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An Experimental Investigation on the Transport Characteristics of Rough Fractures in the Presence of Proppants

  • Author / Creator
    Raimbay, Aigerim
  • Since the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technique, industry has been attempted to enhance production of hydrocarbon from tight reservoirs by selecting optimum design of hydraulic fracturing treatment. One of the essential parameters in hydraulic fracturing design is the proper selection and injection of proppants. They not only provide fracture permeability but also prevent “healing” of fractures. Hence, the quantification of proppant transport characteristics is highly critical in a sustainable production from hydraulically fractured wells. Previous studies in this regard were limited to smooth (parallel) fracture surfaces to a great extent ignoring the effect of roughness of fractures, which may have significant impact in controlling the permeability of hydraulic fractures in the presences of proppants. In this thesis, effect of surface roughness to fluid flow and transportation/distribution of propping agents were investigated through experimental work. Water and polymer solutions representing typical rheological properties of hydraulic fracturing fluids were injected through transparent models of the fractures of different origin rocks (granite, marble, and limestone) with and without propping agents. The permeability changes due to proppant distribution caused by the roughness of fracture surfaces were quantified and correlated to different fractal characteristics of surface roughness. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were supported by visualization of experiments.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3KP7TX2P
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Petroleum Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Babadagli, Tayfun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Kuru, Ergun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Kuru, Ergun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Gul, Mustafa (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Leung, Juliana (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Babadagli, Tayfun (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)