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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Novel Nanocomposite Fiber-Laden Viscoelastic Fracturing Fluid for Coal Bed Methane Reservoir Stimulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Bo Xiao

SINOPEC Research Institute
of Petroleum Engineering,
No. 8 North Star East Road,
Chao Yang District,
Beijing 100101, China;
Petroleum Engineering Department,
China University of Petroleum (Beijing),
No. 18 Fu Xue Road,
Chang Ping District,
Beijing 102249, China
e-mail: victorxiao@163.com

Tingxue Jiang

SINOPEC Research Institute
of Petroleum Engineering,
No. 8 North Star East Road,
Chao Yang District,
Beijing 100101, China
e-mail: Jiangtx.sripe@sinopec.com

Shicheng Zhang

Petroleum Engineering Department,
China University of Petroleum (Beijing),
No. 18 Fu Xue Road,
Chang Ping District,
Beijing 102249, China
e-mail: zhangsc@cup.edu.cn

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 27, 2016; final manuscript received August 23, 2016; published online September 14, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Daoyong (Tony) Yang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(2), 022906 (Sep 14, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1148; doi: 10.1115/1.4034548 History: Received March 27, 2016; Revised August 23, 2016

As coal has strong adsorption characteristics and well-developed natural fracture systems, an improper choice of fracturing fluid can result in significant challenges for coal bed methane exploitation, including damage to the coal formation and ineffective creation and propagation of hydraulic fractures. Viscoelastic surfactant (VES) fracturing fluid has become a preferred option because of its easy flowback and the resultant minimal damage. A novel nanocomposite fiber with substantially improved functional and structural properties was synthesized by introducing nanoparticles into conventional polyester fiber. Subsequently, a nanocomposite fiber-laden VES (NFVES) fracturing fluid was developed and evaluated in the laboratory. The results show that the fiber disperses well in the fluid and that the addition of a small amount (0.5%) of fiber substantially enhances the proppant-carrying capacity of the fluid. To achieve a proppant-carrying capacity equivalent to a standard VES, the surfactant concentration can be decreased from 2.5% to 1%, which not only reduces costs but also significantly lowers adsorption of the surfactant by the seam and rock surfaces. In addition, rod micelles with less surfactant added are more easily broken. Addition of 0.7% nanocomposite fiber reduced the tube friction by 20% at shearing rate of 5000 s−1. The nanocomposite fiber also effectively prevents backflow of the proppant and mitigates leak-off of fluid and aggregation of coal scraps. Continuous degradation of the fiber occurs over time at formation temperatures, thus reducing the potential damage to the coal seam. The strong performance of this NFVES fracturing fluid in the laboratory evaluations indicates the great potential and development prospects for coal bed methane reservoir stimulation using this fluid.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Appearance and microstructure of the nanocomposite fiber: (a) appearance, (b) surface morphology diagram, and (c) nanoparticle dispersion in the nanocomposite fiber

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Fig. 2

The schematic of dynamic fluid leak-off test

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Fig. 3

Proppant production at various flow rates with 8-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 4

Proppant production at various flow rates with 10-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 5

Proppant production at various flow rates with 12-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 6

Effect of fiber content on the conductivity of the proppant

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Fig. 7

Proppant production at various fiber lengths with 8-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 8

Proppant production at various fiber lengths with 10-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 9

Proppant production at various fiber lengths with 12-mm diameter perforations

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Fig. 10

Dispersion of coal powder in the VES and NFVES fluids: (a) dispersion of coal powder in (i) the VES fluid and (ii) the NFVES fluid with the naked eye and (b) dispersion of coal powder in ((iii) and (iv)) the VES fluid and ((v) and (vi)) the NFVES fluid under an electron microscope

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Fig. 11

Friction of VES fluids with various amounts of nanocomposite fiber

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