Characterization of Complex Fracture Propagation in Naturally Fractured
Formations using Digital Image Correlation (DIC) Technique and Simulation
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1. Industrial Ties Research Subprogram (ITRS): Louisiana Board of Regents
2. Links with Industry & National Labs (LINK) Program: Louisiana Board of Regents
3. Supervised Research Experiences for Undergraduates (SURE): Louisiana Board of Regents
4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 5. Trilion Quality Systems , 6. METAROCK Laboratories, 7. Statoil, 8. Schlumberger
State of Louisiana has vast amounts of unconventional resources such as Haynesville Shale and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. More accurate prediction of hydraulic fracture geometry is required not only for the optimization of hydraulic fracturing operations to get higher economic benefits but also for improved environmental protection and social license to run fracturing operations. The incorporation of heterogeneity in terms of natural fractures and laminations is critical to enhance the prediction of fracture geometry.
The objective of this project is to determine the role of natural fractures and laminations on fracture propagation using indirect tensile experiment while the strain development in sample is measured by Digital Image Correlations (DIC) technique. These experiments will be conducted on laminated sandstone samples, preserved shale and limestone samples with lamination and natural fractures on dry and saturated conditions. The results of DIC predict fracture initiation and propagation in complex geological formations under indirect tensile tests. Besides the analysis of fracture pattern using DIC technique, tensile strength of variety of samples are analyzed.
The experimental results on tensile strength and tensile fracture pattern will be applied to the large scale simulation of shale reservoirs with the incorporation of field data. The final results of this study will describe the effect of natural fracture or lamination bonding and orientation on the development of induced fractures in unconventional formations.