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Slickwater hydraulic fracturing of shales

  • Emmanuel Detournay (a1)

Abstract

Stimulation of gas or oil shales by hydraulic fracturing requires injecting water at a very high rate into kilometre-long boreholes, in order to induce sufficient fracture width to place the proppant. Since such high rate of injection implies flow in the turbulent regime, heavy-molecular-weight polymers are added to water to reduce drag and thus drastically lessen the energy required for pumping. Lecampion & Zia (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 880, 2019, pp. 514–550) explore via modelling how the rheology of slickwater – water with a small amount of drag-reducing agents – affects the propagation of a hydraulic fracture. Theoretical models in combination with scaling arguments and numerical simulations indicate that flow in a radial fracture is inherently laminar, with the turbulent regime restricted at most to the first few minutes of injection, for plausible values of rock and fluid parameters and the injection rate.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence: detou001@umn.edu

References

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Detournay, E. 2016 Mechanics of hydraulic fractures. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 48, 311339.
Dontsov, E. V. 2016 Tip region of a hydraulic fracture driven by a laminar-to-turbulent fluid flow. J. Fluid Mech. 797, R2.
Dontsov, E. V. & Kresse, O. 2018 A semi-infinite hydraulic fracture with leak-off driven by a power-law fluid. J. Fluid Mech. 837, 210229.
Garagash, D. I., Detournay, E. & Adachi, J. I. 2011 Multiscale tip asymptotics in hydraulic fracture with leak-off. J. Fluid Mech. 669, 260297.
Lecampion, B. & Zia, H. 2019 Slickwater hydraulic fracture propagation: near-tip and radial geometry solutions. J. Fluid Mech. 880, 514550.
Moukhtari, F.-E. & Lecampion, B. 2018 A semi-infinite hydraulic fracture driven by a shear-thinning fluid. J. Fluid Mech. 838, 573605.
Patterson, R., Yu, W. & Wu, K. 2018 Integration of microseismic data, completion data, and production data to characterize fracture geometry in the permian basin. J. Natural Gas Sci. Engng 56, 6271.
Savitski, A. A. & Detournay, E. 2002 Propagation of a fluid-driven penny-shaped fracture in an impermeable rock: asymptotic solutions. Intl J. Solids Struct. 39 (26), 63116337.
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Slickwater hydraulic fracturing of shales

  • Emmanuel Detournay (a1)

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