Evaluation of the proppant-pack permeability in fiber-assisted hydraulic fracturing treatments for low-permeability formations

M. N. Bulova, A. N. Cheremisin, K. E. Nosova, J. T. Lassek, D. Willberg

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To achieve maximum production, tight-gas formations require long fractures with contained height growth. This can be achieved by using low viscosity fracturing fluids. Decrease in fluid viscosity typically leads to an increase of proppant settling rate which results in non-uniform proppant placement and reduced effective fracture conductivity. Low-density proppants can offset this effect in low-viscosity fluid, but due to their low strength can be applied only at low closure stresses and relatively low temperatures. A new fluid system was developed especially for fracturing low-permeability formations (less than 0.01 mD). This system allows for high-strength high-density ceramic proppant to be used with reduced polymer loading and significantly decreased proppant settling rates. All these benefits are the result of adding fibers into a fluid system which create a network, helping to suspend proppant during its transport and placement into a fracture. Laboratory studies were performed to determine the fiber's influence on long-term proppant-pack permeabilities. Retained conductivities of ceramic and sand proppant packs over the 175-250°F temperature range were measured under various loadings and closure stress ranges. Testing has shown permeability values of the fiber-laden systems are comparable with the values for fiber-free proppant packs. A parallel study was performed on evaluating proppant settling rates in fiber-laden fluids in static conditions. Fiber in a fracturing fluid system reduces the rate of proppant settling by greater than three-fold. Special attention is paid to a proper proppant selection for hydraulic fracturing. Improper proppant selection can cause significant damage of proppant pack conductivity and minimize benefits of the fluid system. The results prove that the innovative fiber fluid ensures uniform proppant placement within a long fracture because of fiber presence, provides conductivity comparable to pure proppant pack values, and do not have any limitations at high closure stresses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages395-399
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 SPE Gas Technology Symposium: Mature Fields to New Frontiers - Calgary, AB, Canada
Duration: 15 May 200618 May 2006

Conference

Conference2006 SPE Gas Technology Symposium: Mature Fields to New Frontiers
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityCalgary, AB
Period15/05/0618/05/06

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