Hydraulic fracture conductivity: effects of rod-shaped proppant from lattice-Boltzmann simulations and lab tests

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this study is to evaluate the conductivity of random close packings of non-spherical, rod-shaped proppant particles under the closure stress using numerical simulation and lab tests, with application to the conductivity of hydraulic fractures created in subterranean formation to stimulate production from oil and gas reservoirs. Numerical simulations of a steady viscous flow through proppant packs are carried out using the lattice Boltzmann method for the Darcy flow regime. The particle packings were generated numerically using the sequential deposition method. The simulations are conducted for packings of spheres, ellipsoids, cylinders, and mixtures of spheres with cylinders at various volumetric concentrations. It is demonstrated that cylinders provide the highest permeability among the proppants studied. The dependence of the nondimensional permeability (scaled by the equivalent particle radius squared) on porosity obtained numerically is well approximated by the power-law function: K/Rv2=0.204ϕ4.58 in a wide range of porosity: 0.3 ≤ ϕ ≤ 0.7. Lattice-Boltzmann simulations are cross-verified against finite-volume simulations using Navier–Stokes equations for inertial flow regime. Correlations for the normalized beta-factor as a function of porosity and normalized permeability are presented as well. These formulae are in a good agreement with the experimental measurements (including packings of rod-shaped particles) and existing laboratory data, available in the porosity range 0.3 ≤ ϕ ≤ 0.5. Comparison with correlations by other authors is also given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conductivity test
  • Digital core
  • Digital fracture conductivity
  • Digital rock
  • Flow
  • Granular pack
  • Lattice-Boltzmann method
  • Permeability
  • Porous medium

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