A visual experimental study on proppants transport in rough vertical fractures

Hai Huang, Tayfun Babadagli, Huazhou Li*, Kayhan Develi, Desheng Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The roughness of fractures may play an important role in affecting the migration and placement of proppants during hydraulic fracturing operations. A series of proppant flow experiments were conducted in attempt to compare the proppant transport mechanisms in rough fractures against those in smooth fractures. We examine the migration of proppants in rough and vertical fractures and then quantitatively reveal the effect of roughness on the instantaneous proppants transport and final proppants placement. The proppants-transport behavior in the rough and vertical fractures was observed to be totally different from that in the smooth and vertical fractures. The proppants in a rough vertical fracture do not progress like the regular sand bank that commonly occurs in the smooth fracture, but rather as an irregular-shape sand cluster with fractal characteristics. In the rough and vertical fracture, the phenomenon of proppants bridging is visually observed. The roughness of the fracture model not only affects how much of the fracture area is being occupied by the proppants, but also affects how tightly the proppants fill up the fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104446
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Volume134
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Funding

This research was conducted under T. Babadagli's NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery (industrial partners are APEX Eng., Devon, Husky Energy, Petroleum Development Oman, Saudi Aramco, SIGNa Oilfield Canada, Total E&P Recherché Développement) and NSERC Discovery Grants (No: RES0011227 and NS PIN 05394 ) to T. Babadagli and H. Li, respectively. H. Huang is also grateful for the financial supports provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51874240 , No. 51874242 ), the Key Research and Development Plan of Shannxi Province (No. 2020KW-027 ), as well as the Xi'an Shiyou University for supporting his stay at the University of Alberta. Also, K. Develi is thankful to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) for his postdoctoral scholarship at University of Alberta through the BIDEP program. We gratefully acknowledge these supports. The authors also thank Mr. Gongjue Wei for the assistance in analyzing the experimental data. This manuscript is a revised version of the conference papers SPE 187520 34 and SPE 189892. 35 More experimental data and analysis have been added into the conference version. This research was conducted under T. Babadagli's NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery (industrial partners are APEX Eng. Devon, Husky Energy, Petroleum Development Oman, Saudi Aramco, SIGNa Oilfield Canada, Total E&P Recherch? D?veloppement) and NSERC Discovery Grants (No: RES0011227 and NSPIN 05394) to T. Babadagli and H. Li, respectively. H. Huang is also grateful for the financial supports provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51874240, No. 51874242), the Key Research and Development Plan of Shannxi Province (No. 2020KW-027), as well as the Xi'an Shiyou University for supporting his stay at the University of Alberta. Also, K. Develi is thankful to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (T?B?TAK) for his postdoctoral scholarship at University of Alberta through the BIDEP program. We gratefully acknowledge these supports. The authors also thank Mr. Gongjue Wei for the assistance in analyzing the experimental data. This manuscript is a revised version of the conference papers SPE 18752034 and SPE 189892.35 More experimental data and analysis have been added into the conference version.

FundersFunder number
Husky Energy, Petroleum Development Oman
Key Research and Development Plan of Shannxi Province
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
University of Alberta
National Natural Science Foundation of China51874242, 51874240
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu18752034
Saudi AramcoRES0011227, NS PIN 05394
Xi'an Shiyou University
Shanxi Provincial Key Research and Development Project2020KW-027

    Keywords

    • Hydraulic fracturing
    • Proppant transport
    • Rough fracture
    • Roughness effect
    • Visualization study

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'A visual experimental study on proppants transport in rough vertical fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this