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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Study on Fracture Initiation Mechanisms of Hydraulic Refracturing Guided by Directional Boreholes

[+] Author and Article Information
Tiankui Guo, Facheng Gong, Zhanqing Qu

College of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Huadong 266580, China

Xuxin Tian, Binyan Liu

College of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Beijing 102249, China

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 8, 2017; final manuscript received March 3, 2018; published online April 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(8), 082901 (Apr 09, 2018) (14 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1549; doi: 10.1115/1.4039618 History: Received October 08, 2017; Revised March 03, 2018

In order to generate a new fracture far away from the original fracture in refracturing and effectively enhancing productivity, the technology of hydraulic refracturing guided by directional boreholes was presented. The effects of induced stress generated by the original hydraulic fracture, fracturing fluid percolation effect, wellbore internal pressure, and in situ stress on stress field distribution around wellbore were considered to obtain a fracture initiation model of hydraulic refracturing guided by two directional boreholes. The variation of maximum principal stress (σmax) under different conditions was investigated. The researches show that the directional boreholes result in a “sudden change region” of maximum principal stress around wellbore, reflecting dual stresses effects from vertical wellbore and directional boreholes on the rock. The width of sudden change region decreases as the distance from wellbore increases. Due to sudden change region, the refracturing fracture tends to initiate around directional boreholes. Whether the new fracture initiates and propagates along directional boreholes depends on comprehensive effect of borehole azimuth, borehole diameter, borehole spacing, horizontal stress difference, height, and net pressure of original fracture. The specific initiation position can be calculated using the theoretical model proposed in this paper. Affected by induced stress of the original fracturing, the rock tends to be compressed during refracturing, i.e., increased fracturing pressure. Sensitivity analysis with “extended Fourier amplitude sensitivity test (EFAST)” method shows the initiation of new fracture is mainly controlled by directional boreholes parameters and has little relation with in situ stress and parameters of original fracture. The influence rank of each parameter is as follows: borehole diameter > borehole spacing > original fracture net stress > borehole azimuth > horizontal stress difference > original fracture height. During design of refracturing, in order to better play the role of directional boreholes, and create a new fracture far away from original fracture, the optimal design is conducted with measures of optimizing boreholes azimuth, increasing borehole diameter and reducing borehole spacing if conditions permit. The research provides the theoretical basis for hydraulic refracturing guided by directional boreholes, which is helpful for the design of fracturing construction programs.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Coordinate systems of directional boreholes in vertical wellbore

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Fig. 2

Geometric model of induced stress caused by the original hydraulic fracture

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Fig. 3

The relation curve of σmax and θ with variable borehole azimuth (β)

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Fig. 4

The relation curve of σmmax and the directional boreholes azimuth (β) in the initial fracturing (without hydraulic fracture) or refracturing (with hydraulic fracture)

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Fig. 5

The relation curve of σmax and θ with different distances of two directional boreholes (L)

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Fig. 6

The relation curve of σmmax and the distances of two directional boreholes (L)

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Fig. 7

The relation curve of σmax and θ with different boreholes radius (R1/R2)

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Fig. 8

The relation curve of σmmax and boreholes radius (R1/R2)

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Fig. 9

The relation curve of σmax and θ with different horizontal stress difference (Δσ)

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Fig. 10

The relation curve of σmmax and horizontal stress difference (Δσ)

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Fig. 11

The relation curve of σmax and θ with different semi-fracture height (d)

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Fig. 12

The relation curve of σmmax and semifracture height (d)

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Fig. 13

The relation curve of σmax and θ with different net pressure inside original hydraulic fracture (p)

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Fig. 14

The relation curve of σmmax and net pressure inside original hydraulic fracture (p)

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Fig. 15

Sensitivity analysis of different parameters on the guiding strength of directional boreholes in hydraulic refracturing based on EFAST method

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