, Frank; Stolz, John F


    Flowback and produced wastewaters from unconventional hydraulic fracturing during oil and gas explorations typically brings to the surface Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), predominantly radioisotopes from the U238 and Th232 decay chains. Traditionally, radiological sampling are performed by sending collected small samples for laboratory tests either by radiochemical analysis or measurements by a high-resolution High-Purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma spectrometer. One of the main isotopes of concern is Ra226 which requires an extended 21-days quantification period to allow for full secular equilibrium to be established for the alpha counting of its progeny daughter Rn222. Field trials of a sodium iodide (NaI) scintillation detector offers a more economic solution for rapid screenings of radiological samples. To achieve the quantification accuracy, this gamma spectrometer must be efficiency calibrated with known standard sources prior to field deployments to analyze the radioactivity concentrations in hydraulic fracturing waste products.

  16. Fractured rock aquifer tests in the Western Siberian Basin, Ozyorsk, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nichols, R.L.; Looney, B.B.; Eddy-Dilek, C.A. [and others


    A series of multi-zone pumping tests was conducted in a contaminated fractured rock aquifer in the Western Siberian Basin, Ozyorsk, Russia. The tests were conducted adjacent to the Mishelyak River floodplain in fractured Paleozoic porphyrites, tufts, tuff breccia, and lava typical of the Ural mountain complex. Geophysical logs, borehole photography, core samples, and results from previous borehole contamination studies were used to identify the zones to be tested. A network of three uncased wells was tested using a system of inflatable packers, pressure transducers and data loggers. Seven zones were isolated and monitored in two of the uncased wells. A straddle packer assembly was used to isolate individual zones within the pumping well. Eight constant rate pumping tests were conducted. Results of the testing indicate that shallow groundwater migrates primarily in two intervals that are separated by an interval with low lateral conductivity. The water bearing intervals have moderate to high specific capacities (1.3 and 30 L/min/m). Several processes are responsible for fracturing present in the lower interval. The network of compound fractures produced a complex array of fracture intersections yielding a fractured media with hydraulic behavior similar to porous media. Models used for the analysis of pumping tests in porous media provide a good estimation of the hydraulic response of the lower interval to pumping. Future work will include more complex analysis of the data to determine hydraulic conductivity ellipses.

  17. Characterizing fractures and shear zones in crystalline rock using anisotropic seismic inversion and GPR imaging (United States)

    Doetsch, Joseph; Krietsch, Hannes; Lajaunie, Myriam; Jordi, Claudio; Gischig, Valentin; Schmelzbach, Cedric; Maurer, Hansrudi


    Understanding the natural or artificially created hydraulic conductivity of a rock mass is critical for the successful exploitation of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The hydraulic response of fractured crystalline rock is largely governed by the spatial organization of permeable fractures. Defining the 3D geometry of these fractures and their connectivity is extremely challenging, because fractures can only be observed directly at their intersections with tunnels or boreholes. In the framework of an in-situ stimulation experiment at the Grimsel Test Site, a detailed rock mass characterization was carried out, combining geological and geophysical methods. While geological observations from tunnel mapping, core- and geophysical borehole-logging are reliable, the obtained data could just be interpolated between tunnels and boreholes. The geophysical surveys, including ground-penetration radar (GPR) imaging and tunnel-tunnel seismic tomography were able to image shear and fracture zones throughout the experimental volume. Clear GPR reflections up to a distance of 30 m from the tunnels allow to define the geometry of tunnel-mapped shear zones in the center of the experimental volume. Anisotropic traveltime inversion of tunnel-tunnel seismic data reveals fracture zones as low velocity zones and ductile shear zones as areas of increased seismic anisotropy. It is thus possible to characterize both type and geometry of shear and fracture zones, which is important for the planned rock stimulation. Combining the GPR and seismic results with the geological information, the geological model could be significantly improved, demonstrating the potential to characterize even subtle geological features in 3D.

  18. Coupled Mineral Dissolution and Precipitation Reactions in Shale-Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Systems (United States)

    Joe-Wong, C. M.; Harrison, A. L.; Thomas, D.; Dustin, M. K.; Jew, A. D.; Brown, G. E.; Maher, K.; Bargar, J.


    Hydraulic fracturing of low-permeability, hydrocarbon-rich shales has recently become an important energy source in the United States. However, hydrocarbon recovery rates are low and drop rapidly after a few months. Hydraulic fracture fluids, which contain dissolved oxygen and numerous organic additives, induce dissolution and precipitation reactions that change the porosity and permeability of the shale. To investigate these reactions, we studied the interactions of four shales (Eagle Ford, Barnett, Marcellus, and Green River) with a simulated hydraulic fracture fluid in batch reactors at 80 °C. The shales were chosen for both economic viability and chemical variety, allowing us to explore the reactivities of different components. The Eagle Ford shale is carbonate rich, and the Green River shale contains significant siderite and kerogen. The Barnett shale also has a high organic content, while the Marcellus shale has the highest fractions of clay and pyrite. Our experiments show that hydrochloric acid in the fluid promotes carbonate mineral dissolution, rapidly raising the pH from acidic to circumneutral levels for the Eagle Ford and Green River shales. Dissolution textures in the Green River shale and large cavities in the Barnett shale indicate significant mineralogical and physical changes in the reacted rock. Morphological changes are not readily apparent in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales. For all shales, ongoing changes to the solution Al: Si ratio suggest incongruent aluminosilicate dissolution. Siderite or pyrite dissolution occurs within days and is followed by the formation of secondary Fe precipitates in suspension and coating the walls of the reactor. However, little evidence of any coatings on shale surfaces was found. The net effect of these reactions on porosity and permeability and their influence on the long-term efficacy of oil and gas recovery after hydraulic fracturing are critical to the energy landscape of the United States.

  19. Interpretation of resonance frequencies recorded during hydraulic fracturing treatments (United States)

    Tary, J. B.; van der Baan, M.; Eaton, D. W.


    Hydraulic fracturing treatments are often monitored by strings of geophones deployed in boreholes. Instead of picking discrete events only, we here use time-frequency representations of continuous recordings to identify resonances in two case studies. This paper outlines an interpretational procedure to identify their cause using a subdivision into source, path, and receiver-side effects. For the first case study, two main resonances are observed both at depth by the downhole geophones and on the surface by two broadband arrays. The two acquisition networks have different receiver and path effects, yet recorded the same resonances; these resonances are therefore likely generated by source effects. The amplitude pattern at the surface arrays indicates that these resonances are probably due to pumping operations. In the second case study, selective resonances are detected by the downhole geophones. Resonances coming from receiver effects are either lower or higher frequency, and wave propagation modeling shows that path effects are not significant. We identify two possible causes within the source area, namely, eigenvibrations of fractures or non-Darcian flow within the hydraulic fractures. In the first situation, 15-30 m long fluid-filled cracks could generate the observed resonances. An interconnected fracture network would then be required, corresponding to mesoscale deformation of the reservoir. Alternatively, systematic patterns in non-Darcian fluid flow within the hydraulic fracture could also be their leading cause. Resonances can be used to gain a better understanding of reservoir deformations or dynamic fluid flow perturbations during fluid injection into hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs, CO2 sequestration, or volcanic eruptions.

  20. Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Bedding Planes on Hydraulic Fracturing Under True Triaxial Stress (United States)

    Huang, Bingxiang; Liu, Jiangwei


    A bedding plane effect occurs when hydraulic fractures encounter the bedding plane. True triaxial hydraulic fracturing experiments were conducted with test blocks containing bedding planes. The effects of bedding plane properties and stress state on fracture propagation were analyzed. When hydraulic fracture encounters the bedding plane in sedimentary stratum, it usually propagates along the bedding plane at first. When the hydraulic pressure increases to a critical value in the direction of main hydraulic fracture, the main hydraulic fracture continues propagating along the original direction. The length of the long axial of the hydraulic fracture propagating along the bedding plane is greater than the length of the main hydraulic fracture before penetrating the bedding plane, and both of them are greater than the length of the main hydraulic fracture after penetrating the bedding plane. Three-dimensional propagation models were established. Three propagation forms of hydraulic fractures existed when encountering bedding planes: (1) propagation along the bedding plane; (2) initial propagation along the bedding plane followed by penetration of the bedding plane and propagation along the principal direction; and (3) direct penetration of the bedding plane and propagation along the principal direction.

  1. Numerical Simulation of the Propagation of Hydraulic and Natural Fracture Using Dijkstra’s Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfang Wu


    Full Text Available Utilization of hydraulic-fracturing technology is dramatically increasing in exploitation of natural gas extraction. However the prediction of the configuration of propagated hydraulic fracture is extremely challenging. This paper presents a numerical method of obtaining the configuration of the propagated hydraulic fracture into discrete natural fracture network system. The method is developed on the basis of weighted fracture which is derived in combination of Dijkstra’s algorithm energy theory and vector method. Numerical results along with experimental data demonstrated that proposed method is capable of predicting the propagated hydraulic fracture configuration reasonably with high computation efficiency. Sensitivity analysis reveals a number of interesting observation results: the shortest path weight value decreases with increasing of fracture density and length, and increases with increasing of the angle between fractures to the maximum principal stress direction. Our method is helpful for evaluating the complexity of the discrete fracture network, to obtain the extension direction of the fracture.

  2. ISRM Suggested Method for In Situ Microseismic Monitoring of the Fracturing Process in Rock Masses (United States)

    Xiao, Ya-Xun; Feng, Xia-Ting; Hudson, John A.; Chen, Bing-Rui; Feng, Guang-Liang; Liu, Jian-Po


    The purpose of this ISRM Suggested Method is to describe a methodology for in situ microseismic monitoring of the rock mass fracturing processes occurring as a result of excavations for rock slopes, tunnels, or large caverns in the fields of civil, hydraulic, or mining engineering. In this Suggested Method, the equipment that is required for a microseismic monitoring system is described; the procedures are outlined and illustrated, together with the methods for data acquisition and processing for improving the monitoring results. There is an explanation of the methods for presenting and interpreting the results, and recommendations are supported by several examples.

  3. Impact of fluid-rock chemical interactions on tracer transport in fractured rocks. (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Liu, H-H; Spycher, N; Kennedy, B M


    In this paper, we investigate the impact of chemical interactions, in the form of mineral precipitation and dissolution reactions, on tracer transport in fractured rocks. When a tracer is introduced in fractured rocks, it moves through the fracture primarily by advection and it also enters the stagnant water of the surrounding rock matrix through diffusion. Inside the porous rock matrix, the tracer chemically interacts with the solid materials of the rock, where it can precipitate depending on the local equilibrium conditions. Alternatively, it can be dissolved from the solid phase of the rock matrix into the matrix pore water, diffuse into the flowing fluids of the fracture and is advected out of it. We show that such chemical interactions between the fluid and solid phases have significant impact on tracer transport in fractured rocks. We invoke the dual-porosity conceptualization to represent the fractured rocks and develop a semi-analytical solution to describe the transient transport of tracers in interacting fluid-rock systems. To test the accuracy and stability of the semi-analytical solution, we compare it with simulation results obtained with the TOUGHREACT simulator. We observe that, in a chemically interacting system, the tracer breakthrough curve exhibits a pseudo-steady state, where the tracer concentration remains more or less constant over a finite period of time. Such a pseudo-steady condition is not observed in a non-reactive fluid-rock system. We show that the duration of the pseudo-state depends on the physical and chemical parameters of the system, and can be exploited to extract information about the fractured rock system, such as the fracture spacing and fracture-matrix interface area. © 2013.

  4. Hydraulic fracturing in cells and tissues: fracking meets cell biology. (United States)

    Arroyo, Marino; Trepat, Xavier


    The animal body is largely made of water. A small fraction of body water is freely flowing in blood and lymph, but most of it is trapped in hydrogels such as the extracellular matrix (ECM), the cytoskeleton, and chromatin. Besides providing a medium for biological molecules to diffuse, water trapped in hydrogels plays a fundamental mechanical role. This role is well captured by the theory of poroelasticity, which explains how any deformation applied to a hydrogel causes pressure gradients and water flows, much like compressing a sponge squeezes water out of it. Here we review recent evidence that poroelastic pressures and flows can fracture essential biological barriers such as the nuclear envelope, the cellular cortex, and epithelial layers. This type of fracture is known in engineering literature as hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking'. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A numerical model of hydro-thermo-mechanical coupling in a fractured rock mass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bower, Kathleen Marie [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical codes with the ability to model fractured materials are used for predicting groundwater flow behavior in fractured aquifers containing thermal sources. The potential applications of such a code include the analysis of groundwater behavior within a geothermal reservoir. The capability of modeling hydro-thermo systems with a dual porosity, fracture flow model has been previously developed in the finite element code, FEHM. FEHM has been modified to include stress coupling with the dual porosity feature. FEHM has been further developed to implicitly couple the dependence of fracture hydraulic conductivity on effective stress within two dimensional, saturated aquifers containing fracture systems. The cubic law for flow between parallel plates was used to model fracture permeability. The Bartin-Bandis relationship was used to determine the fracture aperture within the cubic law. The code used a Newton Raphson iteration to implicitly solve for six unknowns at each node. Results from a model of heat flow from a reservoir to the moving fluid in a single fracture compared well with analytic results. Results of a model showing the increase in fracture flow due to a single fracture opening under fluid pressure compared well with analytic results. A hot dry rock, geothermal reservoir was modeled with realistic time steps indicating that the modified FEHM code does successfully model coupled flow problems with no convergence problems.

  6. Hydraulic fracturing: insights from field, lab, and numerical studies (United States)

    Walsh, S. D.; Johnson, S.; Fu, P.; Settgast, R. R.


    Hydraulic fracturing has become an increasingly important technique in stimulating reservoirs for gas, oil, and geothermal energy production. In use commercially since the 1950's, the technique has been widely lauded, when combined with other techniques, for enabling the development of shale gas resources in the United States, providing a valuable and extensive source of domestic energy. However, the technique has also drawn a degree of notoriety from high-profile incidents involving contamination of drinking water associated with gas extraction operations in the Marcellus shale region. This work highlights some of the insights on the behavior of subsurface hydraulic fracturing operations that have been derived from field and laboratory observations as well as from numerical simulations. The sensitivity of fracture extent and orientation to parameters such as matrix material heterogeneity, presence and distribution of discontinuities, and stress orientation is of particular interest, and we discuss this in the context of knowledge derived from both observation and simulation. The limitations of these studies will also be addressed in terms of resolution, uncertainty, and assumptions as well as the balance of fidelity to cost, both in computation time (for numerical studies) and equipment / operation cost (for observational studies). We also identify a number of current knowledge gaps and propose alternatives for addressing those gaps. We especially focus on the role of numerical studies for elucidating key concepts and system sensitivities. The problem is inherently multi-scale in both space and time as well as highly coupled hydromechanically, and, in several applications, thermally as well. We will summarize the developments to date in analyzing these systems and present an approach for advancing the capabilities of our models in the short- to long-term and how these advances can help provide solutions to reduce risk and improve efficiency of hydraulic fracturing

  7. Aespoe Hard Rock Laboratory. Analysis of fracture networks based on the integration of structural and hydrogeological observations on different scales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bossart, P. [Geotechnical Inst. Ltd., Bern (Switzerland); Hermanson, Jan [Golder Associates, Stockholm (Sweden); Mazurek, M. [Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)


    Fracture networks at Aespoe have been studied for several rock types exhibiting different degrees of ductile and brittle deformation, as well as on different scales. Mesoscopic fault systems have been characterised and classified in an earlier report, this report focuses mainly on fracture networks derived on smaller scales, but also includes mesoscopic and larger scales. The TRUE-1 block has been selected for detailed structural analysis on a small scale due to the high density of relevant information. In addition to the data obtained from core materials, structural maps, BIP data and the results of hydro tests were synthesised to derive a conceptual structural model. The approach used to derive this conceptual model is based on the integration of deterministic structural evidence, probabilistic information and both upscaling and downscaling of observations and concepts derived on different scales. Twelve fracture networks mapped at different sites and scales and exhibiting various styles of tectonic deformation were analysed for fractal properties and structural and hydraulic interconnectedness. It was shown that these analysed fracture networks are not self-similar. An important result is the structural and hydraulic interconnectedness of fracture networks on all scales in the Aespoe rocks, which is further corroborated by geochemical evidence. Due to the structural and hydraulic interconnectedness of fracture systems on all scales at Aespoe, contaminants from waste canisters placed in tectonically low deformation environments would be transported - after having passed through the engineered barriers -from low-permeability fractures towards higher permeability fractures and may thus eventually reach high-permeability features.

  8. Study of pore pressure reaction on hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Trimonova, Mariia; Baryshnikov, Nikolay; Turuntaev, Sergey; Zenchenko, Evgeniy; Zenchenko, Petr


    We represent the results of the experimental study of the hydraulic fracture propagation influence on the fluid pore pressure. Initial pore pressure was induced by injection and production wells. The experiments were carried out according to scaling analysis based on the radial model of the fracture. All required geomechanical and hydrodynamical properties of a sample were derived from the scaling laws. So, gypsum was chosen as a sample material and vacuum oil as a fracturing fluid. The laboratory setup allows us to investigate the samples of cylindrical shape. It can be considered as an advantage in comparison with standard cubic samples, because we shouldn't consider the stress field inhomogeneity induced by the corners. Moreover, we can set 3D-loading by this setting. Also the sample diameter is big enough (43cm) for placing several wells: the fracturing well in the center and injection and production wells on two opposite sides of the central well. The experiment consisted of several stages: a) applying the horizontal pressure; b) applying the vertical pressure; c) water solution injection in the injection well with a constant pressure; d) the steady state obtaining; e) the oil injection in the central well with a constant rate. The pore pressure was recorded in the 15 points along bottom side of the sample during the whole experiment. We observe the pore pressure change during all the time of the experiment. First, the pore pressure changed due to water injection. Then we began to inject oil in the central well. We compared the obtained experimental data on the pore pressure changes with the solution of the 2D single-phase equation of pore-elasticity, and we found significant difference. The variation of the equation parameters couldn't help to resolve the discrepancy. After the experiment, we found that oil penetrated into the sample before and after the fracture initiation. This fact encouraged us to consider another physical process - the oil

  9. Constraints on Upward Migration of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Brine (United States)

    Flewelling, Samuel A; Sharma, Manu


    Recent increases in the use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) to aid extraction of oil and gas from black shales have raised concerns regarding potential environmental effects associated with predictions of upward migration of HF fluid and brine. Some recent studies have suggested that such upward migration can be large and that timescales for migration can be as short as a few years. In this article, we discuss the physical constraints on upward fluid migration from black shales (e.g., the Marcellus, Bakken, and Eagle Ford) to shallow aquifers, taking into account the potential changes to the subsurface brought about by HF. Our review of the literature indicates that HF affects a very limited portion of the entire thickness of the overlying bedrock and therefore, is unable to create direct hydraulic communication between black shales and shallow aquifers via induced fractures. As a result, upward migration of HF fluid and brine is controlled by preexisting hydraulic gradients and bedrock permeability. We show that in cases where there is an upward gradient, permeability is low, upward flow rates are low, and mean travel times are long (often >106 years). Consequently, the recently proposed rapid upward migration of brine and HF fluid, predicted to occur as a result of increased HF activity, does not appear to be physically plausible. Unrealistically high estimates of upward flow are the result of invalid assumptions about HF and the hydrogeology of sedimentary basins. PMID:23895673

  10. Simulation of Hydraulic and Natural Fracture Interaction Using a Coupled DFN-DEM Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, J.; Huang, H.; Deo, M.


    The presence of natural fractures will usually result in a complex fracture network due to the interactions between hydraulic and natural fracture. The reactivation of natural fractures can generally provide additional flow paths from formation to wellbore which play a crucial role in improving the hydrocarbon recovery in these ultra-low permeability reservoir. Thus, accurate description of the geometry of discrete fractures and bedding is highly desired for accurate flow and production predictions. Compared to conventional continuum models that implicitly represent the discrete feature, Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) models could realistically model the connectivity of discontinuities at both reservoir scale and well scale. In this work, a new hybrid numerical model that couples Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) and Dual-Lattice Discrete Element Method (DL-DEM) is proposed to investigate the interaction between hydraulic fracture and natural fractures. Based on the proposed model, the effects of natural fracture orientation, density and injection properties on hydraulic-natural fractures interaction are investigated.

  11. Estimation of hydrologic properties of an unsaturated, fractured rock mass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klavetter, E.A.; Peters, R.R.


    In this document, two distinctly different approaches are used to develop continuum models to evaluate water movement in a fractured rock mass. Both models provide methods for estimating rock-mass hydrologic properties. Comparisons made over a range of different tuff properties show good qualitative and quantitative agreement between estimates of rock-mass hydrologic properties made by the two models. This document presents a general discussion of: (1) the hydrology of Yucca Mountain, and the conceptual hydrological model currently being used for the Yucca Mountain site, (2) the development of two models that may be used to estimate the hydrologic properties of a fractured, porous rock mass, and (3) a comparison of the hydrologic properties estimated by these two models. Although the models were developed in response to hydrologic characterization requirements at Yucca Mountain, they can be applied to water movement in any fractured rock mass that satisfies the given assumptions.

  12. Stress wave propagationin the site 12 hydraulic/explosive fracturing experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boade, R. R.; Reed, R. P.


    The Site 12 experiment was a heavily instrumented field event performed to examine the hydraulic/explosive fracturing concept for preparing an underground oil shale bed for true in situ processing. One of the key phases of this fracturing concept is the blasting operation which involves the insertion and detonation of slurry explosive in a pre-formed system of hydrofractures. To obtain a sound understanding of the nature of the blasting operations, a rather extensive array of stress gages, accelerometers, and time-of-arrival gages was installed in the rock mass in the vacinity of the explosive to monitor the dynamic events initiated by the detonation. These gages provided considerable amounts of information which were useful in evaluating overall results of the experiment. Details of the gage array, of the data, of analysis methods, and of the results and conclusions are considered in the report.

  13. Analysis of Proppant Hydraulic Fracturing in a Sand Oil Reservoir in Southwest of Iran


    Reza Masoomi; Iniko Bassey; Dolgow Sergie Viktorovich; Hosein Dehghani


    Hydraulic fracturing is one way to increase the productivity of oil and gas wells. One of the most fundamental successes of hydraulic fracturing operation is selecting the proper size and type of proppants which are used during the process. The aim of this study is optimizing the type and size of used propant in hydraulic fracturing operation in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran. In this study sand and ceramic (sintered bauxite) have been considered as proppant type. Also the various ...

  14. Investigation of growth features in several hydraulic fractures (United States)

    Bykov, Alexander; Galybin, Alexander; Evdokimov, Alexander; Zavialova, Natalia; Zavialov, Ivan; Negodiaev, Sergey; Perepechkin, Ilia


    In this paper we simulate the growth of three or more interacting hydraulic fractures in the horizontal well with a cross flow of fluid between them. Calculation of the dynamics of cracks is performed in three dimensional space. The computation of the movement of fracturing fluid with proppant is performed in the two-dimensional space (the flow was averaged along crack aperture). For determining the hydraulic pipe resistance coefficient we used a generalization of the Reynolds number for fluids with power rheology and a generalization of the von Karman equation made by Dodge and Meiner. The calculations showed that the first crack was developing faster than the rest in homogeneous medium. During the steady loading the outer cracks pinch the inner cracks and it was shown that only the first and last fracture develop in extreme case. It is also possible to simulate the parameters at which the two developing outer cracks pinch the central one in the horizontal direction. In this case, the central crack may grow in the vertical direction.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trpimir Kujundžić


    Full Text Available The physical and mechanical characteristics of intact rocks depend on the way of their formation, sustained deformations and the process of wearing a specific rock has been exposed to. These characteristics have a rather high influence on the technological process of extraction and dressing of mineral raw materials. However, the mechanical characteristics of rocks due to use of explosives for their extraction in the open pit have a more significant impact. The rock blocks extracted by blasting which are larger than the opening of the primary crusher are usually fragmented by hydraulic hammer. The paper presents the results of the testing of impact of rock hardness on fragmentation of rocks by means of hydraulic hammer and during crushing in jaw crusher. The testing was carried out on the rock samples from five quarries. According to the obtained results the hardness has a considerably larger impact on the fragmentation energy by hydraulic hammer than on the crushing energy in jaw crusher.

  16. Modelling of excavation depth and fractures in rock caused by tool indentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kou Shaoquan; Tan Xiangchun; Lindqvist, P.A. [Luleaa Univ. of Technology (Sweden)


    The hydraulic regime after excavation in the near-field rock around deposition holes and deposition tunnels in a spent nuclear fuel repository is of concern for prediction of the saturation process of bentonite buffer and tunnel backfill. The hydraulic condition of main interest in this context is a result of the fracture network that is caused by the excavation. Modelling of the excavation disturbed zone in hard rocks caused by mechanical excavation has been carried out in the Division of Mining Engineering since 1993. This report contains an overview of the work conducted. The mechanical excavation is reasonably simplified as an indentation process of the interaction between rigid indenters and rocks. A large number of experiments have been carried out in the laboratory, and the results used for identifying crushed zones and fracture systems in rock under indentation are presented based on these experiments. The indentation causes crushing and damage of the rock and results in a crushed zone and a cracked zone. The indenter penetrates the rock with a certain depth when the force is over a threshold value relevant to the rock and tool. Outside the cracked zone there are basically three systems of cracks: median cracks, radial cracks, and side cracks. Fully developed radial cracks on each side of the indented area can connect with each other and join with median crack. This forms the so-called radial/median crack system. The influence of the mechanical properties of the rock is discussed based on our conceptual model, and the main factors governing the indentation event are summarised. The cracked zone is dealt with by an analytical fracture model. The side crack is simulated by applying the boundary element method coupled with fracture mechanics. Functional relationships are established relating either the indentation depth or the length of radial/median cracks to the various quantities characterising the physical event, namely the shape and the size of the

  17. Clay-shoveler's fracture during indoor rock climbing. (United States)

    Kaloostian, Paul E; Kim, Jennifer E; Calabresi, Peter A; Bydon, Ali; Witham, Timothy


    Indoor rock climbing is becoming more popular for people of all ages. Despite the tremendous interest in this competitive sport, participants are made aware of the dangers associated with participating. The authors present the first reported case of a clay-shoveler's fracture at the T1 spinous process during indoor rock climbing. They describe the management and natural history of this fracture and discuss management strategies for this increasingly popular recreational sport.A 14-year-old competitive indoor rock climber presented with acute-onset midline thoracic pain at T1 while indoor rock climbing. He reported no recent falls or trauma but stated that the pain came on abruptly while rock climbing. On examination, he was neurologically intact except for significant tenderness to palpation at the T1 spinous process. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a minimally displaced T1 spinous process fracture with evidence of significant surrounding muscular edema, suggesting an acute fracture. He was treated conservatively with anti-inflammatory drugs, complete climbing restriction, and rest. He continued to have focal upper back pain at the level of the fracture over the next 4 months. He was unable to climb for 4 months until his pain resolved after conservative treatment of climbing restriction, pain control, and rest.This is the first documented case of a clay-shoveler's fracture sustained in a pediatric patient directly attributable to indoor rock climbing. Copyright 2013, SLACK Incorporated.

  18. On the Relationship between Stress and Elastic Strain for Porous and Fractured Rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Hui-Hai; Rutqvist, Jonny; Berryman, James G.


    Modeling the mechanical deformations of porous and fractured rocks requires a stress-strain relationship. Experience with inherently heterogeneous earth materials suggests that different varieties of Hook's law should be applied within regions of the rock having significantly different stress-strain behavior, e.g., such as solid phase and various void geometries. We apply this idea by dividing a rock body conceptually into two distinct parts. The natural strain (volume change divided by rock volume at the current stress state), rather than the engineering strain (volume change divided by the unstressed rock volume), should be used in Hooke's law for accurate modeling of the elastic deformation of that part of the pore volume subject to a relatively large degree of relative deformation (i.e., cracks or fractures). This approach permits the derivation of constitutive relations between stress and a variety of mechanical and/or hydraulic rock properties. We show that the theoretical predictions of this method are generally consistent with empirical expressions (from field data) and also laboratory rock experimental data.

  19. Analysis of compressive fracture in rock using statistical techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blair, S.C.


    Fracture of rock in compression is analyzed using a field-theory model, and the processes of crack coalescence and fracture formation and the effect of grain-scale heterogeneities on macroscopic behavior of rock are studied. The model is based on observations of fracture in laboratory compression tests, and incorporates assumptions developed using fracture mechanics analysis of rock fracture. The model represents grains as discrete sites, and uses superposition of continuum and crack-interaction stresses to create cracks at these sites. The sites are also used to introduce local heterogeneity. Clusters of cracked sites can be analyzed using percolation theory. Stress-strain curves for simulated uniaxial tests were analyzed by studying the location of cracked sites, and partitioning of strain energy for selected intervals. Results show that the model implicitly predicts both development of shear-type fracture surfaces and a strength-vs-size relation that are similar to those observed for real rocks. Results of a parameter-sensitivity analysis indicate that heterogeneity in the local stresses, attributed to the shape and loading of individual grains, has a first-order effect on strength, and that increasing local stress heterogeneity lowers compressive strength following an inverse power law. Peak strength decreased with increasing lattice size and decreasing mean site strength, and was independent of site-strength distribution. A model for rock fracture based on a nearest-neighbor algorithm for stress redistribution is also presented and used to simulate laboratory compression tests, with promising results.

  20. Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Rock Dynamic Fracture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliasghar Mirmohammadlou


    Full Text Available Rapid development of engineering activities expands through a variety of rock engineering processes such as drilling, blasting, mining and mineral processing. These activities require rock dynamic fracture mechanics method to characterize the rock behavior. Dynamic fracture toughness is an important parameter for the analysis of engineering structures under dynamic loading. Several experimental methods are used for determination of dynamic fracture properties of materials. Among them, the Hopkinson pressure bar and the drop weight have been frequently used for rocks. On the other hand, numerical simulations are very useful in dynamic fracture studies. Among vast variety of numerical techniques, the powerful extended finite element method (XFEM enriches the finite element approximation with appropriate functions extracted from the fracture mechanics solution around a crack-tip. The main advantage of XFEM is its capability in modeling different on a fixed mesh, which can be generated without considering the existence of discontinuities. In this paper, first, the design of a drop weight test setup is presented. Afterwards, the experimental tests on igneous (basalt and calcareous (limestone rocks with single-edge-cracked bend specimen are discussed. Then, each experimental test is modeled with the XFEM code. Finally, the obtained experimental and numerical results are compared. The results indicate that the experimentally predicted dynamic fracture toughness has less than 8 percent difference with calculated dynamic fracture toughness from extended finite element method

  1. Study of fractures in Precambrian crystalline rocks using field ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Geol. Bull. 64 764. Rahiman T I H and Pettinga J R 2008 Analysis of lin- eaments and their relationship to Neogene fracturing,. SE Viti Levu, Fiji; Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 120(11–12). 1544–1555. Tsang Y W and Witherspoon P A 1981 Hydromechanical behavior of a deformable rock fracture subject to normal stress; J. Geophys.

  2. Effect of seismic waves on the hydro-mechanical properties of fractured rock masses (United States)

    Lak, Meysam; Baghbanan, Alireza; Hashemolhoseini, Hamid


    The transmission of seismic waves in a particular region may influence the hydraulic properties of a rock mass, including permeability, which is one of the most important. To determine the effect of a seismic wave on the hydraulic behavior of a fractured rock mass, systematic numerical modeling was conducted. A number of discrete fracture network (DFN) models with a size of 20 m × 20 m were used as geometrical bases, and a discrete element method (DEM) was employed as a numerical simulation tool. Three different boundary conditions without (Type I) and with static (Type II) and dynamic (Type III) loading were performed on the models, and then their permeability was calculated. The results showed that permeability in Type III models was respectively 62.7% and 44.2% higher than in Type I and Type II models. This study indicates that seismic waves can affect deep earth, and, according to the results, seismic waves increase the permeability and change the flow rate patterns in a fractured rock mass.

  3. Impact of Stress on Anomalous Transport in Fractured Rock (United States)

    Kang, P. K.; Lei, Q.; Lee, S.; Dentz, M.; Juanes, R.


    Fluid flow and transport in fractured rock controls many natural and engineered processes in the subsurface. However, characterizing flow and transport through fractured media is challenging due to the large heterogeneity of fractured rock properties. In addition to these "static" challenges, geologic fractures are always under significant overburden stress, and changes in the stress state can lead to changes in the fracture's ability to conduct fluids. While confining stress has been shown to impact fluid flow through fractures in a fundamental way, the impact of confining stress on transport through fractured rock remains largely unexplored. The link between anomalous (non-Fickian) transport and confining stress has been shown only recently, at the level of a single rough fracture [1]. Here, we investigate the impact of confining stress on flow and transport through discrete fracture networks. We model geomechanical effects in 2D fractured rock by means of a finite-discrete element method (FEMDEM), which can capture the deformation of matrix blocks, reactivation and propagation of cracks. We implement a joint constitutive model within the FEMDEM framework to simulate the effect of fracture roughness. We apply the model to a fracture network extracted from the geological map of an actual outcrop to obtain the aperture field at different stress conditions (Figure 1). We then simulate fluid flow and particle transport through the stressed fracture networks. We observe that anomalous transport emerges in response to confining stress on the fracture networks, and show that this anomalous behavior can be linked to the stress state of the rock. Finally, we develop an effective transport model that captures the anomalous transport through stressed fractures. Our results point to a heretofore unrecognized link between geomechanics and anomalous transport in discrete fractured networks. [1] P. K. Kang, S. Brown, and R. Juanes, Emergence of anomalous transport in stressed

  4. Analysis of hydromechanical well tests in fractured sedimentary rock at the NAWC site, New Jersey (United States)

    Murdoch, L.C.; Hisz, D.B.; Ebenhack, J.F.; Fowler, D.E.; Tiedeman, C.R.; Germanovich, L.N.


    Hydromechanical well tests involve measuring and interpreting displacements along with hydraulic heads that result when a hydraulic stress is applied to a well. The motivation behind this type of test is that the displacement measurements provide information about the constitutive properties and structure of the aquifer that go beyond what can be derived from pressure signals alone. We used a borehole extensometer to measure transient displacements with a resolution of +/- 25 nm during well tests in fractured mudstone and sandstone at the former Naval Air Warfare Center in West Trenton, New Jersey. One well showed opening displacements on the order of 300nm during slug tests with maximum head changes of 7 m. Inversion of the transient signals suggest that a conductive fracture (aperture = 380 ??m, normal stiffness = 8??10 8 Pa/m) was largely responsible for the pressure signal, but the displacement signal appears to have resulted from both the fracture and deformation of the enveloping sandstone (E = 5 GPa, permeability = 0.6 md). At another well, an anomalous but repeatable signal was characterized by closing displacements during increasing pressure. This displacement signal can be explained by a hydraulically active fracture below the extensometer that became pressurized and compressed the overly sediments. Poroelastic theoretical analyses were inverted to estimate parameters and verify interpretations. Copyright 2009 ARMA, American Rock Mechanics Association.

  5. Evaluation of regional fracture properties for groundwater development using hydrolithostructural domain approach in variably fractured hard rocks of Purulia district, West Bengal, India (United States)

    Acharya, Tapas; Prasad, Rajesh; Chakrabarti, S.


    Estimation of geohydrologic properties of fractured aquifers in hard crystalline and/or metamorphosed country rocks is a challenge due to the complex nature of secondary porosity that is caused by differential fracturing. Hydrologic potentiality of such aquifers may be assessed if the geological controls governing the spatial distribution of these fracture systems are computed using a software-based model. As an exemplar, the Precambrian metamorphics exposed in and around the Balarampur town of Purulia district, West Bengal (India) were studied to find out the spatial pattern and consistency of such fracture systems. Surfer and Statistica softwares were used to characterize these rock masses in terms of hydrological, structural and lithological domains. The technique is based on the use of hydraulically significant fracture properties to generate representative modal and coefficient of variance ( Cν) of fracture datasets of each domain. The Cν is interpreted to obtain the spatial variability of hydraulically significant fracture properties that, in turn, define and identify the corresponding hydrolithostructural domains. The groundwater flow estimated from such a technique is verified with the routine hydrological studies to validate the procedure. It is suggested that the hydrolithostructural domain approach is a useful alternative for evaluation of fracture properties and aquifer potentiality, and development of a regional groundwater model thereof.

  6. Simulations of hydraulic fracturing and leakage in sedimentary basins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lothe, Ane Elisabeth


    Hydraulic fracturing and leakage of water through the caprock is described from sedimentary basin over geological time scale. Abnormal pressure accumulations reduce the effective stresses in the underground and trigger the initiation of hydraulic fractures. The major faults in the basin define these pressure compartments. In this Thesis, basin simulations of hydraulic fracturing and leakage have been carried out. A simulator (Pressim) is used to calculate pressure generation and dissipitation between the compartments. The flux between the compartments and not the flow within the compartments is modelled. The Griffith-Coulomb failure criterion determines initial failure at the top structures of overpressured compartments, whereas the frictional sliding criterion is used for reactivation along the same fractures. The minimum horizontal stress is determined from different formulas, and an empirical one seems to give good results compared to measured pressures and minimum horizontal stresses. Simulations have been carried out on two datasets; one covering the Halten Terrace area and one the Tune Field area in the northern North Sea. The timing of hydraulic fracturing and amount of leakage has been quantified in the studies from the Halten Terrace area. This is mainly controlled by the lateral fluid flow and the permeability of the major faults in the basin. Low fault permeability gives early failure, while high fault permeabilities results in no or late hydraulic fracturing and leakage from overpressured parts of the basin. In addition to varying the transmissibility of all faults in a basin, the transmissibility across individual faults can be varied. Increasing the transmissibility across faults is of major importance in overpressured to intermediately pressured areas. However, to obtain change in the flow, a certain pressure difference has to be the situation between the different compartments. The coefficient of internal friction and the coefficient of frictional

  7. Impact of Petrophysical Properties on Hydraulic Fracturing and Development in Tight Volcanic Gas Reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinghao Shen


    Full Text Available The volcanic reservoir is an important kind of unconventional reservoir. The aqueous phase trapping (APT appears because of fracturing fluids filtration. However, APT can be autoremoved for some wells after certain shut-in time. But there is significant distinction for different reservoirs. Experiments were performed to study the petrophysical properties of a volcanic reservoir and the spontaneous imbibition is monitored by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR and pulse-decay permeability. Results showed that natural cracks appear in the samples as well as high irreducible water saturation. There is a quick decrease of rock permeability once the rock contacts water. The pores filled during spontaneous imbibition are mainly the nanopores from NMR spectra. Full understanding of the mineralogical effect and sample heterogeneity benefits the selection of segments to fracturing. The fast flow-back scheme is applicable in this reservoir to minimize the damage. Because lots of water imbibed into the nanopores, the main flow channels become larger, which are beneficial to the permeability recovery after flow-back of hydraulic fracturing. This is helpful in understanding the APT autoremoval after certain shut-in time. Also, Keeping the appropriate production differential pressure is very important in achieving the long term efficient development of volcanic gas reservoirs.

  8. Hydraulic Fracturing and Production Optimization in Eagle Ford Shale Using Coupled Geomechanics and Fluid Flow Model (United States)

    Suppachoknirun, Theerapat; Tutuncu, Azra N.


    With increasing production from shale gas and tight oil reservoirs, horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing processes have become a routine procedure in unconventional field development efforts. Natural fractures play a critical role in hydraulic fracture growth, subsequently affecting stimulated reservoir volume and the production efficiency. Moreover, the existing fractures can also contribute to the pressure-dependent fluid leak-off during the operations. Hence, a reliable identification of the discrete fracture network covering the zone of interest prior to the hydraulic fracturing design needs to be incorporated into the hydraulic fracturing and reservoir simulations for realistic representation of the in situ reservoir conditions. In this research study, an integrated 3-D fracture and fluid flow model have been developed using a new approach to simulate the fluid flow and deliver reliable production forecasting in naturally fractured and hydraulically stimulated tight reservoirs. The model was created with three key modules. A complex 3-D discrete fracture network model introduces realistic natural fracture geometry with the associated fractured reservoir characteristics. A hydraulic fracturing model is created utilizing the discrete fracture network for simulation of the hydraulic fracture and flow in the complex discrete fracture network. Finally, a reservoir model with the production grid system is used allowing the user to efficiently perform the fluid flow simulation in tight formations with complex fracture networks. The complex discrete natural fracture model, the integrated discrete fracture model for the hydraulic fracturing, the fluid flow model, and the input dataset have been validated against microseismic fracture mapping and commingled production data obtained from a well pad with three horizontal production wells located in the Eagle Ford oil window in south Texas. Two other fracturing geometries were also evaluated to optimize

  9. Status of the art: hydraulic conductivity of acid- fractures; Condutividade hidraulica de fratura acida: estado da arte

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodrigues, Valdo Ferreira [Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (LENEP/UENF), Macae, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Ciencia e Tecnologia. Lab. de Engenharia e Exploracao de Petroleo; Campos, Wellington [PETROBRAS, RJ (Brazil). E and P Engenharia de Producao. Gerencia de Completacao e Avaliacao], e-mail:


    This paper presents a review of the hydraulic conductivity models developed for acid fractures in almost four decades of studies in petroleum engineering. These studies have often benefited from theories and experiments carried out in areas of knowledge such as physics, geology, hydrology, fluid mechanics, rock mechanics and tribology. The review showed that the pioneer study of Nierode and Kruk (1973) is still used in commercial software and influences the current studies. There was significant evolution on the quantitative surface topography characterization of the fractures and their impact on the hydraulic conductivity. The same occurred for the effects of acid dissolution on the rock resistance. Improvements on correlations similar to the Nierode and Kruk can be applied at once on the acid fracturing project and evaluation practice for the cases of rough dissolution pattern. A method to consider the overall conductivity from heterogeneous channels and roughness pattern was recently proposed. The complexity of the theoretical fundaments, specially the range of validity of the equations in face of the simplifications assumed, the difficulty of performing representative laboratory and field experiments, the difficulty of characterizing quantitatively the fractures surface topography and its effects on the conductivity, and the large variety of rocks and acid systems keep this subject open for research. (author)

  10. Numerical Simulation of Hydraulic Fracture Propagation Guided by Single Radial Boreholes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiankui Guo


    Full Text Available Conventional hydraulic fracturing is not effective in target oil development zones with available wellbores located in the azimuth of the non-maximum horizontal in-situ stress. To some extent, we think that the radial hydraulic jet drilling has the function of guiding hydraulic fracture propagation direction and promoting deep penetration, but this notion currently lacks an effective theoretical support for fracture propagation. In order to verify the technology, a 3D extended finite element numerical model of hydraulic fracturing promoted by the single radial borehole was established, and the influences of nine factors on propagation of hydraulic fracture guided by the single radial borehole were comprehensively analyzed. Moreover, the term ‘Guidance factor (Gf’ was introduced for the first time to effectively quantify the radial borehole guidance. The guidance of nine factors was evaluated through gray correlation analysis. The experimental results were consistent with the numerical simulation results to a certain extent. The study provides theoretical evidence for the artificial control technology of directional propagation of hydraulic fracture promoted by the single radial borehole, and it predicts the guidance effect of a single radial borehole on hydraulic fracture to a certain extent, which is helpful for planning well-completion and fracturing operation parameters in radial borehole-promoted hydraulic fracturing technology.

  11. A stochastic model for estimating groundwater and contaminant discharges from fractured rock passive flux meter measurements (United States)

    Acar, Özlem; Klammler, Harald; Hatfield, Kirk; Newman, Mark A.; Annable, Michael D.; Cho, Jaehyun; Parker, Beth L.; Cherry, John A.; Pehme, Pete; Quinn, Patryk; Kroeker, Ryan


    Estimation of water and contaminant discharges is an important hydrological problem. Fractured rock aquifers are recognized as highly complex flow and transport systems, and the fractured rock passive flux meter (FRPFM) is a recently tested device to simultaneously measure cumulative water and contaminant mass fluxes in fractures intersecting an observation well (boring). Furthermore, the FRPFM is capable of indicating orientations and directions of flow in hydraulically active ("flowing") fractures. The present work develops a discharge estimator for when FRPFM measurements of fracture fluxes in the direction perpendicular to a transect (control plane) along one or more observation wells are available. In addition, estimation uncertainty in terms of a coefficient of variation is assessed based on a Monte Carlo approach under normalized conditions. Sources of uncertainty considered are spatially random fracture trace locations, random trace lengths, and orientations as well as variability of trace average fluxes (including smooth spatial trends), variability of local fluxes within traces, and flux measurement errors. Knowledge about the trace length distribution, which is commonly not available from borehole surveys, is not required for discharge estimation. However, it does affect the uncertainty assessment, and equations for upper uncertainty bounds are given as an alternative. In agreement with general statistical inference, it is found that discharge uncertainty decreases proportionally with the number of fluxes measured. Results are validated, and an example problem illustrates practical application and performance.

  12. Quantifying Groundwater and Contaminant Flux in Fractured Rock Systems (United States)

    Cho, J.; Newman, M. A.; Klammler, H.; Hatfield, K.; Annable, M. D.; Parker, B. L.; Cherry, J.; Kroeker, R.; Pedler, W. H.


    Complex hydrogeologic conditions such as fractured and karst bedrock settings pose substantial economic and technical challenges both to the characterization and remediation of DNAPL source zones. The objective of this project is to demonstrate and validate the fractured rock passive flux meter (FRPFM) as new technology for measuring the magnitudes and directions of cumulative water and contaminant fluxes in fractured rock aquifers. The sensor consists of an inflatable core that compresses a reactive fabric against the wall of a borehole and to any water-filled fractures intersected by a borehole. The reactive fabric is designed to intercept and retain target groundwater contaminants (e.g. TCE, DCE, VC); in addition, the fabric releases non-toxic tracers, some of which visibly indicate active fracture location, aperture, orientation, and direction of fracture flow along a borehole, while others quantify cumulative groundwater discharge within the fractures. Field demonstration tests are ongoing at a site in Guelph, Ontario and at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in West Trenton, NJ. The tests are comparing multiple technologies including fractured rock passive flux meters, hydrophysical logging, temperature logging, and borehole dilution tests. The technologies are being evaluated based upon their ability to: identify flowing fractures, determine flow direction, and quantify both water and contaminant mass flux in flowing fractures. Laboratory tests comparing the capabilities of each technology were previously performed in two separate flow simulators representing a range of likely field conditions: a planar single fracture simulator (fracture aperture = 0.5 mm; specific discharge range 25 - 2500 cm/day) and a large-scale three-dimensional aquifer box with layered high contrast flow zones simulating fractured zones (physical flow domain 2 m length, 0.5 m width, and 1 m height; specific discharge range 25 to 4000 cm/day (per layer)). Based upon initial field and

  13. Numerical simulations of seepage flow in rough single rock fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingang Zhang


    Full Text Available To investigate the relationship between the structural characteristics and seepage flow behavior of rough single rock fractures, a set of single fracture physical models were produced using the Weierstrass–Mandelbrot functions to test the seepage flow performance. Six single fractures, with various surface roughnesses characterized by fractal dimensions, were built using COMSOL multiphysics software. The fluid flow behavior through the rough fractures and the influences of the rough surfaces on the fluid flow behavior was then monitored. The numerical simulation indicates that there is a linear relationship between the average flow velocity over the entire flow path and the fractal dimension of the rough surface. It is shown that there is good a agreement between the numerical results and the experimental data in terms of the properties of the fluid flowing through the rough single rock fractures.

  14. A time step criterion for the stable numerical simulation of hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Juan-Lien Ramirez, Alina; Löhnert, Stefan; Neuweiler, Insa


    The process of propagating or widening cracks in rock formations by means of fluid flow, known as hydraulic fracturing, has been gaining attention in the last couple of decades. There is growing interest in its numerical simulation to make predictions. Due to the complexity of the processes taking place, e.g. solid deformation, fluid flow in an open channel, fluid flow in a porous medium and crack propagation, this is a challenging task. Hydraulic fracturing has been numerically simulated for some years now [1] and new methods to take more of its processes into account (increasing accuracy) while modeling in an efficient way (lower computational effort) have been developed in recent years. An example is the use of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM), whose application originated within the framework of solid mechanics, but is now seen as an effective method for the simulation of discontinuities with no need for re-meshing [2]. While more focus has been put to the correct coupling of the processes mentioned above, less attention has been paid to the stability of the model. When using a quasi-static approach for the simulation of hydraulic fracturing, choosing an adequate time step is not trivial. This is in particular true if the equations are solved in a staggered way. The difficulty lies within the inconsistency between the static behavior of the solid and the dynamic behavior of the fluid. It has been shown that too small time steps may lead to instabilities early into the simulation time [3]. While the solid reaches a stationary state instantly, the fluid is not able to achieve equilibrium with its new surrounding immediately. This is why a time step criterion has been developed to quantify the instability of the model concerning the time step. The presented results were created with a 2D poroelastic model, using the XFEM for both the solid and the fluid phases. An embedded crack propagates following the energy release rate criteria when the fluid pressure

  15. Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications (United States)

    Varela, Brian A.; Haines, Seth S.; Engle, Mark A.


    Abstract Until now, up‐to‐date, comprehensive, spatial, national‐scale data on hydraulic fracturing water volumes have been lacking. Water volumes used (injected) to hydraulically fracture over 263,859 oil and gas wells drilled between 2000 and 2014 were compiled and used to create the first U.S. map of hydraulic fracturing water use. Although median annual volumes of 15,275 m3 and 19,425 m3 of water per well was used to hydraulically fracture individual horizontal oil and gas wells, respectively, in 2014, about 42% of wells were actually either vertical or directional, which required less than 2600 m3 water per well. The highest average hydraulic fracturing water usage (10,000−36,620 m3 per well) in watersheds across the United States generally correlated with shale‐gas areas (versus coalbed methane, tight oil, or tight gas) where the greatest proportion of hydraulically fractured wells were horizontally drilled, reflecting that the natural reservoir properties influence water use. This analysis also demonstrates that many oil and gas resources within a given basin are developed using a mix of horizontal, vertical, and some directional wells, explaining why large volume hydraulic fracturing water usage is not widespread. This spatial variability in hydraulic fracturing water use relates to the potential for environmental impacts such as water availability, water quality, wastewater disposal, and possible wastewater injection‐induced earthquakes. PMID:26937056

  16. 78 FR 34611 - Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 43 CFR Part 3160 RIN 1004-AE26 Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and...) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian...

  17. Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources (Monterey, CA) (United States)

    A summary of EPA's research relating to potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources will be presented. Background about the study plan development will be presented along with an analysis of the water cycle as it relates to hydraulic fracturing processe...

  18. 78 FR 25267 - Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water Resources (United States)


    ... research on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources from April 30, 2013... research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. The EPA... drinking water resources and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of...

  19. 77 FR 67361 - Request for Information To Inform Hydraulic Fracturing Research Related to Drinking Water Resources (United States)


    ... impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. DATES: EPA will accept data and literature in... scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources... water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency...

  20. Anisotropy of strength and deformability of fractured rocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Noorian Bidgoli


    Full Text Available Anisotropy of the strength and deformation behaviors of fractured rock masses is a crucial issue for design and stability assessments of rock engineering structures, due mainly to the non-uniform and non-regular geometries of the fracture systems. However, no adequate efforts have been made to study this issue due to the current practical impossibility of laboratory tests with samples of large volumes containing many fractures, and the difficulty for controlling reliable initial and boundary conditions for large-scale in situ tests. Therefore, a reliable numerical predicting approach for evaluating anisotropy of fractured rock masses is needed. The objective of this study is to systematically investigate anisotropy of strength and deformability of fractured rocks, which has not been conducted in the past, using a numerical modeling method. A series of realistic two-dimensional (2D discrete fracture network (DFN models were established based on site investigation data, which were then loaded in different directions, using the code UDEC of discrete element method (DEM, with changing confining pressures. Numerical results show that strength envelopes and elastic deformability parameters of tested numerical models are significantly anisotropic, and vary with changing axial loading and confining pressures. The results indicate that for design and safety assessments of rock engineering projects, the directional variations of strength and deformability of the fractured rock mass concerned must be treated properly with respect to the directions of in situ stresses. Traditional practice for simply positioning axial orientation of tunnels in association with principal stress directions only may not be adequate for safety requirements. Outstanding issues of the present study and suggestions for future study are also presented.

  1. Fracture Propagation, Fluid Flow, and Geomechanics of Water-Based Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Gas Systems and Electromagnetic Geophysical Monitoring of Fluid Migration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Um, Evan; Moridis, George


    -geomechanical simulator and are transformed via a rock-physics model into electrical conductivity models. It is shown that anomalous conductivity distribution in the resulting models is closely related to injected water saturation, but not closely related to newly created unsaturated fractures. Our numerical modeling experiments demonstrate that the crosswell EM method can be highly sensitive to conductivity changes that directly indicate the migration pathways of the injected fluid. Accordingly, the EM method can serve as an effective monitoring tool for distribution of injected fluids (i.e., migration pathways) during hydraulic fracturing operations

  2. 77 FR 27691 - Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands (United States)


    ... Secretary of Energy's Energy Advisory Board in 2011. Also, current BLM regulations governing hydraulic... Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a rule to regulate hydraulic...

  3. Results of Scientific and Technical Supervision of Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.Kh. Makhmutov


    Full Text Available The paper presents actual results of the research conducted as part of a field pilot project which consisted in interpretation of minifrac test data and evaluation of the efficiency of the scientific and technical supervision of fracking operations. The research program involved 11 wells targeting Devonian terrigenous reservoirs. Minifrac tests in one perforation interval were performed only in seven wells, that is approximately in 64% of total well count. A reliable fracture closure estimate was obtained only in six wells (55%, beginning of pseudoradial flow was observed only in one well out of 11 wells (9%. Hence, conventional minifrac tests should be supplemented with other diagnostic injection tests. Analysis of the performance of hydraulic fracturing operations conducted according to this pilot project plan indicates that fracture modelling, and scientific and technical supervision of fracking operations performed by Hydrofrac Research Laboratory of Institute TatNIPIneft Tatneft PJSC have yielded beneficial effects, namely 1.44 times increase in oil production rates.

  4. Simulation of Hydraulic Fracture in Unsaturated Soils with High Degree of Saturation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tielin Chen


    Full Text Available A numerical simulation approach of hydraulic fracture process, considering the couplings of the stress distribution, the fluid flow of the water-air mixture, the compression and dissolution of air, and the element damage evolution, has been developed to investigate the mechanisms of crack initiation and propagation in porous media during hydraulic fracturing. The concept of homogenized pore fluid has been adopted to represent the water air mixture. A large number of numerical analysis on hydraulic fracturing in clay with incipient injection slot have been carried out to study the mechanism of hydraulic fracturing in unsaturated soil with the characteristic of critical model I type of crack loading using stress intensity factor KIc. The results provide a numerical picture depicting the mechanisms of crack initiation and propagation during hydraulic fracturing. The numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental results, which confirms the adequacy and the power of the numerical approach.

  5. Hydraulic properties and scale effects investigation in regional rock aquifers, south-western Quebec, Canada (United States)

    Nastev, M.; Savard, M. M.; Lapcevic, P.; Lefebvre, R.; Martel, R.

    This paper reports on the characterization of hydraulic properties of regional rock aquifers carried out within a groundwater resources assessment project in the St. Lawrence Lowlands of south-western Quebec. To understand the aquifer behavior at both the fracture level and at field scale, hydraulic investigations were carried out using various aquifer tests. The groundwater flow at the local scale is controlled mostly by the fracture system. Results of the constant-head injection tests show a weak decreasing trend of hydraulic conductivity with depth indicating that a major part of the groundwater flow occurs in the first meters of the rock sequence. At the regional scale, the equivalent porous media approach is applicable. The hydraulic conductivity measurements were correlated to the scale of the aquifer tests expressed with the investigated aquifer volume. A simple interpolation procedure for the hydraulic conductivity field was developed based on the distance between field measurements and the tested aquifer volumes. The regional distribution of the hydraulic conductivity for the major fractured aquifer units indicates that dolostone is the most permeable whereas sandstone and crystalline rocks are the least permeable units. Este artículo trata de la caracterización de las propiedades hidráulicas en acuíferos regionales rocosos, la cual se llevó a cabo dentro del proyecto de evaluación de los recursos de agua subterránea en St. Lawrence Lowlands al suroeste de Quebec. Para entender el comportamiento del acuífero tanto a nivel de fractura como a escala del campo, se ejecutaron investigaciones hidráulicas usando varias pruebas de acuífero. El flujo del agua subterránea a escala local está controlado principalmente por el sistema de fracturas. Los resultados de las pruebas de inyección con cabeza constante muestran una tendencia decreciente débil de la conductividad hidráulica con la profundidad, indicando que la mayor parte del flujo de agua

  6. Assessing geotechnical centrifuge modelling in addressing variably saturated flow in soil and fractured rock. (United States)

    Jones, Brendon R; Brouwers, Luke B; Van Tonder, Warren D; Dippenaar, Matthys A


    The vadose zone typically comprises soil underlain by fractured rock. Often, surface water and groundwater parameters are readily available, but variably saturated flow through soil and rock are oversimplified or estimated as input for hydrological models. In this paper, a series of geotechnical centrifuge experiments are conducted to contribute to the knowledge gaps in: (i) variably saturated flow and dispersion in soil and (ii) variably saturated flow in discrete vertical and horizontal fractures. Findings from the research show that the hydraulic gradient, and not the hydraulic conductivity, is scaled for seepage flow in the geotechnical centrifuge. Furthermore, geotechnical centrifuge modelling has been proven as a viable experimental tool for the modelling of hydrodynamic dispersion as well as the replication of similar flow mechanisms for unsaturated fracture flow, as previously observed in literature. Despite the imminent challenges of modelling variable saturation in the vadose zone, the geotechnical centrifuge offers a powerful experimental tool to physically model and observe variably saturated flow. This can be used to give valuable insight into mechanisms associated with solid-fluid interaction problems under these conditions. Findings from future research can be used to validate current numerical modelling techniques and address the subsequent influence on aquifer recharge and vulnerability, contaminant transport, waste disposal, dam construction, slope stability and seepage into subsurface excavations.

  7. Fracture network modeling of a Hot Dry Rock geothermal reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robinson, B.A.


    Fluid flow and tracer transport in a fractured Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermal reservoir are modeled using fracture network modeling techniques. The steady state pressure and flow fields are solved for a two-dimensional, interconnected network of fractures with no-flow outer boundaries and constant-pressure source and sink points to simulate wellbore-fracture intersections. The tracer response is simulated by particle tracking, which follows the progress of a representative sample of individual tracer molecules traveling through the network. Solute retardation due to matrix diffusion and sorption is handled easily with these particle tracking methods. Matrix diffusion is shown to have an important effect in many fractured geothermal reservoirs, including those in crystalline formations of relatively low matrix porosity. Pressure drop and tracer behavior are matched for a fractured HDR reservoir tested at Fenton Hill, NM.

  8. Active monitoring of hydraulic and mechanical properties variations during the hydraulic stimulation of a fractured porous reservoir: Some preliminary results from the HPPP Project (United States)

    Cappa, F.; Guglielmi, Y.


    A new protocol of active geophysical monitoring is used to investigate the downhole changes in the hydromechanical response of a naturally porous reservoir layer with 80° dipping fractures where permeability was artificially enhanced by a hydraulic jacking test conducted by a step-wise increase of the fluid pressure. The protocol, called the High-Pulse Poroelasticity Protocol (HPPP) (, is focusing on controlled-impulsive source repeated observations and interpretation of rock properties changes over the seismic band of frequencies. The excitation source corresponds to a fast hydraulic pulse imposed in a small section of a borehole. The source is monitored with a special borehole probe based on fiber-optic sensors which allow dynamic fluid pressure/3D-mechanical deformation measurements, with reflection of light at specific wavelength from Fabry-Pérot or fiber Bragg gratings mounted between inflatable packers. Within the injection zone, fluid pressure and deformation waves of 1 to 500 Hz and static hydraulic diffusion are simultaneously measured to quantify the hydromechanical couplings Two identical pressure pulses were performed to test the rock three-dimensionnal mechanical response before and after the jacking test. It clearly appears that (1) the magnitude of the rock deformation is a factor of 3 higher, and (2) the principal deformation component pitch is rotated of about 20° with more radial deformation of the layer after the jacking test. Those preliminary tests show that the HPPP protocol can actively improve downhole monitoring of both hydraulic and mechanical bulk properties changes of rocks under strong dynamic stress-flow couplings.

  9. Application of characteristic time concepts for hydraulic fracture configuration design, control, and optimization. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Advani, S.H.; Lee, T.S. [Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA (United States); Moon, H. [Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)


    The analysis of pertinent energy components or affiliated characteristic times for hydraulic stimulation processes serves as an effective tool for fracture configuration designs optimization, and control. This evaluation, in conjunction with parametric sensitivity studies, provides a rational base for quantifying dominant process mechanisms and the roles of specified reservoir properties relative to controllable hydraulic fracture variables for a wide spectrum of treatment scenarios. Results are detailed for the following multi-task effort: (a) Application of characteristic time concept and parametric sensitivity studies for specialized fracture geometries (rectangular, penny-shaped, elliptical) and three-layered elliptic crack models (in situ stress, elastic moduli, and fracture toughness contrasts). (b) Incorporation of leak-off effects for models investigated in (a). (c) Simulation of generalized hydraulic fracture models and investigation of the role of controllable vaxiables and uncontrollable system properties. (d) Development of guidelines for hydraulic fracture design and optimization.

  10. Application of characteristic time concepts for hydraulic fracture configuration design, control, and optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Advani, S.H.; Lee, T.S. (Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA (United States)); Moon, H. (Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States))


    The analysis of pertinent energy components or affiliated characteristic times for hydraulic stimulation processes serves as an effective tool for fracture configuration designs optimization, and control. This evaluation, in conjunction with parametric sensitivity studies, provides a rational base for quantifying dominant process mechanisms and the roles of specified reservoir properties relative to controllable hydraulic fracture variables for a wide spectrum of treatment scenarios. Results are detailed for the following multi-task effort: (a) Application of characteristic time concept and parametric sensitivity studies for specialized fracture geometries (rectangular, penny-shaped, elliptical) and three-layered elliptic crack models (in situ stress, elastic moduli, and fracture toughness contrasts). (b) Incorporation of leak-off effects for models investigated in (a). (c) Simulation of generalized hydraulic fracture models and investigation of the role of controllable vaxiables and uncontrollable system properties. (d) Development of guidelines for hydraulic fracture design and optimization.

  11. Statistical Aspects of Microheterogeneous Rock Fracture: Observations and Modeling (United States)

    Zhang, Haiying; Chudnovsky, Alexander; Wong, George; Dudley, John W.


    Rocks and other geomaterials are heterogeneous materials, with a well-recognized hierarchy of defects from micro-heterogeneities on the grain level to a large-scale network of cracks and layering structures. Their nature create a challenge for determining macroscopic properties, particularly for properties that are scale dependent, complicating both the property measurement and its appropriate application in modeling. This paper discusses the concept of a "representative volume", which is commonly used in modeling microheterogeneous but statistically homogeneous material by an effective homogeneous continuum. The foundation of this concept is presented, along with its limitations in dealing with properties like strength and fracture toughness that exhibit a scale effect. This limitation is illustrated with a study of brittle fracture of a concrete where it is considered a model for statistically homogeneous rock. The study includes determining a scaling rule for the scale effect in fracture toughness, and shows that the fracture of brittle materials like rocks and concrete appears in the form of highly tortuous, stochastic paths. This reflects a complex interaction between a crack and pre-existing as well as newly formed micro-defects controlled by chance, and results in a large scatter of all fracture-related parameters. This behavior suggests a synthesis of fracture mechanics with probability and statistics, and so a brief exposition of statistical fracture mechanics (SFM) that addresses the statistical aspects of fracture is also presented. SFM is a formalism that combines fracture mechanics methods with probability theory and serves as the basis for an adequate modeling of brittle fracture.

  12. Linking of fractures in layered rocks: Implications for permeability (United States)

    Larsen, Belinda; Gudmundsson, Agust


    The permeability of many rocks, including many reservoirs, is mostly attributable to fractures that form interconnected clusters. Here we present the results of field studies and numerical models on the linkage of fractures, using primarily fractures in carbonate rocks from the UK. The numerical models focus on two fracture configurations: five offset fractures in a 5-layer model, and a single hydrofracture in a 3-layer model. In some of the 3-layer models, a weak, open contact is added between the two topmost layers. In the 5-layer models loading is by 5 MPa tensile stress, whereas the 3-layer models the only loading is the internal fluid overpressure of 6 MPa in the hydrofracture itself, located in the lowermost of the three layers. For the 5-layer models, tensile stresses occur between the nearby tips of the offset fracture pairs, but these stresses are generally too low in the soft shale layers to initiate fractures. The tensile stresses, however, commonly concentrate at the contacts between the shale and limestone layers and may therefore result in delamination (debonding), that is, opening of the contacts. By contrast, the shear stresses between the nearby tips of the fracture pairs are often high enough to generate shear or mixed-mode fractures that connect the nearby tips of the original offset fractures, resulting in clusters that can conduct fluids. For the 3-layer models, the fracture-induced tensile stresses in the uppermost layer are suppressed by a comparatively thick compliant (shale) layer and/or the weak, open contact. Thus, no fracture formation is possible in that layer but at their contacts with the compliant layer the hydrofracture apertures increase. Thus, a compliant layer may arrest the vertical hydrofracture propagation from its stiff host layer but, at the same time, increase its maximum aperture and encourage lateral fluid transport at the layer contact between the layers.

  13. Acoustic emission in a fluid saturated heterogeneous porous layer with application to hydraulic fracture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, J.T. (California Univ., Berkeley, CA (USA). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (USA))


    A theoretical model for acoustic emission in a vertically heterogeneous porous layer bounded by semi-infinite solid regions is developed using linearized equations of motion for a fluid/solid mixture and a reflectivity method. Green's functions are derived for both point loads and moments. Numerically integrated propagators represent solutions for intermediate heterogeneous layers in the porous region. These are substituted into a global matrix for solution by Gaussian elimination and back-substitution. Fluid partial stress and seismic responses to dislocations associated with fracturing of a layer of rock with a hydraulically conductive fracture network are computed with the model. A constitutive model is developed for representing the fractured rock layer as a porous material, using commonly accepted relationships for moduli. Derivations of density, tortuosity, and sinuosity are provided. The main results of the model application are the prediction of a substantial fluid partial stress response related to a second mode wave for the porous material. The response is observable for relatively large distances, on the order of several tens of meters. The visco-dynamic transition frequency associated with parabolic versus planar fluid velocity distributions across micro-crack apertures is in the low audio or seismic range, in contrast to materials with small pore size, such as porous rocks, for which the transition frequency is ultrasonic. Seismic responses are predicted for receiver locations both in the layer and in the outlying solid regions. In the porous region, the seismic response includes both shear and dilatational wave arrivals and a second-mode arrival. The second-mode arrival is not observable outside of the layer because of its low velocity relative to the dilatational and shear wave propagation velocities of the solid region.

  14. Genesis of natural hydraulic fractures as an indicator of basin inversion (United States)

    Meng, Qingfeng; Hooker, John; Cartwright, Joe


    Satin spar (fibrous gypsum) veins, which occur in evaporite basins worldwide, provide significant insights into host rock deformation and fluid flow, although the genetic mechanism remains obscure. Satin spar veins in the red marls of the Triassic Mercia Mudstone of the Bristol Channel Basin were characterized in the context of regional and local setting. The vein network in the Keuper Marl (lower Mercia) exhibits a lack of systematic cross-cutting between three distinct vein sets. Two sets of veins are observed in the overlying Tea Green Marl, with one set clearly crossing the other. The gypsum veins commonly contain a blocky median zone of multiple thin bands of host-rock inclusions and alabastrine gypsum crystals, exhibiting crack-seal patterns. Fibrous zones on either side of the median zone consist of pure parallel-aligned gypsum fibres that are oblique to vein walls, indicating a hybrid shear-extensional mode of vein widening. Veins developed within reverse-reactivated faults contain fibre lineations in the median zones and also on vein surfaces, suggesting a minimum of two phases of fault slip. The veins are interpreted to have formed as a result of overpressure in the low-permeability mudstones by tectonic compression during basin inversion, giving rise to the median zone. Growth of gypsum fibres commenced when the initial fractures were completely sealed. The timing of vein formation is suggested to be Miocene, based on cross-cutting relationships with folds formed during the latest phase of basin inversion. Because the fractures initiated in response to fluid overpressures, they provide a useful analog to subsurface hydraulic fracture systems in low-permeability rocks subjected to tectonic compression. The fibrous widening of the veins post-dates their initiation and led to continued propagation and increased connectivity.

  15. Deformation Behavior between Hydraulic and Natural Fractures Using Fully Coupled Hydromechanical Model with XFEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Liu


    Full Text Available There has been a growing consensus that preexisting natural fractures play an important role during stimulation. A novel fully coupled hydromechanical model using extended finite element method is proposed. This directly coupled scheme avoids the cumbersome process during calculating the fluid pressure in complicated fracture networks and translating into an equivalent nodal force. Numerical examples are presented to simulate the hydraulic fracture propagation paths for simultaneous multifracture treatments with properly using the stress shadow effects for horizontal wells and to reveal the deformation response and interaction mechanism between hydraulic induced fracture and nonintersected natural fractures at orthotropic and nonorthotropic angles. With the stress shadow effects, the induced hydraulic flexural fracture deflecting to wellbore rather than transverse fracture would be formed during the progress of simultaneous fracturing for a horizontal well. The coupled hydromechanical simulation reveals that the adjacent section to the intersection is opened and the others are closed for orthogonal natural fracture, while the nonorthogonal natural fracture is activated near the intersection firstly and along the whole section with increasing perturbed stresses. The results imply that the induced hydraulic fracture tends to cross orthotropic natural fracture, while it is prior to being arrested by the nonorthotropic natural fracture.

  16. The risks of hydraulic fracturing and the responsibilities of engineers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Kirkman


    Full Text Available One third of U.S. natural gas is extracted by injecting fluid at high pressure into shale formations, a process associated with a number of possible hazards and risks that have become the subject of intense public controversy. We develop a three-part schema to make sense of risks of hydraulic fracturing and the responsibilities of engineers: the lab, the field, and the forum. In the lab, researchers seek to answer basic questions about, for example, the behavior of shale under particular conditions; there uncertainty seems to arise at every turn. In the field, engineers and others work to implement technological processes, such as hydraulic fracturing and the subsequent extraction of oil and gas; hazards may arise as natural and social systems respond in sometimes surprising ways. In the forum, the public and their representatives deliberate about risk and acceptable risk, questions that are framed in ethical as well as technical terms. The difficulty of characterizing – and in living up to – the responsibilities of engineers lie in part in the apparent distance between the lab and the forum. We examine in turn uncertainties in the lab, hazards in the field, and deliberation in the forum, leading to the conclusion that scientists and engineers can and should help to inform public deliberation but that their research cannot, on its own, resolve all controversies. Scientists and engineers who seek to inform deliberation should be mindful of the scope and limits of their authority, clear and modest in communicating research findings to the public, and careful to avoid even apparent conflicts of interest wherever possible. We close by drawing from the lab-field-forum schema to suggest a direction for pedagogical innovations aimed at the formation of responsible engineers in the context of college-level degree programs.

  17. Numerical simulation of hydraulic fracturing and associated microseismicity using finite-discrete element method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Zhao


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing (HF technique has been extensively used for the exploitation of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. HF enhances the connectivity of less permeable oil and gas-bearing rock formations by fluid injection, which creates an interconnected fracture network and increases the hydrocarbon production. Meanwhile, microseismic (MS monitoring is one of the most effective approaches to evaluate such stimulation process. In this paper, the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM is adopted to numerically simulate HF and associated MS. Several post-processing tools, including frequency-magnitude distribution (b-value, fractal dimension (D-value, and seismic events clustering, are utilized to interpret numerical results. A non-parametric clustering algorithm designed specifically for FDEM is used to reduce the mesh dependency and extract more realistic seismic information. Simulation results indicated that at the local scale, the HF process tends to propagate following the rock mass discontinuities; while at the reservoir scale, it tends to develop in the direction parallel to the maximum in-situ stress.

  18. Hydraulic fracturing offers view of microbial life in the deep terrestrial subsurface. (United States)

    Mouser, Paula J; Borton, Mikayla; Darrah, Thomas H; Hartsock, Angela; Wrighton, Kelly C


    Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are increasingly used for recovering energy resources in black shales across the globe. Although newly drilled wells are providing access to rocks and fluids from kilometer depths to study the deep biosphere, we have much to learn about microbial ecology of shales before and after 'fracking'. Recent studies provide a framework for considering how engineering activities alter this rock-hosted ecosystem. We first provide data on the geochemical environment and microbial habitability in pristine shales. Next, we summarize data showing the same pattern across fractured shales: diverse assemblages of microbes are introduced into the subsurface, eventually converging to a low diversity, halotolerant, bacterial and archaeal community. Data we synthesized show that the shale microbial community predictably shifts in response to temporal changes in geochemistry, favoring conservation of key microorganisms regardless of inputs, shale location or operators. We identified factors that constrain diversity in the shale and inhibit biodegradation at the surface, including salinity, biocides, substrates and redox. Continued research in this engineered ecosystem is required to assess additive biodegradability, quantify infrastructure biocorrosion, treat wastewaters that return to the surface and potentially enhance energy production through in situ methanogenesis. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  19. Flow dynamics and solute transport in unsaturated rock fractures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Su, Grace Woan-chee [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Rock fractures play an important role in flow and contaminant transport in fractured aquifers, production of oil from petroleum reservoirs, and steam generation from geothermal reservoirs. In this dissertation, phenomenological aspects of flow in unsaturated fractures were studied in visualization experiments conducted on a transparent replica of a natural, rough-walled rock fracture for inlet conditions of constant pressure and flow rate over a range of angles of inclination. The experiments demonstrated that infiltrating liquid proceeds through unsaturated rock fractures along non-uniform, localized preferential flow paths. Even in the presence of constant boundary conditions, intermittent flow was a persistent flow feature observed, where portions of the flow channel underwent cycles of snapping and reforming. Two modes of intermittent flow were observed, the pulsating blob mode and the rivulet snapping mode. A conceptual model for the rivulet snapping mode was proposed and examined using idealized, variable-aperture fractures. The frequency of intermittent flow events was measured in several experiments and related to the capillary and Bond numbers to characterize this flow behavior.

  20. The history and role of the cubic law for fluid flow in fractured rocks (United States)

    Zimmerman, R. W.


    The hydraulic transmissivity of a channel bounded by two smooth parallel walls that are separated by an aperture h is exactly equal to h3/12. As this is the most obvious and simplest model for flow through a rock fracture, fluid flow through a rock fracture is said to follow the cubic law. But the walls of actual rock fractures are not smooth and parallel; rather, they have roughness at various scales, and are in contact at discrete asperities that correspond to local regions of zero aperture. The existence of spatially varying apertures raises the question of whether it is systematically possible to compute a priori a hydraulic aperture, such that the transmissivity is related to the hydraulic aperture by the cubic law. Another approach is to use some appropriate mean aperture (arithmetic, geometric, etc.), and account for the effect of aperture variability and contact area by suitable multiplicative factors. An important related issue is that, as a normal stress will reduce the aperture, but not in a uniform manner, all three factors (mean aperture, aperture variability and contact area) will influence the manner in which the transmissivity changes due to a normal stress. Although the cubic law holds for flow between parallel walls up to the laminar-turbulent transition that occurs at Reynolds numbers of about 2000, deviations from a linear relationship between pressure drop and flowrate in a rough-walled fracture occur at much lower Reynolds numbers, on the order of about 10, during laminar flow. Each of the issues outlined above were identified and studied in the 1980 paper ``Validity of Cubic Law for Fluid Flow in a Deformable Rock Fracture'', by P. A. Witherspoon, J. S. Y. Wang, K. Iwai, and J. E. Gale (Water Resources Research, vol. 16, pp. 1016-1024). In this talk, I will review the various advances that have been made during the past three decades to clarify these issues, with specific reference to the contributions of Paul Witherspoon and his colleagues

  1. Simulation of Anisotropic Rock Damage for Geologic Fracturing (United States)

    Busetti, S.; Xu, H.; Arson, C. F.


    A continuum damage model for differential stress-induced anisotropic crack formation and stiffness degradation is used to study geologic fracturing in rocks. The finite element-based model solves for deformation in the quasi-linear elastic domain and determines the six component damage tensor at each deformation increment. The model permits an isotropic or anisotropic intact or pre-damaged reference state, and the elasticity tensor evolves depending on the stress path. The damage variable, similar to Oda's fabric tensor, grows when the surface energy dissipated by three-dimensional opened cracks exceeds a threshold defined at the appropriate scale of the representative elementary volume (REV). At the laboratory or wellbore scale (1000m) scales the damaged REV reflects early natural fracturing (background or tectonic fracturing) or shear strain localization (fault process zone, fault-tip damage, etc.). The numerical model was recently benchmarked against triaxial stress-strain data from laboratory rock mechanics tests. However, the utility of the model to predict geologic fabric such as natural fracturing in hydrocarbon reservoirs was not fully explored. To test the ability of the model to predict geological fracturing, finite element simulations (Abaqus) of common geologic scenarios with known fracture patterns (borehole pressurization, folding, faulting) are simulated and the modeled damage tensor is compared against physical fracture observations. Simulated damage anisotropy is similar to that derived using fractured rock-mass upscaling techniques for pre-determined fracture patterns. This suggests that if model parameters are constrained with local data (e.g., lab, wellbore, or reservoir domain), forward modeling could be used to predict mechanical fabric at the relevant REV scale. This reference fabric also can be used as the starting material property to pre-condition subsequent deformation or fluid flow. Continuing efforts are to expand the present damage

  2. Analysis of styress heterogeneity in deep fractured chrystalline rock (United States)

    Sahara, David; Kohl, Thomas


    The mechanical properties variation, the fracture characteristic and the inclination of the well might perturbed the development of wellbore failures and, hence, affect the estimation of the stress state in fractured rocks. A detailed analysis of 1221 and 827 compressional and tensional wellbore failures, respectively, in a 3.5 km crystalline rock observed in the GPK4 well in Soultz-sous-Forêts enables us to analyze the different pattern of stress heterogeneities which might be related to several factors. The inclination of the well affects the stress distribution by a few MPa which is found to have a significant effect of the development of wellbore, i.e. the limitation of tensile failures in part of the well which is inclined by less than 10°, and the delay of compressional failures occurrence by about 300 m in a 25° inclined well. Fractures and alteration reduced the compressional strength of the crystalline by approximately 30% and, hence, promoted the development of breakout at a smaller far-field stress. The orientation of wellbore failures in such fractured zones are found to be heterogeneously distributed, hence, lower the quality of the stress estimation. Furthermore, the first and second order of stress heterogeneities pattern in the vicinity of major and minor fractures, respectively, in a highly fractured zone at depth 4600 to 4850 m are observed. The numerical modeling of the development of breakouts that take into account the weak zone as a results of fracturing process developed in this study shows a systematic analysis of the variation of the breakout orientation and the reduction of the mechanical properties. In fractured rock, wellbore failures do not correlate to the principal stress only, but also to the variation of the mechanical properties and the properties of fractures. Hence, a long continuous section of wellbore failures is a must to have a sufficient stress-related failures data.

  3. Hazard assessment of hydraulic fracturing chemicals using an indexing method. (United States)

    Hu, Guangji; Liu, Tianyi; Hager, James; Hewage, Kasun; Sadiq, Rehan


    The rapid expansion of unconventional natural gas production has triggered considerable public concerns, particularly regarding environmental and human health (EHH) risks posed by various chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing (HF) operations. There is a need to assess the potential EHH hazards of additives used in real-world HF operations. In this study, HF additive and fracturing fluid data was acquired, and EHH hazards were assessed using an indexing approach. The indexing system analyzed chemical toxicological data of different ingredients contained within additives and produced an aggregated EHH safety index for each additive, along with an indicator describing the completeness of the chemical toxicological data. The results show that commonly used additives are generally associated with medium-level EHH hazards. In each additive category, ingredients of high EHH concern were identified, and the high hazard designation was primarily attributed to ingredients' high aquatic toxicity and carcinogenic effects. Among all assessed additive categories, iron control agents were identified as the greatest EHH hazards. Lack of information, such as undisclosed ingredients and chemical toxicological data gaps, has resulted in different levels of assessment uncertainties. In particular, friction reducers show the highest data incompleteness with regards to EHH hazards. This study reveals the potential EHH hazards associated with chemicals used in current HF field operations and can provide decision makers with valuable information to facilitate sustainable and responsible unconventional gas production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids and wastewaters: A review. (United States)

    Luek, Jenna L; Gonsior, Michael


    High volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) of shale to stimulate the release of natural gas produces a large quantity of wastewater in the form of flowback fluids and produced water. These wastewaters are highly variable in their composition and contain a mixture of fracturing fluid additives, geogenic inorganic and organic substances, and transformation products. The qualitative and quantitative analyses of organic compounds identified in HVHF fluids, flowback fluids, and produced waters are reviewed here to communicate knowledge gaps that exist in the composition of HVHF wastewaters. In general, analyses of organic compounds have focused on those amenable to gas chromatography, focusing on volatile and semi-volatile oil and gas compounds. Studies of more polar and non-volatile organic compounds have been limited by a lack of knowledge of what compounds may be present as well as quantitative methods and standards available for analyzing these complex mixtures. Liquid chromatography paired with high-resolution mass spectrometry has been used to investigate a number of additives and will be a key tool to further research on transformation products that are increasingly solubilized through physical, chemical, and biological processes in situ and during environmental contamination events. Diverse treatments have been tested and applied to HVHF wastewaters but limited information has been published on the quantitative removal of individual organic compounds. This review focuses on recently published information on organic compounds identified in flowback fluids and produced waters from HVHF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Control of the permeability of fractures in geothermal rocks (United States)

    Faoro, Igor

    This thesis comprises three journal articles that will be submitted for publication (Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth). Their respective titles are: "Undrained through Drained Evolution of Permeability in Dual Permeability Media" by Igor Faoro, Derek Elsworth and Chris Marone, "Evolution of Stiffness and Permeability in Fractures Subject to Thermally-and Mechanically-Activated Dissolution" by Igor Faoro, Derek Elsworth Chris Marone; "Linking permeability and mechanical damage for basalt from Mt. Etna volcano (Italy)" by Igor Faoro, Sergio Vinciguerra, Chris Marone and Derek Elsworth. Undrained through Drained Evolution of Permeability in Dual Permeability Media: temporary permeability changes of fractured aquifers subject to earthquakes have been observed and recorded worldwide, but their comprehension still remains a complex issue. In this study we report on flow-through fracture experiments on cracked westerly cores that reproduce, at laboratory scale, those (steps like) permeability changes that have been recorded when earthquakes occur. In particular our experiments show that under specific test boundary conditions, rapid increments of pore pressure induce transient variations of flow rate of the fracture whose peak magnitudes decrease as the variations of the effective stresses increase. We identify that the observed hydraulic behavior of the fracture is due to two principal mechanisms of origin; respectively mechanical (shortening of core) and poro-elastic (radial diffusion of the pore fluid into the matrix of the sample) whose interaction cause respectively an instantaneous opening and then a progressive closure of the fracture. Evolution of Stiffness and Permeability in Fractures Subject to Thermally-and Mechanically-Activated Dissolution: we report the results of radial flow-through experiments conducted on heated samples of Westerly granite. These experiments are performed to examine the influence of thermally and mechanically activated

  6. A decision-analytic approach to predict state regulation of hydraulic fracturing. (United States)

    Linkov, Igor; Trump, Benjamin; Jin, David; Mazurczak, Marcin; Schreurs, Miranda


    The development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing methods has dramatically increased the potential for the extraction of previously unrecoverable natural gas. Nonetheless, the potential risks and hazards associated with such technologies are not without controversy and are compounded by frequently changing information and an uncertain landscape of international politics and laws. Where each nation has its own energy policies and laws, predicting how a state with natural gas reserves that require hydraulic fracturing will regulate the industry is of paramount importance for potential developers and extractors. We present a method for predicting hydraulic fracturing decisions using multiple-criteria decision analysis. The case study evaluates the decisions of five hypothetical countries with differing political, social, environmental, and economic priorities, choosing among four policy alternatives: open hydraulic fracturing, limited hydraulic fracturing, completely banned hydraulic fracturing, and a cap and trade program. The result is a model that identifies the preferred policy alternative for each archetypal country and demonstrates the sensitivity the decision to particular metrics. Armed with such information, observers can predict each country's likely decisions related to natural gas exploration as more data become available or political situations change. Decision analysis provides a method to manage uncertainty and address forecasting concerns where rich and objective data may be lacking. For the case of hydraulic fracturing, the various political pressures and extreme uncertainty regarding the technology's risks and benefits serve as a prime platform to demonstrate how decision analysis can be used to predict future behaviors.

  7. Advanced hydraulic fracturing methods to create in situ reactive barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murdoch, L. [FRx Inc., Cincinnati, OH (United States)]|[Clemson Univ., SC (United States); Siegrist, B. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Vesper, S. [Univ. of Cincinnati, OH (United States)] [and others


    Many contaminated areas consist of a source area and a plume. In the source area, the contaminant moves vertically downward from a release point through the vadose zone to an underlying saturated region. Where contaminants are organic liquids, NAPL may accumulate on the water table, or it may continue to migrate downward through the saturated region. Early developments of permeable barrier technology have focused on intercepting horizontally moving plumes with vertical structures, such as trenches, filled with reactive material capable of immobilizing or degrading dissolved contaminants. This focus resulted in part from a need to economically treat the potentially large volumes of contaminated water in a plume, and in part from the availability of construction technology to create the vertical structures that could house reactive compounds. Contaminant source areas, however, have thus far remained largely excluded from the application of permeable barrier technology. One reason for this is the lack of conventional construction methods for creating suitable horizontal structures that would place reactive materials in the path of downward-moving contaminants. Methods of hydraulic fracturing have been widely used to create flat-lying to gently dipping layers of granular material in unconsolidated sediments. Most applications thus far have involved filling fractures with coarse-grained sand to create permeable layers that will increase the discharge of wells recovering contaminated water or vapor. However, it is possible to fill fractures with other compounds that alter the chemical composition of the subsurface. One early application involved development and field testing micro-encapsulated sodium percarbonate, a solid compound that releases oxygen and can create aerobic conditions suitable for biodegradation in the subsurface for several months.

  8. An overview of geophysical technologies appropriate for characterization and monitoring at fractured-rock sites (United States)

    Geophysical methods are used increasingly for characterization and monitoring at remediation sites in fractured-rock aquifers. The complex heterogeneity of fractured rock poses enormous challenges to groundwater remediation professionals, and new methods are needed to cost-effect...

  9. Mass transfer and transport of radionuclides in fractured porous rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahn, Joonhong


    Analytical studies are made to predict space-time dependent concentrations of radionuclides transported through water-saturated fractured porous rock. A basic model, which is expected to generate conservative results when used in long-term safety assessment of geologic repositories for radioactive waste, is established. Applicability and limitations of the model are investigated. 67 refs., 54 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. Evaluation of factors influencing transmissivity in fractured hard-rock ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    such as geomorphology (topography), lithology, brittle (neo-) tectonics, and surface-water hydrology, all play a significant role in the occurrence of groundwater in hard-rock environ- ments, because together they control the: • Nature and depth of the regolith. • Development of fracture and fault zones. • Presence of higher ...

  11. Cross-hole fracture connectivity assessed using hydraulic responses during liner installations in crystalline bedrock boreholes (United States)

    Persaud, Elisha; Levison, Jana; Pehme, Peeter; Novakowski, Kentner; Parker, Beth


    In order to continually improve the current understanding of flow and transport in crystalline bedrock environments, developing and improving fracture system characterization techniques is an important area of study. The presented research examines the installation of flexible, impermeable FLUTe™ liners as a means for assessing cross-hole fracture connectivity. FLUTe™ liners are used to generate a new style of hydraulic pulse, with pressure response monitored in a nearby network of open boreholes drilled in gneissic rock of the Canadian Shield in eastern Ontario, Canada. Borehole liners were installed in six existing 10-15 cm diameter boreholes located 10-35 m apart and drilled to depths ranging between 25-45 m. Liner installation tests were completed consecutively with the number of observation wells available for each test ranging between one and six. The collected pressure response data have been analyzed to identify significant groundwater flow paths between source and observation boreholes as well as to estimate inter-well transmissivity and storativity using a conventional type-curve analysis. While the applied solution relies on a number of general assumptions, it has been found that reasonable comparison can be made to previously completed pulse interference and pumping tests. Results of this research indicate areas where method refinement is necessary, but, nonetheless, highlight the potential for use in crystalline bedrock environments. This method may provide value to future site characterization efforts given that it is complementary to, and can be used in conjunction with, other currently employed borehole liner applications, such as the removal of cross-connection at contaminated sites and the assessment of discrete fracture distributions when boreholes are sealed, recreating natural hydraulic gradient conditions.

  12. Water-Energy Metrics for Hydraulic Fracturing Versus Other Energy Technologies (United States)

    Jackson, R. B.


    The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has transformed energy production but drawn scrutiny for its water demands. Hydraulically fractured wells in the United States require millions of gallons of water per well and generate hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater each year. Such wells also generate considerable energy. How does the water intensity (water per unit energy) for hydraulic fracturing compare with the intensity of other fossil fuels, nuclear power, and various renewables? I will use new data from plays such as the Marcellus and Bakken to address this question, comparing water metrics for extraction, processing, and, where relevant, electricity generation.

  13. Implementation of distributed feedback fiber laser sensor for acoustic measurements in hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Chen, Rongzhang; Yan, Aidong; Zaghloul, Mohamed A. S.; Lu, Guanyi; Bunger, Andrew P.; Miller, Gary A.; Cranch, Geoffrey A.; Chen, Kevin P.


    A distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser strain sensor was implemented to measure acoustic emission induced by the hydraulic fracturing process. A study of practical sensor mounting configurations and their characteristics was carried out to find a practical solution. Combining the suitable mounting configuration and ultrahigh strain sensitivity of the DFB fiber laser, the evolution of the hydraulic fracturing process was well monitored. This study shows that fiber lasers can be useful alternatives to piezoelectric sensors in the field of hydraulic fracturing for gas and oil extraction.

  14. Fractures in Rock: An Annotated Bibliography (United States)


    logarithmic, not linear. McQuillan, H. 1973. Small-scale fracture density in Asmari Formation of Southwest Iran and its relation to bed thickness and...surface morphology and joint intersection geometry were used to study the formation and evolution of columnar joints in Idaho and Hawaii. Joint growth...In Siting of radioactive waste repositories in geological formations , Proceedings of the Nuclear Energy Agency Workshop (Paris). Paris: Organization

  15. Multiscale pore networks and their effect on deformation and transport property alteration associated with hydraulic fracturing (United States)

    Daigle, Hugh; Hayman, Nicholas; Jiang, Han; Tian, Xiao; Jiang, Chunbi


    clusters of organic-hosted pores prevents the overpressure from dissipating, resulting in localized overpressure at the micron scale. When the rock is subjected to a hydraulic fracture stimulation, the rock surrounding the main induced fracture experiences shear deformation. Those parts of the rock that contain overpressured fluids in the organic-hosted pores will be more likely to experience dilatancy in the form of brittle deformation; the portions of the rock lacking in organic-hosted pores will tend to experience compactive shear failure since the effective normal stresses are larger. The microcrack networks that propagate into the regions of organic-hosted porosity allow the hydrocarbons resident in those pores to migrate to the main induced tensile fractures. The disconnected nature of the microcrack networks causes only a slight increase in permeability, which is consistent with other observations. Our work illustrates how multiscale pore networks in shale interact with in situ stresses to affect the bulk shale rheology.

  16. Implicit fracture modelling in FLAC3D: Assessing the behaviour of fractured shales, carbonates and other fractured rock types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Osinga, S.; Pizzocolo, F.; Veer, E.F. van der; Heege, J.H. ter


    Fractured rocks play an important role in many types of petroleum and geo-energy operations. From fractured limestone reservoirs to unconventionals, understanding the geomechanical behaviour and the dynamically coupled (dual) permeability system is paramount for optimal development of these systems.

  17. AE analysis in developing the Hot Fractured Rock geothermal power in Australia (United States)

    Aoyagi, Y.; Kaieda, H.; Asanuma, H.; Wyborn, D.


    The hot fractured rock (HFR) geothermal power is being developed in Cooper Basin, South Australia since 2002. HFR geothermal power is one of natural energy acquiring systems, in which water is pumped into hot, crystalline rock via an injection well, becomes superheated as it flows through open joints in the hot rock reservoir, and is returned through production wells. At the surface, the useful heat is extracted by conventional processes, and the same water is re-circulated to mine more heat. Such hot granites are buried beneath 3.7 km of insulating sedimentary rocks at the site. The temperature of the granites reaches 250_E#381; or more. The first injection well Habanero#1 was drilled 720m into the granite, and a reservoir was made by the hydraulic fracturing in the vicinity of the well bottom (4421m in depth) in 2003. During the hydraulic fracturing many acoustic emissions (AE) were generated. We observed the AE activity using seismic network deployed in 8 wells around Habanero#1 to evaluate the reservoir. Total of 12000 or more AE were observed during the fracturing period from November to December, 2003. Although the AE hypocenters were located in the south side of the well at the initial stage, they finally distributed N-S to NE-SW direction at about 3km in diameter. The magnitude of the AE ranges M-2 to M1 for most events, but several felt earthquakes as maximum size of M3.7 were also generated. The hypocenters of the larger 12 events (> M2.5) were located by the seismic network of Geoscience Australia. The mechanism solution of these large events is basically E-W compression type, and it almost agrees to the regional stress estimated by borehole breakout in wells in the area. The AE generation property will help to understand earthquake dynamics and mechanics since it is controlled by hydraulic pressure. We will mainly discuss the relation between the generated regional energy and the mechanism solution of the events.

  18. Geological evidence for fluid overpressure, hydraulic fracturing and strong heating during maturation and migration of hydrocarbons in Mesozoic rocks of the northern Neuquén Basin, Mendoza Province, Argentina (United States)

    Zanella, Alain; Cobbold, Peter R.; Ruffet, Gilles; Leanza, Hector A.


    In the northern Neuquén Basin of Argentina (especially in Mendoza Province), there is strong geological evidence for fluid overpressure in the past. The evidence takes the form of bitumen veins and bedding-parallel veins of fibrous calcite ('beef'). Such veins are widespread in the fold-and-thrust belt of the Malargűe area, where bitumen mining has been active for a century or so. So as to collect information on the development of fluid overpressure in this part of the Neuquén Basin, several old mines were visited and studied in the Malargűe area. Here the bitumen veins have intruded mainly the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Mendoza Group, but also the Late Cretaceous Neuquén Group. The veins have the forms of bedding-parallel sills or dykes and they are especially thick within anticlines, forming saddle-reefs in several places. Beef veins are also numerous in the Malargűe area. They contain bitumen and therefore seem to have formed at the same time as the bitumen veins. Near many outcrops of bitumen and beef, we have found fine-grained volcanic intrusive bodies. The best examples are from the La Valenciana syncline. According to 39Ar-40Ar dating, these bodies are mainly of Mid-Miocene age. More generally, volcanism, deformation and maturation of source rocks seem to have reached a climax in Miocene times, when the subducting Pacific slab became relatively flat.

  19. From Micro to Meso: an exercise in determining hydraulic conductivity of fractured sandstone cores from detailed characterization of the fractures (United States)

    Baraka-Lokmane, Salima; Liedl, Rudolf


    Hydraulic conductivities of fractured sandstone bore cores of 0.1 m in diameter are calculated using detailed characterization of the fracture geometry parameters determined using a resin casting technique. The accuracy of the measurements was about 0.25-1.25 μm with the image size used. The values of the effective fracture apertures vary between 10 μm and 50 μm. For modelling purposes the samples are sectioned serially, perpendicular to the flow direction along the cylinder axis. The hydraulic conductivity of individual slices is estimated by summing the contribution of the matrix (assumed uniform) and each fracture (depending on its length and aperture). Finally, the hydraulic conductivity of the bulk sample is estimated by a harmonic average in series along the flow path. Results of this geometrical upscaling compare favourably with actual conductivity measured in hydraulic and pneumatic experiments carried out prior to sectioning. This study shows that the determination of larger-scale conductivity can be achieved, based on the evaluation of fracture geometry parameters (e.g. fracture aperture, fracture width and fracture length), measured using an optical method, at least at the laboratory scale.

  20. Modeling of Hydraulic Fracture Propagation at the kISMET Site Using a Fully Coupled 3D Network-Flow and Quasi- Static Discrete Element Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Jing [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Huang, Hai [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Mattson, Earl [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Wang, Herb F. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Haimson, Bezalel C. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Doe, Thomas W. [Golder Associates Inc., Redmond, VA (United States); Oldenburg, Curtis M. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Dobson, Patrick F. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Aimed at supporting the design of hydraulic fracturing experiments at the kISMET site, ~1500 m below ground in a deep mine, we performed pre-experimental hydraulic fracturing simulations in order to estimate the breakdown pressure, propagation pressure, fracture geometry, and the magnitude of induced seismicity using a newly developed fully coupled three-dimensional (3D) network flow and quasi-static discrete element model (DEM). The quasi-static DEM model, which is constructed by Delaunay tessellation of the rock volume, considers rock fabric heterogeneities by using the “disordered” DEM mesh and adding random perturbations to the stiffness and tensile/shear strengths of individual DEM elements and the elastic beams between them. A conjugate 3D flow network based on the DEM lattice is constructed to calculate the fluid flow in both the fracture and porous matrix. One distinctive advantage of the model is that fracturing is naturally described by the breakage of elastic beams between DEM elements. It is also extremely convenient to introduce mechanical anisotropy into the model by simply assigning orientation-dependent tensile/shear strengths to the elastic beams. In this paper, the 3D hydraulic fracturing model was verified against the analytic solution for a penny-shaped crack model. We applied the model to simulate fracture propagation from a vertical open borehole based on initial estimates of rock mechanical properties and in-situ stress conditions. The breakdown pressure and propagation pressure are directly obtained from the simulation. In addition, the released elastic strain energies of individual fracturing events were calculated and used as a conservative estimate for the magnitudes of the potential induced seismic activities associated with fracturing. The comparisons between model predictions and experimental results are still ongoing.

  1. Reliability of Source Mechanisms for a Hydraulic Fracturing Dataset (United States)

    Eyre, T.; Van der Baan, M.


    Non-double-couple components have been inferred for induced seismicity due to fluid injection, yet these components are often poorly constrained due to the acquisition geometry. Likewise non-double-couple components in microseismic recordings are not uncommon. Microseismic source mechanisms provide an insight into the fracturing behaviour of a hydraulically stimulated reservoir. However, source inversion in a hydraulic fracturing environment is complicated by the likelihood of volumetric contributions to the source due to the presence of high pressure fluids, which greatly increases the possible solution space and therefore the non-uniqueness of the solutions. Microseismic data is usually recorded on either 2D surface or borehole arrays of sensors. In many cases, surface arrays appear to constrain source mechanisms with high shear components, whereas borehole arrays tend to constrain more variable mechanisms including those with high tensile components. The abilities of each geometry to constrain the true source mechanisms are therefore called into question.The ability to distinguish between shear and tensile source mechanisms with different acquisition geometries is investigated using synthetic data. For both inversions, both P- and S- wave amplitudes recorded on three component sensors need to be included to obtain reliable solutions. Surface arrays appear to give more reliable solutions due to a greater sampling of the focal sphere, but in reality tend to record signals with a low signal to noise ratio. Borehole arrays can produce acceptable results, however the reliability is much more affected by relative source-receiver locations and source orientation, with biases produced in many of the solutions. Therefore more care must be taken when interpreting results.These findings are taken into account when interpreting a microseismic dataset of 470 events recorded by two vertical borehole arrays monitoring a horizontal treatment well. Source locations and

  2. A Laboratory Study of the Effects of Interbeds on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation in Shale Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiheng Zhao


    Full Text Available To investigate how the characteristics of interbeds affect hydraulic fracture propagation in the continental shale formation, a series of 300 mm × 300 mm × 300 mm concrete blocks with varying interbeds, based on outcrop observation and core measurement of Chang 7-2 shale formation, were prepared to conduct the hydraulic fracturing experiments. The results reveal that the breakdown pressure increases with the rise of thickness and strength of interbeds under the same in-situ field stress and injection rate. In addition, for the model blocks with thick and high strength interbeds, the hydraulic fracture has difficulty crossing the interbeds and is prone to divert along the bedding faces, and the fracturing effectiveness is not good. However, for the model blocks with thin and low strength interbeds, more long branches are generated along the main fracture, which is beneficial to the formation of the fracture network. What is more, combining the macroscopic descriptions with microscopic observations, the blocks with thinner and lower strength interbeds tend to generate more micro-fractures, and the width of the fractures is relatively larger on the main fracture planes. Based on the experiments, it is indicated that the propagation of hydraulic fractures is strongly influenced by the characteristics of interbeds, and the results are instructive to the understanding and evaluation of the fracability in the continental shale formation.

  3. Riding the Right Wavelet: Quantifying Scale Transitions in Fractured Rocks (United States)

    Rizzo, Roberto E.; Healy, David; Farrell, Natalie J.; Heap, Michael J.


    The mechanics of brittle failure is a well-described multiscale process that involves a rapid transition from distributed microcracks to localization along a single macroscopic rupture plane. However, considerable uncertainty exists regarding both the length scale at which this transition occurs and the underlying causes that prompt this shift from a distributed to a localized assemblage of cracks or fractures. For the first time, we used an image analysis tool developed to investigate orientation changes at different scales in images of fracture patterns in faulted materials, based on a two-dimensional continuous wavelet analysis. We detected the abrupt change in the fracture pattern from distributed tensile microcracks to localized shear failure in a fracture network produced by triaxial deformation of a sandstone core plug. The presented method will contribute to our ability of unraveling the physical processes at the base of catastrophic rock failure, including the nucleation of earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert Podgorney; Chuan Lu; Hai Huang


    Development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) will require creation of a reservoir of sufficient volume to enable commercial-scale heat transfer from the reservoir rocks to the working fluid. A key assumption associated with reservoir creation/stimulation is that sufficient rock volumes can be hydraulically fractured via both tensile and shear failure, and more importantly by reactivation of naturally existing fractures (by shearing), to create the reservoir. The advancement of EGS greatly depends on our understanding of the dynamics of the intimately coupled rock-fracture-fluid-heat system and our ability to reliably predict how reservoirs behave under stimulation and production. Reliable performance predictions of EGS reservoirs require accurate and robust modeling for strongly coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) processes. Conventionally, these types of problems have been solved using operator-splitting methods, usually by coupling a subsurface flow and heat transport simulators with a solid mechanics simulator via input files. An alternative approach is to solve the system of nonlinear partial differential equations that govern multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, and rock mechanics simultaneously, using a fully coupled, fully implicit solution procedure, in which all solution variables (pressure, enthalpy, and rock displacement fields) are solved simultaneously. This paper describes numerical simulations used to investigate the poro- and thermal- elastic effects of working fluid injection and thermal energy extraction on the properties of the fractures and rock matrix of a hypothetical EGS reservoir, using a novel simulation software FALCON (Podgorney et al., 2011), a finite element based simulator solving fully coupled multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, rock deformation, and fracturing using a global implicit approach. Investigations are also conducted on how these poro- and thermal-elastic effects are related to fracture permeability

  5. 40 CFR 147.52 - State-administered program-Hydraulic Fracturing of Coal Beds. (United States)


    ... hydraulic fracturing of coal beds in the State of Alabama, except those on Indian lands, is the program..., 1999, to Dr. Donald F. Oltz, Supervisor, State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama, Subject: Attorney General...

  6. Case Study Analysis of the Impacts of Water Acquisition for Hydraulic Fracturing on Local Water Availability (United States)

    Hydraulic fracturing (HF) is used to develop unconventional gas reserves, but the technology requires large volumes of water, placing demands on local water resources and potentially creating conflict with other users and ecosystems. This study examines the balance between water ...

  7. Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Data from the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry 1 (PDF) (United States)

    The EPA analyzed data from the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry 1.0 to better understand the chemicals and water used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas production wells across the United States.

  8. Modeling of fault reactivation and induced seismicity during hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs (United States)

    We have conducted numerical simulation studies to assess the potential for injection-induced fault reactivation and notable seismic events associated with shale-gas hydraulic fracturing operations. The modeling is generally tuned toward conditions usually encountered in the Marce...

  9. Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Data from the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry 1 (United States)

    The EPA analyzed data from the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry 1.0 to better understand the chemicals and water used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas production wells across the United States.

  10. Bioremediation in Fractured Rock: 2. Mobilization of Chloroethene Compounds from the Rock Matrix. (United States)

    Shapiro, Allen M; Tiedeman, Claire R; Imbrigiotta, Thomas E; Goode, Daniel J; Hsieh, Paul A; Lacombe, Pierre J; DeFlaun, Mary F; Drew, Scott R; Curtis, Gary P


    A mass balance is formulated to evaluate the mobilization of chlorinated ethene compounds (CE) from the rock matrix of a fractured mudstone aquifer under pre- and postbioremediation conditions. The analysis relies on a sparse number of monitoring locations and is constrained by a detailed description of the groundwater flow regime. Groundwater flow modeling developed under the site characterization identified groundwater fluxes to formulate the CE mass balance in the rock volume exposed to the injected remediation amendments. Differences in the CE fluxes into and out of the rock volume identify the total CE mobilized from diffusion, desorption, and nonaqueous phase liquid dissolution under pre- and postinjection conditions. The initial CE mass in the rock matrix prior to remediation is estimated using analyses of CE in rock core. The CE mass mobilized per year under preinjection conditions is small relative to the total CE mass in the rock, indicating that current pump-and-treat and natural attenuation conditions are likely to require hundreds of years to achieve groundwater concentrations that meet regulatory guidelines. The postinjection CE mobilization rate increased by approximately an order of magnitude over the 5 years of monitoring after the amendment injection. This rate is likely to decrease and additional remediation applications over several decades would still be needed to reduce CE mass in the rock matrix to levels where groundwater concentrations in fractures achieve regulatory standards. © 2017, National Ground Water Association.

  11. Hydraulic fracturing and infant health: New evidence from Pennsylvania. (United States)

    Currie, Janet; Greenstone, Michael; Meckel, Katherine


    The development of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") is considered the biggest change to the global energy production system in the last half-century. However, several communities have banned fracking because of unresolved concerns about the impact of this process on human health. To evaluate the potential health impacts of fracking, we analyzed records of more than 1.1 million births in Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2013, comparing infants born to mothers living at different distances from active fracking sites and those born both before and after fracking was initiated at each site. We adjusted for fixed maternal determinants of infant health by comparing siblings who were and were not exposed to fracking sites in utero. We found evidence for negative health effects of in utero exposure to fracking sites within 3 km of a mother's residence, with the largest health impacts seen for in utero exposure within 1 km of fracking sites. Negative health impacts include a greater incidence of low-birth weight babies as well as significant declines in average birth weight and in several other measures of infant health. There is little evidence for health effects at distances beyond 3 km, suggesting that health impacts of fracking are highly local. Informal estimates suggest that about 29,000 of the nearly 4 million annual U.S. births occur within 1 km of an active fracking site and that these births therefore may be at higher risk of poor birth outcomes.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Cel


    Full Text Available Poland, due to the estimated shale gas deposits amounting to 346-768 billion m3 has become one of the most attractive regions for shale gas exploration in Europe. Throughout the period 2010-2015, 72 exploratory drillings have been made (as of 4.01.2016 while hydraulic fracturing was carried out 25 times. Employing new drilling and shale gas prospecting technologies raises a question pertaining to their impact on the environment. The number of chemical compounds used (approximately 2000 for the production of new technological fluids may potentially pollute the environment. The fact that the composition of these fluids remains undisclosed hinders the assessment of their impact on the environment and devising optimal methods for managing this type of waste. The presented work indicates the chemical compounds which may infiltrate to groundwater, identified on the basis of technological fluids characteristics, as well as the review of studies pertaining to their impact on potable water carried out in the United States. The study focused on marking heavy metals, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chlorides and sulphates in the surface waters collected in proximity of Lewino well.

  13. Development of an Advanced Hydraulic Fracture Mapping System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norm Warpinski; Steve Wolhart; Larry Griffin; Eric Davis


    The project to develop an advanced hydraulic fracture mapping system consisted of both hardware and analysis components in an effort to build, field, and analyze combined data from tiltmeter and microseismic arrays. The hardware sections of the project included: (1) the building of new tiltmeter housings with feedthroughs for use in conjunction with a microseismic array, (2) the development of a means to use separate telemetry systems for the tilt and microseismic arrays, and (3) the selection and fabrication of an accelerometer sensor system to improve signal-to-noise ratios. The analysis sections of the project included a joint inversion for analysis and interpretation of combined tiltmeter and microseismic data and improved methods for extracting slippage planes and other reservoir information from the microseisms. In addition, testing was performed at various steps in the process to assess the data quality and problems/issues that arose during various parts of the project. A prototype array was successfully tested and a full array is now being fabricated for industrial use.

  14. XFEM-Based CZM for the Simulation of 3D Multiple-Cluster Hydraulic Fracturing in Quasi-Brittle Shale Formations (United States)

    Haddad, Mahdi; Sepehrnoori, Kamy


    The cohesive zone model (CZM) honors the softening effects and plastic zone at the fracture tip in a quasi-brittle rock, e.g., shale, which results in a more precise fracture geometry and pumping pressure compared to those from linear elastic fracture mechanics. Nevertheless, this model, namely the planar CZM, assumes a predefined surface on which the fractures propagate and therefore restricts the fracture propagation direction. Notably, this direction depends on the stress interactions between closely spaced fractures and can be acquired by integrating CZM as the segmental contact interaction model with a fully coupled pore pressure-displacement model based on extended finite element method (XFEM). This integrated model, called XFEM-based CZM, simulates the fracture initiation and propagation along an arbitrary, solution-dependent path. In this work, we modeled a single stage of 3D hydraulic fracturing initiating from three perforation clusters in a single-layer, quasi-brittle shale formation using planar CZM and XFEM-based CZM including slit flow and poroelasticity for fracture and matrix spaces, respectively, in Abaqus. We restricted the XFEM enrichment zones to the stimulation regions as enriching the whole domain leads to extremely high computational expenses and unrealistic fracture growths around sharp edges. Moreover, we validated our numerical technique by comparing the solution for a single fracture with KGD solution and demonstrated several precautionary measures in using XFEM in Abaqus for faster solution convergence, for instance the initial fracture length and mesh refinement. We demonstrated the significance of the injection rate and stress contrast in fracture aperture, injection pressure, and the propagation direction. Moreover, we showed the effect of the stress distribution on fracture propagation direction comparing the triple-cluster fracturing results from planar CZM with those from XFEM-based CZM. We found that the stress shadowing effect of

  15. Application of Phase-Field Techniques to Hydraulically- and Deformation-Induced Fracture.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Culp, David [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Miller, Nathan [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Schweizer, Laura [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Phase-field techniques provide an alternative approach to fracture problems which mitigate some of the computational expense associated with tracking the crack interface and the coalescence of individual fractures. The technique is extended to apply to hydraulically driven fracture such as would occur during fracking or CO2 sequestration. Additionally, the technique is applied to a stainless steel specimen used in the Sandia Fracture Challenge. It was found that the phase-field model performs very well, at least qualitatively, in both deformation-induced fracture and hydraulically-induced fracture, though spurious hourglassing modes were observed during coupled hydralically-induced fracture. Future work would include performing additional quantitative benchmark tests and updating the model as needed.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David S. Schechter


    This report describes the work performed during the fourth year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificially fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT scanner to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in hydraulically fractured reservoirs (HFR) and naturally fractured reservoirs (NFR) that eventually result in more efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. In Chapter 1, we worked with DOE-RMOTC to investigate fracture properties in the Tensleep Formation at Teapot Dome Naval Reserve as part of their CO{sub 2} sequestration project. In Chapter 2, we continue our investigation to determine the primary oil recovery mechanism in a short vertically fractured core. Finally in Chapter 3, we report our numerical modeling efforts to develop compositional simulator with irregular grid blocks.

  17. Energy Release Rate in hydraulic fracture: can we neglect an impact of the hydraulically induced shear stress?

    CERN Document Server

    Wrobel, Michal; Piccolroaz, Andrea


    A novel hydraulic fracture (HF) formulation is introduced which accounts for the hydraulically induced shear stress at the crack faces. It utilizes a general form of the elasticity operator alongside a revised fracture propagation condition based on the critical value of the energy release rate. It is shown that the revised formulation describes the underlying physics of HF in a more accurate way and is in agreement with the asymptotic behaviour of the linear elastic fracture mechanics. A number of numerical simulations by means of the universal HF algorithm previously developed in Wrobel & Mishuris (2015) are performed in order to: i) compare the modified HF formulation with its classic counterpart and ii) investigate the peculiarities of the former. Computational advantages of the revised HF model are demonstrated. Asymptotic estimations of the main solution elements are provided for the cases of small and large toughness. The modified formulation opens new ways to analyse the physical phenomenon of HF ...

  18. Coupling Hydraulic Fracturing Propagation and Gas Well Performance for Simulation of Production in Unconventional Shale Gas Reservoirs (United States)

    Wang, C.; Winterfeld, P. H.; Wu, Y. S.; Wang, Y.; Chen, D.; Yin, C.; Pan, Z.


    Hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling has made it possible to economically produce natural gas from unconventional shale gas reservoirs. An efficient methodology for evaluating hydraulic fracturing operation parameters, such as fluid and proppant properties, injection rates, and wellhead pressure, is essential for the evaluation and efficient design of these processes. Traditional numerical evaluation and optimization approaches are usually based on simulated fracture properties such as the fracture area. In our opinion, a methodology based on simulated production data is better, because production is the goal of hydraulic fracturing and we can calibrate this approach with production data that is already known. This numerical methodology requires a fully-coupled hydraulic fracture propagation and multi-phase flow model. In this paper, we present a general fully-coupled numerical framework to simulate hydraulic fracturing and post-fracture gas well performance. This three-dimensional, multi-phase simulator focuses on: (1) fracture width increase and fracture propagation that occurs as slurry is injected into the fracture, (2) erosion caused by fracture fluids and leakoff, (3) proppant subsidence and flowback, and (4) multi-phase fluid flow through various-scaled anisotropic natural and man-made fractures. Mathematical and numerical details on how to fully couple the fracture propagation and fluid flow parts are discussed. Hydraulic fracturing and production operation parameters, and properties of the reservoir, fluids, and proppants, are taken into account. The well may be horizontal, vertical, or deviated, as well as open-hole or cemented. The simulator is verified based on benchmarks from the literature and we show its application by simulating fracture network (hydraulic and natural fractures) propagation and production data history matching of a field in China. We also conduct a series of real-data modeling studies with different combinations of

  19. The analysis of pulse interference tests conducted in a fractured rock aquifer bounded by a constant free surface (United States)

    Stephenson, Kyle M.; Novakowski, Kentner S.


    An analytical model is presented for the analysis of pulse interference tests conducted in a double porosity medium. The special case of a horizontal fracture zone in a fractured rock environment with vertical connection to a high permeability zone at the water table is considered. The high permeability zone is modeled as a hydraulic boundary of constant head and the vertical fractures are modeled using a formulation based on equivalent porous media. Wellbore storage at the source and observation wells is accounted for using an approximate superposition technique. The solution is found using the Laplace transform method and numerical inversion into real space. The derivation is presented in dimensioned terms and a method for estimating the hydraulic conductivity of the vertical fractures is developed. Several alternate solutions describing differing system geometry and boundary conditions are presented for comparative purposes. A sensitivity analysis shows that the new model predicts unique values for horizontal transmissivity and vertical hydraulic conductivity over a range of realistic storage term values for a given distance to the constant head boundary. Storage values were not found to be uniquely determined with this method. Several field examples are presented in order to validate the applicability of the analysis to real data. The effects of the connection to the water table through double porosity were found to be significant, resulting in an observation well response that cannot be simulated using a single porosity model. Thus, the method is very useful for uniquely estimating the vertical hydraulic properties of fractured rock aquifers, parameters that are often difficult to measure in this setting.

  20. Productivity model for gas reservoirs with open-hole multi-fracturing horizontal wells and optimization of hydraulic fracture parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianqiang Xue


    Full Text Available Multi-fractured horizontal wells are commonly employed to improve the productivity of low and ultra-low permeability gas reservoirs. However, conventional productivity models for open-hole multi-fractured horizontal wells do not consider the interferences between hydraulic fractures and the open-hole segments, resulting in significant errors in calculation results. In this article, a novel productivity prediction model for gas reservoirs with open-hole multi-fractured horizontal wells was proposed based on complex potential theories, potential superimposition, and numerical analysis. Herein, an open-hole segment between two adjacent fractures was regarded as an equivalent fracture, which was discretized as in cases of artificial fractures. The proposed model was then applied to investigate the effects of various parameters, such as the angle between the fracture and horizontal shaft, fracture quantity, fracture length, diversion capacity of fractures, horizontal well length, and inter-fracture distance, on the productivity of low permeability gas reservoirs with multi-fractured horizontal wells. Simulation results revealed that the quantity, length, and distribution of fractures had significant effects on the productivity of low permeability gas reservoirs while the effects of the diversion capacity of fractures and the angle between the fracture and horizontal shaft were negligible. Additionally, a U-shaped distribution of fracture lengths was preferential as the quantity of fractures at shaft ends was twice that in the middle area. Keywords: Low permeability gas reservoir, Multi-fractured horizontal well, Productivity prediction, Open-hole completion, Unsteady-state flow, Fracture parameters optimization

  1. Analog site for fractured rock characterization. Annual report FY 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long, J.C.S.; Loughty, C.; Faybishenko, B. [and others


    This report describes the accomplishments of the Analog Site for Fracture Rock Characterization Project during fiscal year 1995. This project is designed to address the problem of characterizing contaminated fractured rock. In order to locate contaminant plumes, develop monitoring schemes, and predict future fate and transport, the project will address the following questions: What parts of the system control flow-geometry of a fracture network? What physical processes control flow and transport? What are the limits on measurements to determine the above? What instrumentation should be used? How should it be designed and implemented? How can field tests be designed to provide information for predicting behavior? What numerical models are good predictors of the behavior of the system? The answers to these question can be used to help plan drilling programs that are likely to intersect plumes and provide effective monitoring of plume movement. The work is done at an {open_quotes}analogue{close_quotes} site, i.e., a site that is not contaminated, but has similar geology to sites that are contaminated, in order to develop tools and techniques without the financial, time and legal burdens of a contaminated site. The idea is to develop conceptual models and investigations tools and methodology that will apply to the contaminated sites in the same geologic regimes. The Box Canyon site, chosen for most of this work represents a unique opportunity because the Canyon walls allow us to see a vertical plane through the rock. The work represents a collaboration between the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), Stanford University (Stanford), Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and Parsons Environmental Engineering (Parsons). LBL and Stanford bring extensive experience in research in fractured rock systems. INEL and Parsons bring significant experience with the contamination problem at INEL.

  2. Applying Bioaugmentation to Treat DNAPL Sources in Fractured Rock (United States)


    limited to a relatively small footprint and depth interval compared to the where elevated (>10% solubility) dissolved concentrations of PCE were...electron donor source, such as vegetable oil, is typically used in passive approaches. When treating a DNAPL source area in fractured rock, there are... vegetable oil) are used. Hydrogen The generation of hydrogen can be used to verify fermentation of electron donor. Metals (Fe, Mn, As) Increase

  3. Monitoring borehole flow dynamics using heated fiber optic DTS in a fractured rock aquifer (United States)

    Coleman, Thomas; Chalari, Athena; Parker, Beth; Munn, Jonathan; Mondanos, Michael


    Temperature profiles in fractured rock have long been used to identify and characterize flow in the rock formation or in the borehole. Fiber optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is a tool that allows for continuous borehole temperature profiling in space and time. Recent technology advancements in the spatial, temperature, and temporal resolutions of DTS systems now allow temperature profiling methods to offer improved insight into fractured rock hydrogeologic processes. An innovation in shallow borehole temperature logging utilizes high resolution DTS temperature profiling in sealed and heated boreholes to identify fractures with natural gradient groundwater flow by creating a thermal disequilibrium and monitoring the temperature response. This technique can also be applied to open well conditions to monitor borehole flow distributions caused by hydraulic perturbations such as pumping or injection. A field trial was conducted in Guelph, Ontario, Canada to determine the capabilities of heated DTS for flow monitoring in both open and sealed wells. Intelligent distributed acoustic sensing (iDAS) measurements for vertical seismic profiling were carried out simultaneously with the DTS measurements to assist with characterization of the fractured aquifer system. DTS heat pulse tests were conducted in a single well under sealed conditions for natural gradient flow measurements and open conditions to monitor flow distributions during injection and pumping. The results of these tests indicate that borehole flow distributions can be monitored using DTS and that active heating allows for further information about the hydrogeologic system to be determined than from the passive measurements alone. Depth-continuous transmissivity data from the borehole correlate well with the DTS testing results. DTS based flow monitoring systems may be useful for monitoring transient production and injection processes for a variety of applications including groundwater remediation

  4. Numerical simulation of hydraulic fracture propagation in heterogeneous unconventional reservoir (United States)

    Liu, Chunting; Li, Mingzhong; Hao, Lihua; Hu, Hang


    The distribution of the unconventional reservoir fracture network is influenced by many factors. For the natural fracture undeveloped reservoir, the reservoir heterogeneity, construction factors (fracturing fluid flow rate, fluid viscosity, perforation clusters spacing), horizontal stress difference and stress different coefficient are the main factors that affect the fracture propagation. In the study, first, calculate the reservoir physics mechanics parameters that affect the fracture propagation on the base of the logging date from one actual horizontal well. Set the formation parameters according to the calculation that used to simulate the reservoir heterogeneity. Then, using damage mechanics method, the 2D fracture propagation model with seepage-stress-damage coupling of multi-fracture tight sand reservoir was established. Study the influences of different fracturing ways (open whole fracturing and oriented perforation fracturing) and the position of the perforation clusters to the fracture propagation for heterogeneity reservoir. Analyze the effects of flow rate, fracturing fluid viscosity, perforation clusters spacing, horizontal stress difference and stress different coefficient to fracture morphology for the heterogeneity reservoir and contrast with the homogeneous reservoir. The simulation results show that: the fracture morphology is more complexity formed by oriented perforation crack than open whole crack; For natural fracture undeveloped reservoir, as the flow rate or the fracturing fluid viscosity increases within a certain range, the fracture network tends to be more complexity and the effect is more obvious to heterogeneous reservoir than homogeneous reservoir; As the perforation clusters spacing decreases, the interaction of each fracture will increase, it tends to form more complexity fracture network but with short major fracture; If the horizontal stress difference and stress different coefficient is large (The stress different coefficient >0

  5. The Depths of Hydraulic Fracturing and Accompanying Water Use Across the United States. (United States)

    Jackson, Robert B; Lowry, Ella R; Pickle, Amy; Kang, Mary; DiGiulio, Dominic; Zhao, Kaiguang


    Reports highlight the safety of hydraulic fracturing for drinking water if it occurs "many hundreds of meters to kilometers underground". To our knowledge, however, no comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing depths exists. Based on fracturing depths and water use for ∼44,000 wells reported between 2010 and 2013, the average fracturing depth across the United States was 8300 ft (∼2500 m). Many wells (6900; 16%) were fractured less than a mile from the surface, and 2600 wells (6%) were fractured above 3000 ft (900 m), particularly in Texas (850 wells), California (720), Arkansas (310), and Wyoming (300). Average water use per well nationally was 2,400,000 gallons (9,200,000 L), led by Arkansas (5,200,000 gallons), Louisiana (5,100,000 gallons), West Virginia (5,000,000 gallons), and Pennsylvania (4,500,000 gallons). Two thousand wells (∼5%) shallower than one mile and 350 wells (∼1%) shallower than 3000 ft were hydraulically fractured with >1 million gallons of water, particularly in Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. Because hydraulic fractures can propagate 2000 ft upward, shallow wells may warrant special safeguards, including a mandatory registry of locations, full chemical disclosure, and, where horizontal drilling is used, predrilling water testing to a radius 1000 ft beyond the greatest lateral extent.

  6. A County Level Assessment of Water Withdrawals for Hydraulic Fracturing: Where are Impacts Most Likely? (United States)

    Fleming, M. M.; LeDuc, S. D.; Clark, C.; Todd, J.


    Concerns have arisen of the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing water withdrawals on both water for human consumption and aquatic communities. Any impacts are likely to be location specific since current U.S. hydraulic fracturing activities are concentrated in particular regions, water availability is unevenly distributed, and hydraulic fracturing water use differs between locations, including the amount of water use per well, source water, and reuse rates. Here, we used FracFocus to estimate annual hydraulic fracturing water use, and combined this with U.S. Geological Survey water use data and water availability indices to identify U.S. counties where potential impacts may be most likely. We surveyed the literature to understand source water and reuse rates. Overall, we found that hydraulic fracturing water use and consumption are a small percentage relative to total water use and consumption for most U.S. counties. However, there are 26 counties where fracturing water use is greater than 10% compared to 2010 total water use, and eight and four counties at greater than 30% and 50%, respectively. We conclude hydraulic fracturing water use currently has the greatest potential for impacts in southern and western Texas due to relatively high fracturing water use, low reuse rates, low fresh water availability, and frequent drought. However, the availability of brackish groundwater in these areas is also high relative to fracturing water use, suggesting an alternative source that could reduce potential impacts. Comparatively, the potential for impacts appears to be lower in other U.S. regions. While our county-scale findings do not preclude the possibility of more localized water quantity effects, this study provides a relative indicator of areas where potential problems might arise. Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  7. Multi-hazard risk assessment applied to hydraulic fracturing operations (United States)

    Garcia-Aristizabal, Alexander; Gasparini, Paolo; Russo, Raffaella; Capuano, Paolo


    Without exception, the exploitation of any energy resource produces impacts and intrinsically bears risks. Therefore, to make sound decisions about future energy resource exploitation, it is important to clearly understand the potential environmental impacts in the full life-cycle of an energy development project, distinguishing between the specific impacts intrinsically related to exploiting a given energy resource and those shared with the exploitation of other energy resources. Technological advances as directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have led to a rapid expansion of unconventional resources (UR) exploration and exploitation; as a consequence, both public health and environmental concerns have risen. The main objective of a multi-hazard risk assessment applied to the development of UR is to assess the rate (or the likelihood) of occurrence of incidents and the relative potential impacts on surrounding environment, considering different hazards and their interactions. Such analyses have to be performed considering the different stages of development of a project; however, the discussion in this paper is mainly focused on the analysis applied to the hydraulic fracturing stage of a UR development project. The multi-hazard risk assessment applied to the development of UR poses a number of challenges, making of this one a particularly complex problem. First, a number of external hazards might be considered as potential triggering mechanisms. Such hazards can be either of natural origin or anthropogenic events caused by the same industrial activities. Second, failures might propagate through the industrial elements, leading to complex scenarios according to the layout of the industrial site. Third, there is a number of potential risk receptors, ranging from environmental elements (as the air, soil, surface water, or groundwater) to local communities and ecosystems. The multi-hazard risk approach for this problem is set by considering multiple hazards

  8. Spatial statistics for predicting flow through a rock fracture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coakley, K.J.


    Fluid flow through a single rock fracture depends on the shape of the space between the upper and lower pieces of rock which define the fracture. In this thesis, the normalized flow through a fracture, i.e. the equivalent permeability of a fracture, is predicted in terms of spatial statistics computed from the arrangement of voids, i.e. open spaces, and contact areas within the fracture. Patterns of voids and contact areas, with complexity typical of experimental data, are simulated by clipping a correlated Gaussian process defined on a N by N pixel square region. The voids have constant aperture; the distance between the upper and lower surfaces which define the fracture is either zero or a constant. Local flow is assumed to be proportional to local aperture cubed times local pressure gradient. The flow through a pattern of voids and contact areas is solved using a finite-difference method. After solving for the flow through simulated 10 by 10 by 30 pixel patterns of voids and contact areas, a model to predict equivalent permeability is developed. The first model is for patterns with 80% voids where all voids have the same aperture. The equivalent permeability of a pattern is predicted in terms of spatial statistics computed from the arrangement of voids and contact areas within the pattern. Four spatial statistics are examined. The change point statistic measures how often adjacent pixel alternate from void to contact area (or vice versa ) in the rows of the patterns which are parallel to the overall flow direction. 37 refs., 66 figs., 41 tabs.

  9. Research on fracture analysis, groundwater flow and sorption processes in fractured rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Dae-Ha; Kim, Won-Young; Lee, Seung-Gu [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)


    Due to increasing demand for numerous industrial facilities including nuclear power plants and waste repositories, the feasibility of rocks masses as sites for the facilities has been a geological issue of concern. Rock masses, in general, comprises systems of fractures which can provide pathways for groundwater flow and may also affect the stability of engineered structures. For the study of groundwater flow and sorption processes in fractured rocks, five boreholes were drilled. A stepwise and careful integration of various data obtained from field works and laboratory experiments were carried out to analyze groundwater flow in fractured rocks as follows; (1) investigation of geological feature of the site, (2) identification and characterization of fracture systems using core and televiewer logs, (3) determination of hydrogeological properties of fractured aquifers using geophysical borehole logging, pumping and slug tests, and continuous monitoring of groundwater level and quality, (4) evaluation of groundwater flow patterns using fluid flow modeling. The results obtained from these processes allow a qualitative interpretation of fractured aquifers in the study area. Column experiments of some reactive radionuclides were also performed to examine sorption processes of the radionuclides including retardation coefficients. In addition, analyses of fracture systems covered (1) reconstruction of the Cenozoic tectonic movements and estimation of frequency indices for the Holocene tectonic movements, (2) determination of distributions and block movements of the Quaternary marine terraces, (3) investigation of lithologic and geotechnical nature of study area, and (4) examination of the Cenozoic volcanic activities and determination of age of the dike swarms. Using data obtained from above mentioned analyses along with data related to earthquakes and active faults, probabilistic approach was performed to determine various potential hazards which may result from the

  10. Is the permeability of naturally fractured rocks scale dependent? (United States)

    Azizmohammadi, Siroos; Matthäi, Stephan K.


    The equivalent permeability, keq of stratified fractured porous rocks and its anisotropy is important for hydrocarbon reservoir engineering, groundwater hydrology, and subsurface contaminant transport. However, it is difficult to constrain this tensor property as it is strongly influenced by infrequent large fractures. Boreholes miss them and their directional sampling bias affects the collected geostatistical data. Samples taken at any scale smaller than that of interest truncate distributions and this bias leads to an incorrect characterization and property upscaling. To better understand this sampling problem, we have investigated a collection of outcrop-data-based Discrete Fracture and Matrix (DFM) models with mechanically constrained fracture aperture distributions, trying to establish a useful Representative Elementary Volume (REV). Finite-element analysis and flow-based upscaling have been used to determine keq eigenvalues and anisotropy. While our results indicate a convergence toward a scale-invariant keq REV with increasing sample size, keq magnitude can have multi-modal distributions. REV size relates to the length of dilated fracture segments as opposed to overall fracture length. Tensor orientation and degree of anisotropy also converge with sample size. However, the REV for keq anisotropy is larger than that for keq magnitude. Across scales, tensor orientation varies spatially, reflecting inhomogeneity of the fracture patterns. Inhomogeneity is particularly pronounced where the ambient stress selectively activates late- as opposed to early (through-going) fractures. While we cannot detect any increase of keq with sample size as postulated in some earlier studies, our results highlight a strong keq anisotropy that influences scale dependence.

  11. High Resolution Hydraulic Profiling and Groundwater Sampling using FLUTe™ System in a Fractured Limestone Setting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Janniche, Gry Sander; Christensen, Anders G.; Grosen, Bernt

    innovative investi-gation methods for characterization of the source zone hydrogeology and contamination, including FLUTe system hydraulic profiling and Water-FLUTe multilevel groundwater sampling, in fractured bryo-zoan limestone bedrock. High resolution hydraulic profiling was conducted in three cored......Characterization of the contaminant source zone architecture and the hydraulics is essential to develop accurate site specific conceptual models, delineate and quantify contaminant mass, perform risk as-sessment, and select and design remediation alternatives. This characterization is particularly...... challeng-ing in deposit types as fractured limestone. The activities of a bulk distribution facility for perchloroe-thene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) at the Naverland site near Copenhagen, Denmark, has resulted in PCE and TCE DNAPL impacts to a fractured clay till and an underlying fractured limestone...

  12. Shallow Aquifer Vulnerability From Subsurface Fluid Injection at a Proposed Shale Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Site (United States)

    Wilson, M. P.; Worrall, F.; Davies, R. J.; Hart, A.


    Groundwater flow resulting from a proposed hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operation was numerically modeled using 91 scenarios. Scenarios were chosen to be a combination of hydrogeological factors that a priori would control the long-term migration of fracking fluids to the shallow subsurface. These factors were induced fracture extent, cross-basin groundwater flow, deep low hydraulic conductivity strata, deep high hydraulic conductivity strata, fault hydraulic conductivity, and overpressure. The study considered the Bowland Basin, northwest England, with fracking of the Bowland Shale at ˜2,000 m depth and the shallow aquifer being the Sherwood Sandstone at ˜300-500 m depth. Of the 91 scenarios, 73 scenarios resulted in tracked particles not reaching the shallow aquifer within 10,000 years and 18 resulted in travel times less than 10,000 years. Four factors proved to have a statistically significant impact on reducing travel time to the aquifer: increased induced fracture extent, absence of deep high hydraulic conductivity strata, relatively low fault hydraulic conductivity, and magnitude of overpressure. Modeling suggests that high hydraulic conductivity formations can be more effective barriers to vertical flow than low hydraulic conductivity formations. Furthermore, low hydraulic conductivity faults can result in subsurface pressure compartmentalization, reducing horizontal groundwater flow, and encouraging vertical fluid migration. The modeled worst-case scenario, using unlikely geology and induced fracture lengths, maximum values for strata hydraulic conductivity and with conservative tracer behavior had a particle travel time of 130 years to the base of the shallow aquifer. This study has identified hydrogeological factors which lead to aquifer vulnerability from shale exploitation.

  13. Fracturing tests on reservoir rocks: Analysis of AE events and radial strain evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Pradhan, S; Fjær, E; Stenebråten, J; Lund, H K; Sønstebø, E F; Roy, S


    Fracturing in reservoir rocks is an important issue for the petroleum industry - as productivity can be enhanced by a controlled fracturing operation. Fracturing also has a big impact on CO2 storage, geothermal installation and gas production at and from the reservoir rocks. Therefore, understanding the fracturing behavior of different types of reservoir rocks is a basic need for planning field operations towards these activities. In our study, the fracturing of rock sample is monitored by Acoustic Emission (AE) and post-experiment Computer Tomography (CT) scans. The fracturing experiments have been performed on hollow cylinder cores of different rocks - sandstones and chalks. Our analysis show that the amplitudes and energies of acoustic events clearly indicate initiation and propagation of the main fractures. The amplitudes of AE events follow an exponential distribution while the energies follow a power law distribution. Time-evolution of the radial strain measured in the fracturing-test will later be comp...

  14. Numerical Simulation of 3D Hydraulic Fracturing Based on an Improved Flow-Stress-Damage Model and a Parallel FEM Technique (United States)

    Li, L. C.; Tang, C. A.; Li, G.; Wang, S. Y.; Liang, Z. Z.; Zhang, Y. B.


    The failure mechanism of hydraulic fractures in heterogeneous geological materials is an important topic in mining and petroleum engineering. A three-dimensional (3D) finite element model that considers the coupled effects of seepage, damage, and the stress field is introduced. This model is based on a previously developed two-dimensional (2D) version of the model (RFPA2D-Rock Failure Process Analysis). The RFPA3D-Parallel model is developed using a parallel finite element method with a message-passing interface library. The constitutive law of this model considers strength and stiffness degradation, stress-dependent permeability for the pre-peak stage, and deformation-dependent permeability for the post-peak stage. Using this model, 3D modelling of progressive failure and associated fluid flow in rock are conducted and used to investigate the hydro-mechanical response of rock samples at laboratory scale. The responses investigated are the axial stress-axial strain together with permeability evolution and fracture patterns at various stages of loading. Then, the hydraulic fracturing process inside a rock specimen is numerically simulated. Three coupled processes are considered: (1) mechanical deformation of the solid medium induced by the fluid pressure acting on the fracture surfaces and the rock skeleton, (2) fluid flow within the fracture, and (3) propagation of the fracture. The numerically simulated results show that the fractures from a vertical wellbore propagate in the maximum principal stress direction without branching, turning, and twisting in the case of a large difference in the magnitude of the far-field stresses. Otherwise, the fracture initiates in a non-preferred direction and plane then turns and twists during propagation to become aligned with the preferred direction and plane. This pattern of fracturing is common when the rock formation contains multiple layers with different material properties. In addition, local heterogeneity of the rock

  15. An Improved Rate-Transient Analysis Model of Multi-Fractured Horizontal Wells with Non-Uniform Hydraulic Fracture Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youwei He


    Full Text Available Although technical advances in hydraulically fracturing and drilling enable commercial production from tight reservoirs, oil/gas recovery remains at a low level. Due to the technical and economic limitations of well-testing operations in tight reservoirs, rate-transient analysis (RTA has become a more attractive option. However, current RTA models hardly consider the effect of the non-uniform production on rate decline behaviors. In fact, PLT results demonstrate that production profile is non-uniform. To fill this gap, this paper presents an improved RTA model of multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs to investigate the effects of non-uniform properties of hydraulic fractures (production of fractures, fracture half-length, number of fractures, fracture conductivity, and vertical permeability on rate transient behaviors through the diagnostic type curves. Results indicate obvious differences on the rate decline curves among the type curves of uniform properties of fractures (UPF and non-uniform properties of fractures (NPF. The use of dimensionless production integral derivative curve magnifies the differences so that we can diagnose the phenomenon of non-uniform production. Therefore, it’s significant to incorporate the effects of NPF into the RDA models of MFHWs, and the model proposed in this paper enables us to better evaluate well performance based on long-term production data.

  16. Estimating regional-scale permeability-depth relations in a fractured-rock terrain using groundwater-flow model calibration (United States)

    Sanford, Ward E.


    The trend of decreasing permeability with depth was estimated in the fractured-rock terrain of the upper Potomac River basin in the eastern USA using model calibration on 200 water-level observations in wells and 12 base-flow observations in subwatersheds. Results indicate that permeability at the 1-10 km scale (for groundwater flowpaths) decreases by several orders of magnitude within the top 100 m of land surface. This depth range represents the transition from the weathered, fractured regolith into unweathered bedrock. This rate of decline is substantially greater than has been observed by previous investigators that have plotted in situ wellbore measurements versus depth. The difference is that regional water levels give information on kilometer-scale connectivity of the regolith and adjacent fracture networks, whereas in situ measurements give information on near-hole fractures and fracture networks. The approach taken was to calibrate model layer-to-layer ratios of hydraulic conductivity (LLKs) for each major rock type. Most rock types gave optimal LLK values of 40-60, where each layer was twice a thick as the one overlying it. Previous estimates of permeability with depth from deeper data showed less of a decline at water-level observations were available. The results have implications for improved understanding of watershed-scale groundwater flow and transport, such as for the timing of the migration of pollutants from the water table to streams.

  17. Effects of Water-Rock Interaction on Unsaturated Flow in Heterogeneous Fractured Rock (United States)

    Sonnenthal, E. L.; Spycher, N. F.; Haukwa, C. B.


    Evaluation of coupled thermal, hydrological, and chemical processes associated with the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV require consideration of the effects of permeability heterogeneity on reaction-transport processes in unsaturated fractured tuff under boiling conditions. As a result of capillary suction in unsaturated flow systems, the effect of permeability heterogeneity on water-rock interaction can be markedly different than in saturated flow systems. If regions of lower fracture permeability correspond to narrower fracture apertures, the liquid saturation may be higher than in adjacent areas of higher permeability and larger fracture apertures. Spatial differences in liquid saturation within fractures, resulting from variations in capillary suction, affect reaction rates in a number of ways. Of primary importance to the overall reaction rate is the reactive surface area, which may diminish with decreasing liquid saturation - a relationship that is unknown apriori. The extent of reaction is also a function of the percolation flux that may be smaller in regions of higher absolute permeability but having lower relative permeability. However, diffusive and advective gaseous species transport may be enhanced in areas of low liquid saturation and high absolute permeability. Here we relate the reactive surface area to the fracture-matrix interaction area based on a modified form of the `Active Fracture Model' for flow in unsaturated fracture rock. Simulations included coupling between heat, water, and vapor flow, aqueous and gaseous species transport, kinetic and equilibrium mineral-water reactions, and feedback of mineral precipitation/dissolution on porosity, permeability, and capillary for a dual permeability (fracture-matrix) medium. Based on air-permeability measurements, 2-D heterogeneous fracture permeability fields were generated having a range of four orders of magnitude. Steady-state fracture liquid saturations, under

  18. Integrated In Situ Stress Estimation by Hydraulic Fracturing, Borehole Observations and Numerical Analysis at the EXP-1 Borehole in Pohang, Korea (United States)

    Kim, Hanna; Xie, Linmao; Min, Ki-Bok; Bae, Seongho; Stephansson, Ove


    It is desirable to combine the stress measurement data produced by different methods to obtain a more reliable estimation of in situ stress. We present a regional case study of integrated in situ stress estimation by hydraulic fracturing, observations of borehole breakouts and drilling-induced fractures, and numerical modeling of a 1 km-deep borehole (EXP-1) in Pohang, South Korea. Prior to measuring the stress, World Stress Map (WSM) and modern field data in the Korean Peninsula are used to construct a best estimate stress model in this area. Then, new stress data from hydraulic fracturing and borehole observations is added to determine magnitude and orientation of horizontal stresses. Minimum horizontal principal stress is estimated from the shut-in pressure of the hydraulic fracturing measurement at a depth of about 700 m. The horizontal stress ratios ( S Hmax/ S hmin) derived from hydraulic fracturing, borehole breakout, and drilling-induced fractures are 1.4, 1.2, and 1.1-1.4, respectively, and the average orientations of the maximum horizontal stresses derived by field methods are N138°E, N122°E, and N136°E, respectively. The results of hydraulic fracturing and borehole observations are integrated with a result of numerical modeling to produce a final rock stress model. The results of the integration give in situ stress ratios of 1.3/1.0/0.8 ( S Hmax/ S V/ S hmin) with an average azimuth of S Hmax in the orientation range of N130°E-N136°E. It is found that the orientation of S Hmax is deviated by more than 40° clockwise compared to directions reported for the WSM in southeastern Korean peninsula.

  19. Image-based modeling of the flow transition from a Berea rock matrix to a propped fracture (United States)

    Sanematsu, P.; Willson, C. S.; Thompson, K. E.


    In the past decade, new technologies and advances in horizontal hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from tight rocks have raised questions regarding the physics of the flow and transport processes that occur during production. Many of the multi-dimensional details of flow from the rock matrix into the fracture and within the proppant-filled fracture are still unknown, which leads to unreliable well production estimations. In this work, we use x-ray computed micro tomography (XCT) to image 30/60 CarboEconoprop light weight ceramic proppant packed between berea sandstone cores (6 mm in diameter and ~2 mm in height) under 4000 psi (~28 MPa) loading stress. Image processing and segmentation of the 6 micron voxel resolution tomography dataset into solid and void space involved filtering with anisotropic diffusion (AD), segmentation using an indicator kriging (IK) algorithm, and removal of noise using a remove islands and holes program. Physically-representative pore network structures were generated from the XCT images, and a representative elementary volume (REV) was analyzed using both permeability and effective porosity convergence. Boundary conditions were introduced to mimic the flow patterns that occur when fluid moves from the matrix into the proppant-filled fracture and then downstream within the proppant-filled fracture. A smaller domain, containing Berea and proppants close to the interface, was meshed using an in-house unstructured meshing algorithm that allows different levels of refinement. Although most of this domain contains proppants, the Berea section accounted for the majority of the elements due to mesh refinement in this region of smaller pores. A finite element method (FEM) Stokes flow model was used to provide more detailed insights on the flow transition from rock matrix to fracture. Results using different pressure gradients are used to describe the flow transition from the Berea rock matrix to proppant-filled fracture.

  20. Two new methods for the determination of hydraulic fracture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Sep 15, 2008 ... Fracture apertures play a significant role in groundwater systems. For proper groundwater quantity and .... relationship between the two is non-linear and breaks down for smaller fracture apertures, where .... This is the equation for the determination of the mechanical aperture of a fracture in a borehole ...

  1. Two new methods for the determination of hydraulic fracture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fracture apertures play a significant role in groundwater systems. For proper groundwater quantity and contamination management, fractures have to be properly characterised. However, due to their complexity, fracture characterisation is one of the main challenges for hydrogeologists all over the world. This is particularly ...

  2. Reactivity of Dazomet, a Hydraulic Fracturing Additive: Hydrolysis and Interaction with Pyrite (United States)

    Consolazio, N.; Lowry, G. V.; Karamalidis, A.; Hakala, A.


    The Marcellus Shale is currently the largest shale gas formation in play across the world. The low-permeability formation requires hydraulic fracturing to be produced. In this process, millions of gallons of water are blended with chemical additives and pumped into each well to fracture the reservoir rock. Although additives account for less than 2% of the fracking fluid mixture, they amount to hundreds of tons per frack job. The environmental properties of some of these additives have been studied, but their behavior under downhole conditions is not widely reported in the peer-reviewed literature. These compounds and their reaction products may return to the surface as produced or waste water. In the event of a spill or release, this water has the potential to contaminate surface soil and water. Of these additives, biocides may present a formidable challenge to water quality. Biocides are toxic compounds (by design), typically added to the Marcellus Shale to control bacteria in the well. An assessment of the most frequently used biocides indicated a need to study the chemical dazomet under reservoir conditions. The Marcellus Shale contains significant deposits of pyrite. This is a ubiquitous mineral within black shales that is known to react with organic compounds in both oxic and anoxic settings. Thus, the objective of our study was to determine the effect of pyrite on the hydrolysis of dazomet. Liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-QQQ) was used to calculate the loss rate of aqueous dazomet. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to identify the reaction products. Our experiments show that in water, dazomet rapidly hydrolyses in water to form organic and inorganic transformation products. This reaction rate was unaffected when performed under anoxic conditions. However, with pyrite we found an appreciable increase in the removal rate of dazomet. This was accompanied by a corresponding change in the distribution of observed

  3. Hydraulic fracturing to enhance geothermal energy recovery in deep and tight formations. Modell approach in petrothermy research project OPTIRISS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rafiee, M.M.; Schmitz, S.; Barsch, M. [DBI - Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH, Freiberg (Germany)


    In Germany numerous projects were successfully conducted in developments of geothermal energy which applied so far mostly for the hydrothermal deposit type. In Thuringia and Saxony there are currently project developments of geothermal resource taking into account for deep, tight formations in petrothermy and Enhanced geothermal system, (EGS). One of the potential tasks in generating these petrothermal producers and in the design of the underground power plant appears to be hydraulic fracturing with multi frac method. This is to create the heat exchanger surfaces in the rock and ensure maximum volumetric flow through it. Therefore it is very important for a sustainable heat production. However the promise of its adequate conductivity in the deep formation is one of the dominant contests in geothermal energy industry. In a multi frac method, two wells (normally horizontal wellbores at different depths) are drilled in direction of minimum horizontal stress of the formation rock. By multiple frac operation in separate sections, flow paths are generated between the wells through which it is possible to extract the heat from the rock. The numerical simulation of hydraulic fracture propagation processes in the rock is mainly from the research in the area of oil and gas industry. These techniques are mainly used for very low permeable formations in petroleum engineering (e.g. Shale gas). The development is at the beginning for EGS (e.g. granites). In this work single and multi fracking propagation processes in a synthetic example of deep hard formation are investigated. The numerical simulation is carried out to design and characterize frac processes and frac dimensions. Sensitivities to various rock parameters and different process designs are examined and optimum criteria are concluded. This shows that the minimum stress profile has the most effective role and should be modelled properly. The analysis indicates the optimum fracture length and height for adequate thermal

  4. A multidisciplinary fractured rock characterization study at Raymond field site, Raymond, CA (United States)

    Karasaki, K.; Freifeld, B.; Cohen, A.; Grossenbacher, K.; Cook, P.; Vasco, D.


    A dedicated field site was developed and a suite of experiments were conducted in the Sierra Nevada foothills, near the town of Raymond, CA to develop and test a multi-disciplinary approach to the characterization of groundwater flow and transport in fractured rocks. A wealth of geologic, hydrologic and geophysical data was collected at the site using a variety of unique tools. A cluster of nine approximately 90 m deep boreholes were drilled at the site in a V-shaped pattern with an angle of 60°. The boreholes are spaced 7.5, 15, 30 and 60 m from the central borehole. Various geophysical and hydrologic tests were conducted in and between these boreholes. Integration of cross-hole radar and seismic tomography, borehole flow surveys and images from a new digital borehole scanner indicated that groundwater flow is mainly confined to a few sub-horizontal fracture zones. A unique suite of hydraulic tests were conducted, in which three to four intervals in each of the nine boreholes were isolated using pneumatic packers. Some 130 injection tests were conducted, and more than 4100 cross-hole transient pressure measurements were obtained. A computer algorithm was developed to analyze such massive interference data systematically. As a result of the analysis, an image of the fracture connections emerged, which is consistent with the geophysical data. High precision tiltmeters were effective in remotely characterizing the preferential flow path. Several radial convergent tracer tests were conducted by injecting a mixture of several conservative tracers and one sorbing tracer: deuterium, fluorescein, lithium bromide and polystyrene micro-spheres. Some differences between the breakthrough curves are observed, which may be due to possible differences among so-called "conservative" tracers. Some characterization tools were found to be more effective than others in locating flowing fractures. However, no single tool was almighty. Characterization of fractured rock is extremely

  5. Zonal disintegration of rocks around underground workings. Part II. Rock fracture simulated in equivalent materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shemyakin, E.I.; Fisenko, G.L.; Kurlenya, M.V.; Oparin, V.N.; Reva, V.N.; Glushikhin, F.P.; Rozenbaum, M.A.; Tropp, E.A.; Kuznetsov, Yu.S.


    For a detailed testing of the effects discovered in situ, analysis of the patterns and origination conditions of fractured rock zones inside the bed around workings, and ways explosions affect the surrounding rocks, a program and a method of study on models of equivalent materials have been developed. The method of simulation on two- and three-dimensional models involved building in a solid or fissured medium a tunnel of a circular or arched cross section. The tests were done for elongate adit-type workings. At the first stage, three models were tested with different working support systems: anchor supports, concrete-spray supports and no supports. Zone formation is shown and described. Tests were continued on two groups of three-dimensional models to bring the model closer to in situ conditions. The presence of gaping cracks and heavily fractured zones deep in the interior of the bed with a quasicylindrical symmetry indicates that the common views concerning the stressed-strained state of rocks around underground workings are at variance with the actual patterns of deformation and destruction of rocks near the workings in deep horizons.

  6. On the possibility of magnetic nano-markers use for hydraulic fracturing in shale gas mining (United States)

    Zawadzki, Jaroslaw; Bogacki, Jan


    Recently shale gas production became essential for the global economy, thanks to fast advances in shale fracturing technology. Shale gas extraction can be achieved by drilling techniques coupled with hydraulic fracturing. Further increasing of shale gas production is possible by improving the efficiency of hydraulic fracturing and assessing the spatial distribution of fractures in shale deposits. The latter can be achieved by adding magnetic markers to fracturing fluid or directly to proppant, which keeps the fracture pathways open. After that, the range of hydraulic fracturing can be assessed by measurement of vertical and horizontal component of earth's magnetic field before and after fracturing. The difference in these components caused by the presence of magnetic marker particles may allow to delineate spatial distribution of fractures. Due to the fact, that subterranean geological formations may contain minerals with significant magnetic properties, it is important to provide to the markers excellent magnetic properties which should be also, independent of harsh chemical and geological conditions. On the other hand it is of great significance to produce magnetic markers at an affordable price because of the large quantities of fracturing fluids or proppants used during shale fracturing. Examining the properties of nano-materials, it was found, that they possess clearly superior magnetic properties, as compared to the same structure but having a larger particle size. It should be then possible, to use lower amount of magnetic marker, to obtain the same effect. Although a research on properties of new magnetic nano-materials is very intensive, cheap magnetic nano-materials are not yet produced on a scale appropriate for shale gas mining. In this work we overview, in detail, geological, technological and economic aspects of using magnetic nano-markers in shale gas mining. Acknowledgment This work was supported by the NCBiR under Grant "Electromagnetic method to

  7. Upscaling of permeability field of fractured rock system: Numerical examples

    KAUST Repository

    Bao, K.


    When the permeability field of a given porous medium domain is heterogeneous by the existence of randomly distributed fractures such that numerical investigation becomes cumbersome, another level of upscaling may be required. That is such complex permeability field could be relaxed (i.e., smoothed) by constructing an effective permeability field. The effective permeability field is an approximation to the real permeability field that preserves certain quantities and provides an overall acceptable description of the flow field. In this work, the effective permeability for a fractured rock system is obtained for different coarsening scenarios starting from very coarse mesh all the way towards the fine mesh simulation. In all these scenarios, the effective permeability as well as the pressure at each cell is obtained. The total flux at the exit boundary is calculated in all these cases, and very good agreement is obtained.

  8. Neutrally buoyant tracers in hydrogeophysics: Field demonstration in fractured rock (United States)

    Shakas, Alexis; Linde, Niklas; Baron, Ludovic; Selker, John; Gerard, Marie-Françoise; Lavenant, Nicolas; Bour, Olivier; Le Borgne, Tanguy


    Electrical and electromagnetic methods are extensively used to map electrically conductive tracers within hydrogeologic systems. Often, the tracers used consist of dissolved salt in water, leading to a denser mixture than the ambient formation water. Density effects are often ignored and rarely modeled but can dramatically affect transport behavior and introduce dynamics that are unrepresentative of the response obtained with classical tracers (e.g., uranine). We introduce a neutrally buoyant tracer consisting of a mixture of salt, water, and ethanol and monitor its movement during push-pull experiments in a fractured rock aquifer using ground-penetrating radar. Our results indicate a largely reversible transport process and agree with uranine-based push-pull experiments at the site, which is in contrast to results obtained using dense saline tracers. We argue that a shift toward neutrally buoyant tracers in both porous and fractured media would advance hydrogeophysical research and enhance its utility in hydrogeology.

  9. Dynamic Response in Transient Stress-Field Behavior Induced by Hydraulic Fracturing (United States)

    Jenkins, Andrew

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique which is used to exploit geologic features and subsurface properties in an effort to increase production in low-permeability formations. The process of hydraulic fracturing provides a greater surface contact area between the producing formation and the wellbore and thus increases the amount of recoverable hydrocarbons from within the reservoir. The use of this stimulation technique has brought on massive applause from the industry due to its widespread success and effectiveness, however the dynamic processes that take part in the development of hydraulic fractures is a relatively new area of research with respect to the massive scale operations that are seen today. The process of hydraulic fracturing relies upon understanding and exploiting the in-situ stress distribution throughout the area of study. These in-situ stress conditions are responsible for directing fracture orientation and propagation paths throughout the period of injection. The relative magnitude of these principle stresses is key in developing a successful stimulation plan. In horizontal well plan development the interpretation of stress within the reservoir is required for determining the azimuth of the horizontal well path. These horizontal laterals are typically oriented in a manner such that the well path lies parallel to the minimum horizontal stress. This allows for vertical fractures to develop transversely to the wellbore, or normal to the least principle stress without the theoretical possibility of fractures overlapping, creating the most efficient use of the fluid energy during injection. The orientation and magnitude of these in-situ stress fields however can be dynamic, controlled by the subsequent fracture propagation and redistribution of the surrounding stresses. That is, that as the fracture propagates throughout the reservoir, the relative stress fields surrounding the fractures may see a shift and deviate from their original direction or

  10. Colloid transport in dolomite rock fractures: effects of fracture characteristics, specific discharge, and ionic strength. (United States)

    Mondal, Pulin K; Sleep, Brent E


    The effects of fracture characteristics, specific discharge, and ionic strength on microsphere transport in variable-aperture dolomite rock fractures were studied in a laboratory-scale system. Fractures with different aperture distributions and mineral compositions were artificially created in two dolomite rock blocks. Transport tests were conducted with bromide and carboxylate-modified latex microspheres (20, 200, and 500 nm diameter). Under overall unfavorable attachment conditions, there was significant retention of the 20 nm microsphere and minimal retention of the 500 nm microsphere for all conditions examined. Aperture variability produced significant spatial variation in colloid transport. Flushing with low ionic strength solution (1 mM) following microsphere transport at 12 mM ionic strength solution produced a spike in effluent microsphere concentrations, consistent with retention of colloids in secondary energy minima. Surface roughness and charge heterogeneity effects may have also contributed to the effect of microsphere size on retention. Matrix diffusion influenced bromide transport but was not a dominant factor in transport for any microsphere size. Calibrated one-dimensional, two-site kinetic model parameters for colloid transport in fractured dolomite were sensitive to the physical and chemical properties of both the fractured dolomite and the colloids, indicating the need for mechanistic modeling for accurate prediction.

  11. Turbulent - laminar transition in the propagation of height-contained hydraulic fracture. (United States)

    Zia, Haseeb; Lecampion, Brice


    Fluid flow is usually assumed to be laminar in the modelling of hydraulic fracture propagation. This approximation can however break down in certain cases where a low viscosity fluid (e.g. water) is injected at a high rate resulting in Reynolds numbers well into the turbulent flow regime. This is notably the case of hydraulic fracture propagation at glacier beds where Reynolds numbers above 100,000 are expected (Tsai and Rice 2010). Recent trend of high injection rate slickwater treatment for the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells has also called the validity of the laminar flow assumption into question. Ames & Bunger (2015) recently investigated the effect of fully rough turbulent flow on the propagation of a height contained hydraulic fracture (Perkins & Kern 1961, Nordgren 1972). They have shown via dimensional analysis that the characteristic pressure should be larger and length shorter in the fully turbulent-rough regime compared to the laminar case. However, in practice, the range of Reynolds numbers for a typical slickwater treatment is expected to be from 1000 to 100,000 which coincides with the transition range from the fully laminar to fully turbulent-rough flows. Moreover, the Reynolds number is also expected to drop significantly in the tip region of a hydraulic fracture as the fracture width tends to zero. We present a numerical model that accommodates the complete laminar-turbulent transition of the flow and its impact on the propagation of a height contained hydraulic fracture. The numerical model is based on an explicit non-oscillatory central scheme for the solution of the coupled system of equations governing fluid flow and fracture elastic deformation. A volume of fluid method is used for tracking of the fracture front. The accuracy of the scheme is validated against the classical solution for the laminar flow regime. The relevance of the different limiting approximations (i.e. fully laminar versus fully turbulent regime) to simulate

  12. Permeability in fractured rocks from deep geothermal boreholes in the Upper Rhine Graben (United States)

    Vidal, Jeanne; Whitechurch, Hubert; Genter, Albert; Schmittbuhl, Jean; Baujard, Clément


    Permeability in fractured rocks from deep geothermal boreholes in the Upper Rhine Graben Vidal J.1, Whitechurch H.1, Genter A.2, Schmittbuhl J.1, Baujard C.2 1 EOST, Université de Strasbourg 2 ES-Géothermie, Strasbourg The thermal regime of the Upper Rhine Graben (URG) is characterized by a series of geothermal anomalies on its French part near Soultz-sous-Forêts, Rittershoffen and in the surrounding area of Strasbourg. Sedimentary formations of these areas host oil field widely exploited in the past which exhibit exceptionally high temperature gradients. Thus, geothermal anomalies are superimposed to the oil fields which are interpreted as natural brine advection occurring inside a nearly vertical multi-scale fracture system cross-cutting both deep-seated Triassic sediments and Paleozoic crystalline basement. The sediments-basement interface is therefore very challenging for geothermal industry because most of the geothermal resource is trapped there within natural fractures. Several deep geothermal projects exploit local geothermal energy to use the heat or produce electricity and thus target permeable fractured rocks at this interface. In 1980, a geothermal exploration well was drilled close to Strasbourg down to the Permian sediments at 3220 m depth. Bottom hole temperature was estimated to 148°C but the natural flow rate was too low for an economic profitability (project was abandoned. The Soultz-sous-Forêts project, initiated in 1986, explored during more than 30 years the experimental geothermal site by drilling five boreholes, three of which extend to 5 km depth. They identified a temperature of 200° C at 5 km depth in the granitic basement but with a variable flow rate. Hydraulic and chemical stimulation operations were applied in order to increase the initial low permeability by reactivating and dissolving sealed fractures in basement. The productivity was considerably improved and allows geothermal exploitation at 165° C and 20 L/s. Recent studies

  13. What happens between pure hydraulic and buckling mechanisms of blowout fractures? (United States)

    Nagasao, Tomohisa; Miyamoto, Junpei; Shimizu, Yusuke; Jiang, Hua; Nakajima, Tatsuo


    The present study aims to evaluate how the ratio of the hydraulic and buckling mechanisms affects blowout fracture patterns, when these two mechanisms work simultaneously. Three-dimensional computer-aided-design (CAD)models were generated simulating ten skulls. To simulate impact, 1.2J was applied on the orbital region of these models in four patterns. Pattern 1: All the energy works to cause the hydraulic effect. Pattern 2: Two-thirds of the energy works to cause the hydraulic effect; one-third of the energy works to cause the buckling effect. Pattern 3: One-third of the energy works to cause the hydraulic effect; two-thirds of the energy works to cause the buckling effect. Pattern 4: The entire energy quantum works to cause the buckling effect. Using the finite element method, the regions where fractures were theoretically expected to occur were calculated and were compared between the four patterns. More fracture damage occurred for Pattern 1 than Pattern 2, and for Pattern 3 than for Pattern 4. The hydraulic and buckling mechanisms interact with one another. When these two mechanisms are combined, the orbital walls tend to develop serious fractures. Copyright (c) 2009 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Seismicity Induced by Hydraulic Fracturing in Shales: A Bedding Plane Slip Model (United States)

    Staněk, František; Eisner, Leo


    Passive seismic monitoring of microseismic events induced in oil or gas reservoirs is known as microseismic monitoring. Microseismic monitoring is used to understand the process of hydraulic fracturing, which is a reservoir stimulation technique. We use a new geomechanical model with bedding plane slippage induced by hydraulic fractures within shale reservoirs to explain seismicity observed in a typical case study of hydraulic fracturing of a shale gas play in North America. Microseismic events propagating from the injection point are located at similar depths (within the uncertainty of their locations), and their source mechanisms are dominated by shear failure with both dip-slip and strike-slip senses of motion. The prevailing dip-slip mechanisms have one nearly vertical nodal plane perpendicular to the minimum horizontal stress axis, while the other nodal plane is nearly horizontal. Such dip-slip mechanisms can be explained by slippage along bedding planes activated by the aseismic opening of vertical hydraulic fractures. The model explains the observed prevailing orientation of the shear planes of the microseismic events, as well as the large difference between seismic and hydraulic energy.

  15. Understanding the Geometry of Connected Fracture Flow with Multiperiod Oscillatory Hydraulic Tests. (United States)

    Sayler, Claire; Cardiff, Michael; Fort, Michael D


    An understanding of the spatial and hydraulic properties of fast preferential flow pathways in the subsurface is necessary in applications ranging from contaminant fate and transport modeling to design of energy extraction systems. One method for the characterization of fracture properties over interwellbore scales is Multiperiod Oscillatory Hydraulic (MOH) testing, in which the aquifer response to oscillatory pressure stimulations is observed. MOH tests were conducted on isolated intervals of wells in siliciclastic and carbonate aquifers in southern Wisconsin. The goal was to characterize the spatial properties of discrete fractures over interwellbore scales. MOH tests were conducted on two discrete fractured intervals intersecting two boreholes at one field site, and a nest of three piezometers at another field site. Fracture diffusivity estimates were obtained using analytical solutions that relate diffusivity to observed phase lag and amplitude decay. In addition, MOH tests were used to investigate the spatial extent of flow using different conceptual models of fracture geometry. Results indicated that fracture geometry at both field sites can be approximated by permeable two-dimensional fracture planes, oriented near-horizontally at one site, and near-vertically at the other. The technique used on MOH field data to characterize fracture geometry shows promise in revealing fracture network characteristics important to groundwater flow and transport. © 2017, National Ground Water Association.

  16. Stress-Induced Fracturing of Reservoir Rocks: Acoustic Monitoring and μCT Image Analysis (United States)

    Pradhan, Srutarshi; Stroisz, Anna M.; Fjær, Erling; Stenebråten, Jørn F.; Lund, Hans K.; Sønstebø, Eyvind F.


    Stress-induced fracturing in reservoir rocks is an important issue for the petroleum industry. While productivity can be enhanced by a controlled fracturing operation, it can trigger borehole instability problems by reactivating existing fractures/faults in a reservoir. However, safe fracturing can improve the quality of operations during CO2 storage, geothermal installation and gas production at and from the reservoir rocks. Therefore, understanding the fracturing behavior of different types of reservoir rocks is a basic need for planning field operations toward these activities. In our study, stress-induced fracturing of rock samples has been monitored by acoustic emission (AE) and post-experiment computer tomography (CT) scans. We have used hollow cylinder cores of sandstones and chalks, which are representatives of reservoir rocks. The fracture-triggering stress has been measured for different rocks and compared with theoretical estimates. The population of AE events shows the location of main fracture arms which is in a good agreement with post-test CT image analysis, and the fracture patterns inside the samples are visualized through 3D image reconstructions. The amplitudes and energies of acoustic events clearly indicate initiation and propagation of the main fractures. Time evolution of the radial strain measured in the fracturing tests will later be compared to model predictions of fracture size.

  17. Fracture Dissolution of Carbonate Rock: An Innovative Process for Gas Storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James W. Castle; Ronald W. Falta; David Bruce; Larry Murdoch; Scott E. Brame; Donald Brooks


    ) that allow for the easy removal of calcium waste from the well. Physical and chemical analysis of core samples taken from prospective geologic formations for the acid dissolution process confirmed that many of the limestone samples readily dissolved in concentrated hydrochloric acid. Further, some samples contained oily residues that may help to seal the walls of the final cavern structure. These results suggest that there exist carbonate rock formations well suited for the dissolution technology and that the presence of inert impurities had no noticeable effect on the dissolution rate for the carbonate rock. A sensitivity analysis was performed for characteristics of hydraulic fractures induced in carbonate formations to enhance the dissolution process. Multiple fracture simulations were conducted using modeling software that has a fully 3-D fracture geometry package. The simulations, which predict the distribution of fracture geometry and fracture conductivity, show that the stress difference between adjacent beds is the physical property of the formations that has the greatest influence on fracture characteristics by restricting vertical growth. The results indicate that by modifying the fracturing fluid, proppant type, or pumping rate, a fracture can be created with characteristics within a predictable range, which contributes to predicting the geometry of storage caverns created by acid dissolution of carbonate formations. A series of three-dimensional simulations of cavern formation were used to investigate three different configurations of the acid-dissolution process: (a) injection into an open borehole with production from that same borehole and no fracture; (b) injection into an open borehole with production from that same borehole, with an open fracture; and (c) injection into an open borehole connected by a fracture to an adjacent borehole from which the fluids are produced. The two-well configuration maximizes the overall mass transfer from the rock to the

  18. Predicting the Occurrence of Hydraulic Fracture in Grouting Operations Based on the Pressure in the Penetrated Cement Grout

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Bakhshandeh Amnieh


    Full Text Available Cement grouting is an operation often carried out to consolidate and seal the rock mass in dam sites and tunnels. The quality and efficiency of a grouting operation depends on various factors such as water take, grout properties and grouting pressure. One of the parameters which have the highest effect is pressure since the application of excessive pressure causes the hydraulic fracture phenomenon to occur in the rock mass and too little pressure leads to incomplete grouting and failure to seal the site in a perfect manner. Mathematical modeling is used for the first time in this study to predict and determine the optimum pressure. Thus, the joints that exist in the rock mass are simulated using cylindrical shell model. The joint surroundings are also modeled through Pasternak environment. To obtain equations governing the joints and the surroundings, energy method is used accompanied by Hamilton principle. In the end, an analytical solution method is used to obtain the maximum grouting pressure. In order to validate the modeling, the grouting pressure values obtained by the model were used in the sites of Seymareh and Aghbolagh dams and the relative error rates were measured considering the differences between calculated and actual pressures. Modeling in the examined sections of Seymareh dam showed 29.61, 5.57, 21.98, 32.50 and 9.09 percent error rates and in the sections of Aghbolagh dam it rendered the values of 4.32, 5.40 and 2.96 percent. The results indicate that this modeling can be used to estimate the amount of pressure for hydraulic fracture in grouting, to predict it and to prevent it.

  19. A frequency domain analysis to characterize heterogeneity and recharge mechanisms in a fractured crystalline-rock aquifer (United States)

    Jimenez-Martinez, J.; Longuevergne, L.; Le Borgne, T.; Davy, P.; Bour, O.; Goderniaux, P.; Russian, A.; Thomas, Z.


    We investigate aquifer behavior and recharge mechanisms in fracture media using a frequency domain approach. Main interest was the quantification of aquifer characteristic time response, storativity and estimation of heterogeneity and connectivity impact on well behavior on a wide range of temporal scales from 1 day to 8 years. Transfer Functions were calculated for a fractured crystalline-rock aquifer system located in Ploemeur (S of Brittany, France). Recharge, first calculated as effective rainfall, and groundwater level fluctuations (tide effects removed) were used as input and output functions, respectively. The Transfer Function quantifies the ratio of amplitudes of the input and output in the frequency domain. The obtained transfer functions are typically constant at low frequency and decay with frequency for mid and high frequencies. Classical behavior models for interpreting transfer functions are the linear and Dupuit models, plus combination with fast flow component. For linear and Dupuit models, the transfer function |H(ω)|2 scales respectively as |H(ω)|2 ~ ω-2, and |H(ω)|2 ~ ω-1 for high frequencies. The transfer functions obtained for the fractured rock aquifer of Ploemeur do not follow these scaling. Instead, they scale as |H(ω)|2 ~ ω-β, with β=0.7. This suggests that the heterogeneity at different scales in this fractured system involves a variety of transfer processes that cannot be represented by classical models. We discuss the relevance of alternative dual-permeability and multi-permeability models for modeling the rainfall-hydraulic head response in this fractured media. We analyze the variability of the response (characteristic time, amplitude and asymptotic log-log slope) for wells intersecting the main fracture zone, intersecting secondary fracture zones or located in weathered rock.

  20. Hydraulic fracturing to enhance the remediation of DNAPL in low permeability soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murdoch, L. [Univ. of Cincinnati, OH (United States); Slack, B. [FRX Inc., Cincinnati, OH (United States)


    Meager rates of fluid flow are a major obstacle to in situ remediation of low permeability soils. This paper describes methods designed to avoid that obstacle by creating fractures and filling them with sand to increase well discharge and change paths of fluid flow in soil. Gently dipping fractures 10 m in maximum dimension and 1 to 2 cm thick can be created in some contaminated soils at depths of a few in or greater. Hydraulic fractures can also be used to create electrically conductive layers or to deliver granules of chemically or biologically active compounds that will degrade contaminants in place. Benefits of applying hydraulic fractures to DNAPL recovery include rates of fluid recovery, enhancing upward gradients to improve hydrodynamic stabilization, forming flat-lying reactive curtains to intersect compounds moving downward, or improving the performance of electrokinetics intended to recover compounds dissolved in water. 30 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Hydraulic fracturing as an interpretive policy problem: lessons on energy controversies in Europe and the U.S.A.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dodge, Jennifer; Metze, Tamara


    This special issue addresses hydraulic fracturing for shale gas extraction as an interpretive policy problem. Bringing together empirical cases from the U.S.A., the Netherlands, the U.K., Poland, and Germany, we identify three approaches to the interpretation of hydraulic fracturing in the article:

  2. FE Analysis of Rock with Hydraulic-Mechanical Coupling Based on Continuum Damage Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongliang Wang


    Full Text Available A numerical finite element (FE analysis technology is presented for efficient and reliable solutions of rock with hydraulic-mechanical (HM coupling, researching the seepage characteristics and simulating the damage evolution of rock. To be in accord with the actual situation, the rock is naturally viewed as heterogeneous material, in which Young’s modulus, permeability, and strength property obey the typical Weibull distribution function. The classic Biot constitutive relation for rock as porous medium is introduced to establish a set of equations coupling with elastic solid deformation and seepage flow. The rock is subsequently developed into a novel conceptual and practical model considering the damage evolution of Young’s modulus and permeability, in which comprehensive utilization of several other auxiliary technologies, for example, the Drucker-Prager strength criterion, the statistical strength theory, and the continuum damage evolution, yields the damage variable calculating technology. To this end, an effective and reliable numerical FE analysis strategy is established. Numerical examples are given to show that the proposed method can establish heterogeneous rock model and be suitable for different load conditions and furthermore to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability in the seepage and damage characteristics analysis for rock.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bautdinov Damir Tahirovich


    Full Text Available The parametric analysis of the stress state of a transversally isotropic rock mass near a pressurized hydraulic tunnel of a box-shaped form is carried out. Pressurized hydro-technical tunnels of box-shaped cross-section are widely used in the field of hydraulic engineering construction and are one of the complex, labor-intensive and expensive types of structures that make up the main structures of waterworks, melioration systems and water supply systems. As a culvert and water supply facilities they are built underground if the open excavation is impossible or not economical, or when the tunnel runs through a densely populated or densely built-up area, or when landslides, screes, rockfalls are possible. Violation of integrity of the rock mass, in particular, caused by tunneling, modifies the stress-strain state (SSS of the rock mass, which leads to appearance of tensile stresses in some places, and in some cases, to significant compressive stresses. If these stresses exceed the design strengths of rock to tension and compression, respectively, then the collapse of the working roof and buckling of the side walls and the bottom of the tunnel may occur. Subject: analysis of the stress state of transversally isotropic rocks near the pressurized hydraulic tunnel of horseshoe cross-section caused by the internal head of water. Research objectives: determination of real values of circumferential stresses along the development contour. Materials and methods: solution of the problem of plane deformation of the theory of elasticity for a transversely isotropic medium containing tunnel excavation cannot be obtained by analytical methods, and therefore the stress-strain analysis was carried out by the finite element method using the ANSYS software package, MCE. Results: determination of stresses along the development contour, construction of diagrams and graphs showing the effects of the anisotropy conditions and Poisson’s ratio. The tangential stresses

  4. Reactive solute transport in an asymmetrical fracture-rock matrix system (United States)

    Zhou, Renjie; Zhan, Hongbin


    The understanding of reactive solute transport in a single fracture-rock matrix system is the foundation of studying transport behavior in the complex fractured porous media. When transport properties are asymmetrically distributed in the adjacent rock matrixes, reactive solute transport has to be considered as a coupled three-domain problem, which is more complex than the symmetric case with identical transport properties in the adjacent rock matrixes. This study deals with the transport problem in a single fracture-rock matrix system with asymmetrical distribution of transport properties in the rock matrixes. Mathematical models are developed for such a problem under the first-type and the third-type boundary conditions to analyze the spatio-temporal concentration and mass distribution in the fracture and rock matrix with the help of Laplace transform technique and de Hoog numerical inverse Laplace algorithm. The newly acquired solutions are then tested extensively against previous analytical and numerical solutions and are proven to be robust and accurate. Furthermore, a water flushing phase is imposed on the left boundary of system after a certain time. The diffusive mass exchange along the fracture/rock matrixes interfaces and the relative masses stored in each of three domains (fracture, upper rock matrix, and lower rock matrix) after the water flushing provide great insights of transport with asymmetric distribution of transport properties. This study has the following findings: 1) Asymmetric distribution of transport properties imposes greater controls on solute transport in the rock matrixes. However, transport in the fracture is mildly influenced. 2) The mass stored in the fracture responses quickly to water flushing, while the mass stored in the rock matrix is much less sensitive to the water flushing. 3) The diffusive mass exchange during the water flushing phase has similar patterns under symmetric and asymmetric cases. 4) The characteristic distance

  5. Fracture Evolution Following a Hydraulic Stimulation within an EGS Reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mella, Michael [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Energy and Geoscience Inst.


    The objective of this project was to develop and demonstrate an approach for tracking the evolution of circulation immediately following a hydraulic stimulation in an EGS reservoir. Series of high-resolution tracer tests using conservative and thermally reactive tracers were designed at recently created EGS reservoirs in order to track changes in fluid flow parameters such as reservoir pore volume, flow capacity, and effective reservoir temperature over time. Data obtained from the project would be available for the calibration of reservoir models that could serve to predict EGS performance following a hydraulic stimulation.

  6. Advances in coalbed methane reservoirs using integrated reservoir characterization and hydraulic fracturing in Karaganda coal basin, Kazakhstan (United States)

    Ivakhnenko, Aleksandr; Aimukhan, Adina; Kenshimova, Aida; Mullagaliyev, Fandus; Akbarov, Erlan; Mullagaliyeva, Lylia; Kabirova, Svetlana; Almukhametov, Azamat


    Coalbed methane from Karaganda coal basin is considered to be an unconventional source of energy for the Central and Eastern parts of Kazakhstan. These regions are situated far away from the main traditional sources of oil and gas related to Precaspian petroleum basin. Coalbed methane fields in Karaganda coal basin are characterized by geological and structural complexity. Majority of production zones were characterized by high methane content and extremely low coal permeability. The coal reservoirs also contained a considerable natural system of primary, secondary, and tertiary fractures that were usually capable to accommodate passing fluid during hydraulic fracturing process. However, after closing was often observed coal formation damage including the loss of fluids, migration of fines and higher pressures required to treat formation than were expected. Unusual or less expected reservoir characteristics and values of properties of the coal reservoir might be the cause of the unusual occurred patterns in obtained fracturing, such as lithological peculiarities, rock mechanical properties and previous natural fracture systems in the coals. Based on these properties we found that during the drilling and fracturing of the coal-induced fractures have great sensitivity to complex reservoir lithology and stress profiles, as well as changes of those stresses. In order to have a successful program of hydraulic fracturing and avoid unnecessary fracturing anomalies we applied integrated reservoir characterization to monitor key parameters. In addition to logging data, core sample analysis was applied for coalbed methane reservoirs to observe dependence tiny lithological variations through the magnetic susceptibility values and their relation to permeability together with expected principal stress. The values of magnetic susceptibility were measured by the core logging sensor, which is equipped with the probe that provides volume magnetic susceptibility parameters


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Extraction of oil from some Iranian reservoirs due to high viscosity of their oil or reducing the formation permeability due to asphaltene precipitation or other problems is not satisfactory. Hydraulic fracturing method increases production in the viscous oil reservoirs that the production rate is low. So this is very important for some Iranian reservoirs that contain these characteristics. In this study, hydraulic fracturing method has been compositionally simulated in a heavy oil reservoir in southern Iran. In this study, the parameters of the fracture half length, the propagation direction of the cracks and the depth of fracturing have been considered in this oil reservoir. The aim of this study is to find the best scenario which has the highest recovery factor in this oil reservoir. For this purpose the parameters of the length, propagation direction and depth of fracturing have been optimized in this reservoir. Through this study the cumulative oil production has been evaluated with the compositional simulation for the next 10 years in this reservoir. Also at the end of this paper, increasing the final production of this oil reservoir caused by optimized hydraulic fracturing has been evaluated.

  8. EM Earthquake Precursor Detection Associated with Fluid Injection for Hydraulic Fracturing and Tectonic Sources (United States)

    Jones, Kenneth B., II


    , Texas field sites, a proactive detection approach was taken, due to the heavy presence of hydraulic fracturing activity for regional hydrocarbon extraction, which appeared to be causing several rare M4.0+ earthquakes. As a result, detailed Southern California and Timpson, Texas field studies led to the improved design of two newer, prototype antennae and the first ever earthquake epicenter map. With more antennae and continuous monitoring, more fracture cycles can be established well ahead of the next earthquake. In addition, field data could be ascertained longer by the proper authorities and lead to significantly improved earthquake forecasting. The EM precursor determined by this method appears to surpass all prior precursor claims, and the general public may finally receive long overdue forecasting.

  9. The Hydrogeochemistry Of Fractured Plutonic Rocks In The Canadian Shield (United States)

    Gascoyne, M.; Kamineni, D. C.


    The composition of groundwater has been determined in selected granitic, gabbroic and gneissic plutons in the Canadian Shield as part of the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. A similar geochemical evolution of the groundwater is seen with increasing depth or with flow along the hydraulic gradient, irrespective of rock type. This pattern is comparable to that seen in mine groundwaters from throughout the Canadian Shield. Near-surface groundwaters are typically dilute, slightly alkaline and Ca-(Na)-HCO3 in composition. They evolve to higher pH, Na-(Ca)-HCO3 compositions along the flow path because of interaction with plagioclase, calcite precipitation and ion exchange on clay minerals. At greater depths (>≈200 m), groundwater salinity increases as a result of the dissolution of Cl-rich salts in the rock matrix and, in certain areas, mixing with Na-Cl brines from seawater or basinal formation water. Stable and radioactive isotopic data for the groundwaters help to interpret these characteristics and indicate high residence times for the deeper, saline groundwater.

  10. Fracture Detection in Geothermal Wells Drilled in Volcanic Rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonfalini, Mauro; Chelini, Walter; Cheruvier, Etienne; Suau, Jean; Klopf, Werner


    The Phlegrean Fields, close to Naples, are the site of important geothermal activity. The formations are volcanic and mostly tuffites. They are originally very tight but the geothermal alteration locally produces fractures with large increase in permeability. The lack of geological markers makes well-to-well correlation quite difficult. Thus the local detection of fractured zones in each well is very important for the evaluation of its potential. The Mofete 8 D well is a typical example. A rather complete logging program was run for fracture detection. Standard methods turned out to be disappointing. However several non-standard detectors were found to be very consistent and, later on, in excellent agreement with the analysis of cuttings. They are derived from the Dual Laterolog, the SP, the Temperature log and, most particularly, the Acoustic Waveforms from the Long Spacing Sonic. The Dual Laterolog and the Temperature Log indicate invasion by fresh and cold mud filtrate; the SP behaves as in a typical Sand-Shale sequence. Sonic Waveforms were first analyzed by a purely empirical method derived from consistent log patterns. A practical algorithm compares the total energy measured in each of the two fixed time windows located the one before, the other after the fluid arrivals. The altered zones (i.e. fractured and permeable) are clearly shown by a complete reversal of the relative energy of these two windows. A more scientific method was then applied to the Waveforms; it is based on both logging experiments and physical considerations. The energy carried by the tube wave is separated by a frequency discrimination: it correlates very well with formation alteration, thus also with the other indicators including the empirical Waveform method. It should have two advantages: – It should permit at least a semi quantitative permeability evaluation – It seems to be promising in other formations: non-volcanic geothermal wells and even hydrocarbon-bearing rocks. 10 refs

  11. Flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock: An overview (United States)

    Evans, Daniel D.; Rasmussen, Todd C.; Nicholson, Thomas J.

    Groundwater flow and contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone continue to receive attention as former nuclear weapons development sites are being characterized for determining decommissioning options, and geologic sites are being considered for deep disposal of nuclear and hazardous waste. The ability to make decisions with regard to cleanup, site suitability, and anticipated performance of disposal or storage facilities is dependent upon the characterization and modeling of unsaturated flow and transport features, events, and processes. Hazardous materials may be mobilized by infiltrating water and move downward to affect groundwater resources. These contaminants may also move upward or laterally by capillary movement or as vapor to the accessible environment. Substantial experience exists with respect to near-surface partially saturated porous media, traditionally the domain of the soil scientists and geotechnical engineers, but does not exist for fractured rock in either near-surface or deep, complex, unsaturated systems that are now being characterized and modeled. The ability to represent these complex systems composed of both a matrix and a fracture component is being tested through a variety of field experiments and comparisons to natural analogues. The present focus is on evaluating conceptual flow and transportmodels and quantifying the spatial and temporal parameters for these models using laboratory and field methods, and environmental tracer analyses. Modeling of these dynamic and transient systems has followed two paths, porous equivalency and discrete fracture models. In general, characterization methods and modelingare in the confirmation stage with the greatest lack of knowledge being the interaction between fracture and matrix properties for flow and transport.

  12. A Geochemical Framework for Evaluating Shale-Hydraulic Fracture Fluid Interactions (United States)

    Harrison, A. L.; Jew, A. D.; Dustin, M. K.; Joe-Wong, C. M.; Thomas, D.; Maher, K.; Brown, G. E.; Bargar, J.; Bill, M.; Conrad, M. E.


    The development of shale oil and gas reservoirs has increased dramatically due to the application of hydraulic fracturing techniques. Fracture fluids contain dissolved oxygen and numerous chemical additives [1] that are out of equilibrium with the reducing conditions in shale reservoirs and could react extensively with shale minerals and alter porosity. Yet, the complex dissolution-precipitation reactions in shales along with the poorly constrained characteristics of many fracture fluid additives hinder predictive modeling based on established reaction kinetics and thermodynamic constants [2]. Here, we are developing a reaction framework to better predict reaction progress and porosity evolution upon exposure of shales to hydraulic fracturing fluids. To this end, the reactive transport model CrunchFlow [3] was applied to the results of batch reactor experiments containing shales of different mineralogical and organic compositions exposed to simulated fracturing fluid. Despite relatively good agreement between modeled and experimental data for pH and aqueous Ca concentrations, which are strongly governed by carbonate dissolution, the model is presently unable to reproduce observed trends in aqueous Fe concentration. This is largely attributable to the dearth of thermodynamic data for certain fracture fluid components and the complex interactions between multiple Fe-bearing mineral phases. Experimental results revealed that the presence of organic fracture fluid components strongly influenced the precipitation of Fe-bearing phases, which are speculated to coat fracture fluid polymers that formed in the reactors. The incorporation of these effects in our reactive transport model will permit improved prediction of reservoir permeability evolution and metal release during hydraulic fracturing operations. [1] Stringfellow et al. (2014) J. Hazard. Mater. [2] Carroll et al. (2013) Environ. Sci. Technol. [3] Steefel and Maher (2009) Rev. Mineral. Geochem.

  13. The permeability of fractured rocks in pressurised volcanic and geothermal systems. (United States)

    Lamur, A; Kendrick, J E; Eggertsson, G H; Wall, R J; Ashworth, J D; Lavallée, Y


    The connectivity of rocks' porous structure and the presence of fractures influence the transfer of fluids in the Earth's crust. Here, we employed laboratory experiments to measure the influence of macro-fractures and effective pressure on the permeability of volcanic rocks with a wide range of initial porosities (1-41 vol. %) comprised of both vesicles and micro-cracks. We used a hand-held permeameter and hydrostatic cell to measure the permeability of intact rock cores at effective pressures up to 30 MPa; we then induced a macro-fracture to each sample using Brazilian tensile tests and measured the permeability of these macro-fractured rocks again. We show that intact rock permeability increases non-linearly with increasing porosity and decreases with increasing effective pressure due to compactional closure of micro-fractures. Imparting a macro-fracture both increases the permeability of rocks and their sensitivity to effective pressure. The magnitude of permeability increase induced by the macro-fracture is more significant for dense rocks. We finally provide a general equation to estimate the permeability of intact and fractured rocks, forming a basis to constrain fluid flow in volcanic and geothermal systems.

  14. Effect of Injection Site on Fault Activation and Seismicity during Hydraulic Fracturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaohui Chong


    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing is a key technology to stimulate oil and gas wells to increase production in shale reservoirs with low permeability. Generally, the stimulated reservoir volume is performed based on pre-existing natural fractures (NF. Hydraulic fracturing in shale reservoirs with large natural fractures (i.e., faults often results in fault activation and seismicity. In this paper, a coupled hydro-mechanical model was employed to investigate the effects of injection site on fault activation and seismicity. A moment tensor method was used to evaluate the magnitude and affected areas of seismic events. The micro-parameters of the proposed model were calibrated through analytical solutions of the interaction between hydraulic fractures (HF and the fault. The results indicated that the slip displacement and activation range of the fault first decreased, then remained stable with the increase in the distance between the injection hole and the fault (Lif. In the scenario of the shortest Lif (Lif = 10 m, the b-value—which represents the proportion of frequency of small events in comparison with large events—reached its maximum value, and the magnitude of concentrated seismic events were in the range of −3.5 to −1.5. The frequency of seismic events containing only one crack was the lowest, and that of seismic events containing more than ten cracks was the highest. The interaction between the injection-induced stress disturbance and fault slip was gentle when Lif was longer than the critical distance (Lif = 40–50 m. The results may help optimize the fracturing treatment designs during hydraulic fracturing.

  15. Regulation of hydraulic fracturing in South Africa: a project life-cycle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This note deals with the 2015 regulations pertaining to hydraulic fracturing in South Africa from a project life-cycle approach. A brief history of the fragmentation of the regulation of environmental and mining related matters is provided, followed by a discussion of the application of the 2015 regulations during the project life ...

  16. Chloride concentration gradients in tank-stored hydraulic fracturing fluids following flowback (United States)

    Pamela J. Edwards; Linda L. Tracy; William K. Wilson


    A natural gas well in West Virginia was hydraulically fractured and the flowback was recovered and stored in an 18-foot-deep tank. Both in situ field test kit and laboratory measurements of electrical conductivity and chloride concentrations increased substantially with depth, although the laboratory measurements showed a greater increase. The field test kit also...

  17. Risks to Water Resources from Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States (United States)

    Vengosh, Avner; Jackson, Robert B.; Warner, Nathaniel; Darrah, Thomas H.; Kondash, Andrew


    The rise of shale gas development through horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing has expanded oil and gas exploration in the USA. The rapid rate of shale gas exploration has triggered an intense public debate regarding the potential environmental and human health effects. A review of the updated literature has identified four potential risks for impacts on water resources: (1) stray gas contamination of shallow aquifers near shale gas sites; (2) contamination of surface water and shallow groundwater from spills, leaks, and disposal of inadequately treated wastewater or hydraulic fracturing fluids; (3) accumulation of toxic and radioactive residues in soil or stream sediments near disposal or spill sites; and (4) over-extraction of water resources for drilling and hydraulic fracturing that could induce water shortages and conflicts with other water users, particularly in water-scarce areas. As part of a long-term research on the potential water contamination associated with shale gas development, new geochemical and isotopic techniques have been developed for delineating the origin of gases and contaminants in water resource. In particular, multiple geochemical and isotopic (carbon isotopes in hydrocarbons, noble gas, strontium, boron, radium isotopes) tracers have been utilized to distinguish between naturally occurring dissolved gas and salts in water and contamination directly induced from shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.

  18. The Role of Toxicological Science in Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Hydraulic Fracturing (United States)

    We briefly describe how toxicology can inform the discussion and debate of the merits of hydraulic fracturing by providing information on the potential toxicity of the chemical and physical agents associated with this process, individually and in combination. We consider upstream...

  19. Halogenated Organic Compounds Identified in Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewaters Using Ultrahigh Resolution Mass Spectrometry. (United States)

    Luek, Jenna L; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Mouser, Paula J; Petty, William Tyler; Richardson, Susan D; Gonsior, Michael


    Large volumes of water return to the surface following hydraulic fracturing of deep shale formations to retrieve oil and natural gas. Current understanding of the specific organic constituents in these hydraulic fracturing wastewaters is limited to hydrocarbons and a fraction of known chemical additives. In this study, we analyzed hydraulic fracturing wastewater samples using ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) as a nontargeted technique to assign unambiguous molecular formulas to singly charged molecular ions. Halogenated molecular formulas were identified and confirmed using isotopic simulation and MS-MS fragmentation spectra. The abundance of halogenated organic compounds in flowback fluids rather than older wastewaters suggested that the observed molecular ions might have been related to hydraulic fracturing additives and related subsurface reactions, such as through the reaction of shale-extracted chloride, bromide, and iodide with strong oxidant additives (e.g., hypochlorite, persulfate, hydrogen peroxide) and subsequently with diverse dissolved organic matter. Some molecular ions matched the exact masses of known disinfection byproducts including diiodoacetic acid, dibromobenzoic acid, and diiodobenzoic acid. The identified halogenated organic compounds, particularly iodinated organic molecules, are absent from inland natural systems and these compounds could therefore play an important role as environmental tracers.

  20. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Dynamics of Fluids in Fractured Rocks: Concepts and Recent Advances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faybishenko, B. (ed.)


    This publication contains extended abstracts of papers presented at the International Symposium ''Dynamics of Fluids in Fractured Rocks: Concepts and Recent Advances'' held at Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on February 10-12, 1999. This Symposium is organized in Honor of the 80th Birthday of Paul A. Witherspoon, who initiated some of the early investigations on flow and transport in fractured rocks at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a key figure in the development of basic concepts, modeling, and field measurements of fluid flow and contaminant transport in fractured rock systems. The technical problems of assessing fluid flow, radionuclide transport, site characterization, modeling, and performance assessment in fractured rocks remain the most challenging aspects of subsurface flow and transport investigations. An understanding of these important aspects of hydrogeology is needed to assess disposal of nu clear wastes, development of geothermal resources, production of oil and gas resources, and remediation of contaminated sites. These Proceedings of more than 100 papers from 12 countries discuss recent scientific and practical developments and the status of our understanding of fluid flow and radionuclide transport in fractured rocks. The main topics of the papers are: Theoretical studies of fluid flow in fractured rocks; Multi-phase flow and reactive chemical transport in fractured rocks; Fracture/matrix interactions; Hydrogeological and transport testing; Fracture flow models; Vadose zone studies; Isotopic studies of flow in fractured systems; Fractures in geothermal systems; Remediation and colloid transport in fractured systems; and Nuclear waste disposal in fractured rocks.

  1. Elucidating hydraulic fracturing impacts on groundwater quality using a regional geospatial statistical modeling approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burton, Taylour G., E-mail: [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, W455 Engineering Bldg. 2, Houston, TX 77204-4003 (United States); Rifai, Hanadi S., E-mail: [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, N138 Engineering Bldg. 1, Houston, TX 77204-4003 (United States); Hildenbrand, Zacariah L., E-mail: [Inform Environmental, LLC, Dallas, TX 75206 (United States); Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Carlton, Doug D., E-mail: [Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX (United States); Fontenot, Brian E., E-mail: [Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Schug, Kevin A., E-mail: [Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX (United States)


    Hydraulic fracturing operations have been viewed as the cause of certain environmental issues including groundwater contamination. The potential for hydraulic fracturing to induce contaminant pathways in groundwater is not well understood since gas wells are completed while isolating the water table and the gas-bearing reservoirs lay thousands of feet below the water table. Recent studies have attributed ground water contamination to poor well construction and leaks in the wellbore annulus due to ruptured wellbore casings. In this paper, a geospatial model of the Barnett Shale region was created using ArcGIS. The model was used for spatial analysis of groundwater quality data in order to determine if regional variations in groundwater quality, as indicated by various groundwater constituent concentrations, may be associated with the presence of hydraulically fractured gas wells in the region. The Barnett Shale reservoir pressure, completions data, and fracture treatment data were evaluated as predictors of groundwater quality change. Results indicated that elevated concentrations of certain groundwater constituents are likely related to natural gas production in the study area and that beryllium, in this formation, could be used as an indicator variable for evaluating fracturing impacts on regional groundwater quality. Results also indicated that gas well density and formation pressures correlate to change in regional water quality whereas proximity to gas wells, by itself, does not. The results also provided indirect evidence supporting the possibility that micro annular fissures serve as a pathway transporting fluids and chemicals from the fractured wellbore to the overlying groundwater aquifers. - Graphical abstract: A relative increase in beryllium concentrations in groundwater for the Barnett Shale region from 2001 to 2011 was visually correlated with the locations of gas wells in the region that have been hydraulically fractured over the same time period

  2. Simulating Bioremediation of Chloroethenes in a Fractured Rock Aquifer. (United States)

    Curtis, G. P.


    Reactive transport simulations are being conducted to synthesize the results of a field experiment on the enhanced bioremediation of chloroethenes in a heterogeneous fractured-rock aquifer near West Trenton, NJ. The aquifer consists of a sequence of dipping mudstone beds, with water-conducting bedding-plane fractures separated by low-permeability rock where transport is diffusion-limited. The enhanced bioremediation experiment was conducted by injecting emulsified vegetable oil as an electron donor (EOS™) and a microbial consortium (KB1™) that contained dehalococcoides ethenogenes into a fracture zone that had maximum trichloroethene (TCE) concentrations of 84µM. TCE was significantly biodegraded to dichloroethene, chloroethene and ethene or CO2 at the injection well and at a downgradient well. The results also show the concomitant reduction of Fe(III) and S(6) and the production of methane . The results were used to calibrate transport models for quantifying the dominant mass-removal mechanisms. A nonreactive transport model was developed to simulate advection, dispersion and matrix diffusion of bromide and deuterium tracers present in the injection solution. This calibrated model matched tracer concentrations at the injection well and a downgradient observation well and demonstrated that matrix diffusion was a dominant control on tracer transport. A reactive transport model was developed to extend the nonreactive transport model to simulate the microbially mediated sequential dechlorination reactions, reduction of Fe(III) and S(6), and methanogenesis. The reactive transport model was calibrated to concentrations of chloride, chloroethenes, pH, alkalinity, redox-sensitive species and major ions, to estimate key biogeochemical kinetic parameters. The simulation results generally match the diverse set of observations at the injection and observation wells throughout the three year experiment. In addition, the observations and model simulations indicate that a

  3. Folding and fracturing of rock adjacent to salt diapirs (United States)

    Rowan, Mark G.


    When John Ramsay wrote his groundbreaking book in 1967, deformation around salt diapirs was not something he covered. At the time, most geologists considered diapirs to form due to density inversion, rising through thick overlying strata due to buoyancy. In doing so, salt was thought to shove aside the younger rocks, shearing and fracturing them in drag folds and supposedly producing "salt gouge". Even after it was realized that the majority of diapirs spend most of their history growing at or just beneath the surface, the relative rise of salt and sinking of minibasins were (and are) still thought by many to be accommodated in part by shear and fracturing of rocks in a collar zone around the salt. There are two arguments against this model. The first is mechanical: whereas halite behaves as a viscous fluid, even young sediment deforms as a brittle material with layer anisotropy. Thus, the salt-sediment interface is the outer margin of an intrasalt shear zone caused by viscous drag against the diapir margin. The velocity of salt flow decreases dramatically toward the edge of the diapir, so that the outermost salt effectively doesn't move. Hence, no shear or fracturing is expected in surrounding strata. The second and more important argument is that empirical field data do not support the idea of drag folds and associated deformation. Certainly, strata are typically folded and thinned adjacent to diapirs. However, stratal upturn is generated by monoclinal drape folding of the diapir roof over the edge of the rising salt, and thinning is caused by deposition onto the bathymetric highs formed by the diapirs, often supplemented by roof erosion and slumping. Halokinetic sequences observed in numerous salt basins (e.g., Paradox Basin, La Popa Basin, Spanish Pyrenees, Sivas Basin, Zagros Mountains, Kuqa Basin) contain no diapir-parallel shear zones and minimal thinning and fracturing caused by diapir rise. Even megaflaps, in which strata extend for kilometers up the sides

  4. Modeling of flow and mixing in 3D rough-walled rock fracture intersections (United States)

    Zou, Liangchao; Jing, Lanru; Cvetkovic, Vladimir


    The processes of fluid flow and solute transport through rock fractures are of primary importance in environmental engineering and geosciences. This study presented numerical modeling results of fluid flow and solute transport in a 3D rock fracture-matrix system with an orthogonal intersection of two rough-walled rock fractures. The rough-walled fracture geometry models were built from laser-scanned data of a real rock surface, for a realistic representation of natural rock fracture surface roughness. The fluid flow in the two intersected fractures and solute transport in the fracture-matrix system were simulated by solving the Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) and transport equation in the entire system. The dependence of mixing on Péclet number (Pe) and flow directionality features were analyzed. The results directly visualized important channeling flow patterns that significantly enhanced the solute mixing process at the rough-walled fracture intersection. The illustrated channeling flow and associated impacts on mixing are particularly important in the prediction of solute transport in natural fractured rocks, especially when discrete fracture network (DFN) approach is applied.

  5. Fracture Analysis of basement rock: A case example of the Eastern Part of the Peninsular Malaysia (United States)

    Shamsuddin, A.; Ghosh, D.


    In general, reservoir rocks can be defined into carbonates, tight elastics and basement rocks. Basement rocks came to be highlighted as their characteristics are quite complicated and remained as a significant challenge in exploration and production area. Motivation of this research is to solve the problem in some area in the Malay Basin which consist fractured basement reservoirs. Thus, in order to increase understanding about their characteristic, a study was conducted in the Eastern part of the Peninsular Malaysia. The study includes the main rock types that resemble the offshore rocks and analysis on the factors that give some effect on fracture characteristic that influence fracture systems and fracture networks. This study will allow better fracture prediction which will be beneficial for future hydrocarbon prediction in this region.

  6. Experimental and theoretical study of hydraulic fracturing in impermeable and permeable materials (United States)

    Rubin, M. B.


    Hydraulic fracture propagation in impermeable and permeable materials was studied. The complicating effects of fluid leak-off and proppant transport were separated by conducting experiments on an impermeable material without proppants, on a permeable material without proppants, and, finally, on the same permeable material with proppants. Borehole pressure, pressure in the fracture, fracture width, and fracture length were measured in both impermeable and permeable experiments. In addition, the extent of fluid penetration into the permeable material was measured in the permeable experiments. It was observed that both the borehole pressure and the pressure gradient in the fracture were considerably larger in the experiments with proppants than in the experiments without proppants. The results of the impermeable and permeable experiments were compared with the corresponding predictions of a solution developed here as well as those of other simple formulas for hydraulic fracture propagation. Although the predictions of the present solution are an improvement over those of the other simple solutions, future research is needed to reduce the discrepancy between theory and experiment. This discrepancy is attributed to the effect of fluid penetration on the fracture mechanics of the permeable medium.

  7. Massive hydraulic fracture mapping and characterization program. First annual report, August 1975--July 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCann, R.P.; Hay, R.G.; Bartel, L.C.


    The FY'76 major objectives of the Massive Hydraulic Fracture Mapping and Characterization Program were to assess the feasibility of the surface electrical potential and surface seismic systems to provide locational information on hydraulically created fracture systems. The surface electrical potential system has demonstrated the capability to provide information on fracture azimuthal orientation, asymmetry of fracture, and direction of major fracture wing. Assessment of the surface seismic technique for fracture characterization is not encouraging. During FY'76, Sandia participated in five MHF experiments for natural gas stimulation. Two of these were conducted by El Paso Natural Gas in the Green River Basin at Pinedale, Wyoming, and three were conducted by AMOCO in the Wattenberg field northeast of Denver, Colorado. Sandia supported all five experiments with the surface electrical potential system and three with surface seismic arrays. This report describes both fracture characterization techniques, provides an overview of the associated hardware and software development, and presents the results obtained from participation in the field tests.

  8. Techniques for determining subsurface stress direction and assessing hydraulic fracture azimuth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, R.E.; Peterson, R.E.; Warpinski, N.R.; Lorenz, J.C.; Teufel, L.W. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Aslakson, J.K.


    This reference paper reviews and describes 15 techniques for determining hydraulic fracture azimuth. The techniques described are categorized into core-based, borehole-based, near-wellbore, and regional geologic indicators that can be used to predict or measure hydraulic fracture azimuth. The core based methods include: (1) circumferential velocity anisotropy, (2) anelastic strain recovery, (3) differential strain curve analysis, (4) axial point load tests, (5) petrographic examination of microcracks, (6) overcoming of archived core, (7) drilling-induced fractures in core, and (8) direct observation of over-cored open-hole stress test fractures. The borehole based techniques include: (9) borehole breakouts, (10) borehole deformation, (11) borehole imaging of drilling induced fractures, and (12) directional gamma ray logging. The near-wellbore techniques provided data on the orientation of the fracture induced during an actual fracture treatment and include: (13) microseismic logging and (14) earth tilt surveys. Finally there are the geologic indicators (Method 15) including earthquake focal mechanisms, fault slip data, surface mapping of neotectonic joints, and volcanic vent alignment. These regional data have been compiled for the World Stress Mapping Project and many maps are available that can be used as a first approximation of stress direction. Experience has shown that the more techniques that can be used in a single well or field, the more reliable the result. The concept or theoretical basis for each technique as well as the benefits and limitations of the techniques are described.

  9. First successful multistage hydraulic fracture monitoring for a horizontal well in Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutierrez, Guillermo; Rios, Austreberto; Riano, Juan M. [PEMEX, Mexico, DF (Mexico); Sanchez, Adrian; Bustos, Tomas [Schlumberger, Mexico DF (Mexico)


    In their constant effort to increase the production from Chicontepec, PEMEX drilled a multilateral well with three horizontal lateral sections; the intention was to increase the production in comparison with vertical wells. In the second arm of this well four intervals were identified to be fractured, this was a new approach since it was the first occasion that multiple fractures were planned in a horizontal well. An important part of the project was the evaluation of the effectiveness of the hydraulic fracturing. This evaluation was performed by micro seismic monitoring during the treatment. This technology allows the detection of events generated during the fluid injection in the reservoir, with receivers located in a nearby monitoring well. The interpretation of this data allows the identification in 3 D space of the fracture locations. This information is valuable for optimization of subsequent treatments and for planning the field development. The data is recorded in real time and can be used to make decisions during the fracturing operation. In this paper we describe the results of the hydraulic fracturing monitoring performed in four intervals in a horizontal well showing the geometry and direction of each one of the fractures. (author)

  10. The analysis of pulse interference tests conducted in a fractured rock aquifer bounded by a moving free surface (United States)

    Elmhirst, Laura M.; Novakowski, Kentner S.


    An analytical model is presented for the analysis of pulse interference tests conducted in a fractured porous medium with connection to a free surface boundary at the water table. The solution is applicable to open borehole pulse interference tests due to the accommodation of multiple horizontal fractures intersecting each wellbore and a connection from the uppermost horizontal fracture via a network of vertical fractures to a free surface boundary. The solution is derived using the Laplace transform method and evaluation of the solution is performed by numerical inversion. Based on an informal analysis, the model is sensitive to transmissivity, storativity, specific storage, vertical hydraulic conductivity and particularly specific yield over a range of realistic values for these parameters. A field example is presented to illustrate the application of the model in the estimation of specific yield in fractured rock settings with relatively low vertical permeability. Although a reasonable model fit was obtained, application to an additional field example having only one fracture was unsatisfactory, and further study on uniqueness is warranted.

  11. Algal Treatment of Wastewater Generated during Oil and Gas Production Using Hydraulic Fracturing Technology. (United States)

    Lutzu, Giovanni Antonio; Dunford, Nurhan Turgut


    Hydraulic fracturing technology is widely used for recovering natural gas and oil from tight oil and gas reserves. Large volumes of wastewater, flowback water, are produced during the fracturing process. This study examines algal treatment of flowback water. Thirteen microalgae strains consisting of cyanobacteria and green algae were examined. Wastewater quality before and after algae treatment and volatile matter, fixed carbon and ash contents of the biomass grown in flowback water were examined. The experimental results demonstrated that microalgae can grow in flowback water. The chemical composition of the algal biomass produced in flowback water was strain specific. Over 65% total dissolved solids, 100% nitrate and over 95% boron reduction in flowback water could be achieved. Hence, algal treatment of flowback water can significantly reduce the adverse environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing technology and produce biomass that can be converted to bio-products.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David S. Schechter


    This report describes the work performed during the second year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in less efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, in this period we concentrated our effort on modeling the fluid flow in fracture surface, examining the fluid transfer mechanisms and describing the fracture aperture distribution under different overburden pressure using X-ray CT scanner.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David S. Schechter


    This report describes the work performed during the second year of the project, ''Investigating of Efficiency Improvements during CO{sub 2} Injection in Hydraulically and Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.'' The objective of this project is to perform unique laboratory experiments with artificial fractured cores (AFCs) and X-ray CT to examine the physical mechanisms of bypassing in HFR and NFR that eventually result in less efficient CO{sub 2} flooding in heterogeneous or fracture-dominated reservoirs. To achieve this objective, in this period we concentrated our effort on investigating the effect of CO{sub 2} injection rates in homogeneous and fractured cores on oil recovery and a strategy to mitigate CO{sub 2} bypassing in a fractured core.

  14. Physical and Hydraulic Properties of Rock Specimens from Grimsel Test Site, Switzerland (United States)

    Zhang, M.; Takeda, M.


    The Grimsel Test Site (GTS) is located at an altitude of 1730 meters in the granite rock of Aar Massif in central Switzerland. It lies at a depth of around 450 meters beneath the surface and was established over 20 years ago by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) as a center for underground Research and Development (R&D) supporting a wide range of related research projects. Among many of them, an international cooperative project defined as the Long Term Diffusion (LTD) has been performing to obtain quantitative information on matrix diffusion in rock strata under in-situ conditions. A set of laboratory experiments is also planed to determine the physical, hydraulic and diffusive transport properties of rock specimens taken from the same test site. In this poster, we present the preliminary results of both physical and hydraulic properties of the rock specimens being tested, including the bulk density, porosity, specific surface area and pore distribution, microstructure, P and S wave velocities, electrical resistivity, air and water permeabilities. The results obtained in this study indicate that: 1) The porosity and wave velocities of Grimsel granite are relatively low compared to the average values of igneous rocks indicating that micro-cracks can potentially exist within grain minerals. 2) The air and water permeabilities obtained from the air and water permeability tests are consistent that illustrates the accuracy of both experiments. 3) Permeability is not a simple function of effective confining pressure. It is very sensitive to confining pressure especially at low pressure levels. Besides, the permeability is hysteretic depending on confining pressure, pore pressure and stress history. 4) Similar to the hydraulic properties, diffusive transport properties of rock specimens can also be significantly affected by the confining pressure conditions. Laboratory diffusion tests considering the effects of stress conditions are

  15. Evidence for hydraulic fracturing at Gale crater, Mars: Implications for burial depth of the Yellowknife Bay formation (United States)

    Caswell, Tess E.; Milliken, Ralph E.


    NASA's Curiosity rover identified a formerly habitable environment within strata informally known as the Yellowknife Bay formation. The stratigraphic relationship, and thus depositional age, of these rocks relative to other geologic units in Gale crater is not clear from orbital data alone. If part of lower Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mount Sharp), the Yellowknife Bay rocks have been deeply buried and exhumed prior to 3.2-3.3 Ga. If part of younger alluvial fan deposits, however, they likely have never experienced more than ∼100 m of burial. Knowledge of burial history can thus constrain the stratigraphic placement of Yellowknife Bay and the habitable environment preserved therein. The mechanics of natural hydraulic fractures observed in mudstone at YKB allow us to evaluate its burial history and imply a minimum burial depth of 1.2 km. This is consistent with burial by the entirety of lower Mount Sharp and a depositional age of ∼ 3.6- 3.8 Ga, providing observation-based evidence that Mount Sharp was once much more laterally extensive than its present form. Rocks of the Yellowknife Bay formation thus represent the oldest strata that Curiosity will encounter during its journey in Gale crater, and any additional habitable environments discovered along Curiosity's future path represent conditions at younger times.

  16. Method development for determining the hydraulic conductivity of fractured porous media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dixon, Kenneth L. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)


    Plausible, but unvalidated, theoretical model constructs for unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of fractured porous media are currently used in Performance Assessment (PA) modeling for cracked saltstone and concrete (Flach 2011). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has expressed concern about the lack of model support for these assumed Moisture Characteristic Curves (MCC) data, as noted in Requests for Additional Information (RAIs) PA-8 and SP-4 (Savannah River Remediation, LLC, 2011). The objective of this task was to advance PA model support by developing an experimental method for determining the hydraulic conductivity of fractured cementitious materials under unsaturated conditions, and to demonstrate the technique on fractured saltstone samples. The task was requested through Task Technical Request (TTR) HLW-SSF-TTR-2012-0016 and conducted in accordance with Task Technical & Quality Assurance Plan (TTQAP) SRNL-TR-2012-00090. Preliminary method development previously conducted by Kohn et al. (2012) identified transient outflow extraction as the most promising method for characterizing the unsaturated properties of fractured porous media. While the research conducted by Kohn et al. (2012) focused on fractured media analogs such as stacked glass slides, the current task focused directly on fractured saltstone. For this task, four sample types with differing fracture geometries were considered: 1) intact saltstone, 2) intact saltstone with a single saw cut, smooth surface fracture, 3) micro-fractured saltstone (induced by oven drying), and 4) micro-fractured saltstone with a single, fully-penetrating, rough-surface fracture. Each sample type was tested initially for saturated hydraulic conductivity following method ASTM D 5084 using a flexible wall permeameter. Samples were subsequently tested using the transient outflow extraction method to determine cumulative outflow as a function of time and applied pressure. Of the four sample types tested, two yielded

  17. Hydrophobic Organic Compounds in Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Waters: Identification and Source Apportionment (United States)

    Plata, D.; Shregglman, K.; Elsner, M.; Getzinger, G.; Ferguson, L.; Drollette, B.; Karatum, O.; Nelson, R. K.; Reddy, C. M.


    Current hydraulic fracturing technologies rely on organic chemicals to serve multiple critical functions, including corrosion inhibition, in situ gel formation, and friction reduction. While industrial users have disclosed several hundreds of compound and mixture identities, it is unclear which of these are used and where, in what proportion, and with what frequency. Furthermore, while flowback and production waters contain both fracturing additive and geogenic compounds, they may contain potential reaction byproducts as well. Here, we identified several hundred organic compounds present in six hydraulic fracturing flowback waters over the Fayetteville shale. Identifications were made via non-target analysis using two-dimensional gas chromatography with time of flight mass spectrometry for hydrophobic organic compounds and liquid chromatography- orbitrap mass spectrometry. Compound identities were confirmed using purchased standards when available. Using the SkyTruth database and the Waxman list of disclosed compounds, we assigned compounds as either fracturing-fluid-derived or geogenic (or both), or a putative transformation products thereof. Several unreported halogenated compounds were detected, including chlorinated, brominated, and iodated species that have no known natural sources. Control studies indicated that these could not be formed under typical laboratory or field storage conditions, suggesting that halogenation reactions may give rise to novel compounds in the subsurface, presumably via reaction between fracturing fluid additives and shale-derived brines. Further, the six samples were strikingly heterogeneous, reflecting the diversity in fracturing fluid composition and flowback handling procedures at the time of the study.

  18. Numerical Investigation of Influence of In-Situ Stress Ratio, Injection Rate and Fluid Viscosity on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation Using a Distinct Element Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Zhang


    Full Text Available Numerical simulation is very useful for understanding the hydraulic fracturing mechanism. In this paper, we simulate the hydraulic fracturing using the distinct element approach, to investigate the effect of some critical parameters on hydraulic fracturing characteristics. The breakdown pressure obtained by the distinct element approach is consistent with the analytical solution. This indicates that the distinct element approach is feasible on modeling the hydraulic fracturing. We independently examine the influence of in-situ stress ratio, injection rate and fluid viscosity on hydraulic fracturing. We further emphasize the relationship between these three factors and their contributions to the hydraulic fracturing. With the increase of stress ratio, the fracture aperture increases almost linearly; with the increase of injection rate and fluid viscosity, the fracture aperture and breakdown pressure increase obviously. A low value of product of injection rate and fluid viscosity (i.e., Qμ will lead to narrow fracture aperture, low breakdown pressure, and complex or dispersional hydraulic fractures. A high value of Qμ would lead wide fracture aperture, high breakdown pressure, and simple hydraulic fractures (e.g., straight or wing shape. With low viscosity fluid, the hydraulic fracture geometry is not sensitive to stress ratio, and thus becomes a complex fracture network.

  19. Quantitative Stress Determination by Wire-line Hydraulic Fracturing Tests in the ANDRILL South McMurdo Sound Drillhole (United States)

    Schmitt, D. R.; Wilson, T. J.; Pierdominici, S.; Jarrard, R. D.; Paulsen, T. S.; Wonik, T.; Handwerger, D.


    In general, knowledge of the state of stress within the Antarctic lithosphere remains largely unconstrained due in part to Antarctica's inaccessibility and because of the paucity of seismic focal mechanism solutions. As such, an important component of the ANDRILL project was to acquire new information on the stress directions and magnitudes within the upper crust. Extensive fracture mapping of the core and oriented ultrasonic televiewer logging, as presented in a related contribution, provided strong constraints on both stress orientations and the faulting regime. The first hydraulic fracturing stress determinations in Antarctica were also carried out to provide complimentary stress magnitudes. These measurements were accomplished using a wireline transported hydraulic fracturing system consisting, essentially, of two synthetic polymer packers that were inflated to isolate the 1-m long pressurization interval. The tests were conducted at the end of the drilling and logging in a ~130-m section specially drilled below 1000 mbsf for hydraulic fractures. This zone was drilled primarily through competent, dense, and low permeability diamicts. The core fracture and televiewer logging information was used to site twenty separate measurements. Classic hydraulic fracturing pressurization records with unambiguous breakdown and fracture closure pressures were obtained in about half of the measurements. The remaining tests provided fracture propagation and closure pressures that are consistent with the classic breakdown curves, but they did not include a clear breakdown pressure and are indicative of the reopening of either natural or drilling induced fractures in the wellbore wall. Comparison of the televiewer images obtained before and after the hydraulic fracturing tests highlighted the existence of at least one artificial hydraulic fracture; more could not be obtained because blockage of the wellbore did not allow the lowest sections to be logged a second time. The

  20. Identification of Hydraulic Fracture Orientation from Ground Surface Using the Seismic Moment Tensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Birialtcev


    Full Text Available Microseismic monitoring from ground surface is applied in the development of hard-to-recover reserves, especially in the process of hydraulic fracturing (HF. This paper compares several methods of HF microseismic monitoring from the surface, including diffraction stacking, time reverse modeling, and spectral methods. In (Aki and Richards, 1980 it is shown that signal enhancement from seismic events under correlated noises significantly improves when applying the maximum likelihood method. The maximum likelihood method allows to exclude influence of the correlated noise, and also to estimate the seismic moment tensor from ground surface. Estimation of the seismic moment tensor allows to detect type and orientation of source. Usually, the following source types are identified: “Explosion Point” (EXP, “Tensile Crack” (TC, “Double-Couple” (DC and “Compensated Linear Vector Dipole” (CLVD. The orientation of the hydraulic fracture can be estimated even when there is no obvious asymmetry of the spatial distribution of the cloud of events. The features of full-wave location technology are presented. The paper also reviews an example of microseismic monitoring of hydraulic fracturing when there is no obvious asymmetry of microseismic activity cloud, but due to the estimation of the seismic moment tensor it becomes possible to identify with confidence the dominant direction of the fracture.

  1. Comparison of Surface Properties in Natural and Artificially Generated Fractures in a Crystalline Rock (United States)

    Vogler, Daniel; Walsh, Stuart D. C.; Bayer, Peter; Amann, Florian


    This work studies the roughness characteristics of fracture surfaces from a crystalline rock by analyzing differences in surface roughness between fractures of various types and sizes. We compare the surface properties of natural fractures sampled in situ and artificial (i.e., man-made) fractures created in the same source rock under laboratory conditions. The topography of the various fracture types is compared and characterized using a range of different measures of surface roughness. Both natural and artificial, and tensile and shear fractures are considered, along with the effects of specimen size on both the geometry of the fracture and its surface characterization. The analysis shows that fracture characteristics are substantially different between natural shear and artificial tensile fractures, while natural tensile fracture often spans the whole result domain of the two other fracture types. Specimen size effects are also evident, not only as scale sensitivity in the roughness metrics, but also as a by-product of the physical processes used to generate the fractures. Results from fractures generated with Brazilian tests show that fracture roughness at small scales differentiates fractures from different specimen sizes and stresses at failure.

  2. Thermal drawdown and recovery of singly and multiply fractured hot dry rock reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wunder, R.; Murphy, H.


    To calculate heat extraction and thermal recovery in hot dry rock geothermal reservoirs, a computer code was written to solve the differential equations for rock-water heat conduction and convection by finite differences. Temperature versus time functions for multiple fractures separated by various spacings are presented in dimensional and in nondimensional plots. The results were specialized for the limiting case of a single fracture in unbounded rock and for the other limiting case where the rock is so extensively fractured that thermal breakthrough phenomena can occur. Fracture temperatures were calculated during the thermal recovery following various extraction periods. For the single-fracture case these temperature recoveries could, with slight approximation, be represented as a single curve depending only upon the ratio of the total elapsed time and the extraction time.

  3. Investigation of hydraulic fracture re-orientation effects in tight gas reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagemann, B.; Wegner, J.; Ganzer, L. [Technische Univ. Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Germany). ITE


    In tight gas formations where the low matrix permeability prevents successful and economic production rates, hydraulic fracturing is required to produce a well at economic rates. The initial fracture opens in the direction of minimum stress and propagates into the direction of maximum stress. As production from the well and its initial fracture declines, re-fracturing treatments are required to accelerate recovery. The orientation of the following hydraulic fracture depends on the actual stress-state of the formation in the vicinity of the wellbore. Previous investigations by Elbel and Mack (1993) demonstrated that the stress alters during depletion and a stress reversal region appears. This behavior causes a different fracture orientation of the re-fracturing operation. For the investigation of re-fracture orientation a two-dimensional reservoir model has been designed using COMSOL Multiphysics. The model represents a fractured vertical well in a tight gas reservoir of infinite thickness. A time dependent study was set up to simulate the reservoir depletion by the production from the fractured well. The theory of poroelasticity was used to couple the fluid flow and geo-mechanical behavior. The stress state is initially defined as uniform and the attention is concentrated to the alteration of stress due to the lowered pore pressure. Different cases with anisotropic and heterogeneous permeability are set up to determine its significance. The simulation shows that an elliptical shaped drainage area appears around the fracture. The poroelastic behavior effects that the stress re-orientates and a stress reversal region originates, if the difference between minimum and maximum horizontal stresses is small. The consideration of time indicates that the dimension of the region initially extends fast until it reaches its maximum. Subsequently, the stress reversal region's extent shrinks slowly until it finally disappears. The reservoir characteristics, e.g. the

  4. Reliable yields of public water-supply wells in the fractured-rock aquifers of central Maryland, USA (United States)

    Hammond, Patrick A.


    Most studies of fractured-rock aquifers are about analytical models used for evaluating aquifer tests or numerical methods for describing groundwater flow, but there have been few investigations on how to estimate the reliable long-term drought yields of individual hard-rock wells. During the drought period of 1998 to 2002, many municipal water suppliers in the Piedmont/Blue Ridge areas of central Maryland (USA) had to institute water restrictions due to declining well yields. Previous estimates of the yields of those wells were commonly based on extrapolating drawdowns, measured during short-term single-well hydraulic pumping tests, to the first primary water-bearing fracture in a well. The extrapolations were often made from pseudo-equilibrium phases, frequently resulting in substantially over-estimated well yields. The methods developed in the present study to predict yields consist of extrapolating drawdown data from infinite acting radial flow periods or by fitting type curves of other conceptual models to the data, using diagnostic plots, inverse analysis and derivative analysis. Available drawdowns were determined by the positions of transition zones in crystalline rocks or thin-bedded consolidated sandstone/limestone layers (reservoir rocks). Aquifer dewatering effects were detected by type-curve matching of step-test data or by breaks in the drawdown curves constructed from hydraulic tests. Operational data were then used to confirm the predicted yields and compared to regional groundwater levels to determine seasonal variations in well yields. Such well yield estimates are needed by hydrogeologists and water engineers for the engineering design of water systems, but should be verified by the collection of long-term monitoring data.

  5. Reliable yields of public water-supply wells in the fractured-rock aquifers of central Maryland, USA (United States)

    Hammond, Patrick A.


    Most studies of fractured-rock aquifers are about analytical models used for evaluating aquifer tests or numerical methods for describing groundwater flow, but there have been few investigations on how to estimate the reliable long-term drought yields of individual hard-rock wells. During the drought period of 1998 to 2002, many municipal water suppliers in the Piedmont/Blue Ridge areas of central Maryland (USA) had to institute water restrictions due to declining well yields. Previous estimates of the yields of those wells were commonly based on extrapolating drawdowns, measured during short-term single-well hydraulic pumping tests, to the first primary water-bearing fracture in a well. The extrapolations were often made from pseudo-equilibrium phases, frequently resulting in substantially over-estimated well yields. The methods developed in the present study to predict yields consist of extrapolating drawdown data from infinite acting radial flow periods or by fitting type curves of other conceptual models to the data, using diagnostic plots, inverse analysis and derivative analysis. Available drawdowns were determined by the positions of transition zones in crystalline rocks or thin-bedded consolidated sandstone/limestone layers (reservoir rocks). Aquifer dewatering effects were detected by type-curve matching of step-test data or by breaks in the drawdown curves constructed from hydraulic tests. Operational data were then used to confirm the predicted yields and compared to regional groundwater levels to determine seasonal variations in well yields. Such well yield estimates are needed by hydrogeologists and water engineers for the engineering design of water systems, but should be verified by the collection of long-term monitoring data.

  6. Hydro-mechanical coupled simulation of hydraulic fracturing using the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) (United States)

    Youn, Dong Joon

    This thesis presents the development and validation of an advanced hydro-mechanical coupled finite element program analyzing hydraulic fracture propagation within unconventional hydrocarbon formations under various conditions. The realistic modeling of hydraulic fracturing is necessarily required to improve the understanding and efficiency of the stimulation technique. Such modeling remains highly challenging, however, due to factors including the complexity of fracture propagation mechanisms, the coupled behavior of fracture displacement and fluid pressure, the interactions between pre-existing natural and initiated hydraulic fractures and the formation heterogeneity of the target reservoir. In this research, an eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) scheme is developed allowing for representation of single or multiple fracture propagations without any need for re-meshing. Also, the coupled flows through the fracture are considered in the program to account for their influence on stresses and deformations along the hydraulic fracture. In this research, a sequential coupling scheme is applied to estimate fracture aperture and fluid pressure with the XFEM. Later, the coupled XFEM program is used to estimate wellbore bottomhole pressure during fracture propagation, and the pressure variations are analyzed to determine the geometry and performance of the hydraulic fracturing as pressure leak-off test. Finally, material heterogeneity is included into the XFEM program to check the effect of random formation property distributions to the hydraulic fracture geometry. Random field theory is used to create the random realization of the material heterogeneity with the consideration of mean, standard deviation, and property correlation length. These analyses lead to probabilistic information on the response of unconventional reservoirs and offer a more scientific approach regarding risk management for the unconventional reservoir stimulation. The new stochastic approach


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gary Mavko


    This project consists of three key interrelated Phases, each focusing on the central issue of imaging and quantifying fractured reservoirs, through improved integration of the principles of rock physics, geology, and seismic wave propagation. This report summarizes the results of Phase I of the project. The key to successful development of low permeability reservoirs lies in reliably characterizing fractures. Fractures play a crucial role in controlling almost all of the fluid transport in tight reservoirs. Current seismic methods to characterize fractures depend on various anisotropic wave propagation signatures that can arise from aligned fractures. We are pursuing an integrated study that relates to high-resolution seismic images of natural fractures to the rock parameters that control the storage and mobility of fluids. Our goal is to go beyond the current state-of-the art to develop and demonstrate next generation methodologies for detecting and quantitatively characterizing fracture zones using seismic measurements. Our study incorporates 3 key elements: (1) Theoretical rock physics studies of the anisotropic viscoelastic signatures of fractured rocks, including up scaling analysis and rock-fluid interactions to define the factors relating fractures in the lab and in the field. (2) Modeling of optimal seismic attributes, including offset and azimuth dependence of travel time, amplitude, impedance and spectral signatures of anisotropic fractured rocks. We will quantify the information content of combinations of seismic attributes, and the impact of multi-attribute analyses in reducing uncertainty in fracture interpretations. (3) Integration and interpretation of seismic, well log, and laboratory data, incorporating field geologic fracture characterization and the theoretical results of items 1 and 2 above. The focal point for this project is the demonstration of these methodologies in the Marathon Oil Company Yates Field in West Texas.

  8. Experience in North America Tight Oil Reserves Development. Horizontal Wells and Multistage Hydraulic Fracturing

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    R.R. Ibatullin


    Full Text Available The accelerated development of horizontal drilling technology in combination with the multistage hydraulic fracturing of the reservoir has expanded the geological conditions for commercial oil production from tight reservoirs in North America. Geological and physical characteristics of tight reservoirs in North America are presented, as well as a comparison of the geological and physical properties of the reservoirs of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the Volga-Ural oil and gas province, in particular, in the territory of Tatarstan. The similarity of these basins is shown in terms of formation and deposition. New drilling technologies for horizontal wells (HW and multistage hydraulic fracturing are considered. The drilling in tight reservoirs is carried out exclusively on hydrocarbon-based muds The multi-stage fracturing technology with the use of sliding sleeves, and also slick water – a low-viscous carrier for proppant is the most effective solution for conditions similar to tight reservoirs in the Devonian formation of Tatarstan. Tax incentives which are actively used for the development of HW and multistage fracturing technologies in Canada are described. wells, multistage fracturing

  9. Microbial community changes in hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water from shale gas extraction. (United States)

    Murali Mohan, Arvind; Hartsock, Angela; Bibby, Kyle J; Hammack, Richard W; Vidic, Radisav D; Gregory, Kelvin B


    Microbial communities associated with produced water from hydraulic fracturing are not well understood, and their deleterious activity can lead to significant increases in production costs and adverse environmental impacts. In this study, we compared the microbial ecology in prefracturing fluids (fracturing source water and fracturing fluid) and produced water at multiple time points from a natural gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania using 16S rRNA gene-based clone libraries, pyrosequencing, and quantitative PCR. The majority of the bacterial community in prefracturing fluids constituted aerobic species affiliated with the class Alphaproteobacteria. However, their relative abundance decreased in produced water with an increase in halotolerant, anaerobic/facultative anaerobic species affiliated with the classes Clostridia, Bacilli, Gammaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria, Bacteroidia, and Fusobacteria. Produced water collected at the last time point (day 187) consisted almost entirely of sequences similar to Clostridia and showed a decrease in bacterial abundance by 3 orders of magnitude compared to the prefracturing fluids and produced water samplesfrom earlier time points. Geochemical analysis showed that produced water contained higher concentrations of salts and total radioactivity compared to prefracturing fluids. This study provides evidence of long-term subsurface selection of the microbial community introduced through hydraulic fracturing, which may include significant implications for disinfection as well as reuse of produced water in future fracturing operations.

  10. Numerical analysis of the performance of rock weirs: Effects of structure configuration on local hydraulics (United States)

    Holmquist-Johnson, C. L.


    River spanning rock structures are being constructed for water delivery as well as to enable fish passage at barriers and provide or improve the aquatic habitat for endangered fish species. Current design methods are based upon anecdotal information applicable to a narrow range of channel conditions. The complex flow patterns and performance of rock weirs is not well understood. Without accurate understanding of their hydraulics, designers cannot address the failure mechanisms of these structures. Flow characteristics such as jets, near bed velocities, recirculation, eddies, and plunging flow govern scour pool development. These detailed flow patterns can be replicated using a 3D numerical model. Numerical studies inexpensively simulate a large number of cases resulting in an increased range of applicability in order to develop design tools and predictive capability for analysis and design. The analysis and results of the numerical modeling, laboratory modeling, and field data provide a process-based method for understanding how structure geometry affects flow characteristics, scour development, fish passage, water delivery, and overall structure stability. Results of the numerical modeling allow designers to utilize results of the analysis to determine the appropriate geometry for generating desirable flow parameters. The end product of this research will develop tools and guidelines for more robust structure design or retrofits based upon predictable engineering and hydraulic performance criteria. ?? 2009 ASCE.

  11. Response to 'Word choice as political speech': Hydraulic fracturing is a partisan issue. (United States)

    Hopke, Jill E; Simis, Molly


    In 2015, Hopke & Simis published an analysis of social media discourse around hydraulic fracturing. Grubert (2016) offered a commentary on the research, highlighting the politicization of terminology used in the discourse on this topic. The present article is a response to Grubert (2016)'s commentary, in which we elaborate on the distinctions between terminology used in social media discourse around hydraulic fracturing (namely, 'frack,' 'fracking,' 'frac,' and 'fracing'). Additionally preliminary analysis supports the claim that industry-preferred terminology is severely limited in its reach. When industry actors opt-out of the discourse, the conversation followed by the majority of lay audiences is dominated by activists. exacerbating the political schism on the issue. © The Author(s) 2016.

  12. Geophysical demonstration of the absence of correlation between lineaments and hydrogeologically usefull fractures: Case study of the Sanon hard rock aquifer (central northern Burkina Faso) (United States)

    Soro, Donissongou Dimitri; Koïta, Mahamadou; Biaou, Chabi Angelbert; Outoumbe, Eli; Vouillamoz, Jean-Michel; Yacouba, Hamma; Guérin, Roger


    The conceptualization of hard rock aquifers in terms of their geometry and structure has undergone considerable progress over the last two decades. Despite these advances, hydrogeologists are still divided by the models used to describe two central concepts: (i) the influence of weathering processes on hydraulic conductivity; (ii) the influence of tectonics on the hydraulic conductivity of hard rock aquifers. In order to provide further insight into this debate, the present study proposes a conceptual model for hard rock aquifers, based on an integrated hydrogeological and geophysical approach, using information acquired at different scales. The data and observations used for this case study were derived from the Sanon experimental site, located in Burkina Faso, which is presently exposed to a Sudano-Sahelian climate. The methodological approach consisted firstly in developing a description of the site's weathering profile at the scale of a borehole, based on lithologs and electrical resistivity logs. In a second step, the site's ridge to ridge (longitudinal) weathering profile was established from several 2D resistivity sections crossing a maximum number of lineament structures, which in some prior studies were considered to be the superficial manifestation of tectonic fractures. The results show that at that scale the weathering profile is comprised of three main layers, which from top to bottom are referred to as: the saprolite, the fissured layer and the fresh rock. This weathering profile model is consistent with other models proposed in recent years, suggesting that the hydraulic conductivity of hard rock aquifers is a consequence of weathering processes, rather than tectonic fracturing. Tectonic fractures are not visible on the 2D sections of the ridge to ridge profiles, and the lineaments originally thought to be overground representations of tectonic fractures are likely to have different origins. The lack of a substantial correlation between tectonic

  13. Computational Modelling of Fracture Propagation in Rocks Using a Coupled Elastic-Plasticity-Damage Model

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    Isa Kolo


    Full Text Available A coupled elastic-plasticity-damage constitutive model, AK Model, is applied to predict fracture propagation in rocks. The quasi-brittle material model captures anisotropic effects and the distinct behavior of rocks in tension and compression. Calibration of the constitutive model is realized using experimental data for Carrara marble. Through the Weibull distribution function, heterogeneity effect is captured by spatially varying the elastic properties of the rock. Favorable comparison between model predictions and experiments for single-flawed specimens reveal that the AK Model is reliable and accurate for modelling fracture propagation in rocks.

  14. Determining the REV for Fracture Rock Mass Based on Seepage Theory

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    Lili Zhang


    Full Text Available Seepage problems of the fractured rock mass have always been a heated topic within hydrogeology and engineering geology. The equivalent porous medium model method is the main method in the study of the seepage of the fractured rock mass and its engineering application. The key to the method is to determine a representative elementary volume (REV. The FractureToKarst software, that is, discrete element software, is a main analysis tool in this paper and developed by a number of authors. According to the standard of rock classification established by ISRM, this paper aims to discuss the existence and the size of REV of fractured rock masses with medium tractility and provide a general method to determine the existence of REV. It can be gleaned from the study that the existence condition of fractured rock mass with medium tractility features average fracture spacing smaller than 0.6 m. If average fracture spacing is larger than 0.6 m, there is no existence of REV. The rationality of the model is verified by a case study. The present research provides a method for the simulation of seepage field in fissured rocks.

  15. Regulation Of Hydraulic Fracturing In South Africa: A Project Life-Cycle Approach?

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