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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Experimental Investigation on Wellbore Strengthening Based on a Hydraulic Fracturing Apparatus

[+] Author and Article Information
Cheng Cao

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas
Reservoir Geology and Exploitation,
Southwest Petroleum University,
Chengdu 610500, Sichuan, China;
Energy Research Center of Lower Saxony,
Clausthal University of Technology,
Goslar D-38640, Germany
e-mail: caochengcn@163.com

Xiaolin Pu

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas
Reservoir Geology and Exploitation,
Southwest Petroleum University,
Chengdu 610500, Sichuan, China
e-mail: puxiaolin@vip.sina.com

Zhengguo Zhao

Drilling Engineering Technology Research
Institute,
SINOPEC Zhongyuan Petroleum
Engineering Company,
Sinopec Oilfield Service Corporation,
Puyang 457000, Henan, China
e-mail: zhengguo_mcd@163.com

Gui Wang

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas
Reservoir Geology and Exploitation,
Southwest Petroleum University,
Chengdu 610500, Sichuan, China
e-mail: wanggui@126.com

Hui Du

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas
Reservoir Geology and Exploitation,
Southwest Petroleum University,
Chengdu 610500, Sichuan, China
e-mail: 915029662@qq.com

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 30, 2017; final manuscript received October 27, 2017; published online November 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Arash Dahi Taleghani.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(5), 052902 (Nov 28, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1143; doi: 10.1115/1.4038381 History: Received March 30, 2017; Revised October 27, 2017

Lost circulation is a serious problem which always exists in the petroleum industry. Wellbore strengthening by lost circulation materials (LCMs) is a commonly applied method for mitigating lost circulation. This paper presents a hydraulic fracturing apparatus to investigate the effect of material type, concentration, and particle size distribution (PSD) of LCMs on wellbore strengthening behavior. In addition, the characteristics of pressure curves in the fracturing process are analyzed in detail. The results showed that the fracture pressure of the artificial core can be increased by LCMs, and there exists an optimum concentration of LCMs for the maximum wellbore strengthening effect. The LCMs with wide PSD can significantly increase the fracture pressure. However, some LCMs cannot increase or even decrease the fracture pressure; this is resulting from the LCMs with relatively single PSD that makes the quality of mud cake worse. The representative pressure curve in the fracturing process by drilling fluids with LCMs was divided into five parts: the initial cake formation stage, elastic plastic deformation stage, crack stability development stage, crack instability development stage, and unstable plugging stage. The actual fracturing curves were divided into four typical types due to missing of some stages compared with the representative pressure curve. In order to strengthen the wellbore in effective, good LCMs should be chosen to improve the maximum pressure in the elastic plastic deformation stage, extend the stable time of pressure bearing in the crack stability development stage, and control the crack instability development stage.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Fracturing curves of distilled water and bentonite slurry

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Fig. 3

Lost circulation materials: (a) calcium carbonate, (b) quartz sand, (c) graphite, and (d) synthetic resin

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Fig. 2

Artificial core: (a) schematic diagram and (b) physical appearance

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup

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Fig. 5

Fracturing curves of different type of LCMs

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Fig. 6

Results of field tests with and without wellbore strengthening treatment (Reproduced with permission from Aston et al. [2]. Copyright 2004 by IADC/SPE Drilling Conference.)

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Fig. 7

Results of finite element simulation of hoop stresses before and after bridging the fracture (Reproduced with permission from Feng et al. [19]. Copyright 2015 by Society of Petroleum Engineers.)

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Fig. 14

Schematic diagram of the fracturing process (modified from Aadnoy et al. [31] and Alberty and McLean [7]. Copyright 2008 by Society of Petroleum Engineers and 2001 by SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, respectively.)

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Fig. 15

Typical pressure curves

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Fig. 8

Fracturing curves of different concentration of calcium carbonate (d < 0.125 mm)

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Fig. 9

Pressure curve and flow rate curve for the experiment of pump off immediately when the microfracture generated

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Fig. 10

Microfracture on the end face of the core: (a) overall picture of the end face of the core and (b) enlarge of the microfracture

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Fig. 11

Pressure curves for the LCMs with different particle size distribution

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Fig. 12

Relationship curve between fracture pressure and filtrate loss

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Fig. 13

The representative borehole pressure curve in the fracturing process

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