Effect of Injection Fluid Properties on the Hydraulic Fracture Geometry: A Case Study from Texas

Panchal Y., Kholy SM., Loloi M., Mohamed IM., and Abou-Sayed, O.
Presented at Recent Adv Petrochem Sci. 2017; 3(5): 555621. DOI:10.19080/RAPSCI.2017.03.555621


Subsurface fractured injection (sometimes called cuttings re-injection, drill cuttings injection, or slurry injection) has been proven over the past decades to be the safest, most efficient, and the lowest-cost technology for disposal of certain kinds of oil and gas waste. This technology involves creating a hydraulic fracture in a subsurface injection formation followed by an intermittent process of pumping the slurrified waste into the fracture. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of changing the rheological properties of the slurrified waste on the hydraulic fracture geometry. The investigation was conducted in two main steps: first, using the geophysical information a geotechnical earth model was built to estimate the mechanical properties of different subsurface formations. This allowed the selection of a porous/permeable injection formation which is over-laid and under-laid by proper stress barriers. Second, a commercial 3-D fracture simulator (@Frac 3D) was used to study the impact of changing the rheological properties of the injection fluid such as viscosity, solids concentration, and injection rate on the geometry of the hydraulic fracture and net pressure. The results show that solids concentration, injection rate and fluid viscosity are proportional to the fracture width and net pressure.