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Title: Fracture mechanics of shales under chemically reactive conditions

Abstract

Fracture growth processes under subsurface conditions are known to be affected by fluid chemical environment. Chemical effects on fracture growth are likely to be relevant during host rock and organic matter diagenesis and catagenesis, hydraulic fracturing, in systems undergoing enhanced oil recovery, in geothermal systems, and in CO2 sequestration reservoirs. To address the chemical effects on opening-mode fracture growth under a wide range in fluid chemical conditions and for different rock types we conducted double-torsion fracture mechanics tests to determine mode-I fracture toughness (KIC), subcritical index (SCI), and the stress-intensity factor vs fracture velocity (K-V) behavior. We tested sandstones, shales and, altered crystalline rocks. Samples were tested in aqueous conditions with variable salinity, solution pH, and at temperatures of up to 70 °C. Fracture growth in shales is highly sensitive to the environmental conditions, with a reduction of KIC of up to 47% from ambient air to water-saturated conditions. The primary interactions between shales and reactive solutions are clay-water and carbonate dissolution. For clay-rich Woodford and Mancos shales, solutions with higher salinity reduce subcritical fracture growth, while acidic conditions favor fracture growth in carbonate-rich Marcellus shale. Increasing the solution temperature promotes fracture growth. In sandstone, chemical effects on fracture parametersmore » are most pronounced for clay- and carbonate-rich samples. Both KIC and SCI are lower in water than in air for nearly all sandstone lithologies tested. SCI is further reduced in chlorite-cemented Tuscaloosa Sandstone in acidic solutions. Mount Simon Sandstone is also sensitive to pH, most significantly in diagenetically bleached samples. Compositionally mature Aztec Sandstone is affected by water saturation, but shows little sensitivity to chemical environment. Silicified gabbro shows a slight reduction in KIC but a >60% reduction in SCI in aqueous environments compared to ambient conditions. The reduction in SCI is most pronounced in alkaline and saline solutions, suggesting silica dissolution and cation exchange at the fracture tip facilitate subcritical fracture growth. Limited reduction in KIC is attributed to low permeability. Overall, our results demonstrate that fracture properties depend strongly on water saturation, on fluid composition and pH, and on temperature, with an increase in temperature lowering fracture resistance.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. The University of Texas at Austin
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
The University of Texas at Austin
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1461957
Report Number(s):
Presentation: DOE-UT-23316-1
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0023316
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: AAPG Annual Conference and Exhibition
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Chen, Xiaofeng, Eichhubl, Peter, and Olson, Jon E. Fracture mechanics of shales under chemically reactive conditions. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Chen, Xiaofeng, Eichhubl, Peter, & Olson, Jon E. Fracture mechanics of shales under chemically reactive conditions. United States.
Chen, Xiaofeng, Eichhubl, Peter, and Olson, Jon E. Wed . "Fracture mechanics of shales under chemically reactive conditions". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1461957.
@article{osti_1461957,
title = {Fracture mechanics of shales under chemically reactive conditions},
author = {Chen, Xiaofeng and Eichhubl, Peter and Olson, Jon E},
abstractNote = {Fracture growth processes under subsurface conditions are known to be affected by fluid chemical environment. Chemical effects on fracture growth are likely to be relevant during host rock and organic matter diagenesis and catagenesis, hydraulic fracturing, in systems undergoing enhanced oil recovery, in geothermal systems, and in CO2 sequestration reservoirs. To address the chemical effects on opening-mode fracture growth under a wide range in fluid chemical conditions and for different rock types we conducted double-torsion fracture mechanics tests to determine mode-I fracture toughness (KIC), subcritical index (SCI), and the stress-intensity factor vs fracture velocity (K-V) behavior. We tested sandstones, shales and, altered crystalline rocks. Samples were tested in aqueous conditions with variable salinity, solution pH, and at temperatures of up to 70 °C. Fracture growth in shales is highly sensitive to the environmental conditions, with a reduction of KIC of up to 47% from ambient air to water-saturated conditions. The primary interactions between shales and reactive solutions are clay-water and carbonate dissolution. For clay-rich Woodford and Mancos shales, solutions with higher salinity reduce subcritical fracture growth, while acidic conditions favor fracture growth in carbonate-rich Marcellus shale. Increasing the solution temperature promotes fracture growth. In sandstone, chemical effects on fracture parameters are most pronounced for clay- and carbonate-rich samples. Both KIC and SCI are lower in water than in air for nearly all sandstone lithologies tested. SCI is further reduced in chlorite-cemented Tuscaloosa Sandstone in acidic solutions. Mount Simon Sandstone is also sensitive to pH, most significantly in diagenetically bleached samples. Compositionally mature Aztec Sandstone is affected by water saturation, but shows little sensitivity to chemical environment. Silicified gabbro shows a slight reduction in KIC but a >60% reduction in SCI in aqueous environments compared to ambient conditions. The reduction in SCI is most pronounced in alkaline and saline solutions, suggesting silica dissolution and cation exchange at the fracture tip facilitate subcritical fracture growth. Limited reduction in KIC is attributed to low permeability. Overall, our results demonstrate that fracture properties depend strongly on water saturation, on fluid composition and pH, and on temperature, with an increase in temperature lowering fracture resistance.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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