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Permeability enhancement through hydraulic fracturing: laboratory measurements combining a 3D printed jacket and pore fluid over-pressure

Gehne, S; Benson, PM; (2019) Permeability enhancement through hydraulic fracturing: laboratory measurements combining a 3D printed jacket and pore fluid over-pressure. Scientific Reports , 9 , Article 12573. 10.1038/s41598-019-49093-1. Green open access

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Abstract

The process of hydraulic fracture is well known in both natural (e.g. veining and mineralisation) and engineered environments (e.g. stimulating tight mudrocks and sandstones to boost their hydraulic properties). Here, we report a method and preliminary data that simulates both tensile fracture and fuid fow at elevated pressures. To achieve this we developed a sample assembly consisting of a cylindrical core drilled with an axial borehole encapsulated in a 3D printed jacket permitting fuid from the borehole to move through the freshly generated tensile fracture to a voluometer. The permeability of Nash Point Shale increases from a pre-fracture value of 10−18 to 10−20m2 (1 microDarcy, μD to 0.01μD) to 2×10−15m2 (2 milliDarcy, mD) immediately after fracture (at 2.1MPa confning pressure). Permeability is strongly dependent on confning pressure, decreasing to 0.25×10−15m2 (0.25mD) at 19MPa confning pressure (approximately 800m depth), and does not recover when confnement is removed. Using concomitant measurements of the radial strain as a proxy for fracture aperture, we conclude that the efective permeability is governed solely by the width of the developed cracks, revealed by post-test X-Ray Computed Tomography to be planar, extending radially from the central conduit.

Type: Article
Title: Permeability enhancement through hydraulic fracturing: laboratory measurements combining a 3D printed jacket and pore fluid over-pressure
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-49093-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49093-1
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098141
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