Experimental Investigation on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation of Carbonate Rocks under Different Fracturing Fluids
Deep carbonate reservoirs are rich in oil and gas resources. However, due to poor pore connectivity and low permeability, it is necessary to adopt hydraulic fracturing technology for their development. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing for fracture initiation and propagation in carbonate rocks remains unclear, especially with regard to selection of the type of fracturing fluid and the fracturing parameters. In this article, an experimental study focusing on the mechanisms of hydraulic
... of hydraulic fracturing fracture initiation and propagation is discussed. Several factors were studied, including the type of injecting fracturing fluids, pump flow rate, fracturing pressure curve characteristics, and fracture morphology. The results showed the following: (1) The viscosity of fracturing fluid had a significant effect on fracturing breakdown pressure. Under the same pump flow rate, the fracturing breakdown pressure of slick water was the lowest. Fracturing fluids with low viscosity could easily activate weakly natural fractures or filled fractures, leading to open microcracks, and could effectively reduce the fracturing breakdown pressure. (2) The fluctuations in fracturing pump pressure corresponded with the acoustic emission hits and changes in radial strain; for every drop of fracturing pressure, acoustic emission hits and changes in radial strain were mutated. (3) Under the same fracturing fluid, the pump flow rate mainly affected fracturing breakdown pressure and had little effect on fracture morphology. (4) The width of the main fracture was affected by the viscosity and pump flow rate. Maximum changes in radial strain at the fracturing breakdown pressure point occurred when the fracturing fluid was guar gum. (5) With gelled acid and cross-linked acid fracturing, the main fractures were observed on the surface. The extension of the fracturing crack was mainly focused near the crack initiation parts. The crack expanded asymmetrically; the wormhole was dissolved to break through to the surface of the specimen. (6) The dissolution of gelled acid solution could increase the width of the fracturing crack and improve the conductivity of carbonate reservoirs.