Formation Damage Induced Hydraulic Fracture During Slurry Injection Into High Permeability Sandstone. Is It a Good Practice?

Presented at 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, June 2018.


Slurry waste management may involve injection of solid-laden fluids with concentration up to 25%. To accomplish this without plugging the near wellbore pore space, a fracture is created first using a pad of clean fluid. In some cases, where the formation has a high permeability-thickness product, kh, high injection flow rate is needed to open up the fracture with clean fluids. Most disposal wells do not have large enough pumps to provide the needed flow rates. A combination of a lack of geomechanical understanding combined with poor injection or facility design leads some operators to create high formation damage around their wellbores in slurry injection applications by injecting slurry at flow rates which are insufficient to open fractures. Moreover, the damage causes injection pressure to build up rapidly, facilitating the creation of short fractures which tend to cause near wellbore stresses to increase more rapidly for a given amount of solid deposition than is the case with longer fractures. This paper presents one case study which evaluates the injection well using operational data.