53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium,
New York City, New York
2019. American Rock Mechanics Association
3 in the last 30 days
128 since 2007
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ABSTRACT: Measuring proppant settling velocity in high viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) plays a critical key for evaluating proppant transport in hydraulic fracture treatment. Settling of particles is governed by several factors such as fluid rheology (viscosity and elasticity), proppant size, retardation confining walls effect, and fracture orientation. The objective of this experimental study was to determine how these factors would influence particle settling velocity in hydraulic fracturing applications. The experiments were conducted in unconfined and confined fluid conditions. Fracture cell was designed in certain ways to capture the impact of fracture orientation by 45°, 60°, and 90° on settling velocity. Results showed HVFR provided better proppant transport capability than regular FRs used in slickwater. Proppant settling velocity using HVFR was decreased by 80%. Results obtained from confined fluid experiments showed that proppant settling velocity decreased due to the confining walls exert retardation impact. The wall retardation was also reduced as the fracture width increased. Changing fracture orientation from vertical position (90 degree) to 45 degree led to high reduction in proppant settling velocity.
The free settling velocity of solid particles in different fluid media is generally encountered in a wide variety of industrial processes. Understanding particles behavior and particles settling plays a vital role in optimizing design and operation in various industrial applications including proppant transport in hydraulic fracturing, gas flow through pipe lines, and cutting transport during drilling operations. Increasing the efficiency of proppant transport distribution in hydraulic fracture treatment is required and relies on the knowledge of settling velocity of the particles. Settling of particles is governed by several factors such as fluid rheology (elasticity and viscosity), proppant size, retardation confining walls effect, and fracture orientation. Since quantifying the relationship between drag coefficient and Reynolds’ number of particles is the most significant to know, it is required to get the values of the particles settling velocity. Settling velocity at higher Reynolds numbers has been studied extensively and expressed for the calculation of drag force (Clift et al., 1978; Khan and Richardson, 1987; Zapryanov and Tabakova, 1999; Michaelides, 2002, 2003).
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