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Title: Waterless fracturing technologies for unconventional reservoirs-opportunities for liquid nitrogen

Abstract

During the past two decades, hydraulic fracturing has significantly improved oil and gas production from shale and tight sandstone reservoirs in the United States and elsewhere. Considering formation damage, water consumption, and environmental impacts associated with water-based fracturing fluids, efforts have been devoted to developing waterless fracturing technologies because of their potential to alleviate these issues. Herein, key theories and features of waterless fracturing technologies, including Oil-based and CO 2 energized oil fracturing, explosive and propellant fracturing, gelled LPG and alcohol fracturing, gas fracturing, CO 2 fracturing, and cryogenic fracturing, are reviewed. We then experimentally elaborate on the efficacy of liquid nitrogen in enhancing fracture initiation and propagation in concrete samples, and shale and sandstone reservoir rocks. In our laboratory study, cryogenic fractures generated were qualitatively and quantitatively characterized by pressure decay tests, acoustic measurements, gas fracturing, and CT scans. The capacity and applicability of cryogenic fracturing using liquid nitrogen are demonstrated and examined. Furthermore, by properly formulating the technical procedures for field implementation, cryogenic fracturing using liquid nitrogen could be an advantageous option for fracturing unconventional reservoirs.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  3. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
  4. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Devon Energy, Oklahoma City, OK (United States)
  5. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1532198
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1359382
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; 10122-20
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 35; Journal Issue: PA; Journal ID: ISSN 1875-5100
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Hydraulic fracturing; Shale; Tight sandstone; Waterless fracturing; Cryogenic fracturing; Liquid nitrogen

Citation Formats

Wang, Lei, Yao, Bowen, Cha, Minsu, Alqahtani, Naif B., Patterson, Taylor W., Kneafsey, Timothy J., Miskimins, Jennifer L., Yin, Xiaolong, and Wu, Yu -Shu. Waterless fracturing technologies for unconventional reservoirs-opportunities for liquid nitrogen. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jngse.2016.08.052.
Wang, Lei, Yao, Bowen, Cha, Minsu, Alqahtani, Naif B., Patterson, Taylor W., Kneafsey, Timothy J., Miskimins, Jennifer L., Yin, Xiaolong, & Wu, Yu -Shu. Waterless fracturing technologies for unconventional reservoirs-opportunities for liquid nitrogen. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jngse.2016.08.052.
Wang, Lei, Yao, Bowen, Cha, Minsu, Alqahtani, Naif B., Patterson, Taylor W., Kneafsey, Timothy J., Miskimins, Jennifer L., Yin, Xiaolong, and Wu, Yu -Shu. Tue . "Waterless fracturing technologies for unconventional reservoirs-opportunities for liquid nitrogen". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jngse.2016.08.052. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1532198.
@article{osti_1532198,
title = {Waterless fracturing technologies for unconventional reservoirs-opportunities for liquid nitrogen},
author = {Wang, Lei and Yao, Bowen and Cha, Minsu and Alqahtani, Naif B. and Patterson, Taylor W. and Kneafsey, Timothy J. and Miskimins, Jennifer L. and Yin, Xiaolong and Wu, Yu -Shu},
abstractNote = {During the past two decades, hydraulic fracturing has significantly improved oil and gas production from shale and tight sandstone reservoirs in the United States and elsewhere. Considering formation damage, water consumption, and environmental impacts associated with water-based fracturing fluids, efforts have been devoted to developing waterless fracturing technologies because of their potential to alleviate these issues. Herein, key theories and features of waterless fracturing technologies, including Oil-based and CO2 energized oil fracturing, explosive and propellant fracturing, gelled LPG and alcohol fracturing, gas fracturing, CO2 fracturing, and cryogenic fracturing, are reviewed. We then experimentally elaborate on the efficacy of liquid nitrogen in enhancing fracture initiation and propagation in concrete samples, and shale and sandstone reservoir rocks. In our laboratory study, cryogenic fractures generated were qualitatively and quantitatively characterized by pressure decay tests, acoustic measurements, gas fracturing, and CT scans. The capacity and applicability of cryogenic fracturing using liquid nitrogen are demonstrated and examined. Furthermore, by properly formulating the technical procedures for field implementation, cryogenic fracturing using liquid nitrogen could be an advantageous option for fracturing unconventional reservoirs.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jngse.2016.08.052},
journal = {Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering},
number = PA,
volume = 35,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {8}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Top surface of the concrete block before (a) and right after (b) the full-submersion test.

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Liquid CO2 Fracturing: Effect of Fluid Permeation on the Breakdown Pressure and Cracking Behavior
journal, July 2018

  • Ha, Seong Jun; Choo, Jinhyun; Yun, Tae Sup
  • Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Vol. 51, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00603-018-1542-x