A Theoretical Study of Acid-Fracture Conductivity Under Closure Stress
- Jiayao Deng (Texas A&M University) | Alfred D. Hill (Texas A&M University) | Ding Zhu (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 9 - 17
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 3.2.4 Acidising
- Fracture Closure, Acid Fracture, Fracture Conductivity
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 926 since 2007
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The conductivity of acid-etched fractures depends on spaces along the fracture created by uneven etching of the fracture walls remaining open after fracture closure. In this study, we have modeled the deformation of the irregular fracture surfaces created by acid etching and the resulting fracture conductivity as closure stress is applied to the fracture.
In our previous work, we modeled the dissolution of the fracture surfaces in a formation having small-scale heterogeneities in both permeability and mineralogy. This model yielded the geometry of the etched fracture at zero closure stress. Beginning with this profile of fracture width, we have modeled the deformation of the fracture surfaces as closure stress is applied to the fracture. At any cross section along the fracture, we approximate the fracture shape as being a series of elliptical openings. Assuming elastic behavior of the rock, we calculate how many elliptical gaps remain open and their sizes as a function of the applied stress. The sections of the fracture that are closed are assigned a conductivity because of small-scale roughness features using a correlation obtained from laboratory measurements of acid-fracture conductivity as a function of closure stress. The overall conductivity of the fracture is then obtained by numerically modeling the flow through this heterogeneous system.
Our previous work shows that high fracture conductivity can be created in acid fracturing if heterogeneity of the rock leads to the formation of channels along the fracture surfaces. In this study, we have determined how the channels in acid fracturing remain open as closure stress is applied. This model predicts the rock characteristics that are necessary for acid-fracture conductivity to be sustainable under high closure stress.
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