Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 539

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual

i
Table of Contents
June 1997
1.1 History of Hydraulic Fracturing .................................................................................. 1-1
1.2 Amoco Hydraulic Fracturing Course Outline ........................................................... 1-11
1.3 Nomenclature ............................................................................................................ 1-14
1.4 References ................................................................................................................. 1-17
2.1 The Continuity Equation ............................................................................................. 2-1
2.2 Model Differences and the Elasticity Equation .......................................................... 2-4
2.3 References ................................................................................................................... 2-8
3.1 Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation ............................................................. 3-1
3.2 Steady-State Reservoir Response .............................................................................. 3-10
3.3 Transient Reservoir Response .................................................................................. 3-24
3.4 Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material) ........... 3-27
3.5 Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs ................................................................................. 3-40
3.6 References ................................................................................................................ 3-49
4.1 Elastic Properties of the Formation ............................................................................. 4-1
4.2 Fracture Toughness .................................................................................................... 4-7
4.3 Hardness ................................................................................................................... 4-10
4.4 References ................................................................................................................. 4-11
5.1 Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design ............................. 5-1
5.2 Fluid Loss .................................................................................................................. 5-20
5.3 Fluid Viscosity ......................................................................................................... 5-27
5.4 Treatment Pumping ................................................................................................... 5-36
5.5 References ................................................................................................................. 5-43
6.1 Fluid Selection .......................................................................................................... 6-1
6.2 Fluid Classification ..................................................................................................... 6-1
6.3 Fluid Selection Criteria .............................................................................................. 6-3
6.4 Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types ..................................................................... 6-30
6.5 Rheological Testing Of Fracturing Fluids ................................................................ 6-49
6.6 Service Company Trade Names ............................................................................... 6-52
6.7 Fluid Scheduling ...................................................................................................... 6-70
6.8 References ................................................................................................................ 6-80
7.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 7-1
7.2 Proppant Properties ..................................................................................................... 7-4
7.3 Conductivity/Permeability ....................................................................................... 7-19
7.4 Proppant Transport .................................................................................................... 7-26
7.5 Non-Darcy Flow ........................................................................................................ 7-29
7.6 References ................................................................................................................. 7-32
8.1 Introduction To Fracturing Pressure Analysis ........................................................... 8-1
8.2 Fracture Closure Stress ............................................................................................... 8-4
8.3 Bottomhole Treating Pressure .................................................................................. 8-14
8.4 Pressure Decline Analysis ........................................................................................ 8-25
8.5 Pressure History Matching ....................................................................................... 8-46
8.6 Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline ..................................................... 8-55
Table of Contents
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual ii
June 1997
8.7 Nomenclature .............................................................................................................8-68
8.8 References ..................................................................................................................8-70
9.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................9-1
9.2 General Economic Criteria ...........................................................................................9-3
9.3 Elements Of Fracturing Treatment Costs ...................................................................9-20
9.4 References. .................................................................................................................9-21
10.1 Fracturing Tests ..........................................................................................................10-3
10.2 Introduction To TerraFrac ........................................................................................10-29
10.3 References ................................................................................................................10-49
11.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................11-1
11.2 Stimulation Design and Planning ...............................................................................11-2
11.3 Water Quality Control ................................................................................................11-4
11.4 Proppant Quality Control ...........................................................................................11-6
11.5 Fracture Treatment Setup ...........................................................................................11-8
11.6 Fracture Treatment Execution ..................................................................................11-10
11.7 Post-Frac Cleanup ....................................................................................................11-13
11.8 Frac Treatment Reporting Requirements .................................................................11-14
FRAC School Problem No. 1 ............................................................................................... P-1
FRAC School Problem No. 1 ............................................................................................... P-2
9.9 History of Hydraulic Fracturing....................................................................................1-1
Chapter 1 Introduction
Developments in Hydraulic Fracturing .......................................................................1-3
Fracture Orientation: ..............................................................................................1-3
Fracturing Fluid: .....................................................................................................1-4
Proppants: ................................................................................................................1-5
Fracture Treatment: .................................................................................................1-6
Early Fracture Design ...................................................................................................1-8
9.10 Amoco Hydraulic Fracturing Course Outline.............................................................1-11
9.11 Nomenclature ..............................................................................................................1-14
9.12 References...................................................................................................................1-17
9.13 The Continuity Equation...............................................................................................2-1
Chapter 2 Fracturing Models
9.14 Model Differences and the Elasticity Equation ............................................................2-4
9.15 References.....................................................................................................................2-8
9.16 Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation ...............................................................3-1
Fracture Length ............................................................................................................3-1
Chapter 3 Reservoir Analysis
Reservoir Permeability .................................................................................................3-2
Fracture Flow Capacity ................................................................................................3-3
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Table of Contents
iii June 1997
Fracture Orientation ................................................................................................ 3-8
9.17 Steady-State Reservoir Response .............................................................................. 3-10
Effective Wellbore Radius, r'
w
................................................................................... 3-10
A Direct Way Of Finding FOI ................................................................................... 3-14
Optimizing Fractures for Secondary Recovery ......................................................... 3-15
Acid Fracturing .......................................................................................................... 3-22
9.18 Transient Reservoir Response ................................................................................... 3-24
9.19 Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)............. 3-27
Flow Periods For A Vertically Fractured Well .......................................................... 3-27
Fracture Linear Flow ........................................................................................... 3-27
Bilinear Flow ....................................................................................................... 3-27
Formation Linear Flow ........................................................................................ 3-27
Pseudo-Radial Flow ............................................................................................. 3-27
Bilinear Flow Equations ........................................................................................... 3-28
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................ 3-28
Constant Formation Face Pressure ...................................................................... 3-29
Bilinear Flow Graphs ................................................................................................ 3-30
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................. 3-30
Constant Formation Face Pressure ....................................................................... 3-31
End of Bilinear Flow ................................................................................................. 3-33
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................. 3-33
Constant Formation Face Pressure ....................................................................... 3-33
Analysis of Bilinear Flow Data ................................................................................ 3-35
Liquid-Constant Rate ........................................................................................... 3-35
Liquid-Constant Pressure .................................................................................... 3-36
Effect of Flow Restrictions ....................................................................................... 3-37
Effect of Wellbore Storage ....................................................................................... 3-37
9.20 Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs .................................................................................. 3-40
Bilinear Flow Equations ............................................................................................ 3-40
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................. 3-40
Constant Formation Face Pressure ....................................................................... 3-40
Bilinear Flow Graphs ................................................................................................ 3-41
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................ 3-41
Constant Formation Face Pressure ...................................................................... 3-42
End of Bilinear Flow ................................................................................................. 3-43
Constant Formation Face Rate ............................................................................. 3-43
Constant Formation Face Pressure ...................................................................... 3-44
Analysis of Bilinear Flow Data ........................................................................... 3-46
Gas-Constant Rate ............................................................................................... 3-47
Gas-Constant Pressure ......................................................................................... 3-47
9.21 References ................................................................................................................ 3-49
9.22 Elastic Properties of the Formation ............................................................................. 4-1
Table of Contents
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual iv
June 1997
Chapter 4 Formation Mechanical Properties
Effect Of Modulus On Fracturing ................................................................................4-4
Typical Modulus Values .............................................................................................4-4
9.23 Fracture Toughness ...................................................................................................... 4-7
9.24 Hardness ....................................................................................................................4-10
9.25 References ..................................................................................................................4-11
9.26 Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design ..............................5-1
Factors Controlling Fracture Height ............................................................................5-1
Chapter 5 Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Factors Controlling Fracture Height ............................................................................5-2
Effect Of Closure Stress Profile On Fracture Height Growth .....................................5-3
Effect Of Bed Thickness On Fracture Height Growth .................................................5-6
Effect Of Other Factors On Fracture Height Growth .................................................5-10
Picking Fracture Height ..............................................................................................5-12
(Estimating the In-situ Stress Profile) ........................................................................5-12
Factors Which Dominate In-situ Stress Differences ..................................................5-12
3-D Fracture Modeling/3-D Fracture Design .............................................................5-15
Measuring Fracture Height .........................................................................................5-17
Fluid Loss Height .......................................................................................................5-18
9.27 Fluid Loss ...................................................................................................................5-20
Fluid Loss Coefficient, Ct ..........................................................................................5-20
Spurt Loss ...................................................................................................................5-24
9.28 Fluid Viscosity ..........................................................................................................5-27
Viscosity Determination and Rheological Models .....................................................5-27
Fluid Entry Conditions and Temperature Considerations ..........................................5-29
Reservoir Temperatures .............................................................................................5-32
Effect of Proppant on Viscosity .................................................................................5-33
Summary For Fluid Viscosity ....................................................................................5-34
9.29 Treatment Pumping ....................................................................................................5-36
Fracture Radius ..........................................................................................................5-36
Pump Rate ..................................................................................................................5-36
Fluid Volume: ......................................................................................................5-37
Transport and Viscosity: ......................................................................................5-38
Summary for Pump Rate: ......................................................................................5-40
Depth .........................................................................................................................5-40
Friction Pressure ........................................................................................................5-40
9.30 References ..................................................................................................................5-43
9.31 Fluid Selection ...........................................................................................................6-1
9.32 Fluid Classification ......................................................................................................6-1
Water-Base Fracturing Fluid Systems .........................................................................6-1
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Table of Contents
v June 1997
Chapter 6 Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydrocarbon-Base Fracturing Fluid Systems ............................................................. 6-2
9.33 Fluid Selection Criteria ............................................................................................... 6-3
Safety and Environmental Compatibility .............................................................. 6-5
Compatibility with Formation, Formation Fluids, and Chemical Additives ......... 6-6
Simple Preparation and Quality Control ............................................................... 6-7
Low Pumping Pressure .......................................................................................... 6-9
Appropriate Viscosity .......................................................................................... 6-11
Low Fluid Loss .................................................................................................... 6-14
Good Flow Back and Cleanup ............................................................................. 6-18
Economics ........................................................................................................... 6-23
9.34 Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types ..................................................................... 6-30
Water-Base Polymer Solutions ............................................................................. 6-30
Fast-Crosslinking Water-Base Gels .................................................................... 6-32
Delayed Crosslinked Fluids ................................................................................. 6-38
Polymer Emulsion Fluid ...................................................................................... 6-40
Foamed Frac Fluids ............................................................................................. 6-41
Gelled Hydrocarbons ........................................................................................... 6-46
Gelled Methanol .................................................................................................. 6-48
9.35 Rheological Testing Of Fracturing Fluids ................................................................ 6-49
9.36 Service Company Trade Names ............................................................................... 6-52
9.37 Fluid Scheduling ....................................................................................................... 6-70
Fluid Scheduling Given the Fluid Rheology ............................................................ 6-70
Fluid Scheduling Using Constrained Rheology ....................................................... 6-71
Warning: .................................................................................................................... 6-73
9.38 References ................................................................................................................ 6-80
9.39 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 7-1
Why Do We Need Proppants? ..................................................................................... 7-1
Types of Proppants Available ...................................................................................... 7-1
Calculating the Stress on Proppant ............................................................................. 7-1
Chapter 7 Proppants
What Causes A Proppant To Be Substandard? ............................................................ 7-3
Overview of Chap. 7 .................................................................................................... 7-3
9.40 Proppant Properties ..................................................................................................... 7-4
Sphericity and Roundness ........................................................................................... 7-4
Hardness ..................................................................................................................... 7-4
Size Distribution ......................................................................................................... 7-5
Crush Resistance ......................................................................................................... 7-9
Bulk and Grain Density ............................................................................................ 7-11
Acid Solubility .......................................................................................................... 7-11
Turbidity ................................................................................................................... 7-13
Resin-Coated Proppant ............................................................................................. 7-16
Table of Contents
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual vi
June 1997
Precured Resin-Coated Proppant ..........................................................................7-16
Curable Resin-Coated Proppant ............................................................................7-16
9.41 Conductivity/Permeability ........................................................................................7-19
Laboratory Methods of Measuring Fracture Conductivity .........................................7-19
Radial Flow Cell ...................................................................................................7-19
Cylindrical Pack ....................................................................................................7-20
Cylindrical Cell With Platens ...............................................................................7-20
Cooke-Type Cell (API Cell) .................................................................................7-20
Long-Term Conductivity: Baseline Data ..................................................................7-20
Long-Term Conductivity: Damage Caused By Frac Fluids and Additives ...............7-23
9.42 Proppant Transport .....................................................................................................7-26
9.43 Non-Darcy Flow ........................................................................................................7-29
9.44 References ..................................................................................................................7-32
9.45 Introduction To Fracturing Pressure Analysis ............................................................8-1
History ..........................................................................................................................8-1
Chapter 8 Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Similarity to Pressure Transient Analysis ....................................................................8-2
9.46 Fracture Closure Stress ................................................................................................8-4
Microfrac Tests ............................................................................................................8-4
Pump-In/Decline Test ..................................................................................................8-7
Pump-In/Flowback Test ..............................................................................................8-9
Step-Rate Injection Test .............................................................................................8-10
9.47 Bottomhole Treating Pressure ...................................................................................8-14
Nolte-Smith Log-Log Interpretation .........................................................................8-14
Critical Pressure ........................................................................................................8-20
BHTP Measuring Techniques ...................................................................................8-22
BHTP Measuring Devices .........................................................................................8-23
9.48 Pressure Decline Analysis .........................................................................................8-25
Fracture Stiffness .......................................................................................................8-26
Fluid Loss Rate ..........................................................................................................8-27
P* - Pressure Decline Analysis ...............................................................................8-30
Type Curve Analysis .................................................................................................8-32
'G' Function Plot for P* ...........................................................................................8-35
Fluid Efficiency .........................................................................................................8-36
Example/Guidelines ..................................................................................................8-38
Example - Pressure Decline Analysis: ..................................................................8-38
Pitfalls .........................................................................................................................8-39
Post-propped-Frac Pressure Decline Analysis ..........................................................8-42
9.49 Pressure History Matching ........................................................................................8-46
Simple History Matching ..........................................................................................8-48
Simple History Matching Procedure & Example .......................................................8-49
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Table of Contents
vii June 1997
Complex Geology Effects .......................................................................................... 8-50
Problem Definition .................................................................................................... 8-52
Pressure Decline Analysis Variables ......................................................................... 8-52
9.50 Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline ...................................................... 8-55
Advantages of an Efficiency Derived Schedule ........................................................ 8-56
Disadvantages of an Efficiency Derived Schedule .................................................... 8-56
Determining Fracture Fluid Efficiency ..................................................................... 8-58
Pad Volume .............................................................................................................. 8-59
Proppant Addition Schedule ..................................................................................... 8-62
Effect of Treatment Volume ..................................................................................... 8-64
Example ..................................................................................................................... 8-65
Find Actual Job Expected Efficiency ..................................................................... 8-65
Treatment Pad Percentage ........................................................................................ 8-66
Proppant Addition Schedule ..................................................................................... 8-66
Time/Temperature History ....................................................................................... 8-67
9.51 Nomenclature ............................................................................................................ 8-68
9.52 References ................................................................................................................. 8-70
9.53 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 9-1
Chapter 9 Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
9.54 General Economic Criteria .......................................................................................... 9-3
The Present Worth Concept ......................................................................................... 9-4
Profitability Index ....................................................................................................... 9-7
Discounted Return on Investment (includes Fracture Discounted Return
on Investment) .......................................................................................................... 9-8
Payout ........................................................................................................................ 9-10
Return on Investment ................................................................................................. 9-11
Incremental Economics .............................................................................................. 9-12
Present Worth Vs. the Profitability Index ................................................................. 9-14
Yet-to-Spend (Point Forward Evaluation) Vs. Full-Cycle Economics ...................... 9-17
9.55 Elements Of Fracturing Treatment Costs .................................................................. 9-20
Stimulation Service Company Costs ......................................................................... 9-20
9.56 References. ................................................................................................................ 9-21
Chapter 10 Special Topics
9.57 Fracturing Tests ......................................................................................................... 10-3
Introduction ................................................................................................................ 10-3
Core Tests to Determine Mechanical Rock Properties and Fluid
Loss Coefficient ...................................................................................................... 10-3
Prefrac Logging Program ........................................................................................... 10-5
Borehole Geometry Log ............................................................................................ 10-5
Long Spaced Digital Sonic Log (LSDS) .................................................................. 10-6
Downhole Television and Borehole Televiewer ...................................................... 10-7
Table of Contents
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual viii
June 1997
Cement Bond Log ......................................................................................................10-7
Temperature Logs .......................................................................................................10-8
Perforating and Permeability Determination ............................................................10-10
Bottomhole Treating Pressure Measurement ..........................................................10-11
Procedure for Measurement of Static Pressure Tubing/Annulus .............................10-12
Procedure for Recording Downhole with Surface Readout .....................................10-12
Procedure for Downhole Pressure Measurement .....................................................10-13
Pressure Measurement Devices ................................................................................10-13
Closure Stress Tests ..................................................................................................10-13
Minifracs .................................................................................................................10-17
Postfrac Logging Program ........................................................................................10-18
Temperature Decay Profiles ................................................................................10-18
Postfrac Temperature Log Interpretation .................................................................10-18
Postfrac Gamma Ray Logs ......................................................................................10-21
Fracture Azimuth Determination ..............................................................................10-21
Tiltmeters .................................................................................................................10-22
Borehole Geophones ...............................................................................................10-24
Oriented Core Analysis ...........................................................................................10-26
Borehole Geometry .................................................................................................10-28
9.58 Introduction To TerraFrac ........................................................................................10-29
General Description of the TerraFrac Simulator ......................................................10-29
Input To Terrafrac ....................................................................................................10-31
Terrafrac Simulation Runs .......................................................................................10-32
Confined Fracture Growth .................................................................................10-32
Unconfined Fracture Growth .............................................................................10-36
Summary ..................................................................................................................10-41
9.59 References ................................................................................................................10-49
9.60 Perforating ....................................................................................................................... 1
Hole Diameter ................................................................................................................. 1
Chapter 11 Fracture Stimulation Guidelines
and
Quality Control
Chapter 12
Number of Perforations ................................................................................................... 3
Perforation Phasing ......................................................................................................... 4
Perforating for Deviated/Horizontal Well Fracturing ..................................................... 4
Over-Pressured Perforating ............................................................................................. 8
Other Considerations ....................................................................................................... 9
9.61 WELLBORE CONFIGURATION 10
Fracturing Down Casing ............................................................................................... 11
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Table of Contents
ix June 1997
Fracturing Down Tubing with a Packer .........................................................................11
Fracturing Down Open-Ended Tubing ..........................................................................12
Methods of Obtaining Fracturing BHP ..........................................................................12
Considerations for Frac-Pack Completions ...................................................................14
9.62 PRE-TREATMENT PLANNING 16
Data Collection Requirements .......................................................................................16
Preliminary Treatment Design .......................................................................................17
Frac Brief Procedure ..................................................................................................18
Service Co./Operator Interaction ...................................................................................18
9.63 FRACTURING FLUID QC 20
Base Mixing Fluid .........................................................................................................21
Transport and Storage of Fluid ......................................................................................23
Quality Controlling Water-Based Gels ..........................................................................24
Quality Controlling Oil-Based Gels ..............................................................................30
Quality Controlling Foam Fracturing Fluids .................................................................33
Additional Fluid Quality Control Measures ..................................................................34
9.64 PROPPANT QC 36
Closure Stress and Proppant Strength ............................................................................36
Proppant Particle Size ....................................................................................................36
Proppant Grain Shape ....................................................................................................41
Proppant Fines ...............................................................................................................42
Interpretation ............................................................................................................43
Additional Proppant Quality Control Measures ............................................................45
9.65 TREATMENT EXECUTION 46
Lines of Authority and Communication ........................................................................46
Safety Meeting ...............................................................................................................46
Pressure Testing .............................................................................................................47
Treating Problems ..........................................................................................................47
Flushing the Treatment ..................................................................................................49
When to Flowback .........................................................................................................50
9.66 POST-FRAC LOGGING 51
Temperature Logs ..........................................................................................................51
Gamma-Ray Logs ..........................................................................................................54
9.67 FRAC School Problem No. 1 P-1
9.68 FRAC School Problem No. 2 P-2
Abstract ........................................................................................................................ P-2
Purpose ........................................................................................................................ P-2
Description ................................................................................................................... P-2
Procedure: .................................................................................................................... P-9
9.69 Workshop Problem 3 P-10
Abstract ...................................................................................................................... P-10
Description ................................................................................................................. P-10
Objective .................................................................................................................... P-10
Table of Contents
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual x
June 1997
Procedure: .................................................................................................................. P-11
9.70 Workshop Problem 4 P-15
Abstract ..................................................................................................................... P-15
Purpose ...................................................................................................................... P-15
Geologic Setting ........................................................................................................ P-15
Description ................................................................................................................ P-15
9.71 Workshop Problem No. 5 P-23
Abstract ..................................................................................................................... P-23
Description ................................................................................................................ P-23
Objective: .................................................................................................................. P-23
Procedure: .................................................................................................................. P-29
9.72 Water Injection Well Problem 6 P-30
Pressure Falloff Test .................................................................................................. P-30
Mini-Frac Pressure Data ........................................................................................ P-34
9.73 Tight Gas Problem 7 P-39
9.74 Oil Well Problem 8 P-43
Other Pertinent Information ...................................................................................... P-43
Pressure Build-Up Data from Offset Well ................................................................ P-43
Results from Minifrac Treatment .............................................................................. P-48
9.75 Bili near FLow Problem 9 P-49
P-49
P-49
P-49
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1-1
Chapter
February 1993
1.1 History of Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing has made a significant contribution to the oil and gas industry as a primary
means of increasing well production. Since fracturing was introduced by Stanolind (Amoco) in
1947, over one million fracture treatments have been performed and currently about 40% of all
wells drilled are stimulated using hydraulic fracture treatments. Fracture stimulation treatments
not only increase production rates, but are also credited for adding to the United States reserves an
additional seven billion barrels of oil and over 600 trillion scf of gas which would have otherwise
not been economical to develop. In addition, hydraulic fracturing has accelerated recovery and sig-
nificantly increased the present worth of U.S. reserves.
As we move towards the next century, we are challenged with applying this technology domesti-
cally in an attempt to offset large domestic trade deficits and declining production. In addition, as
our industrys focus moves internationally, methods of accelerating recovery, such as fracturing,
must be explored. Fig. 1.1 presents a world cross section of producing oil wells, their average pro-
duction and the total production of each country. This logarithmic plot shows that fracturing appli-
cations will continue to be important throughout North America, driven by the large number of
wells available and the corresponding low producing rates presently experienced by these wells.
Fig. 1.1 - Producing Wells and Average Production
1000000
100000
10000
1000
100
10
Saudi Arabia U. K. Nigeria Mexico China Canada U. S.
10
8
6
4
2
0
No. Wells/Av. Production-bbl/d Total Daily Production-bbl
PRODUCING WELLS & AVERAGE PRODUCTION
Likelihood of Fracturing
Country
# Oil Wells
Total Production
Well Rate
Excerpted DOE/FE-0139
Introduction
1
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-2
February 1993
The idea of hydraulically fracturing a formation to enhance the production of oil and gas was con-
ceived by Floyd Farris
1
of Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation (Amoco) after an extensive study of
the pressures encountered while squeezing cement, oil and water into formations. The first exper-
imental treatment intentionally performed to hydraulically fracture a well for stimulation was per-
formed by Stanolind in the Hugoton gas field in Grant County, Kansas, in 1947 as shown in
Fig. 1.2. A total of 1,000 gallons of napalm thickened gasoline was injected, followed by a gel
breaker, to stimulate a gas producing limestone formation at 2,400 ft. However, the deliverability
of the well was not changed appreciably. The hydraulic fracturing process was first introduced to
the industry in a paper written by J. B. Clark
2
of Stanolind in 1948 and patented and licensed in
1949. These patents resulted in royalty income to Amoco in the 17 years following and essentially
funded the construction of the Amoco Production Research (APR) complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma
(i.e., APR is the house that fracturing built).
Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company was given an exclusive license on the new process. The
first two commercial fracturing treatments were performed in Stephens County, Oklahoma, and
Archer County, Texas, on March 17, 1949, using lease crude oil or a blend of crude and gasoline,
and approximately 100 to 150 pounds of sand. Both wells were successful and thereafter applica-
tion of the fracturing process grew rapidly, peaking, as shown in Fig. 1.3, at an average of +3,000
wells per month by the mid-1950s and increasing the supply of oil in the United States far beyond
our early projections.
3
The first one-half million pound fracturing job in the free world was performed in Stephens
County, Oklahoma, in October 1968, by Pan American Petroleum Corporation, now Amoco.
Fig. 1.2 - Hugoton Gas Field in Grant County, Kansas, 1947.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
History of Hydraulic Fracturing
1-3 February 1993
Today, fracture treatments are performed regularly in all petroleum producing countries, including
the Soviet Union. It is estimated that at least 30% of the recoverable oil and gas reserves in the
United States can be attributed to the application of hydraulic fracturing.
Significant technical advancements have been made during the four plus decades since the first
commercial treatments. After the first few jobs, the average fracture treatment consisted of about
750 gallons of fluid and 400 pounds of sand. Today, treatments average about 43,000 gallons of
fluid and 68,000 pounds of propping agent with the largest treatments exceeding one million gal-
lons of fluid and three million pounds of proppant. This reflects advancements made by the indus-
try in both theory and practice which have resulted in a better understanding of the fracturing
process. As this process evolved; cleaner and more suitable fluid systems were developed; sand
quality increased and higher concentrations were pumped; higher strength synthetic proppants
were developed for deep-well fracturing; pumping and monitoring equipment were improved and
computerized; and fracture design and evaluation techniques grew in sophistication.
Developments in Hydraulic Fracturing
Fracture Orientation:
The original, shallow fracture treatments were thought to be horizontal, even though some of the
deep wells that had been squeeze cemented showed cement in vertical fractures. The theory was
that the overburden was lifted and the fracture was inserted in a horizontal plane. Clark et al.
4
reported on a method of forming a vertical fracture in 1953 by plastering the walls of the wellbore
to where it became a thick wall cylinder. Pressures were then applied to obtain vertical fractures,
otherwise it was theorized horizontal fractures were obtained. Huitt et al.
5-7
extended the theories
in the late 1950s that the best fracture systems were horizontal and they could be obtained by
notching the formation. Hubbert and Willis
8
with Shell Oil Company presented a paper in 1956
reporting on the work they had done in a gelatin model. This work indicated that all fractures were
Fig. 1.3 - Average Number of Fracturing Treatments per Month United States.
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
1949 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985
YEARS
A
V
E
R
A
G
E

N
U
M
B
E
R

O
F

J
O
B
S

P
E
R

M
O
N
T
H
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-4
February 1993
vertical, creating quite a controversy. In spite of this, it was not until the mid-1960s that the indus-
try accepted the theory that practically all fractures were vertical and that only a few were horizon-
tal. Prior to this time, theories were advanced that all fractures with a treating gradient of over 0.8
or 0.9 psi per foot of depth were vertical. All those with treating gradients less than this were hor-
izontal. Work initiated by Cochran, Heck and Waters and reported on by Anderson and Stahl
9
proved, without a doubt, that the majority of fractures were in fact vertical and it was a rare excep-
tion when a horizontal fracture was obtained.
Fracturing Fluid:
Hydraulic fracturing fluids have varied considerably over time as shown in Fig. 1.4. The first frac-
ture treatments were performed with gelled lease crude, later, gelled kerosene was used. In 1952,
refined and lease crude oils began to gain momentum, and by the latter part of 1952, a large portion
of all fracturing treatments were performed with refined and lease crude oils. These fluids were
inexpensive and safer, permitting greater volumes to be pumped at a lower cost. Their lower vis-
cosities exhibited less friction than the original viscous gel, thus injection rates could be obtained
at lower treating pressures. Higher injection rates, though, were necessary to transport the sand due
to the lower viscosity and high rates of leakoff for these fluids.
In 1953, with the advent of water as a fracturing fluid, a number of different gelling systems were
developed. Surfactants were added to minimize emulsions with the formation fluid and potassium
chloride was added to minimize the effect on clays and other water sensitive constituents of the
formation. Later, other clay stabilizing agents were developed that enhanced the potassium chlo-
ride and permitted the use of water in a greater number of formations. Other new innovations, such
as foams and addition of alcohol, have enhanced the use of water in a number of formations. Aque-
ous fluids such as acid, water and brines are nowused as the base fluid in over 70%of all fracturing
treatments employing a propping agent. In the early 1970s, a major innovation in fracturing fluids
Fig. 1.4 - Trend of Fracturing Base Fluids.
AQUEOUS BASE FLUID
OIL BASE FLUID
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
1989 1985 1981 1977 1973 1969 1965 1961 1957 1953 1949
P
E
R
C
E
N
T

O
F

T
R
E
A
T
M
E
N
T
YEAR
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
History of Hydraulic Fracturing
1-5 February 1993
was to use crosslinking agents to enhance the viscosity of gelled water base fracturing fluids. Less
pounds of gelling agent were required to reach the desired pumping viscosity, thus reducing cost.
In many cases, however, too high a viscosity was obtained and pumping problems resulted. This
system was soon perfected by reducing the concentration of gelling agents and crosslinker, result-
ing in an economically satisfactory fracturing fluid system.
During the mid 1970s, fracture stimulations were designed for deeper formations. Gel stabilizers
were developed to maintain the properties of the fluid system at the higher temperatures at these
greater depths. The first of these temperature stabilizers was 5% methanol. Later chemical stabi-
lizers were developed that could be used alone, or with the methanol. There was a synergistic effect
obtained when the chemical and the methanol were used together as stabilizers.
Recently, a new innovation was introduced which gives even greater temperature stability. As the
gelled fluid reaches the bottom of the hole and the temperature is increasing, a secondary gelling
agent reacts giving a more uniform viscosity than previous surface crosslinked fluids. Improve-
ments in crosslinkers involve a delayed effect, thus permitting the fluid to reach the bottom of the
hole in high temperature wells prior to crosslinking. This system gives adequate viscosity for mov-
ing the propping agent through the surface equipment and into the tubing, reducing the shearing
effect caused by tubulars, and supplying a good fluid in the hydraulically created fracture to ensure
adequate proppant transport. These are only a few of the highlights of fracturing fluid develop-
ments. Many other developments have enhanced the performance of fracturing fluids.
Proppants:
To keep the artificially created hydraulic fractures open, proppants of many different kinds have
been used. The first fracturing treatment used a northern type sand for proppant; however, screened
river sand was also employed on many early treatments. In fact, on some of these treatments, con-
struction sand sieved through a window screen was employed as the propping agent. It was soon
realized, however, that a high quality sand was desirable and specifications were established on
the type of sand to be used. There have been a number of trends in the size of sand, from very large
down to small. From the very beginning a 20 to 40 U.S. standard mesh sand has been the most
popular and at the present time approximately 85%of the sand used is of this size. Numerous prop-
ping agents have been evaluated throughout the years, including plastic pellets, steel shot, Indian
glass beads, aluminum pellets, high strength glass beads, rounded nut shells, resin coated sands,
sintered bauxite and fused zirconium.
Fig. 1.5 shows that the amount of sand used per fracture treatment has steadily increased through
time. As shown, the concentration of sand (lb/fluid gal) remained low until the mid-1960s when
the use of viscous fluids, such as complexed water base gel and viscous refined oil were intro-
duced. At that time, large size propping agents were advocated to improve well deliverability.
Proppant design techniques at low sand concentration changed from the monolayer or partial
monolayer concept to pumping sand at multiple grain diameters and high concentrations. Over the
last decade, there has been another sharp increase in sand concentrations used corresponding with
improved hydraulic fracturing fluids and advanced pumping equipment.
10
It is not infrequent to
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-6
February 1993
see proppant concentrations averaging 10 to 12 lbm/gal used throughout the treatment. This means
that low concentrations are used at the start of the job and rapidly increased to concentrations of
15 lbm/gal or more.
Corresponding to increased fluid viscosity, higher pump rates and deeper well applications, the
hydraulic horsepower (hhp) used in treatments has increased from an average of about 75 to over
1500 hhp as shown in Fig. 1.6.
Fracture Treatment:
There are cases where as much as 15,000 hhp has been available on jobs with over 10,000 hhp
actually being utilized. Contrast this to some of the early jobs where only 10 to 15 hhp was
required. The initial jobs were performed at rates of two to three barrels per minute (bpm). Rates
Fig. 1.5 - Trend of Average Fracture Treatments in the United States.
a
Fig. 1.6 - Evolution of Fracturing Techniques.
100
90
80
60
50
40
30
20
10
0 0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70 70
80
90
100
Fluid/treatment
P
o
u
n
d
s

S
a
n
d
s

(
T
h
o
u
s
a
n
d
)
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
S
a
n
d

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973 1977 1981 1985 1989
Years
Sand
Concentration
Sand/treatment
G
a
l
l
o
n
s

o
f

F
l
u
i
d

(
T
h
o
u
s
a
n
d
s
)
HHP/JOB
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973 1977 1981 1985 1989
YEARS
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500
0
H
Y
D
R
A
U
L
I
C

H
O
R
S
E
P
O
W
E
R
INJECTION
RATE
R
A
T
E
,

b
b
l
/
m
i
n
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
History of Hydraulic Fracturing
1-7 February 1993
increased rapidly until the early 1960s where rates around 20 bpm became popular. Today, jobs
are performed at a lowrate of about 5 bpm, to a high rate of over 100 bpm. At one time in the Hugo-
ton gas field, pumping rates of over 300 bpmwere employed. Surface treating pressures sometimes
are less than 100 psi, yet others may approach 20,000 psi. Today, as treatment size, pressure and
pump rate increase, treatment costs have also increased, ranging from less than $10,000 to over
$1,000,000. The first two commercial treatments cost between $900 and $1,000.
Conventional cement and acid pumping equipment were utilized initially to execute fracturing
treatments. One to three units equipped with a jet mixer and one pressure pump delivering 75 to
125 hhp were adequate for the small volumes injected at the low rates. Amazingly, many of these
treatments gave phenomenal production increases. As the treating volumes increased, accompa-
nied with demand for greater injection rates, purpose built pumping and blending equipment was
developed to performthese specialized functions. Today, the development of fracturing equipment
continues, including intensifiers, high pressure manifolds, and computer control systems. Large,
massive hydraulic fracturing (MHF) treatments as illustrated in Fig. 1.7, were developed by
Amoco in the Hydraulic Fracturing Department, Amoco Production Research in Tulsa. The treat-
ments were developed to convert non-commercial, tight gas deposits found throughout North
America into viable, commercial properties. MHF treatments require several million dollars worth
of equipment, utilize in excess of one million gallons of fluid and have placed over 3.3 million
pounds of sand, injected in one continuous operation pumped over 10 hours at rates of approxi-
mately 40 bpm.
Sand and fluid are mixed in a piece of fracturing equipment called a blender. For the first few
years, sand was added to the fracturing fluid by pouring it into a tank or jet mixer containing frac-
Fig. 1.7 - Massive Hydraulic Fracture Treatment.
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-8
February 1993
turing fluid and connected to the pump suction. Later with less viscous fluid, a ribbon or paddle
type batch blender was employed. Finally, the continuous proportioner and blender was devel-
oped. Blending equipment has become very sophisticated to meet the need for proportioning a
large number of dry and liquid additives, then properly blending them into the base fluid with the
specified concentrations of sand or other propping agents. In order to handle large volumes of
propping agents required in large treatments, special storage facilities have been developed to
facilitate storing and moving the propping agents at the proper rate to the blender. Proportioning
and mixing of the gelling agents has become a very sophisticated procedure utilizing computer
control systems to step or ramp sand concentrations in the blender as shown in Fig. 1.8. It is nec-
essary to blend them in a uniform method to give the maximum yield viscosity. One procedure is
to use a concentrated gelling agent prepared prior to the treatment, then taken to the field where it
is proportioned into the base fluid in a semi-continuous method. A very uniform high yield viscos-
ity is obtained. With the advent of larger size treatments, it has become necessary to have a com-
puter control center (Fig. 1.9) to coordinate all of the activities that are transpiring simultaneously,
each of which is critical.
Early Fracture Design
The first treatments were designed by very complex application charts, nomographs and calcula-
tions to arrive at the treatment size to be pumped. The calculations generally predicted a treatment
size of 800 gallons, or multiples thereof, of fluid, and the sand at concentrations of around one-half
to three-fourths lbm/gal. A hit and miss method of designing treatments was employed until the
mid-1960s when programs were developed for use on simple computers. The original programs,
based on work developed by Howard and Fast
11
on fluid efficiency and the shape of a fracture sys-
tem, were a great improvement. Since that time, many innovations have been introduced through
Fig. 1.8 - Schematic Diagram of Sand Fluid Proportioner.
FRACTURING
FLUID
METERING
PUMP
PROPORTIONING
CONTROL
SAND
BULK OR SACK
SAND - FLUID
MIXTURE TO
PUMP TRUCK
PRESSURIZER
AGITATOR
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
History of Hydraulic Fracturing
1-9 February 1993
mathematical modeling in both fixed height, two-dimensional and variable height, three-dimen-
sional solutions.
Today, programs are capable of determining temperature profiles of the treating fluid during a
fracturing treatment. Such a profile can assist in designing the gel concentrations, gel stabilizer
concentrations, breaker concentrations and propping agent concentrations during the various
stages of the treatment. Models have been developed to simulate the way fluids move through the
fracture and how the propping agent is distributed. From these simulations, production increases
can be determined. Following a fracturing treatment, reservoir models and pressure transient anal-
ysis methods can then be used to history match the pressure and production performance to deter-
mine what type of treatment was actually achieved.
The history of fractured reservoir response analysis dates from the late 1960s. Tinsley et al.
12
did
work on an electrolytic model to determine the effect fracture lengths and flow capacity would
have on the production increase obtained from wells with a different drainage radius. Several oth-
ers developed mathematical models for similar projections. Nolte and Smith
13
developed proce-
dures to correlate between observations made during fracturing treatments and Britt
14,15
and
Veatch
16-18
presented methods to optimize the fracturing process. Several theories have been
advanced by this work which added considerably to the understanding of the hydraulic fracturing
process. This technology added considerably to the understanding of the hydraulic fracturing pro-
cess and is summarized in the SPE Monograph Volume 12.
19
Marked advancements were achieved by Amoco and the industry during the 1970s and early
1980s. Much of what was learned during this period is now being applied to fracturing oil and gas
formations. The most notable contribution was field test procedures and data collection programs
developed to better estimate fracture design parameters. These include prefrac stress tests, minifrac
Fig. 1.9 - Computer Control Console.
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-10
February 1993
calibration treatments and the measurement of bottomhole treating pressures during fracturing.
Observations from these tests indicate lateral fracture extension rate, vertical growth behavior,
fracturing fluid leakoff rate, and general characteristics associated with defining fracture geome-
try. This information has led Amoco and the industry to a more precise and systematic approach
to fracture treatment design.
Well stimulation by hydraulic fracture treatment is an important production engineering process
to Amoco Production Company. There are many fields in the United States that would not be in
existence today if it had not been for hydraulic fracturing. Some of these include the Sprayberry
trend in west Texas; the Pine Island field in Louisiana; many wells in the Anadarko Basin, the Bruy
River and Cardinal Fields in Canada, a large number of Morrow wells in northwestern Oklahoma;
the entire San Juan basin of New Mexico; the Denver Julesburg basin of Colorado; the East Texas
and north Louisiana trend in the Cotton Valley; the tight gas sands of south Texas and western Col-
orado; the tight gas sands of southwestern Wyoming and many of the producing areas of the north-
eastern part of the United States. Recent economic developments and the constant fluctuation in
petroleum prices have led to a near-halt in the development of tight gas fields until recently. The
industry has turned its attention more to low risk, high profit type projects. Still, fracturing remains
as important to many of these projects as to the earlier tight gas developments. With continuing
advancements in technology, hydraulic fracturing promises to continue playing a vital role in
unlocking otherwise unobtainable reserves and extending field life accordingly. For additional
information on current hydraulic fracturing technology, refer to the technical references at the end
of this chapter.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Amoco Hydraulic Fracturing Course Outline
1-11 February 1993
1.2 Amoco Hydraulic Fracturing Course Outline
The purpose of this course is twofold. The course will present the principles behind the fracturing
process which will assist you in understanding the dependencies between fluid hydraulics, rock
properties, resulting fracture geometry and associated reservoir response. The second, and most
important purpose, is to provide a technical understanding to evaluate the results you achieve. This
understanding will allow you to improve field applications and develop new techniques for appli-
cation. Significant financial benefits are possible by diligently applying the current state of tech-
nology, and overcoming arbitrary and poorly implemented procedures and attitudes.
A question often asked today is, What can be changed to maximize profits? As shown in
Fig. 1.10, the optimumtreatment results frombalancing different parameters, i.e., fracture conduc-
tivity, fracture length and reservoir permeability, to achieve the maximum profit. Generally speak-
ing, the desired fracture length for optimal production is bigger for lower permeability formations
as shown in Fig. 1.11. Conversely, the desired fracture conductivity for optimal production is
greater for higher permeability reservoirs.
The optimum treatment will differ from field to field and from one area of a field to another based
on reservoir characteristics and treatment cost. Recognize that the amount of fluid and proppant
required to achieve a desired penetration will vary greatly from location to location as a function
of lithology, wellbore stresses and fracture containment. Therefore, it is very important for overall
financial optimization, that the optimization process be completed for each different situation and
that at least two or three different fluid and proppant systems be evaluated for each situation.
Fig. 1.12, illustrates a simplified schematic of the optimization process used in the design of
hydraulic fracture stimulations. The upper portion of Fig. 1.12 considers the reservoir response
resulting from fracturing and the revenue produced. The detailed aspects of reservoir behavior are
covered in other courses, however, a general discussion of how these topics relate to optimizing
revenue through fracture design is included in this manual in Chap. 3 and Chap. 9. The lower por-
Fig. 1.10 - Critical Factors to Optimum Fracture Stimulation.
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-12
February 1993
tion of Fig. 1.12, relates to creating the fracture (i.e., the cost aspect). Unlike reservoirs, fractures
are created by humans and therefore can be changed and made both longer and wider as required.
The design and implementation of a propped hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment is the pri-
mary topic of this course.
The topics detailed in this course include how a fracture is created, what proppants should be used
to hold it open and how the fluid flow in a reservoir is altered. The effect of fracture penetration,
the importance of fracture height development, the concepts of effective wellbore radius, dimen-
sionless fracture conductivity (F
CD
) and folds of increase (FOI) for steady-state conditions are dis-
cussed. The effect of early time transient production and bilinear flow, and the application of
economic analysis and revenue optimization are elements of coupled reservoir analysis and
Fig. 1.11 - Desired Fracture Half-lengths for Different Formation Permeabilities.
Fig. 1.12- Fracture Stimulation Design--The Total Concept for Optimization.
Frac. 1/2 Length
1000s Feet
4
3
2
1
0
MD
Micro
Darcies
In-Situ Gas Permeability
.0001 .001 .005 .01 .05 .1 1.0 10.0 100.
.1 1 5 10 50 100 1000 10,000 100,000
Extremely
Tight
Very
Tight Tight
Near
Tight
Conventional
Reservoir
Simulator
Hydrafrac
Simulator
C
u
m
.

P
r
o
d
.
T
r
e
a
t
m
e
n
t

V
o
l
.
Years Length
Length
Fracture Length
Fracture Length
$

R
e
v
e
n
u
e
$

C
o
s
t
$ Revenue
Less
$ Cost
Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Amoco Hydraulic Fracturing Course Outline
1-13 February 1993
hydraulic fracture treatment designs covered in this course.
The financial results obtained in fracturing can be significantly increased, over the standard prac-
tice of the industry, through a better understanding of the fracturing process, how to optimize a
treatment design, and the implementation of quality control in the field. The nomenclature which
follows on the next pages summarizes the most important and frequently used terms in the manual.
The SPE Monograph Volume 12
19
provides a comprehensive review and list of references on
many of the aspects covered in this course.
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-14
February 1993
1.3 Nomenclature
BHCP Bottomhole closure pressure in psi. It is equal to fracture pressure; it is also
c
.
BHTP Bottomhole treating pressure in psi. It is equal to surface treating pressure plus hy-
drostatic pressure minus friction pressure. It is also equal to BHCP plus P
N
.
bpm Barrels per minute.
C Fracturing fluid leakoff coefficient. It is also equal to C
t
in .
C
I
Part of C
t
. It is the effects of the frac fluid viscosity and relative permeability in
.
C
II
Part of C
t
. It is the effects of the reservoir fluid viscosity and compressibility in
.
C
III
Part of C
t
. It is the effects of the wall building properties of the frac fluid in
.
C
t
The total effects of the frac fluid leakoff coefficient in .
C
t
It is the total compressibility factor of the reservoir and fluid in psi
-1
. It is used to
calculate part of C
III
.
E Modulus of Elasticity in psi.
F
CD
A dimensionless fracture capacity. It is related to the contrast in permeability be-
tween the fracture and the formation.
FOI Folds of Increase. It is the ratio of the stabilized production after fracturing to the
production before fracturing. It is equal to Q
FRAC
/Q
UNFRAC
.
Rock porosity in decimal percent.
H Total or gross fracture height in feet.
hhp Hydraulic Horse Power in hp.
H
p
Permeability Height. That portion of the frac height, H, to which frac fluids may be
lost.
k Reservoir permeability in millidarcies (md).
k
f
Fracture permeability in md.
k
f
w Fracture conductivity in md-ft.
ft/ minute
ft/ minute
ft/ minute
ft/ minute
ft/ minute

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Nomenclature
1-15 February 1993
K' A property of gelled frac fluids called consistency index and is shear stress at a
strain rate of 1 sec
-1
. Data supplied by service companies.
L Hydraulic fracture length from tip to tip. It is equal to 2 times the hydraulic frac ra-
dius, x
f
, in feet.
Viscosity in cp.
n' A property of gelled frac fluids called Power Law Exponent or Flow Behavior In-
dex. Data supplied by service companies. Related to K'.
OB Overburden pressure in psi. Generally, it is one times TVD in psi.
p The difference between the pressure in the fracture and reservoir pressure in psi,
used in C
I
and C
II
.
P
c
Critical Pressure or Pressure Capacity. It is the net pressure above closure pressure
where a fracture may become unconfined.
PFCF Proppant Fall Correction Factor. It is a term used to tell the computer that a prop-
pant other than 20-40 mesh is being used, or that fall is through a crosslinked fluid.
P
N
Net Pressure. The pressure in the fracture above closure pressure. It is equal to
BHTP minus BHCP.
PPG Pounds of Proppant Per Gallon of liquid in lb/gal.
PPSG Pounds of Proppant Per Gallon of Slurry in lb/gal.
Q Pump rate in barrels per minute (bpm).
Same as FOI. A measure of the results of the fracture stimulation.
r
e
Drainage radius in feet. Generally, it is one-half the distance to the next well.
r
w
Wellbore radius in feet.
r'
w
The stimulated wellbore radius effect due to the fracture in feet. It is the effective
or pseudo-wellbore flow radius resulting from the fracture.
S.G. Specific Gravity relative to water.
SIBHP Shut In Bottomhole Pressure, P
R
, in psi.
SIBHT Shut In Bottomhole Temperature in F.
SPF Perforation density in Shots Per Foot.
Q
FRAC
Q
UNFRAC
----------------------

Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-16
February 1993
t Time in minutes.
c
Closure Stress. Equal to BHCP.
TVD True Vertical Depth in feet.
V
FRAC
Volume of fracture cavity in cubic feet.
V
IN
Volume of frac fluid pumped into the well in cubic feet.
V
LOST
Volume of frac fluid leaked from the crack into the formation in cubic feet.
w Fracture Width in feet (may also be in inches).
Average Fracture Width in feet (may also be in inches).
x
f
Fracture radius in feet (or fracture half-length). Measured from the center of the
wellbore to the end of the proppant on one wing of the fracture.

w
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
1-17 February 1993
1.4 References
1. Farris, R. F.: U. S. Patent reissued Nov. 10, 1953, Re 23733.
2. Clark, J. B.: A Hydraulic Process for Increasing the Productivity of Oil Wells, Trans., AIME (1949) 186, 1-8.
3. Maly, J. W. and Morton, T. E.: Selection and Evaluation of Wells for Hydrafrac Treatment, Oil &Gas J, (May
3, 1951) No. 52, 126.
4. Clark, R. C. et al.: Application of Hydraulic Fracturing to the Stimulation of Oil and Gas Production, Drill. &
Prod. Prac., API (1953) 113-22.
5. Huitt, J. L. and McGlothin, B. B. Jr.: The Propping of Fractures in Formations Susceptible to Propping-Sand
Embedment, Drill. & Prod. Prac., API (1958) 115.
6. Huitt, J. L., McGlothin, B. B. Jr., and McDonald, J. F.: The Propping of Fractures in Formations in Which Prop-
ping Sand Crushes, Drill. & Prod. Prac., API (1958) 115.
7. Huitt, J. L.: Hydraulic Fracturing with Single Point Entry Technique, JPT, (March 1960) XII, No. 3, 11.
8. Hubbert, M. K. and Willis, D. G.: Mechanics of Hydraulic Fracturing, Trans., AIME (1957) 210, 153-66.
9. Anderson, T. O. and Stahl, E. J.: A Study of Induced Fracturing Using an Instrumental Approach, JPT (Feb.
1967) 261-67; Trans., AIME, 240.
10. Coulter, G. R. and Wells, R. D.: The Effect of Fluid pH on Clays and Resulting Formation Permeability, pre-
sented at the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course, Dept. of Petroleum Engineering, Texas Tech University,
Lubbock, Texas, April 17-18, 1975.
11. Howard G. C. and Fast, C. R.: Optimum Fluid Characteristics for Fracture Extension, Drill. & Prod. Prac.,
API (1957) 261-70.
12. Tinsley, J. M. et al.: Vertical Fracture Height--Its Effect on Steady-State Production Increase, JPT (May 1969)
633-38; Trans., AIME, 246.
13. Nolte, K. G. and Smith, M. B.: Interpretation of Fracturing Pressures, JPT, (Sept. 1981), 1767-75.
14. Britt, L. K.: Optimized Oil Well Fracturing, Phase I Report, Amoco Production Company Report F84-P-23
(May 25, 1984).
15. Britt, L. K.: Optimized Oil Well Fracturing, Phase II Report, Analysis of the Effects of Fracturing on the Sec-
ondary Recovery Process; Amoco Production Company Report F85-P-7 (Jan. 24, 1985).
16. Veatch, R. W. Jr.: Overview of Current Hydraulic Fracturing Design and Treatment Technology--Part 1, JPT
(April 1983) 677-87.
17. Veatch, R. W. Jr.: Overview of Current Hydraulic Fracturing Design and Treatment Technology--Part 2, JPT
(May 1983) 853-64.
18. Veatch, Ralph W. Jr.: Economics of Fracturing Some Methods and Case Study Examples, Amoco Production
Company Report F89-P-58 (Aug. 3, 1989).
Introduction
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
1
1-18
February 1993
19. Gidley, J. L., Holditch, D. E., Nierode, D. E., and Veatch, R. W., Jr.:, Monograph Series, SPE, Richardson, TX
(1989) 12.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
2-1
Chapter
July 1993
Fracture design models attempt to simulate the natural phenomena associated with the hydraulic
fracturing process. They account for the total volume of fluid injected in the ground (continuity
equation) and estimate the fluid volume that leaks off in the formation and the fluid volume that
remains within the fracture; they relate fracture width to the applied hydraulic pressure (elasticity
equation); they account for pressure loss due to flow within the fracture (fluid flow equation); and
they predict fracture dimensions due to fluid pressure by satisfying a fracture propagation criterion
at the fracture tip.
In many cases, the consideration of continuity and elasticity equations provides insight into the
basic relationship between directly measured qualities of the fracturing process, such as injected
volume and treating pressure.
2.1 The Continuity Equation
The continuity (or volume balance) equation expresses the relationship:
Volume Pumped = Volume Lost + Volume in Fracture or
(2.1)
It states that the volume pumped into the fracture is equal to the volume lost to the formation by
fluid loss plus the volume remaining or stored in the fracture. The individual terms (for a constant
height fracture, pumped at a constant rate) are defined as follows:
(2.2)
(2.3)
(2.4)
Substituting Eqs. (2.2) - (2.4) into Eq. (2.1) , and solving for the tip to tip length, L, gives
(2.5)
V
IN
V
LOST
V
FRAC .
+ =
V
IN
Qt proportional to total cost ( ) =
V
LOST
3CH
p
L t proportional to lost cost ( )
V
FRAC
wHL ( proportional to effective cost) =
L
Qt
3CH
p
t wH +
------------------------------------ - =
Fracturing Models
2
Fracturing Models
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
2
2-2
July 1993
where Q = pump rate in cubic feet per minute (5.6 cu. ft. = 1bbl), t= pump time in minutes, C =
fluid loss coefficient in ft/ , Hp = permeable fracture height in feet, = average fracture width
in feet, and H = total fracture height in feet.
Eq. (2.5) determines the length which will result for a fracture treatment in terms of the other vari-
ables and compares within 10-15% of computer fracture models. Also this equation can be rear-
ranged to form a quadratic equation in terms of . Solving this equation gives the pumping time
(i.e., V
IN
) to obtain a desired fracture length.
Inspection of Eq. (2.5) indicates that increasing any of the terms in the denominator (except time)
will decrease the fracture length. In particular, changing the height, H, and/or fluid loss coeffi-
cient, C, can have dramatic effects on fracture length. Fig. 2.1 shows an example of the relation-
ship between fracture height and length for a given treatment volume. Fig. 2.2 shows a similar
relationship between fluid loss coefficient and length.
Fig. 2.1 - Fracture Height vs. Fracture Length 300,000 Gallon Treatment Design.
min w
t
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0 1000 2000 3000
H
e
i
g
h
t

-

F
e
e
t
Fracture Length - Feet
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
The Continuity Equation
2-3 July 1993
Fig. 2.2 - Fracture Length vs. Volume Pumped for Low (emulsion) and High (base gels) Fluid Loss
Behavior.
Low Fluid Loss
High Fluid Loss
Polymer
Emulsion
Water & Oil
Base Gels
150 ft Fracture Height
20 BPM
Length
Height
2000
1500
1000
500
0
20 60 100 140 180 220 260
Volume (1000s Gallons)
F
r
a
c
t
u
r
e

L
e
n
g
t
h

(
f
t
)
Fracturing Models
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
2
2-4
July 1993
2.2 Model Differences and the Elasticity Equation
The width term, , in Eq. (2.5) , has caused the industry many problems because two fundamen-
tally different model assumptions are used for constant height designs which give significantly
different results. The two models are commonly termed the Perkins and Kern (PK)
1
and the Khris-
tianovic (K) model.
2
The differences in the models result from their different applications of the
theory of elasticity to hydraulic fracturing. It should be noted that the Perkins and Kern model was
later extended by Nordgren,
3
while the Khristianovic model was extended by Geertsma and de
Klerk.
4
As a result, PK and PKN are used synonymously for the Perkins and Kern model as
K and GDK are for the Kristianovic model.
A classical solution in the theory of elasticity predicts that, for an infinite, elastic slab, in plane-
strain (i.e., deformation restricted between parallel planes in the slab), with a pressurized slit
through the slab, the slit will deform into the shape of an ellipse. The ellipse will have a major axis
equal to the slit half-length and a minor axis proportional to the pressure and slit length, and
inversely proportional to the elastic modulus as seen in the upper portion of Fig. 2.3. This elastic
solution was applied to hydraulic fracturing, but in different directions as seen in the bottom por-
tion of Fig. 2.3. As shown, the ellipse in the PK model is vertical while the ellipse in the K model
is horizontal. As a result, a continuing debate has been waged during the last 30 years as to which
is correct. This debate is more than academic since the two models predict significantly different
fluid volumes to achieve a desired fracture length. In this regard, the K model requires greater vol-
ume per foot of length. Additionally, the K model implicitly assumes free slip between the frac-
tured bed and bounding beds which is physically improbable at depth.
The prevailing thought within Amoco is that the PKNmodel is most applicable for fractures which
are long when compared to their height and that the GDK model is more applicable for fractures
Fig. 2.3 - Two Very Different Models.
w
Fracture Pressure and Width
VOL
IN
= VOL
LOST
+ VOL
FRAC
W H L
ELASTICITY
TWO MODELS
ELLIPSE
ELLIPSE
ELLIPSE
P=S+p
L/2
L=D
W~
D
_
E
p
PERKINS & KERN MODEL
KHRISTIANOVIC MODEL
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Model Differences and the Elasticity Equation
2-5 July 1993
which are short compared to their height. In this latter scenario, a penny frac or a 3 Dimensional
model would be more appropriate.
Fig. 2.4 shows the resulting difference between the PKN and GDK models as a result of the dif-
ferent application of the elasticity relation. Note that their relationships for viscosity (for flow of a
Newtonian fluid), rate, and rock modulus are the same. However, the relationships for pressure and
width are very different as shown in Table 2.1.
For the general case with length greater than height, the PKN model will predict less width; thus
from Eq. (2.5) , the PKN model will generally predict more length. Also, the PKN model predicts
that the net pressure (fluid pressure in fracture minus formation closure pressure) increases as
length, L, (or time, t,) increases, while the GDK model predicts net pressure decreases with length,
L, (or time, t,) as shown on Fig. 2.5.
Bottomhole pressure measurements indicate that, if height is relatively constant and significantly
smaller than fracture length, the pressure will increase as predicted by the PKN model. Also,
downhole televiewer pictures obtained by Amoco, which directly measured the fracture width in
an open hole completion, indicated that the pressure-width relationship of the PKN model was
most applicable.
Table 2.1 - Comparison of Perkins and Kern and Khristianovic Models.
Elasticity Fluid Flow (Newtonian)
Perkins and Kern p ~ L
1/4
Khristianovic p ~
P&K Model Khrist. Model
I. Elasticity
II. Friction From Fluid Flow
(Newtonian)
III. Combining I & II
Fig. 2.4 - Comparison of Perkins and Kern and Khristianovic Models.
W H
W L
1
L
1 2 /
----------
W
H
E
---p
W

4
--W =
W~ W~
L_
P
p
W
QL
E
-------- ( )
1/4

W
QL
2
EH
-----------
,
_
1/4

p
E
3/4
H
--------- QL ( )
1/4
p
E
3/4
L
1/2
--------- QL ( )
1/4
Fracturing Models
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
2
2-6
July 1993
The consequence of the different width assumptions in the models can be seen by a comparison of
service company designs based on exactly the same requested input. This comparison was made
by Amoco in 1980. The input variables supplied to the service companies are shown in Table 2.2.
Table 2.3 shows the dramatic variations in the results because of the different schools of thought
in each company at that time. As shown, the Halliburton and Dowell Programs were based on the
GDK model, while the Western, Smith and Amoco programs were based on the PKN model. It is
noted that the BJ program set the leakoff height to 200 ft instead of 100 ft and the Western model
assumed that the fracture width down the complete length was the maximum value at the wellbore.
The large differences in the output indicate the impact of modeling assumptions associated with
Fig. 2.5 - Perkins & Kern (PKN) Model and Khristianovic (GDK) Model.
5
Table 2.2 - Input Values - Service Company Designs.
Input Variables Input Values
Propped Radius 2000 ft
Frac Height 200 ft
Leakoff Height 100 ft
Modulus 6x10 psi
Loss Coefcient 0.001 ft/min
Pump Rate 25 BPM
Viscosity 100 CP
Proppant Concentration 1 lb/ft
Frac gradient, depth, surface and reservoir temperatures, and
rock type also specied.
p L
1/4
p Q ( )
1/4
p
1
L
1/2
-------
l
o
g

L
log t (or VOL.)
l
o
g

p
l
o
g

p
log L
log L
(TIME )
PKN
GDK
PKN Model GDK Model
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Model Differences and the Elasticity Equation
2-7 July 1993
comparing service company bids and highlight the importance of knowledgably designing your
own treatments. However, many oil companies still rely on the service companies for designs.
Table 2.3 - Results - Service Company Designs.
Company Model Type
Average
Width Inches Sand, M lb
Volume,
M gal Pad, M gal
Amoco PKN 0.24 715 250 110
B-J PKN 0.39 800 630 125
Dowell GDK 0.51 1280 420 110
Halliburton GDK 0.69 1150 535 150
Smith PKN 0.29 657 166 36
Western PKN 0.40 1425 400 80
Fracturing Models
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
2
2-8
July 1993
2.3 References
1. Perkins, T. K. Jr. and Kern, L. R.: Widths of Hydraulic Fractures, JPT (Sept. 1961) 937-49; Trans., AIME, 222.
2. Khristianovic, S. A. and Zheltov, Y. P.: Formation of Vertical Fractures by Means of Highly Viscous Fluids,
Proc., Fourth World Pet. Cong., Rome (1955) II, 579.
3. Nordgren, R. P.: Propagation of a Vertical Hydraulic Fracture, SPEJ (Aug. 1972) 306-14; Trans., AIME, 253.
4. Geertsma, J. and de Klerk, F.: A Rapid Method of Predicting Width and Extent of Hydraulically Induced Frac-
tures, JPT (Dec. 1969) 1571-81; Trans., AIME, 246.
5. Nolte, K. G. and Smith, M. B.: Interpretation of Fracturing Pressures, JPT (Sept. 1981) 1767-75.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3-1
Chapter
July 1999
3.1 Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation
To understand the reservoir response to fracture stimulations, one must understand the interrela-
tionship between the important reservoir and fracture variables. These variables include reservoir
permeability, fracture conductivity, and fracture half length. The Dimensionless Fracture Capac-
ity, F
CD
, describes this interrelationship. This equation:
(3.1)
relates the fracture's ability to flow fluids to the wellbore to the reservoir's ability to flow fluids to
the fracture. If, for example, F
CD
is low (F
CD
1.6) the fracture has finite conductivity and the res-
ervoir fluids would rather flow towards the wellbore than the fracture. It further indicates that
increasing fracture length would not result in improved reservoir response. Conversely, if F
CD
is
high (F
CD
500), the fracture has infinite conductivity. As a result, increasing fracture conductiv-
ity would not improve reservoir response. For practical purposes, fractures having F
CD
> 30 act as
infinite conductivity fractures. The parameters used to define F
CD
are illustrated in Fig. 3.1.
Fracture Length
Fracture length or penetration generally has the greatest impact on low permeability reservoirs.
The following examples are from the Wattenberg Field, which is operated by Amoco Production
Fig. 3.1 - Major Factors Affecting Performance.
F
CD
k
f
w
k x
f
---------- =
Fracture Length, x
f
, feet
Formation Permeability, k, md
Fracture Flow Capacity, k
f
w, md-ft

x
f
k
k
f
w
3
Reservoir Analysis
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-2
July 1999
Company. This field is located north of Denver, Colorado, and has a permeability of about 0.005
md. Fig. 3.2 shows the effect of fracture half-length, x
f
, on cumulative gas production. As shown,
increasing fracture half length results in significant incremental gas recovery over a 25-year
period.
Reservoir Permeability
Reservoir permeability, k, and its effect on fractured well performance is illustrated in Fig. 3.3 and
Fig. 3.4. Shown in the figures is the pressure distribution map for only one quadrant of a fractured
well. The pressure distribution map was obtained from a computer simulation after the well,
located in the upper left corner, was produced for a period of time. The simulated fracture in
Fig. 3.3 is located vertically on the left and has a high fracture flow capacity, k
f
w. The formation
permeability, k, in the computer simulator was very low at 0.005 md (5 micro darcies). Contours
of the pressure profile in psi were made and because gas flows perpendicular to these pressure con-
tour lines, streamlines which represent the path by which the gas travels to the well can be drawn.
Since the formation permeability is extremely low relative to the fracture flow capacity (k
f
w), the
flow is nearly linear and the fracture acts as an infinite conductivity fracture. As a result, the frac-
ture carries almost all the total gas flow to the well. The path of least resistance is the shortest dis-
tance to the fracture.
Fig. 3.4 shows a pressure distribution map for a fractured well with the same fracture flowcapacity
as in Fig. 3.3, but this time the formation permeability is significantly higher at 100 md. Since the
formation permeability more nearly approximates the fracture flow capacity, equal pressure lines
become circular and the flow is nearly radial as can be seen by converging flow lines. In this case,
the fracture carries a relatively small fraction of the total gas flow which indicates that the benefit
Fig. 3.2 - Effect of Fracture Length Cumulative Gas Produced (25 Years).
ADDITIONAL RECOVERY BY
INCREASING FRACTURE LENGTH
RADIAL FLOW
Time (years)
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
1800
2000
1500 ft
1000 ft
400 ft
C
u
m
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e

G
a
s

P
r
o
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

-

M
M
C
F FRACTURE LENGTH
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation
3-3 July 1999
realized from the fracture stimulation was minimal. In this case, the path of least resistance is pri-
marily via the reservoir.
Fracture Flow Capacity
The key difference in Fig. 3.3 and Fig. 3.4 is the ratio of the fracture flow capacity to the reservoir
permeability, k.
Fracture flow capacity is defined as the product of the permeability in the fracture, k
f
, and the frac-
ture width, w, with dimensions of md-ft. It is also referred to as fracture conductivity. Shown in
Fig. 3.5 are three types of fracture flow capacity. An infinite flow capacity fracture is a fracture
that acts similar to a large diameter pipeline where there is essentially no pressure drop from the
tip of the fracture to the wellbore. Afinite flowcapacity fracture has a pressure drop along the frac-
ture that is proportional to the fracture flow capacity, k
f
w. Nearly all created fractures have finite
capacity. The reservoir response associated with variable conductivity fractures is governed by the
arithmetic average flow capacity.
Estimates of k
f
w are available from the service companies and Amoco's Production Research
(APR) Department. The STIM-LAB data in Fig. 3.6 shows the effect of proppant type on liquid
permeability. The entire set of Stimlab data can be accessed in the Proppants Manual or from APR.
Fig. 3.6 shows that the manufactured proppants bauxite, intermediate density proppant and zirco-
nia have high permeability up to very high closure stresses.
Fig. 3.3 - Pressure Distribution and
Approximate Streamlines, Reservoir K =
0.005 md.
Fig. 3.4 - Pressure Distribution and Approxi-
mate Streamlines, Reservoir K = 100 md.
PRESSU
4
0
0

p
s
i
6
0
0

p
s
i
1
0
0
0

p
s
i
1
2
0
0

p
s
i
8
0
0

p
s
i
F
R
A
C
T
U
R
E
Streamlines
Pressure
Contour
Lines
1
2
0
0

p
s
i
Well
Flow is nearly linear
FCD > 25 (Inifinite Conductivity)
Fracture carries almost the total gas
flow to the well
4
0
0

p
s
i
8
0
0

p
s
i
6
0
0

p
s
i
1
0
0
0

p
s
i
F
R
A
C
T
U
R
E
6
0
0

p
s
i
8
0
0

p
s
i
1
0
0
0

p
s
i
1
2
0
0

p
s
i
4
0
0

p
s
i
Flow is nearly radial
FCD << 25 (Finite Conductivity)
Fracture carries almost no gas
to the well
Pressure
Contour
Lines
Streamlines
Well
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-4
July 1999
The resin coated sand has intermediate permeability values, and the sands (Brady and Ottawa)
have the lowest values at higher stresses. Fig. 3.6 indicates that the Brady sand has higher per-
meability for closure pressure less than 5000 psi (i.e., nominally 6000 to 7000 ft) than the more
pure silica sand of the Ottawa type. This results because the Brady sand tends to be coarser (i.e.,
more toward 20 mesh) and more angular. At higher stresses the less pure and more angular sand
has less permeability (i.e., more crushing).
Fig. 3.7 shows laboratory values of conductivity, k
f
w for both Brady and Ottawa type sands. Note
that the Ottawa types are not available in the coarser sizes, while Brady is not available for the finer
sizes. Notice that at 4000 psi, the 8/16 Brady sand has about 5 times more conductivity or capacity
than the commonly used 20/40 Ottawa (i.e., 15,000 vs 2800 md ft).
Post treatment evaluation experience indicates that in-situ capacity is dramatically less than these
laboratory values. This results from gel residues, fluid loss additives and potentially rock debris.
Indicated values are about 1/3 - 1/10 of the lab values. In addition, Amoco's design program indi-
cates that propped widths of more than 1 lb/ft
2
are difficult to achieve. It is noted that some service
companies claim they achieve 4 lb/ft
2
. Since the laboratory standard (i.e., Fig. 3.7 is 2 lb/ft
2
); a fur-
ther reduction for width must be made. The best method to determine in-situ capacity is to perform
well tests in the field and use the bilinear flow analysis techniques discussed in Section 3.3. If
actual in-situ values are not available, the following guideline for capacity should be used.
(3.2)
Fig. 3.5 - Fracture Flow Capacity.
(Fracture Perm. x Fracture Width)
INFINITE CAPACITY
FINITE CAPACITY
VARIABLE FINITE CAPACITY
k
f
k
f
k
f1
k
f2
expected k
f
w 0.3
k
f
w lab data
lb/ft
2
lab data
---------------------------------lb/ft
2
expected =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation
3-5 July 1999
Most lab tests are run at 2 lb/ft
2
. However, your test data may be different. Proppant concentration
at which the tests were run should be available, or the data should not be used. The 0.30 factor is
a permeability reduction applied to the lab data to correct for inherent differences in in-situ fracture
conditions and idealized laboratory conditions. This is nothing but a fudge-factor and varies
widely. This correction may be used for scoping studies, but pressure transient testing is still the
preferred technique to obtain the actual in-situ value of k
f
w.
The importance of fracture conductivity and fracture length are illustrated in Fig. 3.8 through
Fig. 3.10. These figures show the results of simulations which combine variations of conductivity
and length with reservoir permeabilities of 0.005, 0.08, and 5.0 md, respectively. The results are
shown as the ratio of flow rate after fracturing to that before stimulation. This ratio is known as
Folds of Increase, FOI.
Fig. 3.6 - Effect of Proppant Type on Flow Capacity.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-6
July 1999
Fig. 3.7 - Laboratory Fracture Conductivity for Frac Sands.
E
f
f
e
c
t

o
f

P
r
o
p
p
a
n
t

S
i
z
e
o
n

F
l
o
w

C
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
C
l
a
s
s

E

o
t
t
a
w
a


F
r
a
c

S
a
n
d
G
a
l
e
s
v
i
l
l
e

S
a
n
d
s
t
o
n
e
I
r
o
n
t
o
n
/
G
a
l
e
s
v
i
l
l
e

S
a
n
d
s
t
o
n
e
J
o
r
d
a
n

S
a
n
d
s
t
o
n
e
S
a
i
n
t

P
e
t
e
r

S
a
n
d
s
t
o
n
e
S
p
e
c
i

c

G
r
a
v
i
t
y
:

2
.
6
5

(
2
2
.
1

l
b
/
g
a
l
)
B
u
l
k

D
e
n
s
i
t
y
:

1
.
6
5

g
/
c
m
3

(
1
0
2
.
7

l
b
/
f
t
3
)
P
r
o
p
p
a
n
t

C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
2
.
0

l
b
/
f
t
2 N
o
t
e
:

N
o

a
l
l
o
w
a
n
c
e
s

h
a
v
e

b
e
e
n

m
a
d
e
f
o
r

e
m
b
e
d
m
e
n
t

o
r

a
n
y

f
o
r
m

o
f
p
a
c
k

d
a
m
a
g
e
.
A
P
I

M
e
s
h

S
i
z
e
1
2
/
2
0
1
6
/
3
0
2
0
/
4
0
3
0
/
5
0
4
0
/
7
0
7
0
/
1
4
0
1
2
J
U
L
8
3
R
W
A
C
l
o
s
u
r
e

S
t
r
e
s
s
,

p
s
i

i
n

1
0
0
0

s
2
4
6
8
1
0
1
2
1
0 8 6 4 3 2
1
.
0
0
.
8
0
.
6
0
.
4
0
.
3
0
.
2
2
0
3
0
4
0
6
0
8
0
1
0
0
F r a c t u r e C o n d u c t i v i t y , k l x W
f ,
d a r c y x f o o t , D x f t
1
0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

O
t
t
a
w
a


S
a
n
d
E
f
f
e
c
t

o
f

P
r
o
p
p
a
n
t

S
i
z
e
o
n

F
l
o
w

C
p
a
c
i
t
y
C
l
a
s
s

D

b
r
a
d
y


F
r
a
c

S
a
n
d
H
i
c
k
o
r
y

S
a
n
d
s
t
o
n
e
1
2
/
2
0

&

2
0
/
4
0

B
i
d
a
h
o
c
h
i

F
o
r
m
a
t
i
o
n
6
/
1
2
-
1
2
/
2
0

A
e
o
l
i
a
n

d
u
n
e

s
a
n
d
S
p
e
c
i

c

G
r
a
v
i
t
y
:
2
.
6
5

(
2
2
.
1

l
b
/
g
a
l
)
B
u
l
k

D
e
n
s
i
t
y
:

1
.
6
1

g
/
c
m

(
1
0
0
.
5

l
b
/
f
t
3
A
P
I

M
e
s
h

S
i
z
e
6
/
1
2
8
/
1
6
1
2
/
2
0
1
6
/
3
0
2
0
/
4
0
8
0
4
0
3
0
2
0
1
0 8 6 4 3 2
1
.
0
0
.
8
0
.
6
0
.
4
0
.
3
0
.
2
N
o
t
e
:

N
o

a
l
l
o
w
a
n
c
e
s

h
a
v
e

b
e
e
n

m
a
d
e
f
o
r

e
m
b
e
d
m
e
n
t

o
r

a
n
y

f
o
r
m

o
f
p
a
c
k

d
a
m
a
g
e
.
1
4
J
U
L
8
3
R
W
A
6
0
F r a c t u r e C o n d u c i t i v t y , k l x W f
,
d a r c y x f o o t , D x f t
0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
C
l
o
s
u
r
e

S
t
r
e
s
s
,

p
s
i

i
n

1
0
0
0

s
0
2
4
6
8
1
0
1
2
1
4

B
r
a
d
y


S
a
n
d
F r a c t u r e C o n d u c t i v i t y , k l x W f , d a r c y x f o o t , D x f t
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation
3-7 July 1999
Fig. 3.8 shows for a formation permeability equal to 0.005 md that as the fracture flow capacity,
k
f
w, is reduced from 1000 md-ft to 1.0 md-ft, the effect of improved flow rate due to increased
fracture length is diminished. However, the effect becomes significant when k
f
w is increased from
1 to 10 and 100 md-ft. Beyond a k
f
w = 100 md-ft, the effect of increasing fracture flow capacity
has diminishing returns. Fig. 3.9 and Fig. 3.10 show that as formation permeability increases, the
effect of improved flow rate due to increasing the fracture length diminishes further.
Fig. 3.9 shows a similar graph where formation permeability, k, is increased to 0.05 md. Notice
that increasing the flow capacity, k
f
w, above 100 md-ft will still have an effect on improving flow
rate. This was not the case when k was 0.005 md. Also note that for fracture flow capacities equal
to 10 md-ft or lower, there is little rate improvement as the fracture length increases.
Fig. 3.8 - Formation Permeability Equal to
0.005 md.
Fig. 3.9 - Formation Permeability Increased
to 0.05 md.
Fig. 3.10 - Formation Permeability Equal to 5.0 md.
0 200 100 300 400 500 600 700 800
K=0.005 MD
k
f
w = 1000 Md-ft
k
f
w = 100 Md-ft
k
f
w = 10 Md-ft
k
f
w = 1 Md-ft
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
Q
f
r
a
c
/
Q
u
n
f
r
a
c
Fracture-Half Length
K=0.05 MD
K
fw
=1000 Md-ft
K
fw
=100 Md-ft
K
fw
=10 Md-ft
Fracture-Half Length
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
Q
f
r
a
c
/
Q
u
n
f
r
a
c
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
K
fw
=1 Md-ft
Kfw = 1000 Md-ft
Kfw = 100 Md-ft
Kfw = 10 Md-ft
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
Fracture-Half Length
Q
f
r
a
c
/
Q
u
n
f
r
a
c
K=5.0 MD
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-8
July 1999
Fig. 3.10 shows a similar plot with formation permeability, k, of 5.0 md. This plot shows that
increasing fracture length beyond 200 ft in a 5 md reservoir, has little productivity advantage.
Fig. 3.10 exposes the myth that fractures are only for low permeability wells. As reservoir perme-
ability increases, the Q
frac
/Q
unfrac
ratio decreases for a given fracture length and conductivity. But
since for radial flow, the base rate is directly proportional to permeability, the base rate (Q
unfrac
) is
increasing. Would you invest in a frac for a 5 md well making 10 MMCFD? Fig. 3.10 indicates
that a 100 ft, 1000 md-ft frac would make it a 25 MMCFD well. When the importance of short,
high conductivity fractures is better understood, many high permeability wells will be fractured in
the future. In general, wells in high permeability reservoirs are the least expensive to stimulate and
often provide the greatest incremental benefit.
Fracture Orientation
As a reservoir's permeability decreases, the drainage pattern becomes more elliptical (i.e., smaller
aspect ratio) for an optimum fracture. This results because of two reasons: first, the drainage per-
pendicular to the fracture face decreases, and second, the optimum fracture length is longer.
Fig. 3.11 shows the effect of fracture orientation on reservoir drainage. This figure shows the ellip-
tical patterns after 10 and 25 years for Wattenberg reservoir conditions on 320 acre spacing. The
upper portion of Fig. 3.11, shows fractures placed properly with respect to the fracture orientation.
As shown, there is little interference and relatively complete drainage would occur. However on
the lower portion of Fig. 3.11, for a azimuth, there is significant overlap of the patterns and
substantial areas of the reservoir that will not be drained. Also note that the contours are for a 300
psi drawdown at 10 and 25 years - very far from depletion.
If a similar contour map of the well configuration (unfavorably oriented) shown in the lower por-
tion of Fig. 3.11, was made after 100 years of production, it might show as complete a coverage or
drainage as the well configuration in the upper portion of Fig. 3.11 has shown in 25 years. It suf-
fices to say that fracture orientation can have a significant affect on both ultimate recovery and rate
acceleration benefits derived from fracturing.
It is obvious that to generally benefit from knowing the orientation, well placement must be
selected in a manner that differs from normal practices. The required spacing is with wells closer
in the direction perpendicular to the fracs and farther apart in the direction of the fracs. Also since
the orientation is likely not to be near or , the optimum well placement will be quite differ-
ent than normal patterns of subsequent quartering sections. An SPE paper by M. B. Smith
1
gives
an excellent study of the effect of fracture azimuth, well spacing, and lost production for Watten-
berg.
45
0 45
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Reservoir Response To Fracture Stimulation
3-9 July 1999
Fig. 3.11 - Optimum Well Placement vs. Fracture Orientation.
DRAINAGE AREAS
INITIAL PRESSURE - 2800 PSI FORMATION PERMEABILITY = 0.004 md
DRAINAGE AREAS
INITIAL PRESSURE - 2800 PSI FORMATION PERMEABILITY = 0.004 md
2500 PSI
10 YEARS
2500 PSI
10 YEARS
25 YEARS
25 YEARS
5280
5280
5
2
8
0
'
5
2
8
0
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-10
July 1999
3.2 Steady-State Reservoir Response
The fracturing response for wells in moderate to high permeability reservoirs quickly reaches a
pseudo steady-state condition which can be modeled by radial flow behavior. This is not the case
for very low permeability formations which are in transient flow for a significant part of their pro-
ductive life. Transient flow will be addressed in Section 3.3.
The pseudo steady-state radial flow for fractures in moderate-to-high permeability reservoirs per-
mits modeling by the effective wellbore concept. This concept was introduced by Prats
2
along
with the term, F
CD
, discussed previously (page 3-1).
Effective Wellbore Radius, r'
w
This powerful tool indicates that fracturing wells in moderate-to-high permeability reservoirs is
equivalent to increasing the area of the wellbore, i.e., a giant under-reaming job. Thus fracturing
in moderate-to-high permeability reservoirs is equivalent to enlarging the wellbore. Consequently
the relative benefits of fracturing are the same for heavy or light oils.
Theoretically, for an infinite conductivity fracture, Prats found that
(3.3)
Taking the wellbore analog further and using the steady-state radial flow equation, the ratio of pro-
duction after and before fracturing is
(3.4)
where FOI= folds of increase, q
f
= postfrac production rate, q
o
= prefrac production rate, r
e
= exter-
nal drainage radius, r
w
= actual wellbore radius, and r'
w
= effective wellbore radius. When evalu-
ating the ratio of production in Eq. (3.4), the drawdown pressure, permeability and viscosity are
assumed the same before and after fracturing.
Prats also gave the theoretical relationship between r'
w
and dimensionless flow capacity. Fig. 3.12
gives this relationship in terms of F
CD
. The figure shows that for F
CD
> 30, that r'
w
= 0.5 x
f
; i.e.,
the fracture acts as an infinitely conductive fracture and there is no benefit from increasing F
CD
.
Fig. 3.12 also shows for small F
CD
(i.e., less than 0.3) that r'
w
is independent of the fracture length
and depends only on conductivity.
Studying Fig. 3.12 will reveal where the producer should be spending his money to increase the
results of a fracture stimulation. For example, if the reservoir permeability is 10 md, the fracture
has a conductivity of 1000 md-ft, the fracture half length is 500 ft, wells are 2000 ft apart, and bore-
hole diameter is 5.5 in:
r'
w
0.5 ( ) x
f
; F
CD
large =
q
f
q
o
----- FOI
ln r
e
/r
w
( )
ln r
e
/r'
w
( )
------------------------ = =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-11 July 1999
From Fig. 3.12, for an F
CD
= 0.2,
Therefore,
The FOI = (ln 1000/0.229(ID of 5.5 in CSG))/(ln 1000/24)
FOI = 7.6/3.73 = 2.04
Assuming that this FOI is not acceptable, will a bigger frac help?
From Fig. 3.12
Therefore, FOI = (ln 1000/0.229)/(ln 1000/24) is the same as before.
Notice that the cost of the fracture stimulation would have more than doubled by going from x
f
=
500 ft to x
f
= 1000 ft with NO increase in r'
w
or FOI.
Suppose, instead of a longer frac, the decision is made to improve k
f
w. If k
f
w = 2000 md-ft instead
of 1000 md-ft.
F
CD
1000/10 500 .2 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.048 =
r'
w
.048x
f
.048 500 24' = = =
x
f
1000 ft =
F
CD
1000/10 1000 .1 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.024 for F
CD
.1 = =
r'
w
.024 x
f
.024 1000 24 ft . = = =
FOI 2.04 =
F
CD
2000/10 500 .4 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.09 =
r'
w
.09 x
f
.09 500 45 = = =
FOI
ln 1000/0.229 ( )
ln 1000/45 ( )
-------------------------------------- =
7.6/3.1 2.45 = =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-12
July 1999
Fig. 3.12 - Effective Wellbore Radius vs. F
CD
.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-13 July 1999
Notice by doubling conductivity, a productivity increase of 20% has been accomplished. A review
of Fig. 3.7 indicates that conductivity could be doubled simply by changing from 20/40 to 16/30
mesh sand.
In summary, for F
CD
less than 0.5, increasing x
f
is a total waste of time and investment. The invest-
ment should be made on a higher conductivity proppant.
Another example, if k = 0.02 md, k
f
w = 1000 md-ft, x
f
= 1000 ft,
The decision is made to improve fracture conductivity, k
f
w from 1000 to 2000.
Notice, greatly improving fracture conductivity, k
f
w, had NO effect on increasing FOI.
However, if x
f
is doubled to 2000 ft,
r
e
2000 ft, r
w
0.229 ft = =
F
CD
1000/.02 1000 50 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.5 =
r'
w
.5 x
f
.5 1000 500 ft = = =
FOI
ln 2000/0.229 ( )
ln 2000/500 ( )
-------------------------------------- =
8.294/1.386 =
FOI 5.98 =
F
CD
2000/.02 1000 100 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.5 =
FOI
ln 2000/0.229 ( )
ln 2000/500 ( )
-------------------------------------- which is the same as before =
5.98 =
F
CD
1000/.02 2000 25 = =
r'
w
/ x
f
.48 =
r'
w
.48 x
f
.48 2000 960 ft = = =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-14
July 1999
It is evident from the above, that if F
CD
is greater than 25 to 30, improving fracture conductivity is
not helpful. The investment should be made to achieve more fracture length to increase FOI, if the
increased production offsets the increased cost of the treatment (i.e., economics, addressed in
Chap. 9). When F
CD
's are between 0.5 and 25, FOI will experience an increase if x
f
or k
f
w is
increased. Therefore when F
CD
's fall in the range of 0.5 to 25, economics must be used to determine
whether improving conductivity or creating longer fractures, or some combination of both, is the
most cost effective (i.e., profitable).
A Direct Way Of Finding FOI
In using the FOI technique just shown, x
f
must be determined by trial and error for a design. That
is, once a FOI is selected, a r'
w
can be calculated that will be required to effect a given production
increase. However, since for finite conductivity fractures, x
f
affects both r'
w
and F
CD
, the x
f
is
required to yield the desired FOI.
Fig. 3.13 shows a modified version of Fig. 3.12 which includes the conversion of
on the left vertical axis. On the right vertical axis are various x
f
/r
e
curves. The horizontal axis is
k
f
w/kr
e
. This parameter should be known for specific proppant size and concentration (i.e., k
f
w)
since the k and r
e
should be known. Also from x
f
/r
e
on Fig. 3.13, x
f
can then be determined from
the known r
e
.
Fig. 3.14 shows the use of Fig. 3.13 for a case with a desired FOI = 5 (denoted by a), 160 acre
spacing (denoted by b), a horizontal line (denoted by c), the value of k
f
w/kr
e
= 1.1 (denoted
by d), the intersection (denoted by e), and finally the indicated x
f
/r
e
of 0.75 (denoted by f)
to achieve the FOI.
Fig. 3.13 can also be used in reverse; i.e., find the FOI for a given x
f
/r
e
.
Another example, the objective is an FOI = 4, well spacing is 640 acres (r
e
= 2640), k is 0.1 md
and the proppant selected will have a k
f
w of 1320 md-ft at the proposed concentration and closure
stress. This gives k
f
w/kr
e
= 5
FOI
ln 2000/0.229 ( )
ln 2000/960 ( )
-------------------------------------- =
8.294/.734 =
FOI 11.3 =
FOI
ln r
e
/r
w
( )
ln r
e
/r'
w
( )
------------------------- =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-15 July 1999
Enter Fig. 3.13 from the left vertical axis with FOI. Find the intersection for FOI of 4 and the well
spacing of 640 acres. This determines r'
w
/r
e
. A horizontal line should be drawn from the intersec-
tion of the FOI and the spacing line, completely across the graph. Then enter Fig. 3.13 from the
bottom with k
f
w/kr
e
of 5. Draw a vertical line up to intersect the r'
w
/r
e
line. A curved line should
be drawn to the right vertical axis from the intersection of k
f
w/kr
e
and r'
w
/r
e
parallel to the x
f
/r
e
lines, x
f
/r
e
is then determined to be 0.2.
Therefore,
Notice, that by varying k
f
w on the horizontal axis, x
f
/r
e
and therefore x
f
will change.
Studying this graph will also show quickly where to invest time, effort and money. When the x
f
/r
e
curves become horizontal, increasing k
f
w will not result in an increase in FOI. Also, when k
f
w/kr
e
is very small, increasing x
f
has a minimal effect on FOI.
Optimizing Fractures for Secondary Recovery
When designing any fracture stimulation, engineers must consider two primary factors:
(1) designing the treatment to yield the highest productivity or injectivity per dollar cost, and
(2) designing the treatment to minimize any loss in reserves. For moderate permeability wells
under primary recovery, fracture length should be optimized to reservoir permeability and fracture
conductivity. For reservoirs under secondary recovery, the fracture length must not only be eco-
nomically optimized as above, but other factors such as the impact of fracture length and fracture
orientation upon recovery must be addressed.
Two research reports by L. K. Britt,
3,4
have been published which provide significant insight into
the importance of length and fracture orientation on secondary recovery projects.These reports
drew several conclusions that are pertinent to fracture stimulation design in waterfloods:
1. The older potentiometric reservoir response models, such as McGuire and Sikora are invalid.
2. Prats' effective wellbore radius concept (Fig. 3.12), whereby the effect of a fracture upon res-
ervoir response is modeled as an increased wellbore radius, is valid if frac lengths are less than
25% of the interwell distance.
3. Short fractures cause no loss in reserves, and can contribute significantly to rate acceleration.
What frac radius will be required to achieve this FOI?
x
f
/r
e
0.2 =
x
f
0.2 r
e
( ) 0.2 2640 ft ( ) = =
x
f
528 ft =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-16
July 1999
Fig. 3.13 - Folds of Increase vs. Relative Conductivity.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-17 July 1999
Fig. 3.14 - Folds of Increase vs. Relative Conductivity.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-18
July 1999
4. Fracture length (radius) greater than 25% of the distance between injector and producer may
reduce reservoir recovery when the fracture orientation is unfavorable (injector or producer)
and improve recovery when the fracture orientation is favorable (injector to injector).
5. The economically optimum fracture stimulation for moderate permeability reservoirs (1-50
md) is short, with very high conductivity.
6. In-situ fracture proppant conductivity is on the order of 10-30% of published laboratory data.
To verify that Prats' results were correct using Amoco's reservoir simulators, the Coning model
was used to simulate primary recovery from a fractured moderate-permeability reservoir. Runs
were made comparing productivity by combining a radial model using Prats' effective wellbore
radius to simulate the effect of the fracture, and an areal gridded model using the Coning model
with actual fracture parameters. The results were found to be nearly identical.
This comparison was further evaluated for secondary recovery by using a model to compare a frac-
ture simulated in a radial mode using Prats' effective wellbore radius to an areal model for a five-
spot waterflood pattern with both injectors and producers stimulated with identical fractures
(Fig. 3.15).
Increasing the fracture length on the gridded model provides the correct answer used as the basis
for the evaluation. Increasing the effective wellbore radius in the radial model to compare to that
Fig. 3.15 - Validation of the Effective Wellbore Radius Concept.
FRACTURE VS. EFF. WELL RADIUS
FIVE SPOT PATTERN DEVELOPMENT
XFP/XFI EQUALS 1
PERCENT ERROR IN WATER/OIL
RATIO EVALUATED AT THE
ECONOMIC LIMIT OF 2 BDPD
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
100
80
60
40
20
0
FRACTURE HALF LENGTH/INTERWELL DISTANCE
P
E
R
C
E
N
T

E
R
R
O
R

(
%
)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-19 July 1999
in the areal model introduces about 10% error when the fracture length for each well reaches 25%
of the interwell distance, implying that Prats' radial flow curves are in error beyond this point.
The effect of fracture length on recovery was also evaluated for a five-spot moderate permeability
waterflood pattern. Fig. 3.16 shows the results of increasing fracture length on recovery. Recovery
is relatively unaffected for fracture lengths up to about 25% of the interwell distance. This data is
for the most unfavorable fracture orientation, where the producing well fracture is directly in line
with the injection well fracture.
It should be noted that even though recovery is about the same for short fractures, the rate of recov-
ery can be significantly different. For moderate permeability, and a maximum fracture length of
25% of the interwell distance, 2 HCPV of water could be injected 20-30 years sooner than if the
well were unfractured, significantly increasing the economic viability of the project. Note also that
results of a study conducted by Connie Bargas
5
indicate that unfavorable mobility recovery pro-
cesses (i.e., CO
2
floods) are even more sensitive to fracture length and orientation.
When fracture stimulation is used to work over wells to restore lost injectivity or productivity, we
must ensure that the two goals stated at the beginning of this section are met. That is, fractures must
be designed to yield the maximum rate of return on investment, and must not reduce recovery due
to excessive length. In most cases, the economically optimum length will be less than the maxi-
mum to affect recovery.
To assure that secondary recovery is not affected by the placement of fractures in the reservoir, the
design fracture radius should not exceed the maximums shown in Table 3.1 unless wells are favor-
ably oriented.
In any situation where the potential to infill drill a field is high, some guidelines must be estab-
lished for the tightest well spacing that might be drilled. The maximum design frac length should
not be allowed to exceed 25% of that interwell distance. Once a hydraulic fracture is created, and
Fig. 3.16 - Loss in Secondary Recovery vs. FRAC Radius.
0 10 20 30 40 50
50
40
30
20
10
0
FRAC RADIUS/INTERWELL DISTANCE, %
P
E
R
C
E
N
T

L
O
S
S

I
N

R
E
C
O
V
E
R
Y
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-20
July 1999
conductivity established either by proppant or by acidizing, we obviously cannot reduce that frac
length.
Table 3.1 - Maximum Design Fracture Radius.
Well Spacing Frac Half-Length
10 ac 165 ft
20 ac 233 ft
40 ac 330 ft
80 ac 466 ft
160 ac 660 ft
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-21 July 1999
Class Problem
Find: x
f
Given: k = 1 md, 160 acre spacing, Depth = 6000 ft (normal grad.), r
e
= 1320 ft
Find: x
f
for 20-40, 12-20, 6-12 Brady sand to obtain 5-fold increase in production over non-
damaged or stimulated wellbore.
Solution: kr
e
= 1 x 1320 = 1320 md-ft
Use capacity guidelines (1 lb/ft) @ 6000 ft = 4000 psi
k
f
w - 20-40 500 md-ft [Fig. 3.7 and Eq. (3.2)]
12-20 ____________
8-16 ____________
What is the optimum proppant size, and why?
Explain:
Mesh k
f
w' k
f
w/kr
e
r
e
/r
w
x
f
/r
e
x
f
20-40 500
12-20
8-16
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-22
July 1999
Acid Fracturing
Fracturing with acid in carbonates creates a highly-conductive, etched fracture. Fig. 3.13 can be
used for predicting performance of an acid fracturing treatment by assuming F
CD
= (i.e., infinite)
or effectively greater than 30. The line shown on Fig. 3.17 represents an infinite conductivity frac-
ture (F
CD
> 30), and is equivalent to the vertical line for a specific k
f
w/kr
e
for a propped fracture
(i.e., line d on Fig. 3.14). Equivalently for a given x
f
/r
e
or FOI a horizontal line can be drawn
directly across Fig. 3.17 to determine the relationship between FOI and x
f
/r
e
.
Many carbonate wells are initially acidized and later fractured with proppant. This causes a sand
production problem after the fracture treatment because any sand in an acid channel will not be
trapped and is eventually washed into the wellbore by production fluids. Therefore, if a propped
fracture would give a larger FOI, it would be desirable to conduct this fracture initially, thereby
saving the cost of an acid treatment, obtaining more production, and reducing sand production
problems.
For 40 acre spacing, maximum acid x
f
= 150 ft, maximum k
f
w = 1300 md-ft for
proppant, find if an acid frac or propped frac appears more optimumfor k = 1 md
and k = 5 md.

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Steady-State Reservoir Response
3-23 July 1999
Fig. 3.17 - Use of FOI Curves for Acid Fractures.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-24
July 1999
3.3 Transient Reservoir Response
The fracturing response for low permeability reservoirs can exhibit a substantial period of time
during which steady-state conditions (i.e., a constant folds of increase or effective wellbore radius)
do not hold. Steady-state conditions, as discussed in Section 3.2, first become applicable for
dimensionless time of about 3, as shown on Fig. 3.18 by the indication of the start of i.e., pseudo
radial flow (i.e., semilog straight line). For the period prior to the start of the semilog straight line,
the reservoir response must be analyzed using transient conditions such as an aerial extent type
curve, as shown in Fig. 3.18, or a reservoir simulator such as Amocos GAS3D.
Fig. 3.18 also shows that fracture conductivity is even more important for transient flow than
pseudo steady-state flow. For the steady-state case of Prats (Fig. 3.12), there was little improve-
ment for F
CD
greater than 10; however, Fig. 3.18 shows that for t
Df
< 0.1, there is a dramatic reduc-
tion in q
D
(approximately proportional to the inverse of flow rate), or a dramatic increase in rate if
is increased from 1.004 to 1.234. This approximate doubling of flow rate is very significant for
fractures in very low permeability reservoirs which can stay in transient flow for a substantial por-
tion of their productive life.
The dimensionless time (t
Df
) on Fig. 3.18 is proportional to k/x
f
2.
Therefore, low permeability res-
ervoirs which require large x
f
's tend to fall on the left side of Fig. 3.18, while higher permeability
reservoirs which require only short, but highly conductive fractures, tend to fall on the right side
where the much simpler steady-state analyses are applicable.
aa
Fig. 3.18 - Production Decline Analysis.
Transient Flow Pseudo Radial Flow

Infinite Conductivity
Unstimulated
defines the degree
of stimulation
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Transient Reservoir Response
3-25 July 1999
Fig. 3.18 also shows finite capacity fracture behavior (i.e., 1.045 1.234). In finite capacity
fractures, bilinear flow can occur. During bilinear flow, the pressure transient has not reached the
tip of the fracture; both linear flow from the reservoir to the fracture and linear flow down the
length of the fracture are occurring. The bilinear flow region, is very important for two reasons:
(1) unique fracture length cannot be found from the production response, and (2) the actual value
of conductivity in-situ, k
f
wcan be determined. The log-log curves, either constant rate or pressure,
have a 1/4 slope for bilinear flow.
Fig. 3.19 shows a plot of pressure change vs. the fourth root of time for fractures with an F
CD
of
greater than 1.6, equal to 1.6, and less than 1.6, respectively. In addition, the lower portion of
Fig. 3.19 shows the effect of damage on the fourth root of time behavior. The upper plot on
Fig. 3.19 shows that a straight line should result on a pressure change vs. fourth root of time if the
fracture is in bilinear flow. It also shows howthe data deviates fromthe straight line (bilinear flow)
is a qualitative indicator of F
CD
. If, for example, the data deviates up from the bilinear flow line
this indicates that F
CD
is greater than 1.6. Conversely, if the data deviates downward fromthe bilin-
ear flow line the F
CD
< 1.6. The lower plot on Fig. 3.19 indicates that if the bilinear flow line does
not go through the origin, the entrance to the fracture is damaged. This loss of production can result
from:
inadequate perforations - reperforate and/or redesign perforations on subsequent wells,
turbulent flow - increase proppant size/concentration,
over displacement of proppant - do not overflush,
kill fluid was dumped into the fracture - let fracture clean up before conducting test.
Fig. 3.20 shows an example of these plots and the indicated k
f
w.
The data in Fig. 3.20 deviates downward from the bilinear flow line qualitatively indicating that
the F
CD
is less than 1.6. Since F
CD
is low, efforts should be made to either increase fracture con-
ductivity, reduce fracture length, or both. A more complete presentation of the transient response
of fractured wells is included in the Pressure Transient Analysis manual from the PTA course
given by the Training Center. Because of the importance of bilinear flow in the analysis of frac-
tured reservoirs and the improvement of treatment design, the section on bilinear flow from the
PTA course is included in this chapter for ease of reference.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-26
July 1999
Fig. 3.19 - Bilinear Flow on Fourth Root of Time Plot.
Fig. 3.20 - Example of Bilinear Flow Analysis.
FCD > 1.6
END OF BILINEAR FLOW
SLOPE = mbf

p
,

p
s
i
FCD < 1.6
t
1/4
, hours
1/4
BILINEAR
DAMAGE OR
CHOKED FRACTURE
IDEAL
t
1/4
, hours
1/4
ps
0
0

p
,

p
s
i
Mbf = 134
Kfw = 1168/RcD = 1320 mdft
BILINEAR FLOW ANALYSIS
NORTH COWDEN UNIT WELL - A
Downward Deviation
From Bilinear Flow
Line indicates FCD is
less than 1.6
AMERADA BOMB
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-27 July 1999
3.4 Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
Flow Periods For A Vertically Fractured Well
Fig. 3.21 depicts the various flow periods which are associated with finite conductivity vertical
fractures.
Fracture Linear Flow
The Fracture Linear Flow, (a) on Fig. 3.21, is the first flow period which occurs in a fractured
system. Most of the fluid which enters the wellbore during this period of time is a result of expan-
sion within the fracture, i.e., there is negligible fluid coming from the formation. Flow within the
fracture during this time period is linear.
Equations which can be used to predict the following formation face pressure, p
wf
, during fracture
linear flow are presented by Cinco-Ley et al.,
6
for the constant rate case. This reference also pre-
sents an equation which predicts the time when this flow period ends. Unfortunately, fracture lin-
ear flow occurs at a time which is too early to be of practical use in well test analysis.
Bilinear Flow
The next flow period to occur is called Bilinear Flow, (b) on Fig. 3.21, because two types of lin-
ear flow simultaneously occur. One flow is linear incompressible flow within the fracture and the
other is linear compressible flow in the formation. Most of the fluid which enters the wellbore dur-
ing this flow period comes from the formation. Fracture tip effects do not affect well behavior dur-
ing bilinear flow; accordingly, unless a well test is run sufficiently long for bilinear flow to end, it
will not be possible to determine fracture length from the data.
Bilinear flow was first recognized by Cinco-Ley et al.
6
Since its introduction into literature, the
use of bilinear flow analysis to characterize both formation and fracture properties has been docu-
mented.
7-11
The details of analyzing bilinear flow data will be detailed in subsequent discussions
beginning on page 3-35.
Formation Linear Flow
The analysis of Formation Linear Flow, (c) on Fig. 3.21, is covered in the Pressure Transient
Analysis course manual.
Pseudo-Radial Flow
The analysis of Pseudo-Radial Flow, (d) on Fig. 3.21, is covered in the Pressure Transient Anal-
ysis course manual.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-28
July 1999
Bilinear Flow Equations
Constant Formation Face Rate
Dimensionless Pressure:
(3.5)
Dimensionless Time:
(3.6)
Dimensionless Fracture Conductivity:
(3.7)
Fig. 3.21 - Flow Periods for a Vertically Fractured Well.
WELL
FRACTURE
FRACTURE
WELL
(a) FRACTURE LINEAR FLOW (b) BILINEAR FLOW
(c) FORMATION LINEAR FLOW (d) PSEUDO-RADIAL FLOW
FRACTURE
FRACTURE
WELL
P
D
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
141.2qB
------------------------------ - oil ( ) P
D
khm p ( )
1424T
q
----------------------- gas ( ) = =
t
Dxf
0.0002637kt
c
t
x
f
2
------------------------------ =
F
CD
k
f
w
kx
f
--------- =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-29 July 1999
Bilinear Flow Equation:
(3.8)
(3.9)
Bilinear Slope (graph of p
i
-p
wf
vs. t
1/4
):
(3.10)
Constant Formation Face Pressure
Dimensionless Rate:
(3.11)
Bilinear Flow Equation:
(3.12)
(3.13)
Bilinear Slope (graph 1/q of vs. t
1/4
):
(3.14)
Note: The equations presented in this section are written specifically for pressure drawdown tests.
These equations can be modified for pressure buildup tests by replacing the pressure differ-
P
D
2.45 t
Dx
f
1 4 /
F
CD
1\/2
---------------------- =
p
i
p
wf

44.1qB
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
------------------------------------------------------- t
1/4
=
m
bf
494qT
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
kc
t
( )
1/4
-------------------------------------------------- =
q
D
141.2qB
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
------------------------------ - (oil) q
D
1424Tq
khm p ( )
----------------------- (gas) = =
1
q
D
------
2.72 t
Dx
f
1/4
F
CD
1/2
------------------------ =
1
q
-- -
48.9B
p
i
p
wf
( )h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- t
1/4
oil ( ) = =
1
q
-- -
494T
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
kc
t
( )
1/4
m p ( )
--------------------------------------------------------------------- t
1/4
(gas) = =
m
bf
48.9B
p
i
p
wf
( )h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- (oil) =
m
bf
494T
h k
fw
( )
1/2
kc
t
( )
1/4
m p ( )
------------------------------------------------------------------- (gas) =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-30
July 1999
ential , and the producing time, t, with appropriate values as shown in the fol-
lowing table:
Bilinear Flow Graphs
Constant Formation Face Rate
When the rate of a well is maintained constant, the pressure change at the formation face is
described by Eq. (3.9). This equation indicates that a plot of p
i
-p
wf
(p
ws
-p
wf
) for buildup tests) vs.
t
1/4
(t
1/4
for buildup tests) will yield a straight line with slope, m
bf
, predicted by Eq. (3.10). The
plot of pressure change vs. fourth root of time is illustrated by Fig. 3.22. When bilinear flow ends,
the straight line will end and the plot will exhibit curvature which is concave upward or downward
depending upon the value of the dimensionless fracture conductivity, F
CD
. When F
CD
1.6, the
curve will be concave downward; a value of F
CD
> 1.6 will cause the curve to be concave upward.
When F
CD
> 1.6, bilinear flow ends because the fracture tip begins to affect wellbore behavior. If
a pressure transient test is not run sufficiently long for bilinear flow to end when F
CD
> 1.6, it is not
possible to determine the length of the fracture. When F
CD
1.6, bilinear flow in the reservoir
changes from predominately one-dimensional (linear) to a two-dimensional flow regime. In this
case, it is not possible to uniquely determine fracture length even if bilinear flow does end during
the test.
Test Differential Time
Drawdown p = p
i
-p
wf
t
Buildup p = p
ws
-p
wf
t or t
e
Fig. 3.22 - Bilinear Flow Graph for a Constant Rate Well.
p p
i
p
wf
=
F
CD
> 1.6
END OF
BILINEAR FLOW
SLOPE = mbf
t
1/4
, hours
1/4

p
,

p
s
i
F
CD
< 1.6
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-31 July 1999
A more diagnostic plot to recognize the occurrence of bilinear flow is the log-log plot. From
Eq. (3.9),
(3.15)
Eq. (3.15) indicates that a log-log plot of p
i
-p
wf
vs. t will yield a straight line with a one-fourth
slope; this is illustrated by Fig. 3.23.
Constant Formation Face Pressure
When formation face pressure remains constant, the formation face rate will change with time as
described by Eq. (3.13). According to Eq. (3.13), a plot of 1/q vs. t
1/4
should yield a straight line
with slope, m
bf
, defined by Eq. (3.14) this plot is depicted by Fig. 3.24. Following the end of the
bilinear flow period, the curve for will be concave downward and the curve for F
CD
>
2.8 will be concave upward. The straight line caused by bilinear flow ends for the same reasons as
described for the constant rate case.
Eq. (3.13) also indicates that a log-log plot of 1/q vs. t should yield a straight line with a slope of
one-fourth:
(3.16)
The plot illustrated by Fig. 3.25, is the primary diagnostic tool by which bilinear flow can be rec-
ognized.
Fig. 3.23 - Log-log Plot Illustrating the Effect of Ideal Bilinear Flow for the Constant Rate Case.
p
i
p
wf
( ) log
44.1qB
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------------------
1
4
--- t . log + log =
SLOPE = 1/4
t, hours

p
,

p
s
i
F
CD
2.8
1
q
-- -
,
_
log
48.9B
p
i
p
wf
( )h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1
4
--- t . log + log =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-32
July 1999
Fig. 3.24 - Bilinear Flow Graph for a Constant Pressure Well.
Fig. 3.25 - Log-log Plot Showing Effect of Ideal Bilinear Flow for the Constant Rate Case.
FCD > 2.8
END OF
BILINEAR FLOW
SLOPE = mbf
t
1/4
, hours
1/4
D
p
,

p
s
i
FCD < 2.8 1/q
SLOPE = 1/4
t, hours
D
p
,

p
s
i
1/q
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-33 July 1999
End of Bilinear Flow
Constant Formation Face Rate
The relationship between (t
Dxf
)
ebf
and F
CD
is depicted graphically by Fig. 3.26. This relationship
can be approximated as:
(3.17)
(3.18)
(3.19)
For the case where F
CD
3, the dimensionless pressure at the end of bilinear flow is
(3.20)
Therefore,
(3.21)
and,
(3.22)
Constant Formation Face Pressure
The relationship between (t
Dxf
)
ebf
and F
CD
is presented graphically by Fig. 3.27. This relationship
can be approximated by the following equations:
(3.23)
2 < F
CD
< 5: See Fig. 3.27
(3.24)
For the case where F
CD
5,
F
CD
3: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
0.1
F
CD
2
----------
1.6 F
CD
3: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
0.0205 F
CD
1.5 ( )
1.53
< <
F
CD
1.6: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
4.55
F
CD
-------------- 2.5
,
_
4

p
D
( )
ebf
1.38
F
CD
---------- . =
F
CD
1.38
p
D
( )
ebf
------------------ =
F
CD
194.9qB
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
ebf
------------------------------------- . =
F
CD
5: t
Dxf
( )
ebf

6.94 10
2

F
CD
2
--------------------------- =
0.5 F
CD
2: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
1.58 10
3
F
CD
1.6
=
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-34
July 1999
(3.25)
Therefore,
(3.26)
and,
(3.27)
Fig. 3.26 - Dimensionless Time for the End of the Bilinear Flow Period vs. Dimensionless Fracture
Conductivity, Constant Rate Case.
6
10
-1
1
10
1
10
2
1
10
-1
10
-2
10
-3
10
-4
10
-5
F
CD
(
t
D
x
f
)
e
b
f
1
q
D
( )
ebf
------------------
1.40
F
CD
---------- . =
F
CD
1.40 q
D
( )
ebf
=
F
CD
197.7q
ebf
B
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
-------------------------------- - . =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-35 July 1999
Analysis of Bilinear Flow Data
The conventional analysis of bilinear flowdata requires two plots - a log-log plot of the appropriate
rate or pressure function vs. t, and a cartesian plot of the appropriate rate or pressure function vs.
t
1/4
.
Liquid-Constant Rate
The following procedure can be used to analyze bilinear flow data for fracture conductivity and
fracture length when the production rate is constant:
1. Make a log-log plot of (p
i
-p
wf
) vs. equivalent producing time, t
p
.
2. Determine if any data fall on a straight line of quarter slope.
3. If any data form a quarter slope in Step 2, plot p
i
-p
wf
vs. t
1/4
on cartesian paper and identify the
data which form the bilinear flow straight line.
4. Determine the slope, m
bf
, of the bilinear flow straight line.
5. Using the slope, m
bf
, from Step 4, compute the fracture conductivity, k
f
w, using Eq. (3.10):
(3.28)
It should be noted that this calculation can only be made if k is known from a prefrac test.
6. If the bilinear flow straight line ends and the data rise above the straight line, determine the
value of p, i.e., p
ebf
, at which the line ends. Then, from Eq. (3.24), F
CD
can be computed as
(3.24)
with F
CD
known, the fracture length can be computed using Eq. (3.7):
(3.29)
It should be noted that Eq. (3.24) assumes F
CD
3. If enough data is available beyond bilinear
flow, a type curve match should be attempted to verify that this is true.
k
f
w
44.1qB
m
bf
h c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------
2
. =
F
CD
194.9qB
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
ebf
------------------------------------- . =
x
f
k
f
w
kF
CD
------------- . =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-36
July 1999
Liquid-Constant Pressure
When formation face pressure remains constant during a test, the following procedure can be used
to analyze the bilinear flow data for fracture conductivity and fracture length:
1. Make a log-log plot of 1/q vs. t.
2. Determine if any data fall on a straight line of quarter slope.
3. If any data in Step 2 form a quarter slope, plot 1/q vs. t
1/4
on cartesian paper and determine the
slope, m
bf
, of the bilinear flow straight line.
4. Using the slope, m
bf
, from Step 3, compute the fracture conductivity, k
f
w, using Eq. (3.14)
Fig. 3.27 - Dimensionless Time to the End of Bilinear Flow for Constant Pressure Production.
9
F
CD
= 5
10
-1
10
-2
10
-3
10
-4
10
-5
10
-1
10
-2
1 2.8 10
(
t
D
x
f
)
e
b
f
F
CD
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-37 July 1999
(3.30)
5. If the bilinear flow line ends and the data rise above the straight line, determine the value of q
where the line ends, i.e., q
ebf
. Then, from Eq. (3.27), F
CD
can be computed as
(3.27)
With F
CD
known, the fracture length can be computed using Eq. (3.24):
(3.29)
Eq. (3.27) assumes F
CD
5 ;accordingly, if enough data are available beyond bilinear flow, a
type curve match should be attempted to verify that this is true.
Effect of Flow Restrictions
When a flowrestriction exists in the formation adjacent to the fracture, or when a restriction occurs
in the fracture near the wellbore, the ideal bilinear flow behavior discussed previously, shown by
Fig. 3.22 and Fig. 3.24 will be altered. Ideal bilinear flow results in a straight line on a cartesian
plot of p (constant rate) or 1/q (constant pressure) vs. t; further, this line passes through the origin.
Bilinear flow still exists when a flow restriction is present; however, the restriction causes an extra
pressure drop, p
s
, in the system. This additional pressure loss does not alter the slope, m
bf
, of the
bilinear flow straight line; instead, rather than passing through the origin, the line will have an
intercept equal to p
s
for the constant rate case. This behavior is depicted by Fig. 3.28.
Fig. 3.28 - Effect of a Flow Restriction on Bilinear Flow, Constant Rate Case.
k
f
w
48.9B
m
bf
p
i
p
wf
( )h c
t
h ( )
1/4
---------------------------------------------------------------
2
. =
F
CD
197.7q
ebf
B
kh p
i
p
wf
( )
------------------------------- . =
x
f
k
f
w
k F
CD
--------------- . =
DAMAGE OR
CHOKED FRACTURE
IDEAL
t
1/4
, hours
1/4
ps
0
0

p
,

p
s
i
{
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-38
July 1999
A log-log plot of p (constant rate) or 1/q (constant pressure) vs. t will exhibit a straight line with
quarter slope for ideal bilinear flow. The slope of this line will be altered, however, when a flow
restriction is present. This non-ideal behavior is depicted by Fig. 3.25 for the constant rate case.
Effect of Wellbore Storage
Wellbore storage will alter or completely mask the bilinear flow straight lines ideally expected on
the cartesian and log-log plots of p or 1/q vs. t
1/4
and p or 1/q vs. time, respectively. Fig. 3.30
depicts the effect of storage on a plot of p vs. t
1/4
for the constant rate case. The corresponding
effect of storage on the log-log plot is shown in Fig. 3.31. It has been reported by Cinco-Ley et al.,
6
that the end of wellbore storage effects occurs approximately three log cycles after the end of the
unit slope line.
Fig. 3.29 - Effect of a Flow Restriction on the Log-log Plot for the Constant Rate Case.
DAMAGE OR
CHOKED FRACTURE
SLOPE = 1/4
t, hrs

p
,

p
s
i
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Liquid Reservoirs (Reproduction of PTA Course Material)
3-39 July 1999
Fig. 3.30 - Effect of Wellbore Storage on a Plot of p vs. t
1/4
for the Constant Rate Case.
Fig. 3.31 - Effect of Wellbore Storage on the Log-log Plot for the Constant Rate Case.

p
,

p
s
i
IDEAL BILINEAR
FLOW
EFFECT OF
WELLBORE STORAGE
t, hrs

p
,

p
s
i
t, hrs
SLOPE = 1/4
UNIT SLOPE
= 3 LOG CYCLES
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-40
July 1999
3.5 Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs
Bilinear Flow Equations
Constant Formation Face Rate
Dimensionless Pressure:
(3.31)
Dimensionless Time:
(3.6)
Dimensionless Fracture Conductivity:
(3.7)
Bilinear Flow Equation:
(3.8)
(3.32)
Bilinear Slope (graph of m(p) vs. t
1/4
):
(3.33)
Constant Formation Face Pressure
Dimensionless Rate:
(3.34)
P
D
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
1424qT
------------------------------------------------- - =
t
Dxf
0.0002637kt
c
t
x
f
2
------------------------------ =
F
CD
k
f
w
kx
f
--------- =
P
D
2.45 t
Dx
f
1 4 /
F
CD
1\/2
---------------------- =
m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( )
444.6qT
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
-------------------------------------------------- t
1/4
=
m
bf
444.6qT
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
-------------------------------------------------- =
q
D
1424qT
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
------------------------------------------------- - =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs
3-41 July 1999
Bilinear Flow Equation:
(3.12)
(3.35)
Bilinear Slope (graph of 1/q vs. t
1/4
):
(3.36)
NOTE: The equations presented in this section are written specifically for pressure drawdown
tests. These equations can be modified for pressure buildup tests by replacing the
pseudopressure differential, m(p), and the producing time, t, with appropriate values as
shown in the following table:
Bilinear Flow Graphs
Constant Formation Face Rate
When the rate of a gas well is maintained constant, the pressure change at the formation face is
described by Eq. (3.32). This equation indicates that a plot of m(p
i
)-m(p
wf
) vs. t
1/4
for drawdown
tests, or m(p
ws
)-m(p
wf
) for buildup tests, will yield a straight line with slope, m
bf
, predicted by
Eq. (3.33). This plot described by Eq. (3.32) is illustrated by Fig. 3.24. When bilinear flow ends,
the straight line will end and the data will exhibit curvature which is concave upward or downward
depending upon the value of the dimensionless fracture conductivity, F
CD
. When F
CD
1.6, the
curve will be concave downward, a value of F
CD
> 1.6 will cause the curve to be concave upward .
When F
CD
> 1.6, bilinear flow ends because the fracture tip begins to affect wellbore behavior. If
a pressure transient test is not run sufficiently long for bilinear flow to end when F
CD
> 1.6, it is
not possible to determine the length of the fracture. When F
CD
1.6, bilinear flow in the reservoir
changes from predominately one-dimensional (linear) to a two-dimensional flow regime. In this
case, it is not possible to uniquely determine fracture length even if bilinear flow does end during
the test.
A more diagnostic plot to recognize bilinear flow is the log-log plot. From Eq. (3.32)
Test Pseudopressure Differential Time
Drawdown m(p) = m (pi)-m(pwf) t
Buildup m(p) = m(p
ws
)-mp(p
wf
) t or t
e
1
q
D
------
2.72 t
Dx
f
1/4
F
CD
1/2
------------------------ =
1
q
---
493.6T
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- t
1/4
=
m
bf
493.6T
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-42
July 1999
(3.37)
Eq. (3.37) indicates that a log-log plot of m(p
i
)-m(p
wf
) vs. t will yield a straight line with a one-
fourth slope; this is illustrated by Fig. 3.35.
Constant Formation Face Pressure
When formation face pressure remains constant, the formation face rate will change with time as
described by Eq. (3.35). According to Eq. (3.35), a plot of 1/q vs. t
1/4
should yield a straight line
with slope, m
bf
, defined by Eq. (3.36) this graph is depicted by Fig. 3.24. Following the end of the
bilinear flowperiod, the curve for F
CD
2.8 will be concave downward and the curve for F
CD
> 2.8
will be concave upward. The straight line for bilinear flow ends for the same reasons presented for
the constant rate case on page 3-41. Eq. (3.35) also indicates that a log-log plot of 1/q vs. t should
yield a straight line with a slope of one-fourth:
(3.38)
The log-log plot of pressure change vs. time, illustrated by Fig. 3.35, is the primary diagnostic tool
by which bilinear flow can be recognized.
Fig. 3.32 - Bilinear Flow Graph for a Constant Pressure Well.
F
CD
> 1.6
END OF
BILINEAR FLOW
SLOPE = m
bf
t
1/4
, hours
1/4

p
,

p
s
i
F
CD
< 1.6
m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ] log
444.6qT
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------------------
1
4
--- t . log + log =
1 of q ( ) log
493.6T
h k
f
w ( )
1/2
c
t
k ( )
1/4
m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( )
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1
4
--- t . log + log =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs
3-43 July 1999
End of Bilinear Flow
Constant Formation Face Rate
The relationship between (t
Dxf
)
ebf
and F
CD
for constant formation face rate is depicted graphically
by Fig. 3.37. This relationship can be approximated as:
(3.17)
Fig. 3.33 - Log-log Plot Showing Effect of Ideal Bilinear Flow for the Constant Gas Rate Well.
Fig. 3.34 - Bilinear Flow Graph for a Constant Pressure Well.
SLOPE = 1/4
t, hours

p
,

p
s
i
FCD > 1.6
END OF
BILINEAR FLOW
SLOPE = mbf
t
1/4
, hours
1/4

p
,

p
s
i
FCD < 1.6
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-44
July 1999
(3.19)
(3.20)
For the case where F
CD
3, the dimensionless pressure at the end of bilinear flow is
(3.39)
Therefore,
(3.40)
and,
(3.41)
Constant Formation Face Pressure
The relationship between (t
Dxf
)
ebf
and F
CD
for constant formation face pressure is presented graph-
ically by Fig. 3.37. This relationship can be approximated by the following equations:
Fig. 3.35 - Log-log Plot Illustrating the Effect of Ideal Bilinear Flow for the Constant Pressure Case.
SLOPE = 1/4
t, hours

p
,

p
s
i
1.6 F
CD
3: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
0.0205 F
CD
1.5 ( )
1.53
< <
F
CD
1.6: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
4.55
F
CD
---------- 2.5
,
_
4

p
D
( )
ebf
1.38
F
CD
---------- . =
F
CD
1.38
p
D
( )
ebf
------------------ =
F
CD
1965.1qT
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
ebf
-------------------------------------------------------- - . =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs
3-45 July 1999
(3.23)
2 < F
CD
< 5: See Fig. 3.37
(3.24)
For the case where F
CD
5,
(3.25)
Fig. 3.36 - Dimensionless Time for the End of the Bilinear Flow Period vs. Dimensionless Fracture
Conductivity, Constant Formation Face Rate Case.
6
10
-1
1
10
1
10
2
1
10
-1
10
-2
10
-3
10
-4
10
-5
F
CD
(
t
D
x
f
)
e
b
f
F
CD
5: t
Dxf
( )
ebf
6.94 10
2

F
CD
2
---------------------------
1
q
D
( )
ebf
------------------
1.40
F
CD
---------- . =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-46
July 1999
Therefore,
(3.26)
and
(3.42)
Analysis of Bilinear Flow Data
The conventional analysis of bilinear flowdata requires two plots - a log-log plot of the appropriate
rate or pressure function vs. t, and a cartesian plot of the appropriate rate or pressure function vs.
t
1/4
.
Fig. 3.37 - Dimensionless Time to the End of the Bilinear Flow for Constant Pressure Production.
9
F
CD
= 5
10
-1
10
-2
10
-3
10
-4
10
-5
10
-1
10
-2
1 2.8 10
(
t
D
x
f
)
e
b
f
F
CD
F
CD
1.40 q
D
( )
ebf
=
F
CD
1988Tq
ebf
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
------------------------------------------------- - . =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bilinear Flow - Gas Reservoirs
3-47 July 1999
Gas-Constant Rate
The following procedure can be used to analyze bilinear flow data for fracture conductivity and
fracture length. When rate is constant:
1. Make a log-log plot of m(p
i
)-m(p
wf
) vs. t.
2. Determine if any data fall on a straight line of quarter-slope.
3. If any data in Step 2 form a quarter-slope, plot m(p
i
)-m(p
wf
) vs. t
1/4
on cartesian paper and iden-
tify the data which form the bilinear flow straight line.
4. Determine the slope, m
bf
, of the bilinear flow straight line.
5. Using the slope, m
bf
, from Step 4, compute the fracture conductivity, k
f
w, using Eq. (3.33):
(3.43)
It should be noted that this calculation can only be made if k is known from a prefrac test.
6. If the bilinear flow straight line ends and the data rise above the straight line, determine the
value of m(p), i.e., [m(p)]
ebf
, at which the line ends. Then, from Eq. (3.42), F
CD
can be com-
puted as
(3.42)
With F
CD
known, the fracture length can be computed using Eq. (3.7):
(3.29)
It should be noted that Eq. (3.43) assumes F
CD
3. If enough data is available beyond bilinear
flow, a type curve match should be attempted to verify that this is true.
Gas-Constant Pressure
When formation face pressure remains constant during a test, the following procedure can be used
to analyze the bilinear flow data for fracture conductivity and fracture length:
1. Make a log-log plot of 1/q vs. t.
2. Determine if any data fall on a straight line of quarter slope.
k
f
w
444.6qT
m
bf
h c
t
k ( )
1/4
--------------------------------------
2
=
F
CD
1965.1qT
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
ebf
-------------------------------------------------------- - . =
x
f
k
f
w
kF
CD
------------- . =
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-48
July 1999
3. If any data in Step 2 form a quarter-slope, plot 1/q vs. t
1/4
on cartesian paper and determine the
slope, m
bf
, of the bilinear flow straight line.
4. Using the slope, m
bf
, from Step 3, compute the fracture conductivity, k
f
w, using Eq. (3.38):
(3.44)
5. If the bilinear flow line ends and the data rise above the straight line, determine the value of q
where the line ends, i.e., q
ebf
. Then, from Eq. (3.43), F
CD
can be computed as
(3.42)
With F
CD
known, the fracture length can be computed using Eq. (3.29):
(3.29)
Eq. (3.29) assumes F
CD
5; accordingly, if enough data are available beyond bilinear flow, a
type curve match should be attempted to verify that this is true.
k
f
w
493.6T
m
bf
h c
t
k ( )
1/4
m p
i
( ) m p
wi
( ) [ ]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2
=
F
CD
1988Tq
ebf
kh m p
i
( ) m p
wf
( ) [ ]
------------------------------------------------- - . =
x
f
k
f
w
kF
CD
------------- . =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
3-49 July 1999
3.6 References
1. Smith, M. B.: Effect of Fracture Azimuth on Production With Application to the Wattenberg Gas Field, paper
SPE 8298 presented at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 23-26
2. Prats, M.: Effect of Vertical Fractures on Reservoir Behavior - Incompressible Fluid Case, SPEJ (June 1961)
105-18; Trans., AIME, 222.
3. Britt, L. K.: Optimized Oil Well Fracturing, Phase I Report, Amoco Production Company Report F84-P-23
(May 25, 1984).
4. Britt, L. K.: Optimized Oil Well Fracturing, Phase II Report, Analysis of the Effects of Fracturing on the Sec-
ondary Recovery Process; Amoco Production Company Report F85-P-7 (Jan. 24, 1985).
5. Bargas, C. L.: The Effects of Vertical Fractures on the Areal Sweep Efficiency and Relative Injectivity of Ad-
verse Mobility Ratio Displacements, Amoco Production Company Report F89-P-13 (Feb. 13, 1989).
6. Cinco-Ley, H. and Samaniego-V., F.: Transient Pressure Analysis for Fractured Wells, JPT (Sept. 1981) 1749-
66.
7. Cinco-Ley, H. and Samaniego-V., F.: Transient Pressure Analysis: Finite Conductivity Fracture Case vs. Dam-
aged Fracture Case; paper SPE 10179, presented at the 1981 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San
Antonio, Oct. 5-7.
8. Cinco-Ley, H.: Evaluation of Hydraulic Fracturing by Transient Pressure Analysis Methods, paper SPE 10043,
presented at the 1982 SPE Intl. Petroleum Exhibition and Technology Symposium, Beijing, March 19-22.
9. Bennett, C. O., Reynolds, A. C., and Raghavan, R.: Performance of Finite-Conductivity, Vertically Fractured
Wells in Single-Layer Reservoirs, SPEFE (Aug. 1986) 399-412; Trans., AIME, 281.
10. Guppy, K. H., Cinco-Ley, H., and Ramey, H. J. Jr.: Pressure Buildup Analysis of Fractured Wells Producing at
High Flow Rates, JPT (Nov. 1982) 2656-66.
11 Rodiquez, F., Horne, R. N., and Cinco-Ley, H.: Partially Penetrating Vertical Fractures: Pressure Transient Be-
havior of Finite Conductivity Fracture, paper SPE 13057, presented at the 1984 SPE Annual Technical Confer-
ence and Exhibition, Houston, Sept. 16-19.
Reservoir Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
3
3-50
July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4-1
Chapter
March 1993
The following mechanical properties are of interest in fracturing: (1) Elastic Properties of the For-
mation (i.e., Modulus of Elasticity and Poissons Ratio), (2) Fracture Toughness, and (3) Hardness.
Rock strength plays only a small role in the fracturing process and is not included in the fracture
design calculations.
4.1 Elastic Properties of the Formation
As an engineering simplification, the formation is often assumed to be a linearly elastic homoge-
neous material. This simplification allows the use of solutions from the theory of elasticity to esti-
mate, for example, fracture widths and stresses in the formation. However, it should always be
remembered that the formation is neither homogeneous nor isotropic. Therefore, the assumption
of a linearly elastic isotropic formation may be grossly violated, especially in poorly consolidated
formations.
Based on this simplifying assumption, formation properties can be characterized by two elastic
constants, the modulus of elasticity (or Youngs modulus), E, given in psi or units of pressure, and
Poissons ratio (in honor of the great French mathematician), , a dimensionless number as its
name implies. The modulus characterizes how stiff the formation is and quantifies how easily a
core is deformed by an axial stress (tension or compression). Poissons ratio quantifies howa core
bulges (expands or contracts laterally) by an axial compression or tension and it characterizes
(together with E) the transmittal of horizontal pressure due to the overburden.
Fracture design is greatly affected by how much the formation opens for a given pressure inside a
fracture. Fracture width depends on both fracture dimensions and formation stiffness. Fracture
width is inversely proportional to the formation plane strain modulus, E , given by
. (4.1)
Fig. 2.3 in Chap. 2 expressed this spring stiffness type relation as
(4.2)
where, for simplicitys sake, E was used instead of E . This is usually a good approximation since
a rough estimate for the Poissons ratio for most rocks is between 0.20 to 0.35. Therefore, E is
expected to be about 4 to 12% larger than E. Note that the theoretically expected values for are

E
E
1
2
( )
------------------- =
W
D
E
---- p

Formation Mechanical Properties


4
Formation Mechanical Properties
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-2
March 1993
between 0 and 0.5 while moduli could have a much greater variability, from a few hundred thou-
sand psi to over 10 million psi.
Both of the elastic constants of a formation can be measured in the laboratory using a single com-
pression test. This test gives the modulus and the Poissons ratio under quasi static conditions.
These static properties characterize rock behavior under slowly varying loading, such as the one
resulting from the hydraulic fracturing process. Different values for the elastic constants can be
inferred (using elasticity relations) from the travel times of the compressional and shear sonic
waves (e.g. sonic logs) under dynamic conditions. The differences between dynamic and static
elastic constants are primarily of practical significance for the modulus. Dynamic moduli may be
much larger than static moduli and some correlation is usually needed to infer the static moduli
needed for fracturing design; in some cases the static moduli are 50 to 75%of the dynamic moduli.
Fig. 4.1 shows the typical result of a compression test (in this case, Bedford limestone). A small
core plug is jacketed and subjected to a confining pressure (usually equal to the overburden minus
reservoir pressure) in the triaxial cell; it is then loaded axially to produce plots of axial, lateral, and
volumetric strain vs. axial stress in excess of the confining pressure (Effective Axial Stress). Both
the axial and lateral strains are quantities calculated frommeasuring the decrease of the core length
and the increase of the core diameter using strain transducers that are mounted on the core.
The axial strain represents the ratio of the core shortening (length decrease) over its original
length and is a dimensionless number which is plotted positive for a length decrease (contraction).
The lateral strain represents the ratio of the core bulging (diameter increase) over its original
Fig. 4.1 - Typical Stress-Strain Curve for Brittle Rocks.
ULTIMATE
AXIAL
LOADS
CONFINING
PRESSURE
YIELD
TANGENT
MODULUS
SECANT
MODULUS
(DO NOT
USE)
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
E
F
F
E
C
T
I
V
E

A
X
I
A
L

S
T
R
E
S
S
,

P
S
I
-2.0 -1.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0
*10
-3
STRAIN
AXIAL STRAIN
LATERAL STRAIN
VOLUMETRIC STRAIN
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Elastic Properties of the Formation
4-3 March 1993
diameter and is a dimensionless number which is plotted negative for core diameter increase
(expansion). The volumetric strain, also shown on Fig. 4.1, is a calculated quantity given by the
following algebraic sum
volumetric strain = axial strain + 2 lateral strain . (4.3)
It represents the ratio of the volume change over the original volume of the core, and is plotted
positive for contraction.
By definition, the initial slope of the axial strain curve is the modulus of elasticity or Youngs mod-
ulus, E, in psi. It is also called a tangent modulus because it is the slope of the dashed line drawn
tangent to the stress-strain curve at the origin (Fig. 4.1). Since the compression test was performed
at a confining stress approximating the in-situ conditions, this is the value that should be used for
modulus in a fracture design. By this, we mean that the formation in-situ is at a state of stress com-
parable to the one near the origin of the plot; any loading due to fracturing would make the stress
state go up or down on the curves near the origin. However, modulus depends on the confining
pressure, and some judgement should be exercised when data for the specific in-situ conditions are
not available. Modulus data should be used with a good understanding of what the testing condi-
tions represent because some labs draw, for example, a straight line from the origin to the point of
failure and report the slope of that line as modulus. This value is called, the Secant Modulus of
Elasticity and should not be used for fracture design calculations.
Poissons ratio, , represents the ratio of the lateral strain over the axial strain, both taken from the
linear behavior of the core near the origin, (i.e., over the range that the modulus straight line is
determined).
Poissons Ratio = - lateral strain / axial strain (4.4)
For the Bedford Limestone example in Fig. 4.2, at an effective axial stress of 4,000 psi the lateral
strain is -0.25 x 10
-3
and the axial strain is 0.9 x 10
-3
. The Poissons ratio from Eq. (4.4) is 0.277.
Poissons Ratio quantifies the tendency of the material to bulge out for a given axial strain and
therefore how the material pushes laterally when it is subjected to an overburden pressure. The
theoretical range of Poissons ratio for uniform materials is between 0 and 0.5. Rocks which have
a competent structure (i.e. rocks with porosity that does not change significantly with loading) are
expected to have Poissons ratios in the same range. Good approximate values for Poissons ratio
for fracture width calculations are 0.25 for sandstone formations and 0.33 for carbonate forma-
tions.
However, Poissons ratio strongly affects how the closure stress is related to overburden pressure.
For example, a formation with will develop almost no horizontal closure stress when sub-
jected to overburden; in contrast, a formation with will develop a horizontal closure stress
almost equal to overburden, and will behave like a liquid! Real rocks fall somewhere between
those values, with the more ductile and plastic rocks having a higher Poissons ratio. Note that
rocks that have high porosity and low cementation (e.g. Valhall chalk) may have a close to zero.

0
0.5

Formation Mechanical Properties


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-4
March 1993
This is because their porosity changes considerably with loading, and the bulging of the core is
accommodated by porosity reduction.
Effect Of Modulus On Fracturing
Though the predicted fracture width and penetration for a fixed fracture height and fluid volume
are relatively insensitive to modulus, the relation between fracturing pressure and modulus makes
modulus one of the more important variables considered in fracture design. Fig. 4.2 shows an
example of the dependence of net fracturing pressure (injection pressure minus closure stress) on
the modulus of elasticity; generally speaking, as modulus increases, net pressure increases. There-
fore, if a stimulation is designed with a value for E that is smaller than the actual value, the net
pressure during a job will be higher than predicted, possibly leading to unanticipated height
growth.
Typical Modulus Values
Fig. 4.3 and Fig. 4.4 show typical ranges of values for modulus for sands and carbonates. Modulus
usually increases with confining pressure and decreases with increasing porosity and increasing
grain size. If nothing else is known, these figures may be used to determine an estimate of modu-
lus. However, significant variations from either figure can exist due to mineralogical compositions
and depositional differences.
Fig. 4.2 - Example of the Effect of Modulus on Net Fracturing Pressure.
Example Data
H = 100 ft Fluid Loss H = 100 ft
C = .001 Spurt = 0
Q = 20 bpm
Viscosity = 100 cp (n' = 1)
Design Penetration (1/2 Length) = 500 ft
R
e
q
u
i
r
e
d

(
1
0
0
0

g
a
l
)
20
15
10
5
2 4 6 8
800
600
400
200
N
e
t

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
p
s
i
)
S
l
u
r
r
y

V
o
l
u
m
e
Youngs Modulus (10
6
psi)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Elastic Properties of the Formation
4-5 March 1993
Also, the modulus values in Fig. 4.3 and Fig. 4.4 are for small samples. Many carbonate forma-
tions are naturally fractured; and in such a case, the modulus for the bulk in-situ rock would be
lower than a value for a small sample.
A similar chart for shales is not practical since Youngs Modulus for shales can vary from 500,000
psi for a high porosity, clay rich, shale to 6-8 million psi for a quartz cemented siltstone. If no core
is available for shales, sonic logs have been used to predict the modulus of the shales relative to
the modulus of the pay formation where core is available and modulus has been measured.
Table 4.1 lists typical modulus values for two special formation types.
Fig. 4.5 is a plot that allows the use of conventional Sonic Log data (compressional wave) to esti-
mate modulus. This dynamic modulus (i.e., estimated from correlation based on compressional
wave velocity in the formation) is greater than the static modulus needed for fracture design,
but, if laboratory tests are not available, the dynamic modulus sets an upper bound for modulus
and is preferable to Fig. 4.3 and Fig. 4.4. It can also be used to estimate the modulus in formations
where core is not available if lab data is available from other formations in the same well.
A better technique than conventional Sonic Logs is to calculate Youngs Modulus, E, from
Long Spaced Sonic Log data, using the compressional and shear wave velocities of the formation.
Fig. 4.3 - Modulus of Elasticity for Sand-
stones.
Fig. 4.4 - Modulus of Elasticity for Carbon-
ates.
Table 4.1 - Typical Modulus Values for Two Special Formation Types.
Formation Porosity
Modulus
(10
6
psi)
Chalk (North Sea) 35 - 50% 0.5 to 1.5
Diatomaceous Earth 40 - 50% 0.4 to 1.0
Low Porosity (< 10%), Very Fine Grained
High Porosity (> 25%), Coarse Grained
Overburden-Pore Pressure (1000 psi)
5 10
8
6
4
2
Y
o
u
n
g
'
s

M
o
d
u
l
u
s
(
m
i
l
l
i
o
n

p
s
i
)
5 10
10
8
6
4
2
Low Porosity, Dolomite
High Porosity
Overburden-Pore Pressure (1000 psi)
Y
o
u
n
g

s

M
o
d
u
l
u
s
(
m
i
l
l
i
o
n

p
s
i
)
Formation Mechanical Properties
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-6
March 1993
Again, this dynamic modulus will be an upper bound for the static modulus used for fracture
design.
The best solution is to obtain core samples and have tangent modulus measured in a lab. If this is
impossible and E must be estimated, try to estimate on the high side. This will result in a design
with a narrower fracture width, higher net pressure and greater fracture height than should actually
occur, providing a conservative safe approach to fracture design.
Fig. 4.5 - Youngs Modulus (E) vs. Acoustic Travel Time.
E x 10
6
- psi
Sand
Dolomite
Lime
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
100
80
60
40
A
c
o
u
s
t
i
c

T
r
a
v
e
l

T
i
m
e
(
m
i
c
r
o
s
e
c
o
n
d
s
/
f
t
)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Toughness
4-7 March 1993
4.2 Fracture Toughness
Fracture toughness is one of the most elusive material properties that comes from linear fracture
mechanics. It is discussed here because it is often used in numerical simulators as a matching
parameter of the treating pressure and because there are many near fracture tip phenomena that
could appear as apparent fracture toughness.
Without getting too deep into theory, the fracture toughness concept comes from Griffiths
1
work
on the fracture of brittle solids. The fracture toughness of a material represents its natural ability
to resist the propagation of a fracture. To quote an article by Srawley and Brown,
2
In the simplest
terms, the fracture toughness of a material determines how big a crack the material is able to tol-
erate without fracturing when loaded to a level approaching that at which it would fail by excessive
plastic deformation. Fracture toughness can be quantified by lab experiments (such as the three
point loading of the Chevron notch) from which the loading vs. deformation curve is plotted until
failure, and the energy spent to fracture the specimen can be calculated from this diagram. It may
be noted that loading capacity of a specific specimen depends not only on crack size, but also on
crack shape, bulk of the specimen, crack orientation with respect to layering of material (e.g. for-
mation), temperature, rate of loading, etc. For this reason, it is very difficult to extrapolate labora-
tory results to the field, and an indirect assessment of apparent fracture toughness is done in the
field from treating pressure behavior using fracturing simulators, as described below.
The fracture toughness is quantified by either of two related parameters: (1) the critical strain
energy release rate, G, expressed in energy per area of created fracture (not the area of the fracture
faces) in units of force/length; and (2) the critical stress intensity factor, K
c
, expressed in units of
pressure times square root of length. The relation between the two parameters for hydraulic frac-
turing problems (plane strain problems) is
G = K
c
2
/E'. (4.5)
Typical laboratory range of K
c
values are given by Thiercelin
3
in Table 4.2. From Table 4.2 we see
that typical laboratory K
c
s are of the order of 900 to 2000 psi with a value of about 1500
psi being a good rough estimate. A corresponding rough estimate of fracture energy is about 1
psi-in. Note that some simulators require K
c
and some require G as input.
Fracture toughness relates the pressure required to propagate a fracture with the dimensions of the
fracture. Let us consider an example from the Wattenberg field,
4
where fractures in the Muddy J
formation are highly confined by shale layers above and below the pay. Stress tests, minifrac and
fracturing treatments in the example well show that a fracture height of 90 ft is representative for
these type of calculations. Furthermore, net pressures, P
N
, on the order of 400 to 550 psi for mini-
frac treatments and 2100 psi for the main fracture treatments are typical. These observations indi-
cate the magnitudes of the formation toughness (i.e., critical stress intensity factor K
c
), the
confining stress contrast
c
between layers, and other rock mechanics considerations. Consider-
in
in
Formation Mechanical Properties
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-8
March 1993
ing the lateral propagation of the fracture tip of this highly confined fracture gives estimates of the
Muddy J pay toughness, or, better, its apparent toughness.
The fracture tip is essentially a penny shaped fracture that is subjected to the net treating pressure
P
N
. There is no stress contrast confining the fracture in the horizontal direction. Therefore, fracture
toughness is expected to be a dominant confining mechanism in the horizontal direction. From
fracturing mechanics,
5
the stress intensity factor, K, in the opening mode of a penny shaped crack
under uniform pressure is given by
(4.6)
where R is the radius and P
N
the uniform net pressure. The fracture propagates when K is equal to
the formation fracture toughness, K
c
(which is a material property), and remains stationary when
K < K
c
.
The fracture tip geometry of the Wattenberg fractures is characterized by R = 45 ft = 540 in and P
N
= 500 psi. This value of net pressure is estimated from the minifrac treatment which does not have
the additional friction due to a proppant. With these values, Eq. (4.6) gives K
c
= 13110 psi . This
estimate is approximately 10 times greater than the fracture toughness of rocks measured in the lab
which have a typical toughness value of 1000 to 1500 psi . Note that this discrepancy is a com-
mon phenomenon and consequently the calculated K
c
is called an apparent formation toughness.
Table 4.2 Fracture Toughness and Properties as a Function of Conning Pressure.
Lithology
Porosity
%
Youngs Modulus
Conning
Pressure K
Ic
MPa
Error 10
6
psi MPa psi MPa
% Error
psi
Mesa Verde
Sandstone
-
5-10
-
-
-
-
32,000 (3) 11%
-
-
4.8
0.
13.8
20.7
0
2068
3102
2.12 (2)
2.4 (2)
3.6 (1)
11%
17%
1993
2256
3384
Mesa Verde
Mudstone
-
-
-
45,000 (2)
9% -
6.7
0.
20.7
0
3102
2.12 (1)
2.6 (1)
1993
2444
Cardium
Sandstone
13
-
-
25,500 (2)
-
31%
-
3.8
0.
21.0
0
3147
0.98 (3)
3.3 (2)
14%
6%
921
3102
Berea
Sandstone
-
-
23
-
-
-
-
-
19,400 (2)
20,500 (1)
-
-
2%
-
-
2.9
3.1
0.
5.0
10.0
20.0
0
74
9
1499
2997
1.11 (2)
1.3 (2)
1.3 (2)
1.5 (3)
5%
8%
8%
13%
1043
1222
1222
1410
Note: the gures in parentheses show the number of samples tested.
t
m
t i n
K 2 P
N
R

--- = (penny crack)


in
in
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Toughness
4-9 March 1993
Several near fracture tip hypotheses contribute to an increased net fracturing pressure and could
contribute to an increased K
c
. The most popular within the research community are (1) formation
plasticity, (2) non-penetrated (dry) zone near the tip, and (3) process zone (microfracture zone)
around the tip. Hypotheses (1) and (3) contribute to increased energy expenditure near the tip due
to plastic flow and intense microfracturing. Hypothesis (2) assumes a region where the hydraulic
pressure is not easily transmitted to the fracture tip due to asperities, gel plugging, increased gel
viscosity due to dehydration, and great frictional losses within very narrow crack opening. For all
the above reasons, it is quite common to input increased fracture toughness in the hydraulic frac-
turing simulators to match treating pressures and predict fracturing geometry.
Formation Mechanical Properties
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-10
March 1993
4.3 Hardness
Rock hardness is important to fracture conductivity. The proppant may imbed into soft rocks, caus-
ing the fracture conductivity to decrease and the propped fracture to lose its effectiveness.
For most rock types, this is not a problem if a nominal design guideline of one pound of proppant
per square foot of fracture is achieved. For very soft formations (chalks are one example as seen
in Fig. 4.6), this is not sufficient and special fracture designs are required. If proppant embedment
is suspected due to productivity declines or pressure transient tests showing a loss of fracture
capacity with time, special lab tests are available to test core samples with various amounts and
types of proppant.
Fig. 4.6 - Effect of Propped Fracture Thickness on Flow Rate.
TEMP = 200F
2X2 DANIAN CHALK
Legend
0.4" PROPPED FRAC
0.25" PROPPED FRAC
0.1" PROPPED FRAC
MATRIX FLOW
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000
1000
100
10
1
0.1
GROSS CONFINING PRESSURE PSI
T
O
T
A
L

C
O
R
E

P
E
R
M
E
A
B
I
L
I
T
Y

M
D
10096-97
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
4-11 March 1993
4.4 References
1. Griffith, A. A.: The Phenomena of Rupture and Flow in Solids, Phil. Trans., Royal Soc. of London (1920) Ser.
A, 221, 163-98.
2. Srawley, John E., and Brown, William F., Jr.: Fracture Toughness Testing Methods, Fracture Toughness Test-
ing and Its Applications Symposium, 1964 Annual Meeting of ASTM, Chicago, June 21-26.
3. Thiercelin, M.: Fracture Toughness Under Confining Pressure Using the Modified Ring Test, Proceedings of
the 1987 US Symposium of Rock Mechanics, 149-56, June 29-July 1.
4. Moschovidis, Z.A., Broacha, E., and Gardner, D.: APR, Tectonic Correction of Closure Stress Profiles and Field
Data Analysis for Fracture Design for Wattenberg Gas Field, Colorado; Amoco Production Company Report
F91-P-59 (Nov. 1990).
5. Warpinski, N. R., and Smith, M. B.: Rock Mechanics and Fracture Geometry, Monograph Series, SPE, Rich-
ardson, TX (1989) 12, vi, 57-80.
Formation Mechanical Properties
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
4
4-12
March 1993
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5-1
Chapter
December 1995
5.1 Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
As emphasized in Chap. 2 in the discussion of the basic fracture models, fracture height and frac-
ture height growth are the major variables governing treatment design or analysis. This is easily
seen in the simple relation derived from conservation of mass for a confined fracture
(5.1)
where fracture height, H, and fluid loss height, H
p
, appear in the denominator and have a great
effect on fracture length.
H is the total or gross fracture height which, of course, changes with time during a treatment. A
reasonable estimate of the initial fracture height, and of the variables governing height growth
is critical to an accurate solution for fracture length since, as seen in the relation above, length, L,
and height, H, are inversely proportional. It is usually desirable to maintain frac height within a
reasonable distance above and below the pay zone, to minimize useless fracture area (created
and propped fracture area which will not contribute to production) or to avoid fracturing into water
bearing layers. The fracture height obtained is largely controlled by formation properties. We have
some influence over the height obtained through controls on pump rate and fluid viscosity, but
must recognize the limits to which we can control height development.
Factors Controlling Fracture Height
Numerous oil field techniques and wellbore arrangements have been proposed in the past for lim-
iting fracture height:
Perforate a limited section and only frac where the perfs are
Set a packer in the wellbore so that you do not frac up
Perforate low in the wellbore, since everybody knows that you cannot frac below Total Depth
(TD)
Perforate high in the wellbore, so that you do not frac into water below.
Everybody knows that fracs grow up!
L
Q t
p
3 C H
p
t
p
w H +
----------------------------------------------- =
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Frac-
turing Treatments
5
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-2
December 1995
Pump at low rate so that the frac will stay in zone.
Pump at high rate so that you get the job pumped before the fracture has a chance to grow out
of the zone.
Use of a 2D model, then height wont change!
Though these approaches may sound silly, we have all probably tried to use these or others in some
form or fashion. Some of them have limited application and may exert some influence over the
ultimate frac height obtained, but overall, they have minimal impact on frac height. Fig. 5.1 shows
a schematic of a fracture which basically grows where it wants to. The only wellbore condition
that can have a significant impact on frac height is the cement bond. A poor cement bond can
allow annular communication with another zone, and thus bypass a potential confining bed. Pump
rate and fluid viscosity do affect frac height through their indirect control on pressure, but to a very
small degree when compared to formation properties.
Vertical fracture growth and resulting fracture height is controlled by the interaction of hydraulic
pressure inside the fracture with mechanical properties of the rocks and in-situ stresses. The dom-
inant factors controlling frac height are listed below in order of decreasing importance.
Factors Controlling Fracture Height
Closure stress differences between pay and bounding beds
Thickness of bounding beds & Thickness of pay
Fracture pressure from high modulus (naturally high/low closure stress, etc.)
Fig. 5.1 - A Frac Grows Where It Wants To!!
Pay Design
Water Actual
Fracture Height = ?
Not Perforated Height!
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-3 December 1995
Modulus contrast between pay and bounding beds
Interface or bedding plane slip - applicable at shallow depth?
Ductility of bounding bed - may facilitate bedding plane slip, (small coal seams)
Stress gradient due to fluid pressure - generally insignificant
Fracture toughness or strength differences - probably not a barrier
Effect Of Closure Stress Prole On Fracture Height Growth
The most dominant controlling mechanism for frac height is vertical variations in closure stress
through strata of varying lithology and rock properties.
1
Closure stress is the minimum, compres-
sive, in-situ stress. Pressure in the fracture must exceed this before a hydraulic fracture can open.
Fig. 5.2 shows a simplistic, idealized case of three zones of different stress. In this case, the bound-
ing beds (Zones 2 and 3) are assumed to be of infinite thickness and have the same closure stress.
The stress in the bounding beds is greater than that in the pay zone (Zone 1). Zone 1 is perforated
and a fracture is initiated. The fracture grows unrestricted to the height of Zone 1. At this point, the
relationship shown in Fig. 5.2 goes to work (Point A).
As injection continues, the fracture begins elongating and extending laterally from the wellbore.
Net fracture pressure, P
n
, (bottomhole treating pressure outside the perforations minus the forma-
tion closure pressure, discussed in more detail in Chap. 8), begins to increase as the fracture
extends. During this period, the fracture is essentially acting as a pipeline carrying high viscosity
fluid from the wellbore to the fracture tip. As the pipeline grows longer, the pressure at the well-
bore must increase to overcome the increased friction drop along the ever lengthening fracture.
As net pressure, P
n
, increases, the ratio of net pressure to the closure stress differential between the
pay zone and bounding beds begins to increase, moving one up the curve (Point B). When net
pressure has increased to about 50% of the stress differential between Zone 1 and Zones 2 and 3,
fracture height has increased to about 135% of the initial frac height (Zone 1). As net pressure in
the fracture increases, frac height continues to grow, until the frac height is twice the initial height
at a net pressure equal to 70% of the stress differential (Point D). The thickness of Zone 1 and the
absolute values of the stresses are independent of this relationship for a three zone systemwith infi-
nite bounding beds. Obviously, after net pressure reaches 70-80%of the stress differential between
the pay zone and bounding beds, small increases in net pressure (the net pressure to stress differ-
ence ratio) can add much additional frac height. The fracture height cannot be contained, and the
fracture grows uncontrollably out of zone. Note, however, that after this point is reached, fracture
length growth does not stop though it is slowed considerably. Thus, if no danger exists of the frac-
ture breaking into another (possibly undesirable) low stress zone - pumping may safely continue
in order to create a longer fracture. The economics of creating this additional fracture length will
be affected though, with significantly greater treatment volumes now being needed to create addi-
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-4
December 1995
tional length. Similarly, sand is distributed over a greater and greater height, reducing the sand con-
centration per unit area.
This means that if we are to contain a fracture within zone, we must have some idea of closure
stress in the pay zone and bounding beds. If stress differences are only 700-800 psi, then we can
expect the fracture to grow uncontrollably out of zone at about 500-600 psi net fracture pressure.
Fracture treatments could be designed to stay within this net pressure limitation. On the other hand,
it may be difficult to achieve the length desired at these net pressures (since net pressure depends
on fracture length), and the treatment would have to be designed with this fracture height growth
in mind. Conversely, if the stress differential is on the order of 1500 psi, net pressure can be
Fig. 5.2 - Effect of Closure Stress Variations on Fracture Height.
Gamma Ray Closure Stress
Shale
Shale
Sand
c1

c2

c2

c

c2

c1
=
Zone 2
Zone 1
Zone 3
H
i
a
b
A
B
C
D
0 1 2 3 4 5
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Ratio Frac Height:
Initial Frac Height
H
H
i
---- ( )
R
a
t
i
o

N
e
t

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
:
S
t
r
e
s
s

D
i
f
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
P
n

c
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

_
0
c
A
B C
D
d
Pressure
A
B
C
D
Time
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-5 December 1995
allowed to rise to 1000-1100 psi before the fracture will begin to grow significantly out of zone.
This would allow an ample pressure limitation for designing most fracture treatments.
Obviously, an in-situ fracture closure stress profile, as seen in Fig. 5.3, is the major input data for
3-D or Pseudo 3-D fracture treatment design. The example in Fig. 5.3 illustrates a stress profile
generated by conducting multiple small volume, microfrac stress tests. Generally, such multiple
stress data are not available and some form of log-stress correlation will be required. However,
this example illustrates another important item - namely typical (or maximum) values for
in-situ stress differences. Consider data from the sandstone at ft showing a fracture closure
pressure (closure stress) of psi. Then consider the stress of psi at a depth of about
7650 ft in the Mancos Tongue Shale. This stress difference of psi at this depth represents a
stress difference of psi/ft - and this is about the maximum stress difference which has been
recorded, verified, and published. Thus, assuming some lithology differences exist, an optimistic
estimate for in-situ stress differences might be:
Max Stress Difference, = 0.2 psi/ft of depth.
Fig. 5.3 - Variations in Fracture Closure Stress in a Sand/Shale Sequence.
7500 t
6500 t 8000 t
1500 t
0.2 t

0
0
.
0
5
0
.
0
1
0
0
.
0
1
5
0
.
0
2
0
0
.
0
0
.
3
0
.
2
0
.
1
0
.
0
0
.
1
ft
7300
(2225m)
7400
(2255m)
7500
(2286m)
7600
(2315m)
7700
(2347m)
7800
(2377m)
7900
(2408m)
8000
(2438m)
8100
(2459m)
GAMMA (GAPI)
POROSITY
COAL
SILT
SHALE
SAND
M
A
N
C
O
S
T
O
N
G
U
E
C
O
Z
Z
E
T
T
E
M
A
N
C
O
S
T
O
N
G
U
E
R
O
L
L
I
N
S
P
A
L
U
D
A
L
6
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
8
0
0
0
9
0
0
0
STRESS (psi)
m
2250
2300
2350
2400
2450
45 50 55 60 MPa
Estimated over-
burden stress
(1.05 psi/ft)
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-6
December 1995
The effects of lithology on in-situ stress (fracture closure stresses or closure pressure) along with
the effect of closure stress variations on fracture geometry may also be seen in Fig. 5.4, a set of
field data presented by Esso Canada.
2
Fig. 5.4 compares two cases (within the same wellbore)
showing measured in-situ stresses along with pre and postfrac radioactivity logs for fracture height
growth. For Case 1, several stress tests (microfrac type stress tests) were conducted in zones with
(based on differing gamma ray readings) varying lithology. This stress data showed basically a
psi/ft (e.g. normal) stress gradient - and the postfrac logs suggest massive height growth
outof-zone. Case 2 shows stress data collected from two zones, both of which were perforated, and
a propped fracture treatment was conducted attempting to stimulate the two zones simultaneously.
The upper zone shows a significantly higher closure stress (associated with a different lithology)
and the postfrac logs indicate that the entire treatment entered the deeper, lower stress zone.
Thus we see examples - in the same wellbore - of lithology changes with and without associated
differences in fracture closure pressure. A guideline for interpreting stress profiles where no other
information exists might be:
There must be some change in lithology in order to expect some variations in closure pressure
- and thus some degree of fracture height confinement. However, do not try to quantify
lithology logs. That is, relatively minor apparent lithology changes could signify significant
stress differences, OR a major lithology change might have no associated stress differences.
As discussed in Chap. 4, the one exception to this would be for stress changes created by artificial
changes in reservoir pressure (e.g. depletion).
Effect Of Bed Thickness On Fracture Height Growth
In addition to the stress difference in the beds, bed thickness is important. If the bounding beds are
not infinitely thick, then we must consider their thickness to determine if the fracture might grow
completely through the bounding beds and into zones of lower stress. A 2 ft shale bounding a 10
ft pay zone is obviously not going to stop a fracture from growing out of zone, nor will a 20 ft shale
bounding a 50 ft zone. A good rule for beds immediately bounding a zone to be fractured, is that
they should be at least as thick as the zone being stimulated to confine frac height; the basis
for this rule-of-thumb is discussed under Picking Fracture Height on page 5-12.
Consider the Pressure-Height Curve as seen in Fig. 5.2b. At the point where the fracture has tri-
pled in height (e.g., H/H
i
= 1 and the fracture has grown upwards a distance equal to one initial
height and downwards one initial height), net pressure has reached % of the in-situ stress
difference. Also at this point, pressure-height behavior is fairly flat, that is, relatively large
amounts of height growth begin to occur for small increases in bottomhole treating pressure. Thus,
even for infinite bounding beds, fracture height will begin to increase rapidly after an upward
or downward growth about equal to one original formation thickness.
0.7 t
80 t
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-7 December 1995
Case 1
Apparent Lithology No Stress Difference
Case 2
Large Stress Differences
No FRAC in High Stress Interval
Fig. 5.4 - Examples of Lithology Changes, With and Without Associated Stress Differ-
ences.
Collar
Locations
2675
2700
2725
2750
Increasing Gamma Activity
Gamma Ray
Post-Frac
Gamma Ray
Base
P
a
r
t
s
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
e
t
e
r
s
)
0.7 psi/ft
gradient
6
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
Closure Stress (psi)
U
p
p
e
r
Z
o
n
e
L
o
w
e
r
Z
o
n
e
Collar
Locations
2060
2060
2060
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
e
t
e
r
s
) P
e
r
f
s
P
e
r
f
s
Base
GR
Post-Frac GR
Increasing Gamma Activity Closure Stress (psi)
4
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-8
December 1995
The first important effect of bed thickness then is the thickness of bounding formations as illus-
trated by the four drawings in Fig. 5.5. This figure repeats the three-layer behavior discussed
above until point C is reached - e.g. the fracture has approximately tripled in height and the top
of the fracture has just reached the top of the barrier formation. At that point in time, the treating
pressure inside the fracture, near the wellbore, is considerably greater than the pressure needed to
propagate a fracture into the shallower low stress zone. Thus treating pressure will begin to drop
(sometimes fairly rapidly) as the fracture preferentially migrates into this new formation.
Fig. 5.5 - Fracture Height Growth Through Finite Bounding Beds.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-9 December 1995
This can, in extreme cases, even lead to the main fracture beginning to grow shorter and can have
major (usually undesirable) effects on the ability to pump proppant, proppant placement, and on
stimulation effectiveness. Some of the treatment pumping problems which can arise from such
height growth behavior are discussed in Chap. 8. Also, some of the fracture modeling/fracture
design issues raised by such a fracture geometry are briefly discussed below.
The second major importance of bed thickness is thickness of the pay zone itself. The net pressure
which the stress and thickness of the bounding beds must counteract depends on the thickness of
the pay zone. Fig. 5.6 illustrates the net pressure required to create a 500 ft fracture for several pay
zone thicknesses. This figure shows that height growth would probably not be expected to be con-
fined to a 20 ft zone at 2000 psi, but height confinement could be expected for a 200 ft zone at 200
psi. While the actual net pressures tabulated in Fig. 5.6 are for a specific case, the figure can also
be used, in a general, qualitative, sense to estimate the potential for height confinement for partic-
ular zones.
The actual net pressures tabulated in Fig. 5.6 are for a specific case. However, they might also be
viewed as typical values of net treating pressure for various gross zone thicknesses. Thus, if a
formation being considered for fracturing has a gross thickness on the order of 30 ft - then net treat-
ing pressure will probably be psi, and stress differences on the order of 1600 psi will be
needed to give reasonable height confinement. Assuming a formation depth of 6000 ft, the required
gradient of stress difference would be 0.27 psi/ft - good height confinement is unlikely and
extensive height growth would be expected. On the other hand, a typical net pressure for fracturing
a zone with a gross thickness of 60 ft might be on the order of 800 psi - with stress differences of
psi needed for reasonable height confinement. For a formation depth of 8000 ft, the required
Fig. 5.6 - Net Pressure Required to Create a 500 ft (1/2 Length) Fracture.
1500 t
900 t
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-10
December 1995
gradient difference is only 0.1 psi/ft - and assuming some lithology differences exist - then fairly
good height confinement may be a reasonable possibility.
Effect Of Other Factors On Fracture Height Growth
Modulus contrast between pay and bounding beds
Interface or bedding plane slip - applicable at shallow depth?
Ductility of bounding bed-may facilitate bedding plane slip, rare
Stress gradient due to fluid pressure - generally insignificant
Fracture toughness or strength differences-probably not a barrier
Probably the most important of the remaining variables which affects frac height (after the stress
and pressure behavior), are modulus contrasts (Fig. 5.7), and bedding plane slip (Fig. 5.8 and
Fig. 5.9).
Though not as strong a barrier as once thought, bounding beds with higher modulus than the pay
zone can retard height growth by causing fracture width in the bounding formations to be very nar-
row. However, as seen in Fig. 5.7, the maximum possible L to H ratios are fairly small - that is the
height confining effect of modulus contrasts is actually quite minimal.
For shallow depths, overpressured formations, or highly jointed formations such as coals, slip may
occur along bedding planes at the top or bottom tip of the fracture, Fig. 5.8, blunting the fracture
and arresting height growth. This would be a very strong barrier; however, it probably does not
occur often in oil and gas well fracturing except possibly at the interfaces with coal seams. Slip of
this type would be required for the Geerstma de Klerk model to be applicable for fractures with
lengths greater than their height (L/H > 1).
Fig. 5.9 presents the results of a series of lab tests conducted to determine the likelihood of a
hydraulic fracture stopping at an unbonded interface between two rock layers. As seen from these
Fig. 5.7 - Effect of Modulus Contrast on Fracture Containment.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-11 December 1995
results, for an effective vertical stress across the interface (e.g. overburden weight minus pore pres-
sure) of only psi the fracture crossed the interface for almost all rock types. Since an effec-
tive vertical stress of this magnitude would correspond to a depth of only about 2000 ft - it is clear
that interface slip will not be an effective barrier to vertical frac height growth for most oil and gas
well situations.
Fracture closure pressure or closure stress generally increases with depth, with a typical gradient
of psi/ft - e.g. for each 100 ft increase in depth, closure pressure will increase by 70 psi. This
increase in closure stress is generally greater than the increase (with depth) in fluid pressure inside
the fracture due to the hydrostatic gradient of the fluid. As an example, consider a fracture 200 ft
in height which is filled with a water based fluid. Closure stress at the bottom of the fracture is
greater by about 140 psi than closure stress at the top; at the same time the driving fluid pressure
at the bottom is greater by psi (assuming a hydrostatic gradient of 0.43 psi/ft for water). Thus
net pressure (e.g. driving fluid pressure minus closure pressure) is about 54 psi less at the bottom
of the fracture than at the top. Thus the fracture would have some tendency to grow upward rather
than downward.
However, for many (most?) fracturing cases net pressure may have a typical value on the order of
500 to 1000 psi - thus a difference (over the height) of psi in net pressure is relatively insig-
nificant. Stress gradients, then, only become significant in affecting fracture height growth for
cases where significant height already exists (e.g. several hundred feet), or for cases of very low
net pressure (e.g. typically associated with low modulus formations and/or the pumping of very
low viscosity fluids).
Fig. 5.8 - Illustration of Fracture Interface
Slip.
Fig. 5.9 Interface Slip vs. Stress.
1000 t
0.7 t
86 t
50 t
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-12
December 1995
Picking Fracture Height
(Estimating the In-situ Stress Prole)
Obviously, normal strata are not as simple as the idealized case described in Fig. 5.10, but the prin-
ciples are still applicable. If the bounding beds are not infinitely thick, then we must ensure that
they are of adequate thickness so the fracture does not grow completely through them and into a
zone of lower stress. A 2 ft shale bounding a 10 ft pay zone is obviously not going to stop a fracture
from growing out of zone. As discussed on page 5-6, a good rule for beds immediately bounding
a zone to be fractured is that they must be at least as thick as the zone being treated. Still, there will
be some height growth into the bounding layers with the final magnitude of fracture height being
predominantly determined by the stress difference between the pay and the bounding forma-
tions. Thus predicting or picking fracture height becomes an exercise in estimating (or measuring)
the in-situ closure stress for various zones.
There are tools which may, under some conditions, possibly aid in determining the in-situ stress
profile. However, in general, consideration of two dominant parameters will aid in constructing
reasonable estimates of in-situ stresses.
Factors Which Dominate In-situ Stress Differences
Lithology Changes
Pore Pressure
Pore Pressure Variations
Fig. 5.10 - Illustration of Stress Gradient Effect on Frac Height Growth.
Generally Insignificant Except in Case of Unrestrained
Vertical Growth Where Height Becomes Very Big
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-13 December 1995
One minimum consideration for height confinement is significant lithology changes as seen with
a Gamma Ray log. Shales often have higher closure stresses than clean sands so thick boundary
shales can confine fractures. Such confinement is not always the case, but the lack of lithology
changes virtually ensures unrestricted height growth or radially shaped fractures. Thus a change in
lithology makes it possible for stress differences to exist. However, one should not try to quan-
tify a Gamma Ray log, e.g., if a lithology difference exists, then stress differences may exist and
fracturing pressure analysis (as discussed in Chap. 8) must be used to determine the magnitude of
the stress differences.
As discussed, closure stress is related to reservoir pressure. Therefore, a reservoir that has been
drawn down, as in a producing well, is likely to have a lower closure stress than normal in the pay
zone, and consequently a higher stress differential between pay and the bounding beds, improving
chances for height confinement. On the other hand, height confinement could be more difficult to
achieve in an injection well due to pressuring up of the pay zone. Thus pore pressure and pore pres-
sure differences between zones (e.g. due to partial depletion from offset production) is a major fac-
tor to consider in estimating in-situ stresses. Fracture closure stress is generally related to pore
pressure by
3
(5.2)
where OB = Overburden Pressure 1 psi/ft, p = pore pressure, = Poissons ratio, Sandstones
= 25, and Carbonates = .33.
Inspection of Eq. (5.2) for a typical sandstone reservoir with a Poissons ratio, of 0.25 indi-
cates that for every psi change in reservoir pressure there is a corresponding 2/3 of a psi change in
closure pressure. Thus a depletion of 1500 psi in a sandstone will typically cause a reservoir clo-
sure pressure to decrease by about 1000 psi. Since there should presumably be no pore pressure
reduction in the surrounding impermeable shales, this 1000 psi decrease in the pay zone closure
pressure would be added to any naturally existing stress differences and very good height con-
finement can exist in depleted formations. Further inspection of Eq. (5.2) for a typical carbonate
reservoir would show a 1/2 psi change in closure pressure for every psi change in reservoir pres-
sure.
Special logs have been developed and marketed which may, sometimes be of value in determining
the in-situ stress profile (see Chap. 10). However, these logs are based on simple, elasticity
assumptions and should be treated with extreme caution. For sand/shale sequence geology, there
is often some relative truth in the logs and the actual stresses can frequently be successfully cal-
ibrated against the log derived stress values. Carbonate geology tends to be more complex and
the value of the logs is more questionable. In either case, however, the raw information from the
logs should never be used. If test procedures are not planned in order to calibrate the logs - then
the logs should not be run.

1
------------
,
_
OB p ( ) p + =

Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-14
December 1995
An example of a stress/log calibration is shown in Fig. 5.11, showing a comparison of measured
stress vs. log stress from several sand/shale sequence formations. It is important to note two things
on Fig. 5.11: (1) the correlation, which is reasonably strong, is not 1:1, e.g. the absolute values of
log stresses are probably never correct, and (2) this data is not intended for application, but merely
as an example of how one might proceed to calibrate such special logs. Finally, it should be noted
that while on a scale of absolute stress, the correlation appears very good. Examining the fine
detail shows that the actual stress sometimes differs from the correlation by 500 to 1000 psi.
Since the stress of interest is not the absolute value but instead is the difference - such a deviation
represents as much as a 50 to 100% error. Thus any type of general stress correlation must be
treated with care.
A measured/log stress correlation can be based on stresses actually measured in several zones in
the wellbore using closure stress tests as described in Chap. 8. This technique is the only one which
provides quantitative, in-situ data by which to determine the potential for height confinement, but
Fig. 5.11 - Stress/Log-Stress Correlation.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-15 December 1995
requires perforating and testing multiple zones in the well. If a number of fracture stimulations are
to be performed in the field, and height confinement is questionable and critical to the outcome of
the stimulations, then such testing coupled with running sonic logs as described above may be war-
ranted. Alternatively, a 3-Dtype fracture simulator may be used to infer the in-situ stresses through
history matching actual bottomhole treating pressure (BHTP) data. This is also discussed in
Chap. 8.
In summary, fracture height is the most critical variable to successful fracture treatment design,
and yet is one of the most difficult variables to measure. The three variables most strongly affecting
the ultimate frac height achieved during a treatment are: (1) closure stress differentials, (2) thick-
ness of the bounding beds, and (3) net fracture pressure. Several techniques exist by which to better
quantify frac height, involving everything from qualitative guesses to detailed quantitative mea-
surement. Finally, there is no substitute for experience in an area for picking fracture height or esti-
mating the in-situ closure stress profile, but whether an established field or a wildcat, there is
plenty of room for sound, engineering judgments.
3-D Fracture Modeling/3-D Fracture Design
Since fracture height and fracture height growth are the dominant variables affecting successful
propped fracture treatment design, fracture models which can account for height growth become
powerful, even indispensable, tools for modern job design or analysis. This is true in spite of the
common statement - We never have the data required to really use such fracture models. In fact,
one must realize that, in reality, 2-D fracture models are much harder to accurately use since there
is never, under any conditions, any way of accurately estimating fracture height in advance.
However, we can make reasonable estimates for the in-situ stress distribution. Also, since in many
cases the bottomhole pressure during a treatment is a strong function of the in-situ stresses and the
stress profile, we can use pressure data along with 3-D models to verify or modify these estimates,
finally arriving at a reasonably accurate description of the formation(s). This is most efficiently
done via a pressure history matching procedure as discussed in Chap. 8.
It is important to realize, however, that there are two types of 3-D fracture simulators.
Fully (or true) 3-D models calculate fracture width and fracture propagation at every point as a
function of the fluid pressure distribution everywhere inside the fracture. Among other things, this
ensures that the fully 2-dimensional flow field inside the fracture is used in calculating fluid pres-
sure and fracture width at each point. Models such as this are powerful tools and can be used for
analyzing quite complex geologic settings and complicated fracture geometry. Such models also
require extensive computer resources and are not usable for any type of routine well completion
designs. TerraFrac is one commercial fracture simulator of this type and this model is available in
Amoco. The TerraFrac model is discussed and some of its capabilities are briefly described in
Section 10.2 of this manual. Also, a few different fracture geometry cases are briefly reviewed
below along with some notes as to which geometry types require such fully 3-D modeling.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-16
December 1995
Amore common, and usable, type of fracture simulator has been termed a pseudo 3-Dmodel. Such
models are made more usable (in terms of time and required computer resources) through sev-
eral simplifying assumptions including:
1. The fracture length is at least equal to the fracture height, though through analytical approxi-
mations, such models can also give at least rough estimates of fracture geometry where vertical
height growth may be somewhat greater than fracture length.
2. Fracture height growth at any point along the length of the fracture is related only to the net
pressure at that point. Also, fracture width (and the vertical fracture width profile) at any point
along the fracture length is assumed to be related only to the net pressure at that point.
3. The greatest fracture penetration is occurring in the zone where the fracture initiates. Even with
these simplifying assumptions, however, pseudo 3-D models have proven in field practice and
through comparison with fully 3-D models, capable of handling many realistic and common
cases.
Schematically, a pseudo 3-D type fracture model proceeds as pictured in Fig. 5.12. Fracture length
propagation is calculated using calculations and assumptions similar to the traditional, 2-D, Per-
kins & Kern (PKN) fracture geometry. Along the fracture length the fracture is broken into indi-
vidual segments or cells, and the vertical fracture height growth for each cell is calculated as if
this cell represented a single Geertsma de Klerk (GDK) fracture geometry. As mentioned above,
the fracture width and width profile along with the height growth for each cell is assumed to be
related solely to the net pressure in that particular fracture segment or cell.
While pseudo 3-D models are good, usable tools, it is important to realize that limitations do exist
and to recognize when the use of more sophisticated models is necessary. Fig. 5.13 illustrates sev-
Fig. 5.12 - Pseudo 3-D Fracture Modeling.
Geertsma deKlerk
Solution
Perkins & Kern
Solution
Theoretical Basis of
Pseudo 3-D Type Fracture
Models
Fracture Length is Broken
Into Segments and Height
Growth and Width of Each
Segment is Calculated
Independently
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-17 December 1995
eral possible fracture geometries and briefly comments on the applicability of Pseudo 3-D mod-
els to each case.
Measuring Fracture Height
Just as it is difficult to pick a fracture height or to estimate the stress profile controlling height
growth, it is also difficult to measure fracture height after a job. However, several tools are avail-
able and these should be employed whenever possible to allow post-job evaluation and to improve
future jobs. The primary techniques for measuring height include temperature and Gamma Ray
logs (GR log); when conditions allow, an open hole completion; and, when the situation warrants
it, downhole televiewer logging. Procedures involved in running these logs are discussed in
Section 10.1 of this manual.
Fig. 5.13 - Fracture Geometries.
Ideal P3D Geometry
Stress
Profile
Radial Frac
OK for P3D Modeling
OK for P3D Model
Requires Full 3-D Model
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-18
December 1995
Temperature logs are, and will probably remain, the most widely used logs for measuring fracture
height. However, one significant restriction of the log should always be considered. Temperature
logs are very shallow investigative tools; and if the fracture deviates from the wellbore, it will
quickly become invisible. In general, a temperature log (or postfrac Gamma Ray log) showing
fracture height confined exactly to the perforated interval should be treated with extreme skepti-
cism.
Fluid Loss Height
The prediction of fluid loss height, H
p
, is important for the design of a fracture treatment. The loss
height represents the net height in the fracture which will dominate the fluid lost to permeable
zones.
One method of selecting H
p
, is illustrated in Fig. 5.14, where an Spontaneous Potential (SP) log is
used. For this procedure, the net section to the left of a line 1/3 the distance from the shale line
to the maximum sand deflection. This procedure neglects potential (if any) loss to shale and
dirty sands. A Gamma Ray Log might be used in a similar manner, with fluid loss height being
the net section to the left of a line 1/3 the distance from the shale line and the maximum sand
line. If adequate definition from a SP or GR log cannot be obtained, other cutoffs (porosity) can
be used.
For a given field, the potentially arbitrary nature of this procedure is overcome if the procedure is
consistently used for fluid loss coefficients determined from minifrac pressure-decline analysis or
calibrated along with loss coefficients from the success or failure on past designs of offset wells.
This works because fluid loss height and fluid loss coefficient are multiplied together to arrive at
Fig. 5.14 - Selecting Fluid Loss Height.
Selecting Fluid Loss Height
Shale Line
Fluid Loss
Or
Permeable Line
Fluid Loss Height =
Net section height to
left of permeable line
Neglect Shales, ?
Max.
Sand Line
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Height/Fracture Height Growth - 3-D Modeling/Design
5-19 December 1995
a fluid loss capacity analogous to reservoir flow capacity (kh). Doubling fluid loss height and
halving fluid loss coefficient yields exactly the same results as the base values. The fluid loss
height is commonly and wrongly confused with net pay height. Fluid loss height will always be
greater than the pay height. In many reservoirs where the net pay cutoffs from porosity logs are
well established, one should ensure that all net pay is included as fluid loss height.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-20
December 1995
5.2 Fluid Loss
This section discusses the values for the fluid loss coefficient and spurt loss used in fracture design
and/or analysis.
The amount of fluid lost to the formation during a treatment is a primary design consideration. The
lost fluid is essentially wasted and represents a significant portion (i.e., generally 30 to 70%) of the
total fluid and cost of treatment.
The rate of fluid loss is described by the expression
(5.3)
where C is the fluid loss coefficient, A is the fracture wall area and t is the time since the area A
was exposed to fluid. The loss coefficient depends on three separate effects as shown on Fig. 5.15
and each of the three have the square root of time relationship given in Eq. (5.3). These effects and
how they are determined are discussed below.
The best estimate of fluid loss is obtained from the pressure decline analysis of a calibration treat-
ment (discussed in Chap. 8).
Fluid Loss Coefcient, C
t
The composite fluid-loss coefficient depends on three separate linear flow mechanisms with the
separate coefficients, C
I
- fracturing fluid viscosity relative permeability effects, C
II
- reservoir
fluid viscosity-compressibility effects, and C
III
- wall building effects. In any fracturing treatment,
each of these mechanisms acts simultaneously to varying extents and complements the other.
These mechanisms act analogously to a series of electrical conductors and their coefficients are
combined as shown in the following equation:
(5.4)
The fracturing fluid viscosity and relative permeability (i.e., filtrate) effect can be obtained from
the following equation:
(5.5)
Permeability, k
f
(md), to the fracturing fluid filtrate may be obtained by correcting pressure tran-
sient test derived permeabilities (k
o
, k
w
or k
G
) by reducing the value by a factor of about 5. How-
q
l
C A
t
---------- =
1
C
t
-----
1
C
I
------
1
C
II
-------
1
C
III
--------- + + =
C
I
0.0469
k
f
p
1000
f
------------------------ =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Loss
5-21 December 1995
ever, if the filtrate from the frac fluid is similar to the reservoir fluid, than this reduction is not
necessary (i.e., water frac on a water injection well). The purpose of the reduction factor is to
account for relative permeability effects. If relative permeability curves are available they can be
used to determine k
f
.
Effective porosity should be obtained by correcting the formation porosity for in-place fluid satu-
rations. If, for example, a water based fluid is being used to frac a reservoir, the effective porosity
is reservoir porosity multiplied by (1-S
o
-S
g
). If a hydrocarbon based fluid is used; the effective
porosity is the reservoir porosity multiplied by (1-s
w
).
Pressure differential, (psi), across the fracture face is the difference between bottomhole
treating pressure (i.e., ) and reservoir pressure.
Since polymers are generally filtered from the base fluid by a low permeability matrix, the base
leakoff fluid viscosity, , is usually that of 2% KCl water containing a slight amount of polymer.
A maximum value for might be 5 cp with a minimum value of 0.5 cp, depending on formation
temperature.
Fig. 5.15 - Fluid Loss.
P P
f
P
p
: p pore, f filtrate, c Cake =
C
II
=
C
I
=
C
III
=
P
kc
2
p
-------
(OIL)
(CARTER, SPE 1957)
Pk
2
f
--------
(GAS)
k
c
P
2
f
f
c
-------------
(POLYMER, SOLIDS)
f
c
FRACTION OF FLUID LOSS ON CAKE
F
r
a
c
t
u
r
e
Reservoir
C
II
C
I
C
III
Invaded Zone
(usually ~ 2-3 in.)
Wall
Cake
Three Components of Fluid Loss:
C
I
= Frac Fluid Effect
C
II
= Reservoir Fluid Effect
C
III
= Wall Building Effect
p
p BHCP P
N
P
R
+ =

f
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-22
December 1995
The C
I
effect is primarily governed by the viscosity of the filtrate of the fracturing fluid. Since the
viscosity is generally very small (i.e., < 1 cp), the C
I
term is generally large for current fracturing
fluids and is not effective for fluid loss control. This is not the case for very viscous oils such as
those used during the 50s and 60s.
The reservoir fluid viscosity-compressibility (i.e., formation fluid) effect can be obtained from the
following equation:
(5.6)
The C
II
effect is primarily governed by the compressibility, c
t
and therefore is very important for
liquid filled reservoirs such as oil wells or water injection wells. These generally have a very low
c
t
compared to gas reservoirs. However, the C
II
term has negligible control in gas reservoirs which
have a relatively high c
t
(c
t gas
= 1/p
r gas
).
Permeability to the reservoir fluids (k
HC
) (millidarcies) should be measured by a pressure transient
test. Viscosity and compressibility of the reservoir fluids should be determined as in a pressure
transient analysis (e.g., lab tests, tables, or calculations).
The wall building effect for the fluid loss coefficient is determined from data obtained experimen-
tally in a laboratory as shown in Fig. 5.16. A standard fluid loss test is conducted in a high pres-
sure-high temperature Baroid filter press containing core samples or filter paper. The fluid loss test
is run with a pressure differential of 1000 psi as standard, although may be much larger, i.e.,
3000 psi. Additional work is required on the effect of which is currently assumed to be neg-
ligible.
For very low k rocks (< .1 md), the tests should be run using filter paper instead of cores. Other-
wise, the data for C
III
will be erroneous due p of the filtrate through the core during the early por-
tion of the test which has a high loss rate. The fluid loss in cubic centimeters is measured at time
intervals of 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, and 36 minutes; and these fluid loss values are then plotted on straight
coordinate paper against the square root of time in minutes (Fig. 5.16). The experimental fluid loss
coefficient is then calculated as follows:
(5.7)
where m is the slope of the plotted data (cc/ ) and A is the cross sectional area (cm
2
) of the core
wafer.
Normally, C
III
is furnished by the fracturing service company. For critical treatments, fluid loss
tests for the specific fluid and in-situ conditions should be requested.
C
II
0.374 p
k
HC
c
t

HC
1000
HC
-------------------------------- =
p
p

C
III
0.0164m/A =
t
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Loss
5-23 December 1995
Fig. 5.17 shows a qualitative comparison of C
III
values for different fluids based on laboratory data
from low permeability cores. These test data were run at 150 F and one polymer loading. At
250 F, it has been found that the C
III
values for most frac fluids increased by a factor of 1.5 to 2
because of the reduced viscosity of the filtrate through the wall (Fig. 5.15). Keep in mind that the
data in Fig. 5.17 is approximate and the wall building ability of a fracturing fluid depends on for-
mation temperature, and the fracturing fluid type and polymer loading under consideration.
The addition of 5%hydrocarbon to crosslinked water systems (Type III, on Fig. 5.17) can be a very
effective loss control additive for permeabilities less than 1 md and is generally recommended. The
addition of a hydrocarbon dispersion works primarily by reducing the relative permeability of the
polymer cake to water and by droplet plugging of pore throats. Adding the second (oil) phase
reduces the relative permeability to water. Since the hydrocarbon works primarily in the polymer
cake, this technique provides little benefit if most of the fluid loss is C
I
or C
II
controlled, as in high
permeability reservoirs. The effect of droplet plugging on a lowpermeability formation also makes
wall building fluid loss control important for emulsion and foam fluids.
Solid fluid loss additives are sometimes required for efficient fracturing in moderate to high per-
meability or naturally fractured reservoirs. These agents work by blocking the larger pore throats
(i.e., required to form wall building) and fractures. Fig. 5.18 shows the effect of silica flour (Hal-
liburton's WAC-9) on C
III
. Such agents are silica flour, 100 mesh sand and manufactured mixtures.
These additives must be used with extreme caution if they are mixed with the proppant, since they
can plug the proppant, unless they are designed to dissolve in the produced fluid. Use of these
additives with proppant laden fluid is not recommended unless absolutely required and then such
that the total does not exceed 1% of the total proppant during the treatment. The addition of silica
flour to the pad at a loading of 15 lb/1000 gal has been used to seal off closed natural fractures.
WALL BUILDING FLUID LOSS TEST
Fig. 5.16 - Standard Fluid Loss Test.

Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-24
December 1995
Also, 100 mesh sand for the initial sand stage (1/4 to 1 lbm/gal) is effective for sealing open natural
fractures.
Spurt Loss
The total fluid lost when wall building dominates is a combination of the fluid lost before a filter
cake has begun to form (spurt loss) and the fluid lost through the filter cake during the treatment.
The point where the fluid loss curve intersects the ordinate on a fluid loss plot is known as the spurt
loss (see Fig. 5.16). For fluids that build effective wall cakes and low permeability formations, the
spurt loss is low. In this case, a value of zero (0) is used for spurt loss if the permeability is very
low (i.e., less than 0.05 md).
Generally, the service company supplies the spurt loss values for their various fluids. Table 5.1 is
an example from the Dowell Fracturing Fluids book showing C
III
(i.e., C
w
) and spurt for a
non-wall building fluid for various high permeability rocks (i.e., relatively high spurt) and amounts
of silica flour. Spurt loss can be significant for moderate to high permeability formations. For
example, assume a 500 ft fracture radius, 50 ft fluid loss height, and 5 md permeability. Table 5.1
shows 20 gals/100 ft
2
spurt loss even with 20 lb/1000 gal silica flour. This equates to an additional
20,000 gal of fluid loss which must be included in the treatment design.
Fig. 5.17 - Wall Building for Various Fluid Systems.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Loss
5-25 December 1995
Fig. 5.18 - Silica Flour for Moderate to High Permeability.
Table 5.1 - Spurt Loss Dependence on Permeability and Additives.
FLUID LOSS OF FLUIDS PREPARED
WITH J160 THICKENER
J160
(lb/1,000 gal)
Temperature
( F)
K
(md)
J84
(lb/1,000 gal)
(Silica Flour)
C
w
X 1000
(ft/
Spurt
(gal/100 ft
2
)
20
20
20
125
125
125
2.2
1.5
22.5
0
20
50
30.0
9.9
6.0
0.0
7.9
59.0
30
30
125
125
1.0
4.8
20
20
5.0
4.2
1.8
19.5
40
40
125
125
1.0
4.8
20
20
5.0
4.2
1.8
19.5
60
60
125
125
2.9
3.1
20
20
4.9
4.1
15.5
19.8
80
80
80
80
125
125
125
125
3.7
3.9
5.1
25.0
20
30
40
50
3.3
1.8
3.1
3.0
5.9
5.9
9.3
44.0
Permeability
0.1 - 150 md
0 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
0.0001
0.005
0.004
0.003
0.002
0.001
0.0005
0.0004
0.0003
0.0002
WAC-9 Concentration -- lb/1000 gal water
C
W
-
-

f
t
/
m
i
n
1
/
2
min
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-26
December 1995
FLUID LOSS PROBLEM
Find: The Combined Fluid Loss Coefficient
Given: Gas Reservoir: 170 F;
P
r
= 2300 psi,
;
S
g
= 0.50;
k = 0.1 md (buildup test)
;
BHTP = 4000 psi
Lab Data: @ 150 F
(For Water Filtrate: 0.45 cp @ 150 F
0.21 cp @ 250 F)

HC
0.125 =

g
0.0174 cp =
C
III
0.001 ft\/ min =

UFCIII: Calculate Total Fluid Loss Coefficient


Res Fluid Visc (cp) 0.017
Filtrate Visc (cp) 2.4
Formation Temp (deg F) 170.
Pressure Diff (psi) 1700.
C-III 0.001
Permeability (md) 0.100
Porosity (fraction) 0.125
Compressibility (lbs/gal) 200.0
((Clos Pres + 500 (psi) - Res Pres)
@ Test Temp (deg F) 150.
C-I = 0.004463
C-II = 0.026517
C-III = 0.001090 ft/min**.5 at 170. (deg F)
Harmonically Weighted Ct = 0.00085
PF3 Continue PF12 Exit
09:23:40 03/04/92
File : UFDEMOS FRC Well Name: CARTHAGE (COTTON VALLEY) FIELD
User ID: ZWXY01
U L T R A F R A C 2 . 0
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Viscosity
5-27 December 1995
5.3 Fluid Viscosity
For most fracture treatments, a significant portion of the cost is for chemicals to create a fluid
which will maintain a relatively high viscosity throughout the treatment. As the treatment time and
formation temperature increase, the relative cost for the required chemical additives also increase.
Fluid viscosity is required primarily to transport the proppant from the wellbore to the tip of the
fracture. Fluid viscosity also affects the fracture width which is a consideration for proppant admit-
tance; however, sufficient width is normally created for proppant entry by a fluid which has suffi-
cient viscosity for proppant transport and/or as a result of the fracture length created by a sufficient
pad.
Viscosity Determination and Rheological Models
The viscosity values of fluids are determined by laboratory tests. The simplest, but idealized,
experiment of fluid flow is fluid being sheared between plates moving parallel and relative to each
other. The shear stress on the fluid is the shear force exerted on the plates divided by their area with
the units of pressure. The shear rate or velocity gradient is the relative velocity divided by distance
of separation and has the units of 1/time, usually in sec
-1
. The viscosity is defined as the shear
stress/shear rate.
The rotating cup/bob viscometer has been popularized in the industry by the Fann Instrument Co.
(now under the ownership of NL Baroid). As shown in the idealized drawing, Fig. 5.19, the shear
stress is the force exerted on the walls (sensed by the torque on the bob) divided by the surface
area, and the shear rate is the relative velocity of the stationary bob and the rotating cup divided by
the gap distance. For the standard system, i.e., the R1-B1 Rotor-Bob Geometry, a rotating speed
of 100 RPM represents a shear rate of 170 sec
-1
, and a speed of 300 RPM represents a shear rate
of 511 sec
-1
. Unfortunately, this device is not suited to some crosslinked polymer fluids, e.g. borate
crosslinked gels, because of their viscoelastic nature. Borate gels can crawl up and out of the cup.
In spite of this, most published data for borate gels are determined using cup and bob viscometers.
Viscosity is sufficient to characterize the stress-flow behavior, i.e., the rheological character, of
some simple fluids such as water and refined oils. These simple fluids have shear rate independent
viscosity. Most fracturing fluids, however, show shear-dependent viscosities, usually decreasing
with increasing shear rate, i.e., shear thinning, and thus more than one parameter is required to
characterize the rheology. Experimental shear stress and shear rate data are usually correlated by
some approximating rheological model.
The rheological models commonly used in the industry for many types of fluids are the Newtonian,
Bingham Plastic, and Power Law Models, as shown in Fig. 5.20. These models are selected
because they yield straight lines on linear or log-log graphs of shear stress vs. shear rate.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-28
December 1995
Fluid Flow (Rheology)
Fig. 5.19 Fluid Testing.
Fig. 5.20 - Models for Fluid Flow.
I. Idealized
A
F,
(x)
Fluid d
x
= Shear Stress = F/A (Pressure)
= Shear Rate =

d
--
d
dx
-----
1
ti me
--------- ( ) =

II. Rotating Cup & Bob


(e.g., Fan Viscometer:
Industry Standard)
T
W
Turn Cup: W
Torque on Bob: T
R
i
R
o
H


d
--
wR
o
R
o
R
i

---------------- =

F
A
--
T / R
i
2R
i
H
-------------
T
2R
i
H
------------- = = =
Rheological Models
I. Newtonian II. Bingham III. Power Law

Y
p
Y
p

p
+ =

p
log
n'
log
1.0
K'
K'

n
=
Y
p
0 n' 0
Newtonian

p
=
Newtonian
K' =

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Fluid Viscosity
5-29 December 1995
A Newtonian type fluid has a linear relationship between the variables with a slope equal to vis-
cosity, i.e., water, brines, and oils.
ABinghamPlastic type fluid differs froma Newtonian fluid by a non-zero stress (i.e., Plastic Yield
Value) at zero shear rate. The slope of the line is termed the Plastic Viscosity (not equal to apparent
viscosity). The initial work on these fluids was done by Bingham on paints and printer's ink - zero
flow (shear rate) on vertical surfaces (shear stress). This fluid model is used in the industry for
drilling muds and cements.
The Power Law fluid model is commonly used for representing frac fluids and predicts a straight
line on a log-log plot with the slope denoted as n' (generally < 1) and termed the Power Law Expo-
nent or Flow Behavior Index (n' = 1, Newtonian; n' > 1 shear thickening; n' < 1, shear thinning).
The stress at a shear rate of unity is denoted as K' and is termed the Consistency Index. This model
does not predict a yield value (no flow with stress, e.g., can form a stationary lip when poured,
remains as a glob on the table). The K' and n' values of real fluids change with increasing time and
temperature (generally K' decreases and n tends toward unity) and depend on their flow history.
Most service companies attempt to account for downhole flow conditioning in some manner when
testing crosslinked fluids.
Although the power law is the primary model used for fracturing fluids, it does not account for
other aspects of flow behavior exhibited by many fluid systems, such as nonhomogeneous flow,
e.g., slip or particle migration, or viscoelasticity. These factors can influence rheological scale-up
and proppant transport and are presently the subject of research. All fracturing simulators treat frac
fluids as if they were homogeneous power-law fluids.
Fig. 5.21 defines and gives an example of apparent viscosity for a power law fluid. The example
shows a realistic case for fracturing fluids. Different service companies have reported viscosity at
different shear rates (i.e., 170 sec
-1
or 511 sec
-1
). The rate in a fracture can be 40/sec. The example
shows that the same fluid can be reported by one company to have 100 cp (at 170 sec
-1
), another
to have 58 cp (at 511 sec
-1
) and the fluid may have 206 cp (at 40 sec
-1
) in the fracture. Therefore,
in selecting fluids it is important to know what shear rate the data represents. Table 5.2 shows a
typical rheological data set presented by service companies for use in fracture design and/or anal-
ysis.
Fluid Entry Conditions and Temperature Considerations
The viscosity of some fracturing fluids, can be very sensitive to their flow and thermal histories.
Fluids often encounter intense flow energies while being pumped downhole, ranging from 0.2
hp/ft
3
to 8 hp/ft
3
. Delayed crosslinked gels are formulated to start crosslinking after the gel enters
the fracture and starts to heat up to avoid degradation of the crosslinks during high energy flow
condition. Foams and oil-base gels, on the other hand, may actually achieve better viscosities after
subjected to high-energy flow conditions. Thus, the viscosity of the frac fluid as it enters the frac-
ture is frac-fluid system dependent and is influenced by flow and thermal conditions.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-30
December 1995
An entry temperature and corresponding wellbore n' and K' values are required to calculate the
entry viscosity of the frac fluid. As the fluid flows down the wellbore it acquires heat from the res-
ervoir and from conversion of flow energy to heat. As an estimate for fluid heat up for water-base
fluids and CO
2
foams at typical fracturing flow rates, one can use 10F temperature increases at
7000 ft, 10,350 ft, 12,900 ft, 15,120 ft, and 16,780 ft. Thus, if pumping to 13,000 ft, one might
expect the fluid entry temperature to be about 30F higher than surface temperature. If pumping
oil-base gels, the fluid heats up roughly 25F at each of the above depths because of their smaller
heat capacities (e.g., 0.4 Btu/lbm -F vs. 1.0 for water).
As the fracturing fluid flows down the fracture it continues to heat to reservoir static bottomhole
temperature (BHT). Some fracturing design programs assume a bilinear temperature variation
based on the Perkins and Kern width model as shown in Fig. 5.22. The temperature increases lin-
early fromthe entry temperature to the reservoir temperature during the first one-quarter of the cur-
rent fracture wing length and remains constant for the remaining three-fourths of the wing. More
advanced programs calculate the fluid-temperature profile down the fracture using calculated or
assumed heat-transfer coefficients and material heat capacities. The resulting temperature profiles
are sensitive to fluid heat capacity and may vary significantly from Fig. 5.23.
Example
Fig. 5.21 - Effect of Shear Rate on Power-Law Viscosity.

1
Power Law: Given: n' = .5

a
= 100 cp, =170 sec
-1
Find: K',
a
at 40 and 511 sec
-1
K' = 100 x (170)
.5
/ 4.8 x 10
4
= 0.27

a
(511) = (170/511)
.5
x 100 = 58 cp

a
(40) = (170/40)
.5
x 100 = 206 cp

a
4.8 10
4
K'

1 n ( )
-------------------------- =

a
cp =
For Power Law Model
1/sec, sec
1
K' lb sec
n'
/ft
2
=
Find: K',
a
at 40 and 511 sec-1
K' = 100 x (170).5 / 4,8 x 104 =. .027

a
(511) =
170
511
-------- ( )
0.5
x = 58 cp

a
(40) =
170
40
-------- ( )
0.5
x 100 = 206 cp

---- = Depends on

( )
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Viscosity
5-31 December 1995
As alluded to previously, the entry viscosity of the fluid depends on the type of fracturing fluid as
well as on the fluid and thermal histories at the surface and down the wellbore. Not all fluids have
maximum viscosities at the entry temperature. Some gelled oil systems, and most all delayed orga-
Table 5.2 - Typical Service Company Rheology Data (DS - 1984).
Fluid
Temp Time
n' K'
Viscosity (cp)
( F) (hr) 170 sec
-1
511 sec
-1
YF440
YF440
YF440
YF440
YF440
225
225
225
225
225
1
2
4
6
8
0.600
0.657
0.746
0.808
0.848
0.095
0.052
0.017
0.0065
0.0027
582
426
225
116
60
375
293
167
94
50
YF440
YF440
YF440
YF440
YF440
YF440
260
260
260
260
260
260
1
2
3
4
5
6
0.640
0.697
0.745
0.786
0.820
0.849
0.036
0.023
0.014
0.0091
0.0057
0.0036
272
230
186
145
109
079
183
165
141
114
89
67
YF450
YF450
YF450
YF450
YF450
260
260
260
260
260
1
2
4
6
8
0.600
0.657
0.746
0.808
0.848
0.056
0.035
0.016
0.0081
0.0047
342
289
205
145
103
221
197
157
117
87
YF450
YF450
YF450
YF450
YF450
285
285
285
285
285
1
2
4
6
8
0.640
0.697
0.786
0.849
0.888
0.030
0.018
0.0068
0.0029
0.0014
228
178
108
65
39
152
130
86
54
33
YF460
YF460
YF460
YF460
YF460
260
260
260
260
260
1
2
4
6
8
0.580
0.637
0.726
0.788
0.828
0.091
0.055
0.023
0.011
0.0058
502
409
270
177
115
317
273
199
140
95
YF460
YF460
YF460
YF460
YF460
285
285
285
285
285
1
2
4
6
8
0.600
0.657
0.746
0.808
0.848
0.057
0.033
0.013
0.0056
0.0027
350
274
166
100
59
225
186
127
81
50
Fig. 5.22 - A Bilinear Temperature Variation Down the Fracture.

Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-32
December 1995
nometallic crosslinked gels show viscosities to increase as the fluid heats to reservoir temperature.
After attaining reservoir temperature, an eventual decline in viscosity will be observed. Fig. 5.23
shows typical viscosity trends for various fracturing fluids as a function of time at temperature. The
first point at 0 hours is the entry point and in this case it takes 1.3 hours to attain BHT. Note that
these viscosity trends are at different BHT.
Reservoir Temperatures
Reservoir temperature is a very important variable since the viscosity of the fluid will vary signif-
icantly depending on the amount of time the fluid has been at reservoir temperature (T
R
on
Fig. 5.22). Therefore, it is best to get a measured BHT. Notice - It is not the maximum log tem-
perature shown on the open hole logs. That value is much too low. The difference between 250F
and 270F can be significant.
Reservoir temperature should be determined by running a static temperature log in the well to be
fractured. This log can be run with a cement bond log. The well must be at static conditions for the
log to yield the temperature that we are interested in. It is suggested that the well be allowed to sit
idle, with no downhole operations of any kind, for at least 1 week prior to running the static tem-
perature log. After a number of such logs are run (5-10 wells) in a given field, the static bottom
hole temperatures measured can be plotted against depth to mid pay to determine a static temper-
ature gradient. Static temperature is expressed as T static = (T gradient (F/ft) * Depth (ft)) +
Fig. 5.23 - Typical Gel Viscosity Trends with Time at Temperature.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Viscosity
5-33 December 1995
Ambient surface temperature. Once sufficient data has been obtained to determine this gradient,
the calculated static temperature can be used on future frac designs.
Note from Table 5.2 that for a YF400-5 fluid, a 25F error in temperature (285F vs. 260F) results
in only 2/3 the desired viscosity at 1 hr (228 cp vs. 342 cp) and only 1/2 the desired viscosity at 4
hr (108 cp vs. 205 cp).
Get the most accurate BHT possible!
Effect of Proppant on Viscosity
When proppant is mixed into a fracturing fluid, the effect is an increase in apparent viscosity.
Recent experiments indicate that both K' and n' are changed when proppant is added to
uncrosslinked fluids, but there is no consensus on the best correlations to use on crosslinked frac-
turing fluids. The proppant effect on K' for the slurry can be approximated by:
with C
k
= (1 - C
v
/C
m
)
-2.5
Here C
v
is the proppant volume fraction and C
m
is the maximumpossible proppant volume fraction
set to 0.6. This expression for K'
slurry
is supported by a limited amount of unpublished laboratory
data. Fig. 5.23 shows the effect of proppant concentration on slurry viscosity as developed by
Amoco and GRI, respectively.
Fig. 5.24 - Effect of Proppant on Slurry Viscosity
K'
slurry
K'
fluid
C
k
( )
n'
=
zlkb02.038
Sand Concentration, lb/gal
S
l
u
r
r
y

/

F
l
u
i
d

V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
10
0
0 2 4 8 12 10 6
10
1
P
net
=
E'
[QL]
1/4

G
R
I
14
A
M
O
C
O
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-34
December 1995
Summary For Fluid Viscosity
Fluid viscosity is critical for the successful execution of pressure controlled treatments. Sufficient
viscosity is required for proppant transport, while excessive viscosity will proportionally reduce
the fracture penetration prior to the fluid pressure reaching the formation's pressure capacity (i.e.,
inefficient fracture extension).
For proppant transport, crosslinked gels are preferred over noncrosslinked gels. Studies show sub-
stantial reduction (e.g., 78%) in proppant fall rates through crosslinked gels, under shear, com-
pared to noncrosslinked gels with the same apparent viscosity. The fall rate through foams and
emulsions are also believed to be less than indicated by the apparent viscosity. Another consider-
ation is particle concentration which increases slurry viscosity and retards particle fall. The effect
of increased slurry viscosity due to proppant concentration is important for pressure controlled
designs and requires the base fluid's viscosity to be reduced as proppant concentration increases.
Also, the apparent viscosity for non-Newtonian fluids depends on the shear rate with lower rates
producing higher apparent viscosities. Generally, the shear rate in the fracture is lower than the 170
sec
-1
normally used to characterize fluids.
The above considerations can significantly reduce the viscosity requirement over that indicated by
a direct use of Stokes Law. An example, illustrated in Fig. 5.3, show that if proppant fall were to
be limited to 10 ft in four hours, a direct application of Stokes Law would require a viscosity of
1500 cp for 20-40 mesh sand. Assume that under fracturing conditions the crosslink effect would
retard fall only by 50% in contrast to the 78% for ambient and laboratory conditions. In addition,
assume the slurry dehydrates from a low proppant concentration as it enters the fracture to 10
lbm/gal, Fig. 5.3, at the end of the treatment. For these conditions, the effect of hindered settling
would be equivalent to a multiple of 3.2 in the time-averaged value of viscosity. If the reference
viscosity is at 170 sec
-1
, the shear rate in the fracture is 40 sec
-1
and the fluid can be characterized
by the power law with n = 0.6, the apparent viscosity would be 1.8 times greater in the fracture
than for the reference. If, during the time in the fracture and at reservoir temperature, the fluid vis-
cosity reduces by a factor of 10 with a log-viscosity vs. time relationship, the average value of vis-
cosity would be 4.3 times the final value. Combining these factors (2 x 3.2 x 1.8 x 4.3) results in a
multiple of 50, as shown in Table 5.3, and for the fluid considered, sufficient viscosity would be
achieved if it had a final viscosity of 1500/50 = 30 cp at the end of the treatment. Furthermore, this
estimate may be conservative since a reduction of the crosslink effect was used, the fluid does not
experience reservoir temperature for a portion of the fracture length, and suspended particles are
transported in the center portion of the channel (for viscoelastic fluids), where the shear rate is
lower and the apparent viscosity higher than the channel average. Consequently, the viscosity
requirements for proppant transport can be grossly overestimated and a reference value of 100 to
150 cp can provide significant transport.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Viscosity
5-35 December 1995
The next chapter, Chap. 6, gives more background for selecting specific fluids and additives to
achieve the desired viscosities throughout a treatment.
Table 5.3 - Why Low Viscosity Fluids Work.
Sufficient Viscosity (
= 1500cp)
1) X-L FLUID (HARRINGTON-HANNAH

= 0.22; USE 0.5


2) HINDERED SETTLING: 1 10 (ppg) 0.3
3)
40
=
170
170
40
-------- -
,
_
0.4
; (n' = 0.6) 1.8 OR 0.55
4)

i
= 10 x
f
(e.g. 500 50) 0.23
0.5 x 0.3 x 0.55 x 0.23 = 0.019
x 1500 = 28 cp (FINAL )
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-36
December 1995
5.4 Treatment Pumping
There are numerous parameters of some importance to hydraulic fracturing design and interpreta-
tion. The remainder of this chapter is devoted to the most critical of these.
Fracture Radius
The term radius implies one wing of the fracture or the fractures half length and is equivalent to
the reservoir notation x
f
. However, x
f
is the apparent productive length and may be smaller than the
design value of hydraulic fracture length as shown in Fig. 5.25. If the production is in bilinear flow,
the productive length is increasing with time, or if the conductivity is very low, (i.e., F
CD
< 1), the
productive length may be much larger than the apparent productive length, x
f
.
Consequently, the design radius should be larger than the desired productive length, x
f
, because of
the above discussion and for a safety margin. If the created fracture length is too small, a refrac
may be required, and there is some question if refracing can effectively increase the propped
length. Ideally, a calibration for each field should be made to determine the relationship between
design radius and productive length, x
f.
Pump Rate
The consideration for pump rate has many facets and some fiction. Although pump rate increases
net pressure in the fracture, and hence, the potential for height growth, normally the significant
effect on height believed by some in the industry is more fiction than fact. If height growth is crit-
ical, reducing rate toward the end of the treatment will accomplish the required necessary reduc-
tion in net pressure and will facilitate the surface handling of the higher sand concentrations. Some
of the considerations for rate are discussed below.
Fig. 5.25 - What is Fracture Length?
Fracture Length = ?
Pay
Productive
Length
Propped
Length
Hydraulic
Length
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Treatment Pumping
5-37 December 1995
Fluid Volume:
As shown on Fig. 5.26, the pump rate affects all three volume terms of the continuity equation, i.e.,
pump time, fluid loss time, and fracture volume (width). Increasing pump rate increases the vol-
ume of fluid stored in the fracture (increased p, w) and decreases the volume lost (less fluid loss
time). As a result, pump rate affects fluid volume required for a given length. The examples indi-
cate that the balancing point is for fluid efficiency of about 0.6-0.7. For treatments with higher effi-
ciencies, increasing rate will store more volume than is saved in fluid loss, while for lower
efficiencies the opposite occurs. Rate becomes most important for very low efficiency. As effi-
ciency goes to zero, the volume required for a given length is inversely proportional to rate, i.e.,
doubling rate reduces the required volume by one-half. The increase in volume for high efficiency
is generally not a consideration because the extra stored fluid will increase the fracture length after
shut-in, i.e., free extension will occur until the tip screens out.
Increased pump rate will significantly increase friction-loss pressures in the tubulars (and in the
perforations if inadequate number and size) and result in a small, but potentially critical, increase
in net fracture pressure, as shown in Fig. 5.27.
The increase in friction pressures also can dramatically increase horsepower requirements if fric-
tion-loss is a significant portion of the total surface pressure.
For cases where horsepower and pressure capacities of tubulars are an important consideration,
these considerations for rate become important.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-38
December 1995
Transport and Viscosity:
Pump Rat e and Time
Fig. 5.26 - Effect of Rate on Volume.
Pump Rat e and Time
SURFACE AND NET FRAC PRESSURES
SP - CLOSURE - HEAD + FRICTION + p
HHP - SP x Q HHP
F
Q
2.75
Fig. 5.27 - Effect of Rate on Pressures.
VOL
IN
VOL
LOST
= VOL
FRAC
Qt +
8/3

,
_
H
p
CL t WHL + =
=
VOL
Q
------- -IN
QL ( )
1/4

=
FRAC
LOST
log Q
log VOL

FOR FIXED L
FLUID LOSS &
VOLUME REQMENTS
1 ) Q
2
1.5 Q
1
LOST
2
0.82 LOST
1
FRAC
2
, 1.11 FRAC
1
= = =
-18% +11%
CAN SHOW VOL
IN
if
VOL
FRAC
VOL
IN
------------------- > eff 62% > =
2 ) Q
2
2/3Q
1
LOST
2
1.22 LOST
1
; FRAC
2
0.90 FRAC
1
= = =
+22% -10%
3 ) eff 0 VOL
IN
1/Q
F Q
1.75
QL ( )
1/4

TURBULENT ( )
1 )Q
2
1.5 Q
1
F
2
2.0 F
1
; HHP
F
2
3.0 HHP
F
1
; p
2
1.11 p
1
= = = =
+100% +200% +11%
2 )Q
2
2/3Q
1
F
2
0.49 F
1
; HHP
F
2
0.33 HHP
F
1
; p
2
0.90 p
1
= = = =
-51% -67% -10%
MAY BE CRITICAL
TO HEIGHT CONFINEMENT
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Treatment Pumping
5-39 December 1995
Increasing pump rate will increase proppant transport distance (per fall distance) by an amount
approximately proportional to the pump rate increase (as shown by the examples in Fig. 5.28.)
(Note that transport distance is independent of height.)
The examples also indicate that increasing pump rate can reduce the fluid viscosity requirements.
These reduced requirements result from both the lower ultimate viscosity for proppant transport
needed and from the smaller residence times which reduce the initial viscosities required to allow
for time degradation. This can be very significant for large jobs in hot zones.
However, high pump rates down small tubulars (i.e., high friction pressures) may cause signifi-
cant fluid degradation for some fluid systems. These systems are nondelayed crosslinked systems
with metallic bonding (e.g., Titinate). Guidelines for these systems which will not result in signif-
icant degradation are:
Pump Rate and Time
PROPPANT TRANSPORT
& 1.5 > ENDURANCE
Fig. 5.28 - Effect of Rate on Transport and Viscosity Requirements.
Tubulars Maximum Rate (bpm)
2-3/8 7
2-7/8 12
3-1/2 15
4-1/2 28
5-1/2 40
7 65
H
V
2
V
1
D
D
H
--
V
1
V
2
----- =
V
1
FLUI D VELOCI TY =
Q
HW
-------
Q
H Q ( )
1/4
-------------------
Q
3/4
H
1/4
----------- or ; V
2
FALL RATE
1

-- = =
D
H
--
Q
3/4

3/4
H
----------------- (D indep. of H)
1 )Q
2
1.5 Q
1
D
2
1.35 D
1
same ( );
2
0.79
1
same D ( ) = = =
+35% D -21%
2 )Q
2
2/3Q
1
D
2
.74 D
1

2
1.28 , = = =
-26% D +28%
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-40
December 1995
For these degradable systems, pumping down the annulus can cause significant degradation at very
low rates due to the effect of the tool joints.
Degradation is not a consideration for fluids which rebuild their crosslink, i.e., borate crosslinker,
or fluids which benefit from shear, i.e., foams or emulsions. High pump rates can actually improve
the quality of foams and polyemulsion fluids.
Summary for Pump Rate:
Pump rate has far reaching effects on many aspects of a fracture treatment, and these different
aspects (Fig. 5.29) should be weighed o arrive at the optimum rate for a given treatment.
Depth
The depth to mid point of perforations is used in the wellbore hydraulics equation to estimate sur-
face pressure. At the present time it is considered to be true vertical depth for hydrostatic calcula-
tions.
Friction Pressure
The pressure loss associated with the flow of fracturing fluid and proppant through tubulars. Gen-
erally the values to be entered are estimated for the fluid system in units of psi/100 ft.
Pump Rat e and Time
Summary
I. VOLUME REQUIREMENTS REDUCE VOLUME:
a) EFF > 60 - 70%; DECREASE RATE
b) EFF < 60 - 70%; INCREASE RATE
c)
II. PROPPANT TRANSPORT INCREASING RATE WILL:
a) BETTER TRANSPORT
b) REDUCE REQUIREMENTS
c) REDUCE TIME ENDURANCE FOR FLUID
III. PRESSURES DECREASING RATE WILL:
a) LESS PRESSURE FOR TUBULARS
b) LESS HHP
c) REDUCE NET FRAC PRESS.
Fig. 5.29 - Considerations for Rate.
EFF 0; VOL 1/Q

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Treatment Pumping
5-41 December 1995
The following table shows an example of data obtained from various fracturing service companies'
literature, measured at 20 bpm. Once the type of frac fluid and tubular size has been determined,
the base friction value from the service company for the required fluid system can be entered.
Table 5.4 - Turbulent Friction Pressures at 20 bpm (psi/100 ft).
Fluid 2-3/8 2-7/8 3-1/2 4-1/2 5-1/2 2-3/8:4-1/2 2-3/8:5-1/2 2-7/8:5-1/2
Dowell
YF-400 80 40 14 4.5
Halliburton
Versagel 1500 120 55 27 9.0 4.0 47 13 25
Western
Apollo 20-40 120 55 20 5.5 2.5 33 8 13
Polyemulsion 370 145 55 20.0 8.0 90 28 40
Water 460 165 60 15.0 5.5 100 20 35
K = The constant that can range from about 1/4 to 1/3.
Normally, K = 1/3 for sandstones
OB = Overburden pressure - generally 1 psi per foot of depth
P = Reservoir pressure
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-42
December 1995
Fig. 5.30 - Example Friction Pressure Data forBase Friction.
A B C D E F GH I
J
K
L
M
N
Apollo Gel 20 30 40
1000
500
100
50
10
F
r
i
c
t
i
o
n

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

-

p
s
i
/
1
0
0
0

f
t
1 5 10 50 100
Injection Rate - BPM
A - 1 1/4 in, 2.4 lb tubing
B - 2 3/8 in, 4.7 lb tubing
C - 2 7/8 in, 6.5 lb tubing
D - 2 3/8 in, 4 1/2 in, 9.5 annulus
E - 3 1/2 in, 9.3 lb tubing
F - 2 7/8 in, 5 1/2 in, 15.5 lb annulus
G - 4 in, 11 lb tubing
H - 2 3/8 in x 5 1/2 in, 15.5 lb annulus
I - 4 1/2 in, 9.5 lb casing
J - 5 1/2 in, 15.5 lb casing
K - 2 7/8 in, 7 in, 23 lb annulus
L - 2 3/8 in x 7 in, 23 lb annulus
M - 7 in, 23 lb casing
N - 7 5/8 in, 29.7 lb casing
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
5-43 December 1995
5.5 References
1. Warpinski, N. R., Schmidt, R. A., and Northrop, D. A.: In-Situ Stresses: The Predominant Influence on Hydrau-
lic Fracture Containment, JPT (March 1982), 653-64.
2. Kry, R. and Gronseth, M.: In-Situ Stresses and Hydraulic Fracturing in the Deep Basin, paper 82-3321 present-
ed at the 1982 Petroleum Soc. of CIM Annual Meeting, Calgary, Alta., June 6-9.
3. Hubbert, M. K. and Willis, D. G.: Mechanics of Hydraulic Fracturing, Trans., AIME (1957) 210, 153-66.
4. Harrington, L. J., Hannah, R. R., and Williams, D.: Dynamic Experiments on Proppant Settling in Crosslinked
Fracturing Fluids, paper SPE 8342 presented at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las
Vegas, Sept. 23-26.
Design of Pseudo 3-D Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
5
5-44
December 1995
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual 6-1
Chapter
July 1999
6.1 Fluid Selection
Fluid Classication
Service companies offer fracturing fluids which can be categorized as either water-base or hydro-
carbon-base depending on the nature of their continuous phase. Fracturing fluids can be grouped
into the following classes:
Water-Base Fracturing Fluid Systems
Slick Water:
Small amounts of polymer in water for turbulent friction pressure reduction
Uncrosslinked Polymer Solutions:
Guar, HPG, CMHPG, CMHEC, HEC, xanthan, polyacrylamide, secondary gelling system
Crosslinked Polymer Solutions (Gels):
Polymers crosslinked with titanium, zirconium, boron, aluminum, or antimony
1. batch mixed (an emulsion if hydrocarbon fluid-loss additive is used)
1. continuous mixed (1/2 vol% hydrocarbon emulsion up to 5 vol% if liquid fluid loss additive
is used)
1. energized with up to 50% N
2
or CO
2
Polymer Emulsion:
Approximately 33% aqueous polymer solution as the external phase with 67% hydrocarbon
internal phase
Aqueous Foams:
N
2
, CO
2
, or 45%-CO
2
/25%-N
2
in water, polymer solution, or gels with 65 - 85% gas internal
phase
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
6
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-2 July 1999
Hydrocarbon-Base Fracturing Fluid Systems
Slick Hydrocarbon:
Diesel, kerosene, or crude with small amounts of synthetic polymer for reducing turbulent fric-
tion pressures
Crosslinked Hydrocarbons:
Diesel, kerosene, or crude crosslinked with phosphate acid ester and aluminum, or fatty acid
and caustic
1. batch mixed
1. continuous mixed
1. energized with up to 50% N
2
or CO
2
Hydrocarbon Foams:
N
2
or CO
2
in diesel, kerosene, or crude oil with 65% - 85% gas internal phase
Gelled Methanol [with or without CO
2
up to 75 vol% (single phase w/CO
2
)]:
Methanol in water-base polymer solutions- up to 25 vol% with guar, 60 vol% with HPG, and
100 vol% with dimethylacrylamide or hydroxypropylcellulose (can also be crosslinked).
Within any of the above classes of fracturing fluids, the engineer is confronted with a list of mys-
terious sounding fluid systemnames (e.g. Saturn II, Water Frac, Versagel-HT, YF550-HT, YF-GO
III, Polyemulsion, etc.), and associated with each, an equally cryptic list of trade-name chemical
components and additives. As an example, the components for Versagel-HT (referenced on page
6.7) include WG-11, Cl-18, K-34, and HYG-3 with possible additives of GEL-STA, SP Breaker,
WAC-12L, CLA-STA, SEM-7, EnWaR-288, BE-3, ABF, etc.
To select the best fluid system for a particular hydraulic fracturing treatment, the engineer must
consider various criteria. The next section will discuss these criteria.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-3 July 1999
Fluid Selection Criteria
Probably the first criteria that an engineer considers when selecting a fracturing fluid are of a sub-
jective nature including regional history and tradition, personal experience, service company per-
formance, and service company advice. In addition to these criteria, the engineer should consider
specific factors concerning the formation to be fractured, the fracture desired, and the properties
of the fracturing fluid. These criteria can be grouped into the following categories:
Safety and Environmental Compatibility
Compatibility with Formation, Formation Fluids, and Additives
Simple Preparation and Quality Control
Low Pumping Pressure
Appropriate Viscosity (for desired geometry and proppant transport)
Low Fluid Loss
Good Flow Back and Cleanup (for high fracture conductivity)
Economics
The following sections will discuss each of these. Table 6.1 gives qualitative ratings for selection
criteria for various types of fracturing fluids.
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
4
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Table 6.1 - Qualitative Fluid Selection (courtesy of NSI).
Fluid System
Prop
Pack
K
f
W
Low
Pump
Pres.
Viscosity
Breaking
Compatibility
Fluid
Loss Cost
Safety
and
Environ.
Prep.
and
QC
Prop-
Transport Stable Life
Formation
/Fluid
Reservoir
Pressure
Linear Gel HPG/Guar (<130 - 150F) 4 5 3 3 3 5 3 3 3 5 5 5
Linear HEC Gel(<180F) 5 5 3 3 3 4 3 3 1 4 5 4
Borate X-Link(<180F) 4 3 4 3 5 5 3 3 4 4 5 4
Delay Borate X-Link(160 - 280F) 4 4 4 4 5 5 3 3 4 4 4 3
Delay metallic X-Link(180 - 220F) 2 4 5 4 5 2 3 3 4 4 4 3
Delay Metalic X-Link(220 - 280F) 3 4 5 3 5 3 3 3 4 4 4 3
Delay Metalic X-Link(280 - 350F) 3 4 4 2 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 3
Nitrogen Foam(<5000 ft) 5 1 4 4 ? 5 5 5 5(*) 2 2 2
CO
2
Foam(5000 - 1000 ft) 5 1 4 4 4 5 5 5 5(*) 2 2 2
Lease Crude 4 3 2 3 3 5 5 4 2 3 2 2
Gelled Oil 2 4 4 4 4 3 5 4 4 3 2 2
Polymer Emulsion 4 2 4 4 5 4 4 4 5(*) 3 2 3
Gelled Methanol 3 4 4 5 5 1 5 4 4 2 1
1 - BAD
5 - Excellent
(*) - Good loss control for permeability < 1md (+/-)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-5 July 1999
Safety and Environmental Compatibility
Safety is a primary consideration in the selection of fracturing fluids. Hydrocarbon-base fluids
have the inherent risks associated with flammable or combustible materials. It is advisable to use
one which has a flash point (the minimumtemperature at which a liquid gives off a vapor sufficient
to form an ignitable mixture with the air near the surface of the liquid or within the vessel used)
higher than expected ambient temperatures. Flash points of some commonly used hydrocarbons
are shown in Table 6.2.
It is easy to see why diesel No. 2 is so popular. In Canada FRAC OIL and methanol are used fre-
quently, perhaps partly because of colder weather which makes their use more safe. Special pre-
cautions are used when pumping flammable liquids such as brass hammers (to avoid sparks) when
tightening surface tubing, tarpaulins to cover surface hoses to protect personnel from spraying
hydrocarbons, spark arrestors, and the prohibition of smoking.
1
Foamed fluids, which can be
hydrocarbon or water-base, are even more dangerous because of the expansion energies of leaking
foams.
There are varying degrees of toxicity associated with fracturing fluid components such as metha-
nol, FRAC-OIL, biocides, surfactants and crosslinkers. Breathing apparatus is required for blender
operators and anyone exposed to methanol vapors which can do irreversible brain damage. Oxi-
dizers, such as ammonium and sodium persulfate should not be allowed to contact fuel sources.
Corrosive acidic and basic additives should be handled with care. Material Safety Data (MSD)
sheets should be reviewed for all chemicals on location.
The recent emphasis on environmental awareness has limited the use of some additive such as cer-
tain extremely toxic biocides and crosslinkers (e.g. chromium-base). Service companies are sup-
Table 6.2 - Flash Points of Some Commonly Used Hydrocarbons.
Hydrocarbon Flash Point
Gasoline (60 Octane) - 45 F
Condensate < 32 F
Toluene 40 F
FRAC OIL (GOODFARE) 45 F
Methanol 52 F
FRAC OIL (KAYBOB) 83 F
FRAC OIL (EDSON) 85 F
Diesel No. 1 100 F
Diesel No. 2 125 F
40 API Crude Oil

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-6 July 1999
posedly knowledgeable about environmentally acceptable frac fluid systems. Consult your Amoco
environmental representative if in doubt.
Compatibility with Formation, Formation Fluids, and Chemical Additives
A primary consideration in the selection of a fracturing fluid system is its compatibility with the
formation, the formation fluids, and the chemical additives specified for the particular fluid sys-
tem.
A fracturing fluid may damage a reservoir to various degrees. Ideally, core flow tests should be
done to evaluate the sensitivity of a particular rock to the fracturing fluid.
If a reservoir has swelling or migrating clays, the engineer should use adequate clay control addi-
tives when using water-base fluids or should use an oil-base system. Certain salts such as KCl or
ammonium chloride are effective to some extent in stabilizing swelling clays such as illite and
montmorillonite by replacing exchangeable cations in the clays which can cause expansion of the
stacked clay platelets when exposed to fresh water. Modified polyamines can reduce clay swelling
and clay migration by adsorbing on clay particles and locking them into place. Cationic poly-
meric clay stabilizers adsorb on to clay particles even more strongly but they have the potential of
plugging pore throats (because of their relatively large size) and can change the wettability of the
formation. Clay control additives, other than 1%KCl, are generally not recommended for tight for-
mation gas plays for this reason. 1% KCl is adequate for clay control in fluids with pH as high as
10. For higher permeability formations (where more conductive fractures are required) core tests
should be performed to assess the effectiveness of the prescribed clay stabilizers.
Water in fracturing fluids can actually dissolve the cementing material in some formations causing
the release of damaging fines and consolidation problems. Again, core flooding tests should be
conducted to evaluate this possibility.
The ionic nature of the components in a fracturing fluid system have the potential of changing the
wettability of formations. Ionic surfactants have ionic water soluble ends and nonionic hydrocar-
bon or fluorocarbon tails which are oil soluble. Sandstone formations, which are usually water wet
and negatively charged, will adsorb cationic surfactants and will thus become oil wet because of
their oil-soluble tail. Limestone formations, which usually are water-wet and positively charged,
will adsorb anionic surfactants and become oil wet. Since water-wet formations promote move-
ment of oil through the rock, anionic surfactants should be used in sandstone formations, and cat-
ionic surfactants should be used in limestone formations. For heterogeneous formations, e.g. sandy
limes, nonionic surfactants should be used. If surfactants do not improve fluid recovery they
should not be used unless they are required for foam or emulsion stabilization.
Another consideration is the introduction of anaerobic bacteria (i.e. sulfate reducing bacteria such
as Desulfovibrio) into the formation which can produced hydrogen sulfide and can turn the well
sour. This is particularly a concern in wells less than 170F. The fracturing fluid water should be
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-7 July 1999
treated with an environmentally acceptable biocide. Thus, even in continuous mix operations, the
use of biocides should be considered. In very hot wells, the possibility of bacterial contamination
in the cooler regions of the wellbore exists.
When using water-base fluids, sometimes problems with water blocks occur. These can be miti-
gated by using fluorocarbon surfactants and/or methanol which have especially good surface ten-
sion lowering qualities. Water with reduced surface tension has lower capillary pressure and is
more easily displaced from pore throats through the rock matrix.
Fracturing fluid compatibility with the reservoir fluids is likewise important. Water-base fluids can
form emulsions with crudes or induce scaling with insitu water, e.g. CO
3
--
in sodium or potassium
carbonate buffers can form CaCO
3
scale by reacting with CA
++
in the formation water. Oil-base
fluids can induce sludging with crudes such as asphaltene or paraffin precipitation. The fracturing
fluid system should be mixed with the reservoir fluids prior to specifying the treatment to check
for incompatibilities, preferably at reservoir temperature and pressure. Fluorocarbon surfactants
should be used in dry gas wells where there is no danger of forming oil-water emulsions. API
RP39
2
describes a procedure conducted at ambient pressure, that tests for emulsion and precipita-
tion potential.
The compatibility of the fracturing fluid with its additives should be checked at location by per-
forming pilot tests before pumping. Sometimes incompatible additives can be brought on location
such as certain surfactants and biocides which can interfere with crosslinking. Some surfactants,
e.g. foams, may adsorb on silica surfaces, such as sand or silica flour and cause the foam to break.
Methanol is incompatible with guar at concentrations higher than 20 wt%. Most enzyme breakers
will not work when used at pH higher than 8.5 or at temperatures greater than 120F. Methanol
should not be used with breakers since it renders them useless unless very large concentrations are
used. Resin-coated proppants can interact with fluid additives. Some resin coatings can adsorb
breaker and crosslinker, and can lower fluid pH. Some encapsulated breaker are not compatible
with resin coated sands if the oxidizer breaker is released before the resin cures. For hydrocarbon-
base fluids, the effect of additives on the value of the recovered fluid after flow back should be
considered.
Simple Preparation and Quality Control
A fracturing fluid composition should be kept as simple as possible since every component and
additive adds to the burden of monitoring chemical quality, proper chemical addition, and mixing
- not to mention adding to the total expense. However, referring to the Versagel-HT system men-
tioned on page 6.2, chemical additives are needed for a variety of good reasons. Viscosifiers, such
as HPG (WG-11), are polymers for thickening water; buffers, such as K-34 (sodium bicarbonate)
and HYG-3 (fumaric acid), are used to adjust the pH for hydration, crosslinking, and thermal sta-
bility; salt (KCl) or cationic polymers (e.g. CLA-STA) are used to prevent clay swelling and clay
migration; a liquid hydrocarbon fluid loss agent (WAC-12L) or 3 - 5 vol%diesel are used to reduce
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-8 July 1999
water loss to the formation; chemicals, such as SP Breaker (sodiumpersulfate), are used to enhance
polymer degradation; GEL-STA (sodium thiosulfate) is used to enhance polymer high-tempera-
ture stability; surfactants are used for better load recovery (EnWar-288), to aid in preventing
oil-water emulsions in the reservoir (LOSURF-251 nonemulsifier), and for emulsifying hydrocar-
bon in water (SEM-7); biocides are used to prevent biodegradation of the fracturing gel and to pre-
vent contamination of the well; etc. Service companies should be able to justify the use of every
fluid component and additive which they specify.
The fluid system should be easy to mix, with the polymer readily dispersed and hydrated. HPG
was developed in part to give better dispersibility and hydrating properties than guar. In the late
1980s, advances in fluid formulations, equipment control, and fluid property monitoring have
made continuous mixed fluid systems more popular. Continuous mixed water-base and hydrocar-
bon-base gels and foams are attractive because of reduced costs resulting from reductions in onsite
time and fluid waste.
A sample of frac fluid should be mixed before the treatment using all onsite chemical additives to
test for proper hydration, crosslinking, and additive incompatibilities. After noting the fluids tem-
perature and pH, viscosities of uncrosslinked gels should be checked with the Model 35 Fann vis-
cometer or equivalent. Qualitative checks on water-base gel crosslinking can be made using vortex
closure tests (e.g. 100 ml sample in a 250 ml beaker stirred at 450 rpm) and visually observing the
crosslink strength by pouring the gel from the cup. Todays delayed crosslinked systems have to
be heated somewhat to initiate crosslinking. Usually crosslinking begins between 90F and 140F.
Hydrocarbon gel viscosities can be checked using the Fann 35 or equivalent noting that mixing
intensity can effect extent and degree of crosslinking. Hydrocarbon gels are difficult to prepare and
require close quality control.
1
The gellant and activator must be pilot mixed on location with the
particular hydrocarbon to determine the proper amounts of gellant and activator. Too little activa-
tor will yield no viscosity and too much will give gel degradation (activator is a base, e.g. sodium
aluminate, which can also serve as a breaker). The phosphate ester gellant must be added to the
hydrocarbon before the activator. If the activator and gellant are added together, a precipitant will
result. When the ester is uniformly distributed, the activator is added. Sometimes, the fluid has to
be circulated at the highest rate possible for 20 minutes to form the gel. Gelation can be stopped
by contaminants in the tanks such as residual surfactants, treating chemicals, or water. Improved
continuous mixed hydrocarbon gel systems are making preparation easier.
Gel quality control of continuous-mix jobs is possible if the service company has reliable real-time
pH and viscometer instrumentation on their preblenders.
Onsite rheological testing of foamed systems is not possible. However, the foaming potential and
halflife can be checked by putting the liquid with all its additives into a Waring blender about 1
inch above the impeller and mixing at maximum rate to entrain air. The time it takes for 1/2 the
solvent to return to its original state (drain) is the halflife.
1
Foams with foaming agents have
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-9 July 1999
halflives of 3-4 minutes, stabilized foams have halflives of 20-30 minutes, and crosslinked foams
have halflives over an hour.
For every type of fracturing fluid, proper additive metering and carrier vessel cleanliness are essen-
tial aspects of quality control. In the 1990s, chemical addition is automated so that complex sys-
tems, such as binary foams, can be successfully pumped. Quality control of fracturing materials
will be discussed in more detail in Chap. 11 of this manual.
Low Pumping Pressure
Most fracturing fluids have the desirable property of being drag-reducing (giving lower friction
pressure than the solvent alone) when pumped under turbulent conditions. Fig. 6.1 shows friction
pressures in 3-1/2 inch tubing (3.00 inch ID) for various solvents and the effect of Halliburton fric-
tion reducers. Water-base friction reducers are high-molecular weight polymers, e.g. polyacryla-
mide, and oil-base friction reducers are hydrocarbon soluble polymers (e.g. certain synthetic
cationic polymers such as polyisodecylmethacrylate). The friction pressures of water, diesel, and
40
o
API oil are of similar magnitude. When friction reducers are added, the friction pressures are
lowered by a factor of two to four. Note that adding more friction reducer does not always give
more friction pressure reduction (e.g., FR-30 at < 15 BPM at 2 and 8 lb). Also shown in Fig. 6.1
are friction pressures for 40 lb/1000 HPG solution and a gelled diesel fracturing fluid. These give
friction pressure reductions similar to when using drag reducers. High molecular weight polymers
have a critical concentration where the maximum in friction pressure reduction is achieved.
Friction pressures for various types of fracturing fluids are shown in Fig. 6.2 compared with water
for flow in 3-1/2 inch tubing (3.00 inch ID). Polyemulsion (i.e., polymer emulsion) gives the high-
est friction pressure, even greater than water. There is some variation in reported friction pressures
by different service companies, the largest being for borate gels and foams. Today, special formu-
lations of delayed borate crosslinked gels are available which significantly lower friction pres-
sures. Friction pressure can cause a significant increase in wellhead pressure and horsepower
requirement and is an important consideration in design. Water-base solutions and gels formulated
with high-molecular weight polymers, e.g., guar, guar derivatives, cellulose derivatives, and poly-
acrylamide derivatives, are all drag reducing.
For overpressured reservoirs (i.e. those with reservoir pressures greater than hydrostatic water
pressure at that depth), either water-base fluids with hydrostatic gradients of 0.438 psi/ft for 2%
KCl fluids or hydrocarbon-base fluids with gradients ranging from 0.343 psi/ft for methanol to
0.379 psi/ft for 30API crude can be flowed back with natural pressure.
For underpressured reservoirs, lower density hydrocarbon-base fluids, energized fluids, or foamed
fluids can be used to assist flow back. Nitrogen foams at typical treatment pressures and tempera-
tures can have gradients less than 0.2 psi/ft. In addition, foams, by their composition of > 65 vol%
gas, only require about 1/3 as much liquid load return. CO
2
foams can have gradients greater than
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-10 July 1999
Fig. 6.1 - Friction Pressures for Friction Reducers.
Fig. 6.2 - Friction Pressures: Various Frac Fluids.
Water
Diesel (Western)
40 deg API Oil (Western)
2 lb FR-30 Slick Water (Halliburton)
8lb FR-30 Slick Water (Halliburton)
1 gal FR-7A Slick Diesel (Halliburton)
2 gal FR-7A Slick Diesel (Halliburton)
40 lb HPG soln. (WG-1d
Gelled Diesel 8/3 (Halliburton)
Down 3 1/2 in tubing (3 in ID)
Fric1 Data
Water
Polyemulsion w/40 lb WG-11 (Halliburton)
40 lb HPG-Borate (BJ Services)
40 lb HPG-Borate (D-S)
40 lb HPG-Titanium (BJ Services)
40 lb HPG-delayed TI (Halliburton)
40 lb HPG soln. (WG-11)
Gelled Diesel 8/3 (Hallibruton)
70 Qual. D-S Stabil. Foam
70 Qual. -40 lb HPG Foam (Hallib. correl.)
Down 3 1/2 in. tubing (3 in. ID)
Fric2 Data
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-11 July 1999
0.2 psi/ft at typical treating pressures and temperatures. However, the solubility of CO
2
in fluids is
generally high compared to nitrogen (see Fig. 6.32), and can give added flow back assistance as it
comes out of solution.
When using less dense fluid, however, one must consider the higher surface treating pressures
required since up to 0.25 psi/ft hydrostatic head pressure can be lost relative to a water-base fluid.
Higher treating pressures can reduce the maximum allowable pump rates and/or increase pumping
horsepower (cost).
Appropriate Viscosity
Fracturing fluids are formulated to give sufficient viscosity to create wide fractures to prevent
pinch outs and to give sufficient width to create a conductive proppant pack. Widths sufficient
to prevent pinch outs are approximately equal to 2.5 times the maximum proppant diameter (e.g.
about 0.1 inch for 20-40 sand). Lower widths can conduct slurry if the fluid flow rate and viscosity
are high enough. Fracture width is generally not a strong function of viscosity (e.g. width
for the PKN model with a Newtonian fluid). Excessive fluid viscosity can increase the fracturing
pressure to the point where natural fractures open up giving additional fluid loss or the fracture can
break through confining zones and grow height. These conditions can lead to screen outs.
Fluid viscosities should be sufficient for adequate proppant transport. This is a rather ambiguous
criteria, however, since proppant has been pumped with very low viscosity fluids including slick
water. Even nitrogen gas has been used successfully to pump 20/40-mesh sand in the Devonian
shale when pumped at high rates. Generally speaking, however, larger quantities of fracturing fluid
can be pumped away at the higher viscosities. This may be a result of better proppant transport
and/or higher fracture pressures creating wider and higher fractures.
When using thin fluids to transport proppant, such as slick water or uncrosslinked polymer solu-
tions at elevated temperatures, it is probable that a settled bank forms along the bottom of the frac-
ture. Research by Biot and Medlin
3
and Medlin, Sexton, and Zumwalt
4
indicates that the formation
of an equilibrium bank (a settled bank of constant height above which all proppant is transported)
may not apply to field scale fractures although equilibrium banks have been observed in labora-
tory-scale slot flow devices. They believe that for thin fluids, proppant transport results primarily
from viscous drag where the suspension has nearly uniform proppant concentration. As the sus-
pension flows down the fracture, a relatively clear fluid layer forms at the top of the fracture as
proppant from the suspension falls to the settled bank. At any horizontal position x
1
, down the frac-
ture, the clear-fluid height above the slurry top is given by:
where U is the average fracture fluid velocity and v
t
is the terminal settling velocity of a particle.

1 4 /

Z
1
v
t
/U ( )
o
x
1

= dx (for constant settling rates) v


t
x
1
/U ;
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-12 July 1999
Medlin et al. set forth the criteria that when v
t
/U is less than 0.1, suspension transport occurs.
When 0.1<v
t
/U<0.9, bed load transport occurs which is defined as the transport from a fluidized
layer of sand. However this fluidized layer is not very thick (less than a few inches) and is inde-
pendent of fracture size. When v
t
/U > 0.9, proppant will not be picked up. Values of v
t
depend on
the particle size and density and on the rheological nature of the fluid. For instance at room tem-
perature under static conditions, 20/40-mesh sand can settle in water at a rate of 1.7 ft/sec; in a 40
lb/1,000 gal HPG solution at 0.005 ft/sec; in a borate gel at 0.0007 ft/sec; and in titanium gels at 0
ft/sec. Under fracturing conditions, effective settling velocities of flowing slurries are not well
defined at this time.
For viscosities greater than 50 cp at 170 1/s, we will assume that the proppant is flowing as a sus-
pension with settling rate defined using some correlation relating the particle drag coefficient, C
D
,
to the generalized particle Reynolds number, N'
Rep
. These dimensionless groups are defined as:
where g is the acceleration of gravity, d
p
is the particle diameter (inches),
p
is the particle density
(lbm/gal), is the fluid density (lbm/gal), K' is the consistency index (lbf-s
n'
/ft
2
), and v
t
is terminal
particle velocity (ft/sec). N'
Rep
has been written using an effective particle shear rate such as:
5
The actual shear rate on a particle surface settling in a power-lawfluid can not be calculated explic-
itly, and thus has been defined differently by various authors. If the relation of C
D
to N'
Rep
is
given, then v
t
can be solved. For instance, for laminar settling (Stokes Settling),
and if this is assumed to apply to Non-Newtonian fluids, then the following relation is derived
using the expression for N'
Rep
:
in oil-field units:
C
D
4 g d
p
3 v
2
t
----------------

p

--------------- ; N
Rep

d
p
n
v
t
2 n

3
n 1
K
------------------------
0.695 d
p
n
v
t
2 n

K
----------------------------------------- = = =
(in Oil-Field Units)

p
3 v
t
/d
p
36 v
t
/d
p
(in oil-field units). = =

p
C
D
24
N
Rep
------------ , Where N
Rep
d
p
v
t

----------------- = = = Newtonian particle Reynolds no.,


v
t
g d
p
n 1 +

p
( )
18 K (3)
n 1
--------------------------------------- =
1/n
d
p
n 1 +

p
( )
9.626 36 ( )
n
K
---------------------------------- =
1/n
, for N
Rep
2.0 . <
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-13 July 1999
If the calculated v
t
, does not give a N'
Rep
less than 2., then the higher Reynolds number correlations
can be used.
5
For 2 < N'
Rep
< 500, C
D
= 18.5/N'
Rep
0.6
; and for 500 < N'
Rep
< 200,000, C
D
= 0.44.
Thus, this can involve a trial and error approach. Shah
6
developed a method using empirically gen-
erated correlation constants which avoids trial and error.
Note that the above are relationships for single particle settling. As proppant concentration
increases, the particles may clump and give accelerated settling. Above a certain proppant concen-
tration, however, i.e. 4 lb/gal liquid, the separation between proppant particles becomes small
enough where hindered settling starts to reduce the settling velocity. Hindered settling can be
treated by increasing the K' to reflect an increase in the effective viscosity of the continuous
medium. Novotny
7
performed static settling tests in simulated fractures using concentrated prop-
pant slurries in polyacrylamide solution and found the hindered settling velocity, v
h
, to be related
to proppant concentration as
where ppg is the lbm proppant/gal liquid, and
p
is the proppant density in lbm proppant/gal prop-
pant (e.g. 22.1 for sand). Thus, for ppg = 8, and v
t
= 0.005 ft/sec, v
h
would be 0.0009 ft/sec. For a
fracture flow velocity, U, of 0.56 ft/sec, (40 BPM down a 50 ft high by 0.25 inch wide two-wing
fracture) this would give v
h
/U equal to 0.0016, which according to Medlins criteria would give
suspension flow. The clear fluid layer at the fracture top after 1000 ft would only be 1.6 ft. This of
course is a rough estimate of settling. The settling properties of flowing suspensions are not yet
well established.
The viscosity is affected by temperature and time and should be accounted for in fracturing design
since this can affect fracture width and proppant transport as stated above. There are high and low
temperature versions of water-base crosslinked and uncrosslinked gels, of hydrocarbon-base
crosslinked gels, and foams. Polyemulsion is usually restricted to temperatures less than 250F.
High temperature stabilizers, such as sodium thiosulfate or methanol, are used above 200F to
retard oxidative hydrolysis of water-base polymers. At pH less than 6., the sodium thiosulfate sta-
bilizer is not effective in some cases.
There can be a large variation of high temperature behavior for similar gel systems. For example
in Fig. 6.3, various service company high temperature gels are compared at 265F. All the gels
were tested by Amoco using the Amoco procedure for testing organometallic crosslinked gels. It
is apparent that high temperature stability is a function of pH and type of polymer, buffer, and
crosslinker. In some cases, service companies reported viscosities to be up to six times greater than
those measured in Amocos lab (e.g. those for the Saturn I, Apollo I, Gemini III DXL, and Titan
XL gels). The discrepancy is the result of many factors including conditioning method, viscometer
bob, viscometer procedure, and calculation method. At this time we feel our procedure gives the
v
h
1
ppg
ppg
p
+
---------------------- =
5.5
v
t
,
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-14 July 1999
most realistic data. As of 1991, the API is still a couple of years away from approving a recom-
mended practice for testing organometallic crosslinked gels.
Low Fluid Loss
Fracturing fluid systems offer varying degrees of fluid loss control. Water-base fluids with poly-
mer give fluid loss control by building filter cake as the fluid leaks off in formations having per-
meability less than 5-10 md. In higher permeability formations, a particulate fluid loss additive
(preferably a degradable product, 100 mesh sand, or silica flour) should be used to prevent the
polymer from flowing into the pores. This is especially true for naturally fractured reservoirs
where the natural fractures provide the bulk of the permeability. Particulate fluid loss additives
should be used only in the pad to avoid damaging the fracture conductivity. The gel filter cake has
permeability on the order of 1x10
-6
md and thus can significantly lower fluid loss. Crosslinked gels
give fluid loss control roughly the same as uncrosslinked gels at the same polymer loading.
Fluids with internal phases can have additional fluid loss control when used in low permeability
reservoirs ( < 1. md). This is true when the internal phase is a hydrocarbon, such as is the case when
diesel fluid loss additive is used. Aromatic hydrocarbons with surfactants which yield microemul-
sions are also used but to a lesser extent. Generally speaking 3%diesel gives about 80%of the fluid
loss reduction possible with hydrocarbon fluid loss additives. Accordingly, polyemulsion (i.e.,
polymer emulsion), with 67% hydrocarbon internal phase, gives the lowest values of wall building
Fig. 6.3 - Ti and Zr Continuous-Mix Gels at 265 F.
All Delayed Crosslinked
Except Gemini II DXL Gel.
Conditioned at 0.8 hp/ft3
for 5 min to simulate
40 BPM down 5 1/2" casing
All contain 10 lb stabilizer
and no breaker.
40 lb Versagel HT, HPG-Ti, pH 8.32
40 lb Ultra Frac RXL, Guar-Zr Lactate, pH 7.9
40 lb Saturn II, HPG-Zr, 2 gal XLD, pH 9.0
40 lb Pur-Gel III, CMHPG-ZrNH4C1, pH 6.56
40 lb Titan XL, CMHPG-Zr AL acetate, pH 5.2
40 lb Gemini III DXL, CMHPG-Zr-Al, pH 6.-5.6
40 lb MY-T-Gel HT, Guar-Ti, pH 8.7-7.9
40 lb Saturn I, Guar-Zr, pH 9.5-9.0
40 lb Appollo I, Guar-Ti, pH 7.3-5.8
t6399-08 DATA

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Fluid Selection Criteria
6-15 July 1999
fluid loss coefficient, C
w
. Typical values for polyemulsion are < for permeabil-
ity < 25 md using guar or for permeability < 2 md using HEC. The dispersed
hydrocarbon acts to reduce the permeability to water in the polymer filter cake by relative perme-
ability effects. At permeabilities greater than 5 - 10 md, the hydrocarbon can penetrate pore throats
and the use of particulate fluid loss additive is also advisable. C
w
generally decreases with increas-
ing polymer loading, except when using hydrocarbon fluid loss additive, in which case it is almost
independent of polymer concentration. Fig. 6.4 and Fig. 6.5 show C
w
as a function of fluid-loss
additive type and concentration, and polymer concentration.
8
Foams with gas internal phases can give fluid loss control comparable to gels with hydrocarbon
when the liquid external phase of the foam is stabilized with polymer. Foam C
w
s are also depen-
dent on formation permeability. Fig. 6.6 shows D-S fluid loss coefficient values vs permeability
for some of their foams at 150F. Oil-base gels exhibit similar fluid loss behavior in that the vol-
ume of fluid leaked off is proportional to the square root of time. It is not clear at this time what
kind of mechanism is responsible for this, i.e. polymer build up, pore throat plugging, or gell
invasion. Most oil-base fluids use some form of non-oil-soluble fluid loss additive.
At reservoir permeabilities less than 0.1 md, the total fluid loss coefficient, C
T
, starts to become
influenced by leakoff resistance in the reservoir rock. Reservoir-leakoff resistance is influenced by
the fracturing fluid filtrate and the formation fluids, the porosity of the reservoir, the compressibil-
ity of the formation fluids and the leakoff-driving pressure (the fracturing pressure minus the res-
ervoir pressure), as well as the reservoir permeability. Increasing the leakoff driving pressure from
Fig. 6.4 - Wall-Building Coefcient vs. Fluid-Loss Additive Type and Concentration at 125 F.
< 0.0007 ft min
< 0.0015 ft min
Legend
Polymer-resin Mix
Silica Flour
Polymer-Silica-Clay Mix
Diesel (1-10 md)
0.01
0.001
0.0004
0 10 20 30 40 50
Fluid Loss Additive Concentration (lb or gal/Mgal)
C
w

(
f
t
/
m
i
n
1
/
2
)

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-16 July 1999
Fig. 6.5 - Wall-building Coefcient vs. Gelling Agent Concentration for Linear Gels at 125 F
Through 0.1- to 100-md Cores.
Fig. 6.6 - Fluid-Loss Coefcient for a 55-75 Quality Foam at 150 F.
Legend
0 lb Silica Flour/Mgal
25 lb Silica Flour/Mgal
50 lb Silica Flour/Mgal
100 lb Silica Flour/Mgal
0.005
0.004
0.003
0.002
0.001
0 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Gelling Agent Concentration (lb/Mgal)
C
w

(
f
t
/
m
i
n
1
/
2
)

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Fluid Selection Criteria
6-17 July 1999
500 to 2000 psi can increase C
T
by a factor of 3. At a reservoir permeability less than 0.0001 md,
the reservoir resistance dominates leakoff and the fluid leakoff properties, (C
w
), no longer are
important. Little added fluid-loss reduction is gained by using fluid loss additives. Most fracturing
simulators consider reservoir effects when calculating fluid loss.
For naturally fractured reservoirs, it is of primary importance not to allow polymer to leak off into
and plug the natural fractures which can be the primary source of permeability. Fluid loss additives
should be considered which prevent polymer from entering the natural fractures (particulate
agents) and which reduce the leakoff of the filtrate (hydrocarbon fluid loss additive). In the case
of naturally fractured reservoirs, C
w
again will control fluid loss. Fig. 6.7 shows calculated C
T
as a
function of reservoir permeability for an East Texas Cotton Valley well with leakoff driving pres-
sure and diesel concentration as parameters for cases with and without natural fractures.
9
In this
figure, particulate fluid loss additive is assumed necessary to seal natural fractures so that a filter
cake can form. Experimental tests have shown silica flour to be necessary to stop leakoff into
smaller natural fractures (i.e., 10 to 20 microns).
8
The spurt loss of a fluid, which can be defined as the fluid loss/area before the formation of a filter
cake, can be significant in naturally fractured reservoirs as well as reservoirs with permeabilities
greater than 1. md. Spurt values increase strongly with reservoir permeability and leakoff-driving
pressure and are affected by factors which affect fluid flow in reservoirs such as filtrate viscosities
(and thus temperature) and compressibility effects. Spurt values in excess of 1 gal/100 ft
2
can be
Fig. 6.7 - Calculated Total Fluid Loss Coefcient vs. Permeability ETCV at 275 F and 5000 psi
Reservoir Pressure. Leakoff Driving Pressure as a Parameter; With and W/O 3% Diesel
Legend
5000 psi, w/o diesel
5000 psi, 3% diesel
2000 psi, w/o diesel
2000 psi, 3% diesel
1000 psi, w/o diesel
1000 psi, 3% diesel
500 psi, w/o diesel
500 psi, 3% diesel
CW w/o diesel
CW w/ 3% diesel
With Natural Fractures: 500 - 5000 psi (No diesel)
psi
psi
With Natural Fractures:
500 - 5000 psi (3% diesel)

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-18 July 1999
expected for reservoirs with permeability greater than 10 md. Lab measurements showspurt values
are affected by fluid loss additive and polymer type, as well as permeability. Fig. 6.8 - Fig. 6.11
show the effects of fluid loss additive type and concentration, and polymer concentration on spurt
vs. permeability values.
8
The preceding discussion dealt with fluid loss behavior of static fluids. Fluid loss can also be
affected by fluid flow in the fracture. For uncrosslinked polymer solutions, C
w
is independent of
shear rate up to 300 1/s, but C
w
for crosslinked gels can increase with shear rate. Leakoff driving
pressure can affect the functional form of fluid loss. Fluid loss can increase from being propor-
tional to to proportional to t as the leakoff-driving pressure decreases from 1000 to 0 psi. Lab-
oratory tests have shown that flowing proppant does not change the dynamically measured C
w
for
proppant concentrations up to 5 ppg.
10
Dynamic fluid loss is a new technical concern which is not
considered in all fracturing simulators.
Good Flow Back and Cleanup
The objective of hydraulic fracturing is to create a conductive fracture which requires a permeable
proppant pack and permeable fracture face. To achieve this, the fracturing fluid must be removed
from the formation. As discussed above, it is essential to prevent polymer from invading the rock
matrix and natural fractures. Good fluid loss control can accomplish this. However, the leaked off
filtrate must be removed. Producing the well will help remove load water but in some cases emul-
Fig. 6.8 - Spurt Loss vs. Permeability for Linear HPG Gels in Water at 125 F.

t
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-19 July 1999
Fig. 6.9 - Spurt Loss vs. Permeability and Additive for 40 lbm Complexed HPG Fluids at 125 F.
Fig. 6.10 - Spurt Loss vs. Permeability and Gel Concentration For Complexed HPG Fluids at 125 F.

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-20 July 1999
sions, scales, or water blocks will form. Methods described in the Compatibility With Formation,
Formation Fluids, and Chemical Additives section starting on page 6.6 can be used to reduce the
severity of these problems when using water-base fluids. If these are not effective, hydrocarbon
base fluids or foams should be considered.
Gel breakers oxidize the polymer backbone enabling the polymer to be flowed back out of the frac-
ture. Ammonium or sodium persulfate are commonly used at high temperatures > 150F or lower
temperatures with an activator. Enzyme breakers such as hemicellulose are used at temperatures
less than 120F and pH < 8.5. Western Company claims to have an enzyme breaker which is effec-
tive to pH 10. In 1991, service companies began offering encapsulated or crushable breakers
designed to release the oxidizer after pumping has stopped.
Cellulose polymers or synthetic polymers (e.g. polyacrylamide) leave negligible residue upon
breaking! However, these broken polymers can damage the rock matrix, apparently by adsorbing
on pore surfaces. Water-base fluids using guar or guar-derivatives, leave insoluble residue after
breaking, that can occupy from 1 - 3 vol% of the original fluid volume. This residue has been
shown to damage fracture conductivity. If the residue is dried, it loses more than 98%of its original
volume and, therefore, would no longer be a problem. However, most reservoirs are wet to some
degree, and this residue, which is not mobile,
11
can permanently damage proppant packs. In addi-
tion, the effective polymer concentration is increased considerably by leakoff after shutin during
Fig. 6.11 - Spurt Loss vs. Permeability and Additive for Gelled Diesel at 125 F.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-21 July 1999
fracture closing. For instance, the pounds of polymer per gallon of proppant pack pore space, (C
p
)
eff
is:
where
p
is the proppant density (lbm/gal proppant),
p
is the proppant pack porosity, C
p
is the
polymer concentration before closure (at shutin) in lbm/gal, and C
s
is the pounds of proppant/gal
of liquid in the fracture at shutin.
For example, if at shutin C
s
is 8 lbm proppant/gal liquid and C
p
is 0.04 lbm HPG/ gal liquid, for
sand proppant with a density of 22.1 lbm/gal proppant and a proppant pack porosity of 0.35, the
effective polymer concentration after fracture closure would be 0.205 lbm HPG/gal liquid. It
would concentrate over 5 times. In addition to this, there is polymer already deposited on the frac-
ture wall before shutin which will contribute to the residue. Using a model based on the Kozeny
equation
12
for permeability which accounts for polymer residue from leak off during and after shu-
tin, Fig. 6.12 and Fig. 6.13 can be derived which showthe normalized impaired proppant pack per-
meability, k'/k, as a function of C
T
and V
rf
for a position in the fracture with a width of 1/4 inch,
and a fracture age of 60 minutes. V
rf
is defined as gal of residue/gal of fluid. Shown in these figures
are two hypothetical extremes. The first is where all the residue concentrates at the fracture wall,
(effectively reduces the fracture width--the most optimistic case) and the second is where the res-
idue is uniformly distributed--the most pessimistic case. Studies
13
have shown that residue tends
to concentrate near the wall, so, the optimistic values are probably more realistic. However,
extreme permeability impairment can occur when C
s
is less than 5 ppg at typical fracture widths
and leakoff rates, as shown in Fig. 6.12 and Fig. 6.13.
The preceding impairment discussion assumes that all the polymer breaks. In reality, using con-
ventional breaker loadings, this is probably not the case since solid breaker (e.g. sodiumpersulfate)
does not concentrate with the residue (it leaks off) and enzyme breakers are frequently destroyed
by temperature, high pH, and chemical additives. This realization has spawned the new genera-
tions of crushable and controlled release breakers which can be used at much higher concentrations
than before and which will accumulate with the polymer. Thus, it is nowpossible to achieve almost
complete polymer breaks. These new types of breakers are even being used at temperatures above
275F to maximize breaking, especially of high pH fluids. They also may be useful in breaking
methanol gels which are very stable and require high breaker loadings. Some kinds of encapsulated
breakers are incompatible with resin coated sands and can release varying amounts of breaker pre-
maturely, e.g., 5% during a 3 hr treatment.
14
Encapsulated breakers are used very aggressively in the pad stage (e.g., 7 lb/1,000 gal)
14
with the
concentration reduced somewhat during later proppant stages. Sometimes conventional breaker is
added at the final stages of the treatment to enhance near wellbore cleanup. The benefit of adding
large amounts (greater than 2 lb/1,000 gal) of conventional breaker is suspect. Tests have shown
C
p
( )
eff

p
1-
p
( )C
p
C
s

p
------------------------------- , =

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-22 July 1999
Fig. 6.12 - Gel Residue Flow Impairment - Fluid Loss During & After Pumping; Residue Uniformly
Distributed or All on Wall.
Fig. 6.13 - Gel Residue Flow Impairment - Fluid Loss During & After Pumping; Residue Uniformly
Distributed or All on Wall.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Selection Criteria
6-23 July 1999
that a frac fluid with 2 lb/1,000 gal breaker can be broken prematurely before it gets down to the
fracture.
Fewer problems with fracture conductivity impairment result when using hydrocarbon-base fluids
or foams, as long as they break properly. Hydrocarbon gels are broken with base additive. At lower
temperatures, e.g. < 120F, breaking hydrocarbon gels can be a problem. Foams break when the
liquid drains (half life), when the surfactant adsorbs onto the rock, and/or when the polymer in the
liquid phase breaks. Flow back with foams has the added advantage of the nitrogen or CO
2
expan-
sion. Polymer emulsions break when the polymer in the continuous phase breaks and/or the sur-
factant adsorbs onto the rock.
Economics
After narrowing the list of possible fracturing fluid systems, the engineer should compare their rel-
ative costs. The costs of the base fluid and additives should be tallied along with disposal costs.
For hydrocarbon-base fluids and polymer emulsion, the value of recovered hydrocarbon should be
subtracted. In the past, hydrocarbon fluid and foam treatments were considerably more expensive
because of the added safety, equipment, and implementation costs. However, presently their costs
are becoming more comparable to water-base systems. Pumping cost is also a function of fluid
type through the effect on friction pressure and hydrostatic gradient. See Table 6.3 for typical frac-
turing chemical and hydraulic horsepower prices (ca. 1992).
In addition to the cost of materials and pumping, one should consider the net present value of
post-frac production. This is a function of the fracture geometry and conductivity which are both
affected by the fluid system through the fluid rheology, proppant transport, leakoff, and gel dam-
age. Making this evaluation is best done using an integrated design package including a fracturing
simulator, production simulator, and economic optimization program. See Chap. 9 of this manual
for information on economic optimization.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-24 July 1999
Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types
In the preceding section, various types of fracturing fluids were discussed with regards to fluid sys-
temselection criteria. In this next section, types of fracturing fluids will be described in more detail
and some flow-behavior data will be included.
Water-Base Polymer Solutions
Water-base polymer solutions are prepared primarily from naturally occurring water-soluble poly-
mers or their chemical derivatives, although there is limited use of the more expensive synthetic
products.
The term gelling agent for water is synonymous with the term water soluble polymer; how-
ever, only the latter properly describes the material. The family of natural water soluble poly-
mers consists of vegetable products, such as cellulose (although it is not water soluble, many of its
derivations are), starch, alginates and natural gums. Also included in this list of natural gelling
agents are animal products such as gelatin, glue and casein. Synthetic products fall into two major
categories: modified natural products and completely synthetic products. The modified natural
products are starch, natural gum or cellulose molecules which are modified with various chemical
side chain substitutions. Some completely synthetic products are polyalcohols, polyacids, poly-
ethers, and polyamides, made from a variety of synthetic monomers. Natural and synthetic water
soluble polymers are listed in Table 6.4.
The water soluble polymers most commonly used in fracturing fluids include guar gum and two
of its derivations, hydroxypropyl guar (HPG) and carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar (CMHPG)
whose chemical formuli are shown in Fig. 6.14 and Fig. 6.15.
Other types of water soluble polymers used for fracturing fluids include cellulose derivatives, the
most common of which are hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and carboxymethyl cellulose
(CMHEC). HEC and CMHEC leave no residue when broken, but are more expensive than the
guar-based polymers. HEC cannot be crosslinked, but CMHEC can. Polyacrylamides are often
used as friction reducers although recently some companies have started using various forms of
crosslinked polyacrylamide. Although the large family of water soluble polymers has been
reduced to a relatively few that are commercially important, the interaction between these various
polymers, the ability to crosslink them and the possibilities of adding other materials to alter the
physical properties make the choice of fracturing fluid difficult at times. Table 6.5 lists the primary
types of water-soluble polymers used in fracturing today. Most service companies have the
guar-based polymers available as polymer concentrates for continuous mix application.
The rheology of uncrosslinked polymer solutions is easily measured. Resulting viscosities
decrease with shear rate and show power law behavior at shear rate greater than 10 1/s. Fig. 6.16
shows HPG solution viscosity behavior as a function of shear rate at different temperature.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types
6-25 July 1999
Fig. 6.17 and Fig. 6.18 show power law parameters for Halliburtons HPG (WG-11) solutions at
various concentrations as a function of temperature.
Fast-Crosslinking Water-Base Gels
Water-base fracturing fluids were originally crosslinked using fast crosslinking chemical formula-
tions of organo titanates and zirconates, boron, aluminum, and antimony. Of these, the titanates
and zirconates are not often used anymore without some kind of crosslinking delayer since high
flow energy conditions down the tubular goods irreversibly degrade covalent Ti and Zr
crosslinks,
15
as shown in Fig. 6.19. Boron, aluminum, and antimony form relatively weak hydro-
gen bonds that can reform if broken by shear, and their gels can regain viscosity in the fracture.
Fig. 6.20 shows Halliburton data for their borate crosslinked Boragel at 225 F.
Guar, HPG, and CMHPG are the most commonly crosslinked fracturing polymers. CMHPG can
be crosslinked by aluminumand/or organic-zirconates because of its dual crosslinked functionality
(see Fig. 6.21). Titanate and zirconate crosslinkers are used at temperatures above 180 F because
of their high temperature stability. Refer to Table 6.6 for pH and temperature ranges for crosslink-
ers. Notably, the use of boric acid and borax is limited to temperatures less than 225 F. Slowly
solubilizing naturally occurring borate ores, such as Colemanite or Ulexite can be used at higher
concentrations, avoiding gel overcrosslinking at the surface but providing more boron at downhole
temperatures giving adequate viscosities to 275 F. Recently, B.J. Services developed an
organo-complexed borate crosslinker (OCB) which they claim is effective to 300 F.
16
Specialty fracturing fluids include residue-free crosslinked cellulosic derivatives, such as
CMHEC. These residue-free crosslinked fracturing systems are useful in water injection well stim-
ulations, tertiary recovery projects, and conventional treatments where residue free fluids are
needed.
In the mid 1980s, service companies introduced the use of polymer (gel) concentrates which could
be continuously mixed during the treatment, rather than batch mixed the day before. This provides
both the service company and operating company with cost and time savings. However, close
monitoring of fluid streams and quality must be maintained during pumping. Typically, a polymer
concentrate is prepared by mixing the polymer (e.g. guar, HPG, or CMHPG) in diesel at concen-
trations of up to 5 lbm/gal diesel. Suspension stabilizers are used to keep the polymer dispersed.
When added to the mix water, the polymer in the gel concentrate hydrates rapidly and crosslinks
down the wellbore or in the fracture. This produces a gel with hydrocarbon (e.g. diesel) as a dis-
persed phase usually at a concentration near 0.5 vol%.
Delayed Crosslinked Fluids
In the mid 1980s, delayed crosslinked fracturing fluids became very popular. This type of fluid
system has evolved due to evidence of significant viscosity degradation at high shear levels (as
shown in Fig. 6.19) with conventional titanate and zirconate crosslinked fracturing fluids. The

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-26 July 1999
basic idea behind delayed crosslinked frac fluids is to retard the crosslinking reaction until the flu-
ids exit the very high shear regime occurring within the treating string, allowing crosslinking to
occur under relatively low shear conditions within the fracture. Crosslinking under this much less
severe shear regime results in a much higher in-situ viscosity with lower polymer concentrations.
There is some confusion as to whether delayed crosslinkers are time or temperature activated.
Crosslinking is a chemical reaction; therefore, chemical reaction kinetics apply. This infers that the
crosslinking rate (change in viscosity or molecular weight with time) is a function of concentration
of reactants, and temperature, as well as some sort of an effective activation energy.
The ideal delayed crosslinked fluid would undergo minimal crosslinking within the treating string
but quickly become crosslinked as soon as it left the perforations and entered the formation. This
is not likely to occur, unless there was a rapid and significant temperature change at the fracture
entrance (physically improbable due to heat transfer and subsequent temperature equilibration).
Practically, a sort of balancing act may be required. It is desirable to maximize in-situ fluid viscos-
ity as near the wellbore as possible to maintain adequate proppant transport in order to minimize
excessive proppant banking that can cover the lower perforations, thereby increasing the potential
for a near-wellbore screenout. This objective is weighed against the original objective of delayed
crosslinked frac fluids--increased fracture viscosity by not crosslinking within the treating string.
The practical solution may come by allowing a certain degree of sacrificial crosslinking to occur
within the treating string such that the reaction is proceeding as the fluid enters the fracture,
enhancing proppant transport early near the wellbore, and accepting loss of some long term vis-
cosity potential. In order to do this, variables such as treating string residence time and specific
flow energy, base fluid temperature, gel pH, polymer concentration, and heat-up rate within the
fracture need to be known or estimated. Service companies also have developed dual-crosslinker
systems (e.g. boron-delayed Ti or aluminum-delayed Zr) which provide viscosity at the wellbore
as the boron and aluminum crosslinks reheal. Later in the fracture, as the gel heats up, the Ti and
Zr crosslink under low shear and give good viscosity at high temperature.
Generally, full delay of crosslinking is desired throughout the pad volume with progressively less
delay as proppant is added and the fracture is cooled down. High temperature delayed crosslinked
frac fluids are not designed to be used below 200 F. They may not break completely at lower tem-
peratures or their crosslinkers may not react rapidly enough with cooled formations to provide ade-
quate near-wellbore proppant transport.
Fig. 6.22 shows Halliburtons n' and K' data for their delayed crosslinked Versagel HT at 250 F.
Fig. 6.3 shows the viscosity behavior at 265 F of Versagel HT compared to other service company
organometallic delayed-crosslinked gels formulated with 40 lbm/1,000 gal of various polymers, as
determined by Amoco.

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types
6-27 July 1999
Delayed crosslinked borate gel systems are also available. Delayed borate gel systems were devel-
oped to reduce the relatively high friction pressures of borate crosslinked gels (e.g., the BJ borate
gel in Fig. 6.2) and to provide high viscosities to 275 F. Crosslinking can be delayed by the use
of delayed pH-control additives or by using slowly solubilizing borate ores.
Polymer Emulsion Fluid
The polymer emulsion fluid is a very efficient (i.e., low fluid loss) and relative clean fluid capable
of achieving deep fracture penetrations. The fluid is normally prepared by emulsifying 2/3 hydro-
carbon as the internal phase in 1/3 aqueous polymer solution. Emulsifier concentration is normally
2-8 gals/1000 gals of total fluid. The upper temperature limit is usually set at 260 F (based on field
experience). Sand carrying capability is a function of viscosity and pump rate. Polymer emulsion
is an ideal pad fluid--both low viscosity and fluid loss. The main disadvantages are safety and very
high friction-pressure which can limit treating rates (see Fig. 6.2). As for foams discussed below,
the viscosity is developed by a high volume fraction of internal phase (i.e., hydrocarbon). This is
analogous to the increase in slurry viscosity when high proppant concentrations (internal phase)
are added. The effect of internal diesel oil phase is shown in Fig. 6.23.
When mixing proppant into polymer emulsion, the proppant effectively adds to the internal-phase
volume fraction with a subsequent viscosity increase and, if in turbulent flow, an increase in fric-
tion pressure. The latter is responsible for friction-outs where pumping must be stopped because
of excessively high well-head treating pressures.
17
To avoid this, polymer emulsions should be
pumped using the constant internal phase philosophy where the emulsion quality is reduced as
proppant is added to maintain a nearly constant viscosity. Table 6.7 shows how the emulsion qual-
ity is varied as proppant concentration is increased to maintain constant internal phase volume
fraction and constant viscosity.
17
There is little difference in the two approaches which implies that
maintaining constant internal phase is a convenient means of maintaining viscosity. Too much
proppant can cause the emulsion to break, e.g. when the total internal phase approaches 0.85.
Fig. 6.24 shows the shear thinning behavior of polymer emulsion as a function of temperature for
a 0.67 quality fluid
17
and Fig. 6.25 shows the effect of increasing the polymer concentration in the
water phase.
18
Fig. 6.26 shows the effect of temperature and quality on viscosity at 511 1/s for
Western Co. diesel oil /0.57 wt% guar emulsions.
Polymer emulsion viscosity is also dependent on mixing energy, where viscosity increases with
increasing energy input. Fig. 6.27 shows the effect of emulsion droplet size on emulsion viscosity.
Viscosity doubles as droplet-size decreases by 50%. Thus, field mixing method can effect viscos-
ity significantly.
17
Foamed Frac Fluids
Foamed Fracturing Fluids consist of 55-85% by volume of gas dispersed in a suitable water-base
or hydrocarbon-base liquid. Advantages of foams include: less liquid introduced into the forma-

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-28 July 1999
tion, quicker fluid recovery due to gas expansion, less formation damage from invasion of foreign
liquids or additives, and good proppant transport due to yield stresses retarding proppant settling.
A typical composition of a foamed fracturing fluid is 70%, by total foam volume, of gaseous nitro-
gen, carbon dioxide, or 50%/20% CO
2
/N
2
(a binary foam) as microscopic bubbles in water con-
taining 1-6 gallons of a surface tension reducing surfactant (foamer), 40 pounds of HPG per 1000
gallons of liquid, and a breaker, if appropriate. The viscosity of [foam increases exponentially
above approximately 55 quality (percent dispersed gas volume to total foam volume) until an
unstable condition is attained around 95 quality.
Not only are rheological properties of foams very dependent upon foam quality, but they also
depend upon the viscosity of the constituent fluids, bubble size, and size distribution (foam tex-
ture). The smaller the bubble and the larger the fraction of these small bubbles, i.e., the finer the
texture, the higher the viscosity and stability of the foam at a given quality. Fig. 6.28 and Fig. 6.29
show n', K', and viscosity data for nitrogen foams as a function of temperature and/or shear rate
with quality and HPG concentration as parameters.
15
Fig. 6.30 shows the effect of shearing time
on bubble size diameters.
15
Fig. 6.2 shows some reported friction pressure data for foams and
Fig. 6.31 gives the friction pressure of Dowell Schlumbergers stabilized foam in 2 7/8 inch tub-
ing.
Texture depends upon the conditions under which the foam was generated. High shear conditions,
such that intimate liquid-gas contact can occur, enhances the generation of fine foam texture.
Increasing the viscosity of the aqueous phase via polymers also increases foam viscosity and sta-
bility. This is thought to occur by retarding the rate at which bubbles coalesce, as well as increasing
the resistance to bubbles slipping past one another.
The foam composition, amount of energy input during the generation of the foam, as well as foam
quality, may have a dramatic effect upon the resultant rheological properties. Typically, without
polymer, foams followa Binghamplastic rheological model. With the addition of polymer, power-
law properties are introduced. Increasingly finer foam texture and higher polymer concentrations
result in increased non-Newtonian flow behavior. (See Chap. 5 of this manual for a discussion of
rheological models.)
There are questions to be answered about the feasibility of using foams for long-term, high tem-
perature, fracturing applications. There are limited data to verify that under typically low fracture
shear rates and for extended periods of time at high temperatures, foams retain sufficient viscosity
to ensure continued leakoff control, and sufficient proppant transport capabilities to make them
truly competitive with conventional fracturing fluids. This is particularly a concern after pumping
has stopped and flow near the wellbore almost ceases. It may be advisable to crosslink the last
stage of a foam job to give better wellbore stability. Disadvantages of foam are higher treating
pressures (for nitrogen foams) due to reduced head, and low proppant concentrations because of
the low fraction of water. This can be overcome by reducing the quality as higher sand concentra-
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Description of Fracturing-Fluid Types
6-29 July 1999
tions are required. As in the case of polymer emulsions, constant internal phase during proppant
addition maintains the foam viscosity approximately constant.
19
Western Company has recently developed the use of binary foam composed of 50% CO
2
/20% N
2
which they claim gives better well cleanup than pure CO
2
foams. Fig. 6.32 shows the solubility of
CO
2
and N
2
in water,
20
andFig. 6.33 shows the viscosity of a 60 lbm CO
2
foam vs. a 50 lbm binary
foam.
20
Foams are difficult to characterize because of their sensitivity to preparation techniques and test
conditions. There are no long-term foam data available where the foam was not circulated through
a pump (and perhaps restabilized). STIM-LAB testing has also indicated that foam stability is sen-
sitive to silica flour. Apparently, surfactant may adsorb onto the silica surface. The same may also
be true to some extent when using sand proppant.
Gelled Hydrocarbons
Gelled hydrocarbons were the first fluids used in hydraulic fracturing. In 1947, Stanolind Oil
pumped four stages of gelled gasoline followed by a gasoline flush down a well in the Hugoton
Field. Aqueous frac fluids were avoided until 1957, when it was found that clay control additives,
such as KCl, were effective in water sensitive formations. The earliest gelled hydrocarbons were
napalm-type fluids of aluminumoctoate, and later in the 1950s, fatty-acid soaps composed of caus-
tic and tall oil fatty acids were successfully used.
21
These gels usually provided adequate viscosity
to 150 F. In 1970, high-temperature gelled-hydrocarbon systems composed of aluminum
crosslinked orthophosphate esters were introduced, eventually leading to systems that are ther-
mally stable to 350 F.
The reaction of the ester and base (e.g., sodium aluminate) forms an association complex through-
out the hydrocarbon which increases its viscosity (see Fig. 6.34). The resulting gel is shear thin-
ning (n' typically lower than 0.25) and is capable of rehealing after seeing high shear conditions.
In fact, in preparing these gels, high shear conditions are required to form the association complex.
Hydrocarbons such as kerosene, diesel, and FRAC-OIL
TM
are often used to prepare these gels. If
the produced crude has high enough gravity, e.g., > 35 (0.85 g/cm
3
), it can also be gelled.
21
Use
of the produced crude is advantageous since it can reduce fluid incompatibility problems.
The primary advantages of gelled hydrocarbons are low damage to water sensitive formations and
low damage to proppant packs if the gel breaks properly. The disadvantages include the fire haz-
ards associated with pumping hydrocarbons, higher pumping pressures resulting from sometimes
higher friction pressures and lower specific gravity (less head), more fluid loss, sensitivities to
polar contaminates such as water, difficult quality control and mixing, and higher initial cost.
The viscosity of hydrocarbon gels appears less sensitive to temperature than water-base gels. This
is true when measured at higher shear rates. However, the low-shear (< 100 sec
-1
) viscosity may
be reduced significantly as temperature increases, and low-shear viscosities control proppant trans-

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-30 July 1999
port. Unlike water base fluids, the viscosity of hydrocarbon gels increases with pressure (e.g.,
6%/1000 psi) giving an additional viscosity edge over published data which are generally obtained
at pressures less than 1000 psi. These trends are seen in Fig. 6.35.
Table 6.8 shows the results of a comparative evaluation of Halliburtons continuous mix
MY-T-OIL IV and batch mixed MY-T-OIL II using FRAC-OIL 200 and crude. Viscosities at
158 F (70 C) are a function of gellant, activator, and breaker concentrations. Table 6.9 gives data
for Western Companys MAXI-0-74 gel.
Gelled Methanol
In 1974, aqueous polymer solutions with up to 25% methanol in guar solutions and up to 60% in
HPG solutions started being used in water-sensitive formations. The maximum amount of metha-
nol is limited by precipitation of the polymer. Some polymers, such as hydroxypropylcellulose can
viscosify 100% methanol. In 1987 crosslinked forms of methanol became available, e.g. through
BJ Services. These methanol gels can be used with CO
2
, which is generally soluble in methanol at
all concentrations, forming a single phase.
Methanol gels are suited for water sensitive formations because of lower water concentration.
Methanol reduces surface tension which aids load recovery and the removal of water blocks. These
gels also have low fluid loss, low friction pressure and, when used with CO
2
, give energized flow-
back. Disadvantages include high cost, high flammability, toxic vapors, and large amounts of
breaker needed to break the polymer (methanol is a high temperature stabilizer). In water-sensitive
formations, gelled oils or diesel are generally preferred over gelled methanol.
20
Rheological Testing Of Fracturing Fluids
A Fann Model 50C rotational (Couette) viscometer is generally used to test the rheological prop-
erties of fracturing fluids. The Fann Model 50C can test fluids at pressures up to 1000 psi and to a
temperature of 400 F. Rotation of the cup imparts shear on the fluid and the resulting stress is
measured as the torque transmitted to the bob. The apparent viscosity is simply the ratio of the
shear stress and the associated shear rate. The addition of polymer to water results in a nonlinear
relationship between the shear rate and shear stress, i.e., converts a Newtonian fluid into a
non-Newtonian fluid. These non-Newtonian fluids are usually described by power-law or
pseudo-plastic type rheological models, and use n' and K' parameters to mathematically describe
the relationship between shear stress and shear rate. (Refer to Chap. 5 of this manual for a discus-
sion of these models.) One of the major problems in testing crosslinked fracturing fluids results
from an effect occurring under shear conditions known as normal forces, [which tends to force
fluid samples up the stationary bob shaft resulting in measuring inaccuracies. It is possible to test
organometallic crosslinked gels (i.e., titanium and zirconium gels) because they eventually frag-
ment into dispersions which stay in the test-gap. Borate gels, however, only partially fill the test
gap and resultant data are suspect. Tubular data are preferable for borate gels and foams. Because

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Service Company Trade Names
6-31 July 1999
crosslinked fracturing-fluids rheology is affected by preparation technique, shear conditions,
instrument geometry, temperature, and time; meaningful, or even reproducible results are difficult
to obtain.
To further complicate matters, there is no standardized laboratory test for measuring fracturing
fluid viscosity. This implies that some of the data currently in the literature and used by service
and production company personnel are not directly comparable, let alone physically representative
of actual conditions of application. Currently, the API Committee on Well Completion Fluids has
a subcommittee investigating the possibility of developing a standardized testing technique for
crosslinked frac fluids. Such an API recommended procedure is not expected before 1993 and is
not expected to be applicable to borate crosslinked gels.
Amoco has issued a recommended test procedure for determining the rheology of titanium and zir-
conium gels (report F90-P-73).
22
This procedure conditions the fluid in a bench-top mixer to sim-
ulate downhole pumping in casing and tubing before pumping the gel to the Fann 50C. Special
shear ramps are performed to check for slip flow, which can give anomalously low viscosities.
Test procedures which subject the fluid to simulated field mixing and turbulent down-hole flow
conditions before pumping into the Fann viscometer are preferred by Amoco, because of flow- and
thermal-history sensitivities of some fluids. Halliburton conditions its fluids by circulating through
a small loop using a Jabsco gear pump at a high flow rate for four minutes to simulate flow down
shallow wells and for ten minutes for flow down a deep well. DS conditions its gels by flowing
through capillary tubing at nominal shear rates matched to field nominal shear rates (2.5 minutes
at 675 sec
-1
for the shallow well case and for five minutes at 1350 sec
-1
for the deep well case).
However, the DS technique does not simulate turbulence, because capillary flow occurs at low
Reynolds numbers. It also does not match flowing energies. The Amoco method mentioned above
matches volumetric flow energy and achieves turbulence using a specially designed bench top
mixing device. The API will probably standardize testing using the DS capillary method of condi-
tioning. However, test data run using any form of conditioning is preferable to the old RP39
method which uses no fluid conditioning.
Service Company Trade Names
Most service companies consider their fracturing products as proprietary, providing only limited
information regarding chemical components, concentrations, mixing techniques, testing tech-
niques, data reduction, etc. Service companies usually designate their different fracturing fluids by
digital codes, Latin words, planetary bodies or other relevant titles. The fracturing fluids for all the
service companies are quite similar. One of the most commonly used fracturing fluids for treat-
ments are crosslinked HPG systems frequently containing 5% hydrocarbon. Table 6.10 gives typ-
ical components for the titantium crosslinked HPG systems.
As an example of service company fluid system nomenclature, consider Halliburtons Versagel
system. Versagel is the trade name of Halliburton's conventionally crosslinked HPG-titanate frac-
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-32 July 1999
turing fluid. Halliburton has devised a four-digit designation associated with a Versagel fluid, e.g.,
Versagel 1400. The first digit of the Versagel designation indicates the use of a base polymer,
either WG-11 (HPG) or WG-12 (HPG with internal breaker). The second digit of the four-digit
Versagel designation is the polymer concentration of the base gel in 10's of pounds polymer per
1,000 gallons water. The third digit indicates the use of delayed hydration polymer, either HPG or
HEC. The HP guar is designated as WG-14, and HEC is designated WG-17. The last digit is the
secondary gelling agent polymer concentration in 10's of pounds per 1,000 gallons. Five percent
hydrocarbon can be added to Versagel for leakoff control.
More frequently, the delayed crosslinked Versagel HT is used, especially if fluid shear degradation
is anticipated (as is almost always the case). CL-18 (delay organo-metallic) as well as CL-11 (titan-
ate) are used to modulate the extent of initial crosslinking. The percentages of either constituent
will vary depending upon mix water, pH, temperature, treating string, residence time, etc. Some of
Halliburton's HPG systems (as of 1989) are given in the cross reference (Table 6.11).
Dowell Schlumberger also has a coding system for some of its water-base crosslinked gels. These
gels are labeled as YF for wide frac and have a three integer suffix. The first integer implies
both the polymer type and the crosslinker. If odd, it is a guar system, whereas if even, it is HPG.
This first integer is set to 1 or 2 if borate is the crosslinker (1 means a borate crosslinked guar and
2 a borate crosslinked HPG). Likewise, 3 and 4 refer to titanium systems and 5 and 6 refer to their
delayed zirconium gels. For their borate gel, they add the letter D to denote whether it is delayed.
The next two integers refer to the polymer concentration in lb/Mgal. For example, YF-140D is a
delayed crosslinked borate guar gel at a concentration of 40 lb/Mgal.
In 1991 Western Company changed their water-base crosslinked fluid naming system. Gels are
now referred to by a name that corresponds to the crosslinker type followed by a roman numeral
designation for the polymer type. Titanium, aluminum, zirconium, and borate gel systems are
referred to as APOLLO, GEMINI, SATURN, and VIKING respectively. Guar, HPG, CMHPG,
and CMHEC are indicated by I, II, III, IV respectively.
Generally, service company fluid trade names give little information about the nature or indicated
application of the fracturing fluid. Looking at the fluid cross reference (Table 6.11), it can be seen
that there are some exceptions. The most simple system, water with friction reducer (< 0.12 wt%
polyacrylamide) is given names such as Aqua Frac, Water Frac, and Slick Water. Some of the
CMHECsystems are given names like Kleen Gel or Krystal Frac XL which refer to the lowresidue
(essentially zero) of the CMHEC when it breaks. Some gelled oil systems are aptly named
MY-T-OIL or YF-GO III. Halliburtons new high temperature system (to 370 F) is called Ther-
magel (a high pH zirconium crosslinked CMHPG). Halliburton adds a suffix to some of its sys-
tems names referring to maximum intended temperature. Their LT designation implies
maximum intended use of 125 F, i.e., low temperature. HT refers to intended high temperature
use up to 300 F.

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Service Company Trade Names
6-33 July 1999
The cross reference (Table 6.11) provides a method for getting a general idea of generically similar
systems for different service companies. However, the exact chemical formulations may differ.
Some service companies, especially the big four take pride in their special formulations, which
according to their own testing, can give superior performance. Sometimes, however, the superior
performance may be a result of the particular test method used to evaluate it, rather than a superior
composition.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-34 July 1999
6.2 Fluid Scheduling
After a fluid type is selected, the engineer must decide what composition of the fluid to pump at
the various stages of the fracturing treatment, i.e. the fluid schedule. The fluid composition must
yield enough viscosity for adequate fracture width and proppant transport without generating
excessive viscosity resulting in breaking out of zone and excessive height growth. Also, the effect
of fluid composition on fluid loss and fracture conductivity must be considered.
At this time, the viscosity guideline (discussed in Section 5.3 of this manual) will be used for fluid
scheduling. This guideline states that if a neat (proppant-free) fluid can maintain at least 50 cp
at 170 1/s shear rate during its lifetime in the fracture, then it is probable that adequate proppant
transport will result. This statement is based on the assumption that the effective viscosity acting
to reduce proppant settling is increased by the presence of proppant and by shear rates typically
lower than 170 1/s in the fracture. In addition, at times earlier than the total fluid exposure time in
the fracture, viscosity is usually greater since the fluid has had less exposure to degrading thermal
effects. Field experience has shown that fluids meeting this viscosity guideline can successfully
transport proppant. Whether this transport proceeds via perfect proppant transport, slow settling,
or an equilibrium banking process is presently the subject of research.
Fracturing design simulators require a knowledge of the viscosity of a fluid element at a given time
and position in the fracture. The fluid-element rheology is a function of exposure time at bottom-
hole temperature (BHT). However, the fluid-element exposure time is a function of the fracture
geometry and leakoff which are in turn functions of the fluid rheology and composition (as well as
the fracturing model used --PKN, GDK, etc.). Thus, the engineer does not know before the simu-
lation, what BHT exposure time each fluid stage is going to experience. Therefore, optimal sched-
uling of fluids with the appropriate viscosity is an iterative process. The following are two
approaches to fluid scheduling. The first uses a given fluid system with known rheology (n', and
K' as functions of time at temperature) and the second constrains the rheology of the fluid element
in the fracture to be between 200 cp and 50 cp. The first technique is more suited for smaller treat-
ments (less than three hours), whereas the second method is useful for larger treatments.
Fluid Scheduling Given the Fluid Rheology
Fluid scheduling given the rheology of a particular fluid system is appropriate for smaller jobs
using only one fluid stage. The following method of fluid scheduling will assume that the engineer
is designing for a particular fracture length and height with a desired maximum slurry proppant
concentration, given the pump rate. In this case, a fluid system is selected which gives viscosities
greater than 50 cp at 170 1/s for the estimated pump time, and which will permit pumping at sur-
face pressures within wellhead pressure constraints. If the simulator does not have an estimating
routine for the fluid volume (and therefore pump time), the engineer can make a rough estimate by
dividing the desired fracture volume by the pump rate and the expected fluid efficiency. If the aver-
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Scheduling
6-35 July 1999
age fracture width and fluid efficiency are not known, values of 0.25 inches and 0.4 respectively
can be assumed as starting values.
The values of n' and K' at fracture entry temperature and at time at bottomhole temperature are
entered into the simulator. Also, a value of C
w
for the fluid system or a total fluid loss coefficient,
C
T
, representative of the particular fluid system in a particular reservoir (ideally obtained from
minifrac testing) are input. The simulator is then run. If the desired fracture geometry and conduc-
tivity are not attained, the design engineer must examine the simulator results and adjust the fluid
system accordingly. For example if the job screens out prematurely, a new fluid could be chosen
which gives more viscosity; a fluid-loss additive could be added to lower the fluid loss coefficient;
or the maximum proppant concentration could be reduced. If the resulting conductivity is too
small, the engineer could try a more viscous fluid which would give wider fracture widths (if
height growth is not a problem); a cleaner fluid which gives less conductivity impairment; or a
larger maximum slurry proppant concentration. If the calculated pump time is substantially less
than the viscous life of the fluid (the time at bottomhole temperature during which the fluid vis-
cosity at 170 1/s exceeds 50 cp), the engineer may try repeating the simulation with a less viscous
fluid. This is particularly desirable when pumping water base gels where less polymer means less
fluid expense and better ultimate conductivities at a given fracture proppant concentration.
This method of fluid scheduling is essentially a trial and error approach, involving more or less
iterations depending on the engineers familiarity with the particular fracturing simulator and the
formation. The next method is more suited for jobs where multiple fluid types or stages are uti-
lized.
Fluid Scheduling Using Constrained Rheology
For treatments where different fluid stages are utilized in order to maintain more uniform viscosi-
ties in the fracture (e.g. between 200 and 50 cp at 170 1/s) and to minimize polymer loadings, the
following method can be used if the fracturing simulator can calculate fluid-element time at tem-
perature vs. volume pumped. As in the previous fluid scheduling method, the engineer wishes to
create a fracture having a particular length and height with a desired maximum slurry proppant
concentration using a given pump rate. The maximum pump rate is constrained by wellhead pres-
sure limitations. In this case the engineer can enter the viscosities of the fluid as it enters the frac-
ture and when it first reaches bottomhole temperature as 200 cp at 170 1/s. An n' of 0.75 and a K'
of 0.01508 lbf-s
n'
/ft
2
corresponding to 200 cp can be assumed. The remaining viscosities at times
greater than or equal to 1 hour can be set to 50 cp at 170 1/s with n' of 0.75 and K' of 0.003771. A
total fluid loss coefficient, C
T
, representative of the type of formation being fractured (e.g. 0.001
for permeability less than 0.1 md, 0.0025 for permeabilities between 0.1 and
5.0 md, or 0.005 for permeabilities greater than 5 md) can be input. If the simulator pre-
dicts a screen out, the engineer can increase the viscosities at appropriate time-at-temperatures or
perhaps use a lower fluid loss coefficient.
ft/ min ft/ min
ft/ min
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-36 July 1999
After the desired fracture length and fracture conductivity have been calculated by the simulator,
the engineer can schedule a fluid system. Fig. 6.36 shows the fluid-element time at temperature vs.
volume pumped calculated by a simulator using an assumed constant viscosity, such as recom-
mended above (i.e. 200 cp initially and 50 cp thereafter). The engineer then uses the rheological
data for the selected fluid system(e.g. the X-CEL gel systemin Fig. 6.37) to mark the times at tem-
perature corresponding to when the particular fluid reaches 50 cp. These times are then marked off
on the ordinate of Fig. 6.36 and extended horizontally to intersect the time-at-temperature curve.
The fluid volumes corresponding to the intersection points define the stages of various polymer
loading for the fluid system. Fig. 6.36 shows the resulting gel schedule marked off on the abscissa.
The pad consists of 20,000 gal of a 50 lb crosslinked gel plus 60,000 gal of a stabilized 50 lb
crosslinked gel (X50S). The X50S gel continues for another 40,000 gal up to the 4 ppg proppant
stage. Then 40,000 gal of crosslinked 50 lb gel followed by 30,000 gal of crosslinked 40 lb gel and
50,000 gal of crosslinked 30 lb gel complete the pumping of proppant through the 10 ppg stage.
The middle sand stages on Fig. 6.36 have been reduced below the theoretical to account for addi-
tional slurry dehydration.
Using the specified gel schedule, the engineer inputs the rheology for the selected fluid system (n'
and K' as functions of time at temperature) plus the C
w
appropriate for each stage and reruns the
simulator. If the simulated results meet the engineers specifications of length and conductivity,
then the design is completed. If not, the engineer must make appropriate rheology, fluid loss,
and/or maximum slurry proppant concentration modifications.
For a class problem, plot the data in Table 6.12 on the semilog graph paper in Fig. 6.38 to create
an exposure time plot similar to Fig. 6.37. Also, indicate the optimum time exposures for each of
the fluid stages.
Warning:
The testing of crosslinked gels is very difficult, with highly varying results from test to test. Some
service company data result from gels that were conditioned to simulate the flow history down the
tubular goods before testing on the viscometer. Viscosities of conditioned gels can be substantially
different from those of unconditioned gels. Also, if breakers are required for a fluid system (e.g.
for temperatures less than 250F), they should be added to all proppant laden portions of the fluid.
Breakers can significantly lower a fluids viscosity while pumping, and therefore, the viscosity vs
time at temperature plots (e.g. Fig. 6.37) should be adjusted accordingly. Encapsulated breakers
are now available which slow and/or delay the release of the breaker to avoid premature viscosity
breaking and to allow high breaker concentrations for better gel breaking.
The uncertainty in some of the data can be overcome by comparing similar systems for different
companies and using field experience. Fig. 6.39 - Fig. 6.41 provide guidelines for three common
fluid systems. These guidelines include the comparisons with various companies and have been
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fluid Scheduling
6-37 July 1999
successfully applied in the field. Guidelines include the use of viscosity stabilizers at higher tem-
peratures and longer exposure times. The use of stabilizers allows higher viscosity to be main-
tained without using additional polymer.
Another guideline, which has been successfully applied, is for pad fluids. This guideline is shown
on Fig. 6.42 and was based on gel stability at high temperatures for an effective wall cake to con-
trol fluid loss. However, this guideline may be too conservative for the high temperature fluid sys-
tems currently available. Also, recent data for fluids with 5% hydrocarbon (generally used during
pad or first half of treatment with X-L gel and low k) indicate that polymer loading may not sig-
nificantly affect fluid loss. These reservations concerning Fig. 6.42 should be evaluated if fluid
schedules are developed which differ from the guideline.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-38 July 1999
PROPPANT AND FLUID SCHEDULING PROBLEM
Using the prior guidelines for fluid scheduling and the example plot of simulator results shown in
Fig. 6.43 develop a complete fluid and proppant schedule assuming the fluid system is Western's
APOLLO II/APOLLO II H system (Fig. 6.41). Assume the results in Fig. 6.43 are calculated
assuming the minimum viscosity requirements discussed previously.
Since frac tanks are generally 500 BBLS (20,000 gals), fluids should be selected in 20,000 gallon increments or
another increment which is convenient for the tank size actually used.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-39 July 1999
6.3 References
1. Ely, J. W.: Stimulation Treatment Handbook, An Engineers Guide to Quality Control, PennWell Publishing Co.,
Tulsa, OK (1985).
2. RP 39, Recommended Practice for Standard Procedures for the Evaluation of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids,
API, Dallas (1983).
3. Biot, M.A. and Medlin, W.L.: Theory of Sand Transport in Thin Fluids, paper SPE 14468 presented at the
1985 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 22-25.
4. Medlin, W.L., Sexton, J.H., and Zumwalt, G.L.: Sand Transport Experiments in Thin Fluids, paper SPE 14469
presented at the 1985 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 22-25.
5. Daneshy, Ali: Proppant Transport, Monograph Series, SPE, Richardson, TX (1989) 12, vii, 210-22.
6. Shah, S. N.: Proppant Settling Correlations for Non-Newtonian Fluids Under Static and Dynamic Conditions,
SPEJ (April 1982) 164-70.
7. Novotny, E.J.: Proppant Transport, paper SPE 6813 presented at the 1977 SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, Denver, Oct. 9-12.
8. Penny, G.S. and Conway, M.W.: Fluid Leakoff, Monograph Series, SPE, Richardson, TX (1989) 12, vii,
147-76.
9. Cameron, J.R.: Fluid Loss Testing on East Texas Cotton Valley Sand Cores to Determine the Effects of Diesel
and Polymer Concentration; With Consideration on Design Values of Spurt Loss and the Overall Fluid-Loss Co-
efficient, Amoco Production Company Report F88-P-21 (July, 1987).
10. McGowan, J.M. and McDaniel, B.W.: The Effects of Fluid Preconditioning and Test Cell Design on the Mea-
surement of Dynamic Fluid Loss Data, paper SPE 18212 presented at the 1988 SPE Annual Technical Confer-
ence and Exhibition, Houston, October 2-5.
11. Cooke, C.E., Jr.: Effect of Fracturing Fluids on Fracture Conductivity, JPT (Oct. 1975) 1273-82; Trans.,
AIME, 259.
12. Cameron, J.R.: Vol%Residue of HPGVs. Guar in Borate Crosslinked Gels and FlowImpairment Models Based
on Vol% Residue and Fracturing Design Parameters, Amoco Production Company Report F90-P-41 (Feb.
1990).
13. Penny, G.S.: Evaluation of the Effects of Environmental Conditions and Fracturing Fluids on the Long-Term
Conductivity of Proppants, paper SPE 16900 presented at the 1987 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Ex-
hibition, Dallas, Sept. 27-30.
14. Small, J., et. al.: Improving Fracture Conductivities with a Delayed Breaker System: A Case History, paper
SPE 21497 presented at the 1991 SPE Gas Technology Symposium, Houston, Jan. 23-25.
15. Cameron, J.R. and Prudhomme, R.K.: Fracturing-Fluid Flow Behavior, Monograph Series, SPE, Richardson,
TX (1989) 12, vii, 177-209.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-40 July 1999
16. Brannon, H.D. and Ault, M.G.: New Delayed Borate-Crosslinked Fluid Provides Improved Fracture conductiv-
ity in High-Temperature Applications, paper SPE 22838 presented at the 1991 SPE Annual Technical Confer-
ence and Exhibition, Dallas, Oct. 6-9.
17. Roodhart, L.P. and Davies, D.R.: Polymer Emulsion: The revival of a Fracturing Fluid, paper SPE 16413 pre-
sented at the 1987 SPE/DOE Low Permeability Reservoirs Symposium, Denver (May 18-19).
18. Sinclair, A.R., Terry, W.M., and Kiel, O.M.: Polymer Emulsion Fracturing, JPT (July 1974) 731-38.
19. Harris, P.C., Klebenow, D.E., and Kundert, D.P.: Constant Internal Phase Design Improves Stimulation Re-
sults, paper SPE 17532 presented at the 1988 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting, Casper, WY, May 11-13.
20. Western Binary Foam System, Technical Manual, 1990.
21. Ely, J.W.: Fracturing Fluids and Additives, Monograph Series, SPE, Richardson, TX (1989) 12, vii, 131-146.
22. Cameron, J.R. and Gardner, D.C.: Suggested Amoco Procedure for Testing Titanium and Zirconium
Crosslinked Gels, Amoco Production Company Report F90-P-73 (Oct. 1990).
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-41 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-42 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-43 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-44 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-45 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-46 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-47 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-48 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-49 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
6
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6-50
July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-51 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-52 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-53 July 1999
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
EQUIPMENT
ZONE A ZONE B
MILEAGE
33000 All units excluding sand and chemical delivery from
the nearest SES operating point, one way, per unit,
per mile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.48 2.48
FRACTURING PRESSURE (psi)
Per HHP, four hours or less
33010
33015
33020
33025
33030
33035
33040
33045
33050
33055
33060
33065
0 to 5,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5,001 to 6,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6,001 to 7,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7,001 to 8,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8,001 to 9,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9,001 to 10,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10,001 to 11,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11,001 to 12,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12,001 to 13,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
13,001 to 14,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14,001 to 14,500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Over 14,500. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.20
4.66
5.25
6.35
7.61
9.35
11.18
12.65
14.65
15.50
17.20
*P.O.R.
3.65
3.99
4.43
5.38
6.30
7.56
8.98
10.49
12.16
13.02
14.70
*P.O.R.
FRACTURING PUMP EQUIPMENT
Based on hydraulic horsepower, ordered or used, whichever is
greater, calculations are carried to the nearest BPMobtained while
pumping the combined volume of fluid and solids. The average in-
jection rate and average injection pressure to the nearest 100 psi
and measured at the surface during fluid injection. Any abnormal
fluctuations in pressure of short duration, such as high breakdown
pressure are excluded. Minimum pressure used in this calculation
will be 800 psi. HHP ordered is defined as the HHP required to pro-
vided the specific injection rate at specified injection pressures as
calculated from the formula below:
* Priced on Request
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES
HHP
BPM average ( ) psi average ( )
40.8
-------------------------------------------------------------------- =
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-54 July 1999
ZONE A ZONE B
BACTERIA CONTROL
34000
34010
34020
34030
34031
34033
BCS-1; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BCS-2; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BCS-3; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BCS-4; (Dryocide), per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BCS-5; sodium hypochlorite, per gallon . . . . . . . . . .
BCS-7; (X-CIDE 600), per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
33.83
55.31
32.23
16.50
6.48
52.80
33.83
55.31
32.23
16.50
6.48
52.80
BREAKERS FOR GEL SYSTEMS
34040
34050
34051
34060
34961
34062
34070
34074
34077
OXB-3; oil gel, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WCB-1; water gel, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WCB-2; water gel, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WCB-LT; breaker aid, water gel, per gallon . . . . . . .
WCB-LTA; breaker aid, water gel, per gallon . . . . . .
WCB-ACT; breaker activator, water gel, per gallon
WEB-2; water enzyme breaker, per half gallon
container . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
EWB-1; encapsulated breaker, per pound** . . . . . . .
DWB-1; delayed breaker, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.13
3.08
2.75
18.98
14.19
55.79
113.30
39.60
14.85
4.13
3.08
2.75
18.98
14.19
55.79
113.30
39.60
14.85
**Dowell Schlumberger License Fee Applies
BUFFERS
34080
34090
34100
34110
34120
34130
34140
34145
BW-1; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-3; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-4; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-5; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-6; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-9; per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BW-10; ammonium chloride, per pound . . . . . . . . . .
AA-11; caustic soda, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.90
.43
2.40
1.95
2.68
1.12
1.18
*P.O.R.
1.90
.43
2.40
1.95
2.68
1.12
1.18
*P.O.R.
* Priced on Request
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-55 July 1999
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES
ZONE A ZONE B
CLAY CONTROL CHEMICALS
34150
34155
34156
34160
34170
34175
CCC-3; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CCC-4; CLAYLOK
R
, per gallon**. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CCC-5; clay control alternative, per gallon . . . . . . . .
KCI; potassium chloride, per cwt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
LPA-1; per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BRN-1; brine water, per barrel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
34.28
*P.O.R.
24.75
24.75
26.90
*P.O.R.
34.28
*P.O.R.
24.75
24.75
26.90
*P.O.R.
** Chevron License Fee Applies
CROSSLINKERS
34180
34189
34190
34200
34210
34220
34230
34240
34245
34250
34251
34252
34253
34254
CX-1; aqueous gel, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-4; low temperature, low pH, per gallon . . . . . . . .
CX-5; low pH, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-6; cold water, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-12; brine water, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-13; high pH, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-14; high temp., per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-15; high temp., per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-16; aqueous gel, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CX-91; aqueous gel, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CDA-2; crosslink delay additive, per gallon. . . . . . . .
CX-DB2; high temperature delayed borate crosslink-
er, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DBX-1; delayed borate crosslinker, per gallon . . . . .
RM-18; high pH boric acid, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . .
40.99
45.00
70.06
31.71
34.00
16.17
24.23
32.38
51.81
30.96
47.85
29.70
4.99
*P.O.R.
40.99
45.00
70.06
31.71
34.00
16.17
24.23
32.38
51.81
30.96
47.85
29.70
4.99
*P.O.R.
* Priced on Request
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
5
6
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES
ZONE A ZONE B
DIVERTING AGENTS
34255
34260
34270
34280
34290
34300
DA-1; rock salt, course, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DA-2; naphthalene, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DA-3; benzoic acid flakes, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . .
DA-4; rock salt, graded, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DA-5; wax beads, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DA-6; paraformaldehyde flakes, per pound. . . . . . . .
.20
2.82
2.11
.20
4.22
3.45
.20
2.82
2.11
.20
4.22
3.45
EMULSION PREVENTION SURFACTANTS
34310
34320
EPS-4; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
EPS-9; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
30.15
30.15
30.15
30.15
EMULSIFIERS
34330
34340
PEM-1; water external, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
PEM-3; 5% hydrocarbon systems, per gallon . . . . . .
36.00
28.14
36.00
28.14
FLUID LOSS ADDITIVES
34350
34360
34370
34380
34390
34395
34396
OFL-1; (Adomite Mark II) per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-1; (Adomite Aqua) per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-2; per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-3; (Adomite Regain), per pound . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-4; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-5; (Adomite Regain) diesel based slurry per
gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFL-6; cornstarch, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.60
2.48
.61
3.85
18.15
12.97
.60
6.60
2.48
.61
3.85
18.15
12.97
.60
DEFOAMING AND FOAMING AGENTS
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
5
7
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
34410
34420
34430
AGD-2; defoamer, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FAA-1; (Adofoam BF-1), foaming agent for fresh wa-
ter and brines, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FAA-2; foaming agent for fresh water, brine, and acid,
per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
63.06
31.50
21.05
63.06
31.50
21.05
* Priced on Request
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES
ZONE A ZONE B
FRICTION REDUCERS
34440
34445
34450
34451
OFR-1; oil friction reducer, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . .
WFR-1; water friction reducer, per pound . . . . . . . . .
WFR-2; water/acid friction reducer, per gallon . . . . .
WFR-3; water/acid friction reducer, per gallon . . . . .
23.28
8.25
26.24
32.25
23.28
8.25
26.24
32.25
GELLING AGENTS - OIL
34460
34470
34480
34490
OGA-1; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OGA-2; complexer, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OGA-3; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OGA-4; high temp., per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
42.90
15.29
51.15
51.00
42.90
15.29
51.15
51.00
DIESEL FUEL
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
5
8
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
34495
34496
DIE-1; number one diesel, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . .
DIE-2; number two diesel, per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . .
*P.O.R.
*P.O.R.
*P.O.R.
*P.O.R.
GELLING AGENTS - WATER
34500
34510
34520
34530
34550
34560
34565
34567
34568
WGA-2; HPG, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WGA-4; CMHEC, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WGA-5; CMHPG, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
WGA-6; premium guar, per pound . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CMG-1; Continuous Mix Gel - Guar, per gallon . . . .
CMG-2; Continuous Mix Gel - HPG, per gallon. . . . .
CMG-3; Continuous Mix Gel - CMHPG, per gallon.
CMG-4; Environmentally Safe Continuous Mix Gel -
Guar, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CMG-5; Environmentally Safe Continuous Mix Gel -
HPG, per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.17
6.10
5.17
4.57
20.35
27.50
27.50
23.87
26.16
6.17
6.10
6.17
4.57
20.35
27.50
27.50
23.87
26.16
GEL STABILIZING AGENTS
34570 HTS-2; high temperature, per pound. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.90 1.90
* Priced on Request
CHEMICAL ADDITIVES
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
5
9
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
ZONE A ZONE B
SURFACTANTS
34580
34585
34590
34591
34598
34600
34610
34620
34622
34630
34640
34650
FRS-1; fluid recovery surfactant, per gallon . . . . . . .
FRS-2; fluid recovery surfactant, per gallon . . . . . . .
FRS-3; fluid recovery surfactant, per gallon . . . . . . .
FRS-4; fluid recovery surfactant, non-fluorocarbon,
per gallon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MCFRS;methanecoalfluidrecoverysurfactant,pergallon
SAA-1; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SAA-2; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SAA-3; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SAA-4; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SAA-7; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
SAA-8; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
USS-N; per gallon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
55.83
52.25
64.76
20.79
35.97
21.71
18.22
26.40
46.70
28.17
31.37
32.31
55.83
52.25
64.76
20.79
35.97
21.71
18.22
26.40
46.70
28.17
31.37
32.31
CHEMICAL DELIVERY
34660
34665
For chemical delivery to location, per ton mile . . . . .
Minimum delivery charge for all chemicals . . . . . . . .
.91
125.00
.91
125.00
CHEMICAL RETURN
34666
34667
For chemical return from location, per ton mile. . . . .
Minimum return charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.91
125.00
.91
125.00
CHEMICAL HANDLING CHARGE
Handling charge for chemicals furnished by customer
34670
34680
34681
Dry chemicals, per cwt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Liquid chemicals, per 55 gallon drum . . . . . . . . . . . .
Liquid chemicals, per 5 gallon container . . . . . . . . . .
5.50
121.00
11.00
5.50
121.00
11.00
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
0
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
CHEMICALS NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE LIST
34999 Chemicals not included in Smith Energy Services
price list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *P.O.R. *P.O.R.
* Priced on Request
Table 6.3 - Smith Energy Services Fracturing Services & Products.
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
1
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Table 6.4 - Water Soluble Polymers.
NATURAL
ANIMAL ORIGIN BACTERIA ORIGIN VEGETABLE ORIGIN
GELATIN
GLUE
CASEIN
CHITIN
BIOPLOYMERS
XANTHAN
CELLULOSE
STARCH
SEED GUMS
GUAR GUM*
LOCUST BEAN GUM
QUINCE, FLAX & OKRA GUM
TAMARIND
PLANT EXUDATES
GUM ARABIC
GUM GHATTI
GUM KARAYA
GUM TRAGACANTH
SEQWEED EXTRACTS
AGAR
ALGIN
CARRAGEENAN
PLANT EXTRACTS
LARCH ARABINOGALACTAN
PECTIN
SYNTHETIC
MODIFIED NATURAL PRODUCTS SYNTHETIC PRODUCTS
CARBOXYMETHYCELLULOSE (CMC)* POLYVINYL ALCOHOL
ETHYCELLULOSE POLYVINYLPYRROLIDONE
HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE (HEC)* POLYVINYLMETHYL ETHER
CARBOXYMETHYL HYDROXYETHYL
CELLULOSE (CMHEC)* POLYACRYLIC ACIDS & SALT
ETHYLHYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE POLYACRYLAMIDES*
METHYLCELLULOSE ETHYLENE OXIDE POLYMERS
STARCH AMYLOSE
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
2
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
STARCH AMYLODPECTIN
STARCH DEXTRINS
STARCH HYDROXYETHYL ETHERS
HYDROXYPROPYL GUAR (HPG)*
CARBOXYMETHYL HYDROXYPROPYL
GUAR (CMHPG)*
HYDROXYETHY GUAR
* PRIMARY GELLING AGENTS FOR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FLUIDS.
Fig. 6.14 - Where Guar Comes From.
Table 6.4 - Water Soluble Polymers.
NATURAL
ANIMAL ORIGIN BACTERIA ORIGIN VEGETABLE ORIGIN
y
Guar Gum
Molecule
A High Molecular Weight Carbohydrate Polymer
(Polysaccharide)
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
3
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Fig. 6.15 - Principal Guar Derivatives.,
Fig. 6.14 - Where Guar Comes From.
Double
Purified
Splits
Single
Purified
Splits
Guar
Seeds
Guar
Pods
Hydroxypropyl Guar (Generalized Structure)
F
l
u
i
d

S
e
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

a
n
d

S
c
h
e
d
u
l
i
n
g
6 H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
4
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Table 6.5 - Primary Gelling Agents for Fracturing.
Water Soluble Polymers
Guar Gum
HPG
CMHPG
Cellulose Derivatives
HEC
CMC
CMHEC
Polyacrylamides
Fig. 6.15 - Principal Guar Derivatives.,
Carboxymethyl Hydroxypropyl Guar
(Generalized Structure)
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
5
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Fig. 6.16 - HPG Solution: Effect of Shear Rate & Temperature.
Fig. 6.17 - Flow Behavior Index (n') vs. Temperature of Halliburtons HPG Solution.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
6
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6-66
July 1999
F
i
g
.
6
.
1
8
-
C
o
n
s
i
s
t
e
n
c
y

I
n
d
e
x

(
K
'
a
)

v
s
.

T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

o
f

H
a
l
l
i
b
u
r
t
o
n

s

H
P
G

s
o
l
u
t
i
o
n
.
R
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
H
y
d
r
a
u
l
i
c

F
r
a
c
t
u
r
i
n
g

T
h
e
o
r
y

M
a
n
u
a
l
6
-
6
7
J
u
l
y

1
9
9
9
Fig. 6.19 - Comparison of 40-lbm/1,000-gal Hpg Gels Crosslinked with Titanium Acetyl Acetonate
Subjected to Various Turbulent Flow and Temperature Histories.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
6
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6-68
July 1999
References
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual 6-69 July 1999
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-70 July 1999
Fig. 6.20 - Viscosity of Halliburtons Boragel (Borate Crosslinked Guar) as a Function of Time at
225 F.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-71 July 1999
Table 6.6 - Useful Crosslinkers for Guar and Guar Derivatives.
Crosslinking Guar
Crosslinker
pH Range of
Fluid
Effective Temperature
Region
Borate 8-10 60 F - 275 F maximum
Antimony 2-3.5 140 F maximum
Titanate 7-8 or higher 300 F +
Zirconium 7-8 or higher 350 F +
Aluminum 4-8 160 F maximum
Zirconium <1 (acids) <100 F
Fig. 6.21 - Generalized Crosslinking Scheme.

Crosslinking Through COOH Groups


(CMHPG)
Crosslinking Through cis OH Groups
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-72 July 1999
Fig. 6.22 - Power Law Data for Halliburtons Versagel HT Fluid 250 F.
Versagel HT - 250 deg F
MEOH GEL-STA
A
B
C
D
WG-11
40
40
40
40
5
5
0
0
10
0
10
0
D
B
C
A
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
n'
Time (hr)
Consistency Index (K'
a
) vs. Time
Flow Behavior Index (n') vs. Time
Versagel HT Fluids
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1.0
0.1
0.01
0.001
K'
a
Time (hr)
A
C
B
D

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


References
6-73 July 1999
Fig. 6.23 - Effect of Internal Phase on Polymer Emulsion Viscosity.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-74 July 1999
Table 6.7 - Comparison Of Constant-Internal-Phase Concept With Constant-Viscosity-Concept
For Two Polymer Emulsion Slurries With The Same Polymer Loading.
Proppant Loading
(lb/gal)
Constant Viscosity Constant Internal Phase
Emulsion Quality
(-)
Slurry Viscosity
(mPa.s)
Emulsion Quality
(-)
Slurry Viscosity
(mPa.s)
0 0.70 266 0.70 266
2 0.67 266 0.67 266
4 0.66 266 0.65 254
6 0.64 266 0.62 236
8 0.62 266 0.59 228
10 0.59 266 0.56 228
12 0.56 266 0.54 244
Proppant Loading
(lb/gal)
Constant Viscosity Constant Internal Phase
Emulsion Quality
(-)
Slurry Viscosity
(mPa.s)
Emulsion Quality
(-)
Slurry Viscosity
(mPa.s)
0 0.67 197 0.67 197
2 0.63 197 0.64 205
4 0.61 197 0.61 197
6 0.59 197 0.58 191
8 0.56 197 0.55 191
10 0.52 197 0.52 197
12 0.48 197 0.50 200
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-75 July 1999
Fig. 6.24 - Flow Curves of a 0.67 Quality Emulsion at Various Temperatures.
Fig. 6.25 - The Effect of Shear Rate on
Polymer Emulsion Viscosity.
Fig. 6.26 - Viscosity vs. Temperature for
Western Super K-Frac (Polyemulsion).
= 176 F
1000
100
10
70 90 110 130 150 170 190 210
Temperature (F)
(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p

@

5
1
1

s
e
c
-
1
)
70
80
75
70
80
75
60
50
50
60
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-76 July 1999
Fig. 6.27 - Plot of Viscosity of a 0.67 Quality Emulsion Vs. Mean Droplet Size.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-77 July 1999
Fig. 6.28 - Power-law Data for a Water/N
2
Foam Stabilized With 40 lbm Thickener/1,000 Gal Water.
Fig. 6.29 - Effect of HPG Concentration (lbm/1,000 gal) on the Viscosity of a 0.70-Quality Foam.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-78 July 1999
Fig. 6.30 - Effect of Shear History on the Texture of an Aqueous/N
2
Foam.
Fig. 6.31 - Friction Pressure for Dowell Schlumbergers Stabilized Foam.
Foam Friction Pressure
Pipe Data: 2 7/8 in. OD EUE tubing - 6.5 lb per ft
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Flow Rate - BPM
F
r
i
c
t
i
o
n

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

-

p
s
i

p
e
r

1
0
0
0

f
t
Foam Quality
0.85
0.80
0.75
0.70
0.65
0.60
0.55
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-79 July 1999
Fig. 6.32 - Comparison of the Solubility of Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen in Water.
Fig. 6.33 - 70 Quality: CO
2
Foam Vs. Binary Foam.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-80 July 1999
Fig. 6.34 - Aluminum Orthophosphate Ester Hydrocarbon Gel.
Fig. 6.35 - Pressure Effect on a Partially Gelled Diesel at Ambient Temperature and at 180 F [data
by J. R. Cameron, courtesy Amoco Production Co. Research, Tulsa, OK (1986)].
Association Complex ...
Reversible to shear but sensitive to polar contaminates

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


References
6-81 July 1999
Table 6.8 - MY-T-OIL II & MY-T-OIL IV Comparative Evaluation
Hydrocarbon
MY-T-OIL IV (Continuous-Mix System)
Temp C
Hours at
Temp
(cp)
Viscosity
@ 170 1/s n'
(1b
f
-sec
n'
/ft
2
K'
(L/m
3
)
FDP-5445A
(L/m
3
)
FDP-5445B
(Kg/m
3
)
K-34 Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final
Crude Oil 6 6 0.4 70 24 263 51 0.093 0.407 0.577 0.0223
Crude Oil 6 6 0.35 70 19.6 329 76 0.098 0.33 0.707 0.0488
Hydrocarbon
MY-T-OIL II (Batch System)
Temp C
Hours at
Temp
(cp)
Viscosity
@ 170 1/s n'
(1b
f
-sec
n'
/ft
2
K'
(L/M
3
)
MO-55A
L/m(L/M
3
)
MO-56
(Kg/m
3
)
K-34 Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final
Crude Oil 13 4 3.5 71 2.5 302 215 0.13 0.11 0.550 0.433
Crude Oil 12 3.6 3.4 70 2.2 91 60 0.19 0.20 0.120 0.0751
Frac Oil 200 7 2.4 2.0 71 2.2 102 81 0.25 0.12 0.102 0.150
Frac oil 200 8 2.7 3.0 70 2.2 155 81 0.19 0.13 0.289 0.149
MO-55A and FDP-5445A are gellants
MO-56 and FDP-5445B are activators
K-34 is sodium bicarbonate breaker
initial values are at 0 time at temperature
and final values are at total hours at temperature

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-82 July 1999
Table 6.9 - Power-Law Rheology as a Function of Temperature, Western Maxi-0-74 Gelled Oil
System.
Maxi-0-74 Gel
Temperature
F Time n' K'
Viscosity
170 sec
-1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
8 gal
1
80
120
140
160
180
200
220
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
.28
.26
.25
.25
.26
.28
.36
.15
.15
.15
.14
.13
.094
.048
178
161
153
142
139
112
86
8 gal
2
8 gal
2
8 gal
2
8 gal
2
8 gal
2
8 ga
2
8 gal
2
80
120
140
160
180
200
220
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
Initial
.28
.23
.20
.19
.22
.27
.30
.12
.13
.14
.14
.12
.08
.035
142
119
110
105
105
90
46
1.
Gal/1000 of gellant in kerosene.
2.
Gal/1000 of gellant in No. 2 Diesel.
Table 6.10 - Typical Chemical Components of Organo-Metallic Crosslinked Frac Fluids.
POLYMER: 30-60 #/1000 gal, 0.4 m.s. HPG
BUFFERING AGENTS:
Example:
Weak acid and/or salt
Fumeric acid/sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate
Sulfamic acid/sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate
Acetic acid or anhydride/sodium acetate
pH: 5-7 or 8-10 stability requirements
CROSSLINKER: Titanium chelates of acetyl acetonate (TiAA),
triethanol amine (TiTE), lactic acid (TiLA),
or TiTE/TiAA. TiTE + water (slower react.)
STABILIZER: Alcohol (5-10% MeOH, sod. thiosulfate (10-20 #/1000 gal)
BREAKER: Enzymatic, cellulose (<140 F), oxidative, persulfates
(>140 F)
ADDITIVES: Surfactants: non-emuls., surface tension reduct.; Clay Control:
KCl (1-2%), cationic polymers, polyamines.

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


References
6-83 July 1999
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Water Based Gel Systems
Water and Friction reducer Aqua Frac River Frac Friction Reducer Available Slick Water Water Frac
Gelled water Gelled Water
Aqua Frac
Water Frac
WF-100 (guar)
WF-200 (HPG)
Gelled Water Water Frac Gelled Water
WGA-6
WGA-7
Gelled Water
Gelled water with a uid loss
additive
Gelled water plus
FLA
Redifrac Gelled water &
Fluid Loss
Water Frac plus
FLA
Logel 100 & FLA
Gelled Water
with
FL Additive
(Maxi-Pad)
(Westpad A)
available
Low residue gelled water (HPG) GW-8
GW-32
WF200 LSR-1NB WG-11, 12,
HYG-5,
WG-20
WGA-2 WGA-8 J-12
(J-16) J-20
No residue gelled water (HEC) GW-21 YFHC HEC Hygel 100,300 &
500, LOGEL 100
WG-17, WG-21
WGA-3 Plus Gel
(J-5) J-6
Crosslinked Gel Systems
Crosslinked HPG Terra Frac T
(Titanate)
YF-400
(Titanate)
Delayed Available
YF-200
YF-200D
YF-600-HT
(Zirconium delayed)
Ultravis LPW
Versagel
Versagel LT
Versagel HT
Hybor Gel
GWX-7
GWX-9
VIKING II
VIKING II DHT
APOLLO II
SATURN II LT
SATURN II
Crosslinked guar system additive Ultra Frac
Terra Frac
YF-100
YF100D
(Delayed)
100 - Borate
YF-300
(Titanate)
YF-500-HT
(Zirconate Delayed)
Hy Vis MY-T-GEL
MY-T-GEL LT
MY-T-GEL HT
Hybor Gel
KO Gel
Thrifty Gel
GWX-7 LT,
GWX-7 HT
GWX-9
VIKING I
VIKING I DHT
APOLLO I
Thin prepad with buoyant diverting agent
to control upward growth
Invertafrac Available
Oil prepad with a polymer coated sand
diverting agent to control downward and
water encroachment
Divertafrac
Crosslinked HPG with 3-5%
hydrocarbon for uid loss
Terra Frac-D Stratafrac II Service
(Available with most
systems)
Ultravis LPW
+5% Diesel
Versagel
plus Diesel
GDX-7 APOLLO II H
SATURN II H
Crosslinked HPG with high temperature
stabilizers
Terra Frac
RXL II
YF400
YF600-HT
ThermoVis Versagel HT GWX-7HT Saturn Gel
Crosslinked CMHEC Krystal Frac
RXL
Krystal Frac XL
Krystal
Frac-D
(5% Diesel)
HyClean Kleen Gel Available APOLLO IV LPH
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-84 July 1999
Crosslinked CMHEC for high tempera-
ture
Super Krystal
Frac
Kleen Gel II WZ-100018 Gel
Crosslinked guar or HPG with Borate Ultra Frac YF-100 (guar)
YF-200 (HPG)
HyVis
Boragel
Hybor Gel
GWX-9
Guar or
HPG
VIKING II
VIKING II DHT
VIKING I
VIKING I DHT
CO
2
compatible fracturing uid Krystal Frac
(CMHEC)
Super Terra Frac
YFLPH
(HPG)
PurGel II, &III
ACIDGEL Frac
ACIDGEL Frac II
Versage LT
KleenGel,
MY-T-GEL LT
KlexenGel II
Alcogel I
MY-T-Oil I, II, &III
LOGEL 100
HYGEL 100 &
300
GWX-4LT
GWX-4HT
SATURN II LT
Economical, low residue cross-linked
system
Terra Frac T
(Low pH system)
YF-LPH Ultravis LPW Pur-Gel WGA-5
GWX-5
APOLLO I
Controllable delayed crosslink HPG sys-
tem
Terra Frac RXL
II
YF-600-HT Ultravis H-T Versagel HT
& CL-18
Hybor Gel
GWX-7 SATURN II
APOLLO II
Controllable delayed crosslinked high
temperature system
BJ-Titan RXL
SpectraFrac G
YF600-HT (HPG)
YF500-HT (Guar)
Thermo-Vis Thermagel
Pur-Gel III
(CMHPG)
GWX-7HT SATURN II
APOLLO II
Alcohol Water Systems
Gelled water - alcohol system Alcogel I & II
Alcogel IV
WZ-100013 Gel
Crosslinked water-alcohol system Metho Frac
(G-8)
Alcohol
Waterfrac
(J-160)
Ultravis LPW Alcogel II-X Available WZ-100013 Gel
Oil Systems
Oil without viscosier Available Crude Frac Sandoil Available Oil Frac
Gelled Oil Oil Based
Ultra Frac
Petrogel Hycar 2000 Viso-O-Frac
V-O-Gel
Gelled Oil Low Friction
Frac
Crosslinked gelled oil for medium tem-
perature
Allo Frac YF-GO III HLG-1
HLG-5
My-T-Oil II PGO-1 Maxi-0-74 Gel
Crosslinked gelled oil for higher temper-
atures
Allo Frac HT YF-GO IV My-T-Oil III PGO-1 Maxi-0-86 HT
Gel
Water external emulsion developed by
Exxon
Polyemulsion Super Sand
Frac K-1
Polyemulsion Super
Emulsifrac
WEP-1 Super K-Frac
Continuous crosslinked gelled oil YF-GO III My-T-Oil IV
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-85 July 1999
Foamed Systems
Water and nitrogen foam with or without
gel
Aquafoam Foamfrac
Stabilized
Foam Soulution
(SFS)
Foam Frac Foamfrac
AquaFoam
Foam
Frac
West-Foam, N
2
Acid and nitrogen foam Etching foam Available Foamed Acid Available FAS-1 West-Foam, N
2
Hydrocarbon and Nitrogen foam Available Available Foamed Hydro-
carbon
Frac
N10 Frac Foamed
Oil
Petro Foam
NOWFOAM followed by a gelled uid Combo Frac Available
Methanol and nitrogen foam Foamed Alcohol AlcoFoam Foamed
Methanol
Available
Water and CO
2
foam Available Available Poly-CO
2
C-O-TWO Frac
Pur-Gel II
Pur-Gel III
CDM-1
GWX-4LT
GWX-4HT
WestFoam, CO
2
Water and 50% CO
2
/20% N
2
Binary Foam Sys-
tem
Crosslinked gelled water foam Super foam Available GWX-4LT
GWS-4HT
Available
Water Base Polymers
Powdered guar gum polymer. Delayed
hydration, designed for batch mix appli-
cations.
GW-27
J111, J424
J877
G-308WB WG-19
WG-22
a
WG-23
WGA-6 J-2, J-4
Powdered guar gum polymer. Rapid
hydrating, designed for continuous mix
applications. Contains internal breaker.
GW-5 J133
J457
WG-6 J-4
(no breaker)
Powered Hydroxypropylguar gum.
Delayed hydration polymer, designed for
batch mix applications. No internal
breaker.
GW-32 J347
J362
J456
J876
LSR-1NB WG-11 WGA-2
WGA-8
J-12 (J-18)
J-20
Powdered hydroxyproplyguar viscosi-
er. Rapid hydrating, designed for con-
tinuous mix applications. Contains
internal breaker.
GW-8
GW-30
(80% HPG)
J348
(Sea Water)
WG-12 (J-16) J-20
(J-10)
Powdered hydroxyethylcelluloseviscosi-
er. Delayed Hydration polymer.
Designed for use as a secondary gel or
batch mix application.
AG-21R J164 HEC
WG-17
WGA-3 J-6
Chemically modied HEC for use
in crosslinked uid. No internal breaker.
WG-21
Powdered hydroxypropylguar for
delayed hydration used as a secondary
gel in high temperature applications.
HYG-5
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-86 July 1999
Powdered carboxymethylcellulose vis-
cosier. Rapid hydration, designed for
both batch and continuous mix applica-
tions.
G25 (J-8)
Powdered carboxymethylhydroxy-ethyl-
cellulose viscosier. Designed for rapid
hydration. Can be used both batch and
continuous applications.
GW-28
GW-29
GW-34
GW-36
GW-44
J-365 WG-15 WGA-4 J-13
Powdered xanthate polymer Designed
for viscosifying 15% or lower strength
hydrochloric acids. Can be batch mixed
or mixed continuously.
AG-26 J360
J312
AGA-1 J-15
A proprietary blend of chemically modi-
ed low residue guar polymers. Delayed
hydration mixture designed for batch mix
applications. No internal breakers.
J424 WG-19 WGA-6 J-4
Chemically modied natural polymer for
up to 80% methanol.
GW-20
GW-25
GW-35
J-271 G-317 MGA-1 WZ-100313
Chemically modied natural polymer for
gelling 100% methanol
GW-55 LSR-5 WG-20 MGA-1 Available
Chemically modied natural polymer
CMHPG
GW-44
GW-36
G-313 WG-18 WGA-5 WZ-499579
Liquid Viscosier for acid AG-11 J429-J425 SGA-HT AGS-1
AGA-1,
AGA-2
AGA-4,
AGA-5
Acigel
Liquid viscosier for acid up to 15% AG-12 J425
(15-28%)
M33
DSGA
Liquid
SGA AGS-1
AGA-1
AGA-2
AGA-4
AGA-5
Acigel Lt
(low temp)
Continuous Mix Gel Concentrates
HPG with KCl in aqueous slurry LGC-I
Guar with KCl in aqueous slurry LGC-II
HPG without KCl in aqueous slurry LGC-III
Guar in diesel slurry LFC-1 LSG LGC-IV CMG-1 J-4L
Guar and Ammonium chloride in diesel
slurry
LGC-IV M J-4L
HPG in diesel slurry LFC-2
LFC-2A
LFC-2B
LSG LGC-V CMG-2 J-20L
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-87 July 1999
CMHPG in diesel slurry LFC-3 LGC-VI CMG-3 J-22L
CMHEC in diesel slurry LGC-VII Available
Friction Reducers
Liquid anionic polyacrylamide friction
reducer for water
FRA-12
FRW-11
J313
(Water Brine)
FRC-26LC WFR-2 FR-20
FR-28
(Hard Water)
Liquid cationic polyacrylamide friction
reducer for acids, brines & fresh water.
FRA-10 J321 F-657 FR-28LC AGA-2,
AGA-4
AGA-5,
AFR-1
Powdered anionic friction reducer
for acid, brines and fresh water.
J166
(Water, Brine)
FR-20 (FR-16)
(FR-2, Water)
Powdered cationic friction reducer for
acid, brines and fresh water.
J120
(Acid)
FR-30 (FR-6)
Liquid friction reducer for hydro-carbons
FRO-18
Requires
Activator
J257 F-100 FR-5
FR-7
Requires
Activator
OFR-1 FR-5AW
Fluid Loss
Selectively graded ne mesh silica our
used in water, oil and acid
FLC-8 J84
J418
Silica Flour WAC-9 WFL-2 F-11
Combination of graded oil soluble resin
and degradable low mole- cular weight
polymers. Non-damaging uid loss addi-
tive used in water and acid
FLC-1 J238 WAC-11D AFL-2 Frac Seal M
100 mesh benzoic acid used in water,
acid or foam fracturing treatments.
FLC-1 J227
(Particulate)
Available Available Flakes-DA-3 Available
100 mesh sand used in water, oil and
acid
100 mesh
sand
FLA100
S100
100 mesh
sand
100 mesh
sand
100 mesh
sand
100 mesh
sand
100 mesh oil soluble resin used water
and acid
FLC-2 FLA10005 FL-30 OSR-100 AFL-3 FracSeal
100 mesh salt 100 mesh
sand
Available DA-4
AFL-2
100 mesh salt
Fluid loss additive for water and oil WAC-10 AFL-4 Aquaseal 2
Proprietary liquid uid loss solution FLC-15
FLC-17
J-451 WAC-12L
FLD-1
WFL-4 Aquaseal L
Fluid loss additive used in water and oil
(Adomite Aqua)
Adomite
Aqua
J110 Adomite
Aqua
Adomite
Aqua
WFL-1 Available
Fluid loss additive used in oil base uids
(Adomite Mark II)
Adomite
Mark II
J126 Adomite
Mark II
Adomite
Mark II
OFL-1 Adomite
Mark II
Fluid loss additive. Powdered fully
degradable uid loss additive for water
base uid used 120 - 350 F
B1 WLC-4 WFL-3 Aquaseal WS
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western

Fluid Selection and Scheduling


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-88 July 1999
Fluid Loss Additives - Acid AFL-1
AFL-2
AFL-3
AFL-4
WFR-2
Liquid uid loss additives for use in oil
wells with water based uids from
80-300 F (diesel or other hydrocarbon)
Available Available Available Available Available Available
Solid uid loss additive and gel breaker
for use in water based uids at
150-200 F.
OPTIFLO C
Breakers
Enzyme breaker for guar, guar deriva-
tives and cellulose derivatives
GBW-10 J134 Breaker F GWV-3
GBW-30
WEB-2 B-11, B-11L
Oxidizer breaker for guar, guar deriva-
tives and cellulose derivatives
GBW-5 J218 Breaker S SP Breaker WCB-1 B-5
High temperature oxidizer breaker for
guar, guar derivatives and cellulose
GBW-5 Breaker T HT Breaker B-9
Acid breaker for guar, guar derivatives
and cellulose derivatives
GBA-1 Breaker H MYF-5 P-4
Low temperature breaker activator for
borate systems
GBW-10 J318-J466 WCB-LT B-12
Low temperature oil breaker GBO-1 Breaker MO
HL Breaker
OXB-3 B-20, B-23
Breaker for phosphate ester oil gels GBO-3 J318, YF 60 II
J-295 YF60 II
III
J603 YF60 III
Breaker MO II
K34
OXB-3 B-15
B-16
B-25
Gel breaker and lter cake degrader.
Treatment follows water based fracturing
uids. Used from 80-270 F.
Optikleen
Oil breaker - Low Temperature Y3, M3 Breaker VLT OXB-3 B-20
Oil breaker - High Temperature Breaker VH OXB-3 B-23
Oil breaker J318
(YF-GO II)
Breaker
3700
OXB-3 (B-14)
Breaker for phosphate ester gels GBO-6 J295
(YF-GO II, IV
J-603, J860, GO III
K-34 OXB-3 Sodium
Bicarbonate,
B-25
Diverting Agents
Oil soluble resin in aqueous solution FLC-11 J237 L-12 Matriseal-0 AFL-1 ASP-530
Graded rock salt Rock Salt
Salt-Trimix
J66 Rock Salt TBA-110 DA-4 Westblock,
S-6
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


References
6-89 July 1999
Flake Benzoic Acid Benzoic Acid
Super Flake
Regular
J227A Benzoic Acid TLC-80 DA-3 Westblock 3X
& 4
Nonaqueous solution Matriseal - OWG Available
Polymer coated sand which swells upon
water contact
S41
(Divertifrac)
Oil soluble graded napthalene Moth Balls J116 TLC-15 DA-2 S-3
Diverting agent used in acid FLC-18 (Concentrate)
(Solution)
Matriseal 0
Matriseal
OSR-100
TBA-350
TLC-80
TBA-100
Matriseal OWG
TLC-155
Water soluble diverting agent FLC-18 J363, J175
(Acid & Water),
J187 (Fracturing)
TBA-110
TLC-80
Inorganic diverting material which is
buoyant
J423
(invertafrac)
Cenospheres
Polymer Plugs
Guar or hydroxypropylguar system Protectozone
WL 300, 500
Temblok 80,
90, 100
Gel Block WX
Hydroxyethylcellulose system linear or
crosslinked
Protectozone
WC 500, 750
P5-Plug Temblok 75
120
Available
Crosslinked hydroxypropylguar system Protectozone
WH 500, 700
(not crosslinked)
Temblok 40
50, 60
TDA-1, High
Friction Gel
Crosslinked guar or hydroxy-propylguar
system
Temblok 40
50, 60
Available
Emulsiers
Oil external emulsier for HCl and
HCl-organic mixtures
E U74 (D.A.D. acid),
U60 (Super Sand
Frac), U80
DL-22 AF-61 AAE-1 E-9
Emulsier for polyemulsion E-2, E-5 U78A (not for diesel) WS-50 SEM-5
SEM-6
SEM-7
PEM-1 Wellaid 266
Emulsier for polyemulsion and CO
2
emulsion or CO
2
foams.
FAW-16 U78E EF-10 SEM-5, ACO-1
SEM-7
HC-2
AQF-1
AQF-2
AQF-4
PEM-1
FAA-2
(E-15), E-16
Clay Stabilizers
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-90 July 1999
Cationic polymer for stabilizing clays Claytrol5 L53 (W-Winterized)
L42
CSA-6 Cla Sta II
Cla Sta 0
Cla Sta FS
Cla Sta XP
CCC-3 Claymaster 4
Cationic clay stabilizer Claytrol 3
Claytrol 4
Claylok SM
M38W ClayFix II CCC-4
Claylok Sm
Claylok SM*
WK-1 (Multi-use
product)
LT-22
*All Companies have KCl
*SM Service Mark of Chevron Research Company
Surfactants
Nonionic uorosurfactant for water and
acid systems
Inow50 F-75N WS-70 SuperFlo II FRS-2
FRS-3
USS-N
Flo Back 10
FS-2
Cationic uorosurfactant for water and
acid systems
Ino 45
Ino 100
TEA-380 EnWaR-288 FRS-1 (FS-1)
Nonemulsiers
Nonionic nonemulsier W53 EPS-4, EPS-5
EPS-9, SAA-2,
SAA-8
Aqua Flow
Nine 40
Nonionic nonemulsier for oil 3N, 1N SAA-5 Aqua Flow
Anionic nonemulsier for oil HD10-60
HD10-70
SAA-3 F-Flow,
Parasol D
Wellaid 215
Nonionic nonemulsier F38 EPS-4, EPS5,
EPS-9, SAA-2
SAA-8
Nine 40, Aqua
Flow
Anionic nonemulsier J-10 SAA-3, SAA-7 LT-5
Anionic nonemulsier for oil
and dispersible in water
W31
(Freow D)
K224
Hyo IV
Anionic
Nonionic mixture
Oil soluble
SAA-3 F-Flow
Parasol D,
LT-31,
Corexit 7652
Nonionic nonemulsier for water and
acid
NE-4
NE-15
NE-18
S100
S200
S400
S600
F40
EZEPlo, W39
W5-6 One LOSURF-251
259, 300, 357
Pen-5, LOSURF
0
EPS-4, EPS-5
EPS-9
SAA-2, SAA-8
Aqua Flow
LT-17
Nine 40
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-91 July 1999
Anionic nonemulsier NE-10
NE-31
NE-32
S-500
F78, M38
W22, W27,
W39, M38W
DL-22 TRI-S
Fraco II
MorFlo II
SAA-3
SAA-7
LT-5, AS-2
LT-25, LT-31,
F-Flow,
Parasol D
Cationic nonemulsier for water and acid NE-1
NE-7
NE-2
NE-6
NE-9
NE-11
NE-12
NE-13
NE-20
NE-21
NE-22
F75N
(nonionic)
marketed as
Ezeo F75
AI-170 Cationic N
Compounds
SAA-4
SAA-1
EPS-1
EPS-3
EPS-6
I-5, LT-22
LT-17, WK-1
F-Flow,
Parasol D
Nonionic uorosurfactant for water and
acid
Ino50 Supero USS-N FS-2 (FS-F)
Nonionic surfactant and nonemulsier
for water and acid
D-4 F40 Pen-5
Also foaming
agent for acid
EPS-4, EPS-5
EPS-9, SAA-8
LT-21
Anionic nonemulsier for water and
acid
DL-26 Fracow,
3N
SAA-7 LT-5, LT-25
Nonionic uorosurfactant for water and
acid
USS-N (FS-F) FS-2
Fines Suspender
Fines suspending agent for acid.
Also functions as nonemulsier
SS-100 HC-2 SSS-2 LT-21
Cationic nes suspendor F78 LPA-1 (CS-3), MR-1
Anti-Sludge Agent
Anti-sludge agent for acid W35
(W50)
DL-22
DL-26
AS-5, AS-6
AS-7, AS-8
SPS-1 AS-2, LT-31
pH Control
Strong base D-2 J465, M2, U28
U28, J-221
(2% caustic)
Caustic Soda Caustic Soda Caustic Soda Caustic Soda
(G-5,G-6)
Weak organic acid CW-1 BW-6 Buffer 1
Weak organic acid Fumaric Acid HYG-3 BW-2 Buffer 2
Synergistic additive for extending inhibi-
tion times at elevated temperature
D-2 L6
L36
Formic Acid MYF-2L Formic Acid WTI-25
WTI-26
Strong base M3 Nowplix 6P K-35 Sodium
Carbonate
Sodium
Carbonate,
Buffer 4
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-92 July 1999
Buffers (proprietary) BF-1, BF-5
BF-2
BF-3
BF-4
M47 BA-10, BA-20
BA-30
BA-40
BW-1, BW-5
BW-7, BW-10
Buffer 1
Buffer 2
Buffer 4
Strong base Ammonium
Hydroxide 30%,
50%
M11 Ammonium
Hydroxide
Ammonium
Hydroxide
Ammonium
Hydroxide
Powdered weak base M-223 K-34 Sodium
Bicarbonate
Sodium
Bicarbonate
Sulfamic Acid Sulfamic U43 BA-2 Sulfamic P-4
Crosslinkers
Proprietary crosslinking control agent XLW-3 CLM
Proprietary crosslinking control agent XLA-Saturn
XLD-Saturn
Proprietary crosslinking agent (Sb) AKXL MYF-10 WZ-100470
Proprietary crosslinking agent (Ti) XLW-39 (J352) ATX-25 CL-11
CL-18
CX-1, CS-91,
CS-6
CL-9, T.I.C.,
CL-12
Proprietary crosslinking agent (Borate) XLW-1, XLW-2 L10 (Powder) BXL-1W CL-22 CS-13
(liquid)
(2-C, Powder),
CL-2
Proprietary crosslinking agent Zr XLW-52 J366, J367
(Activator)
J444 (Temp. Acti-
vated)
2R-XL CL-24
CL-15
CL-21
CL-23
CX-7, CX-14
CX11A, CS-15
CX-16
CL-14, CL-14W
CL-11
Proprietary crosslinking agent AL XLW-6 CAX CL-19 CX-5 Available
Foamers
Foaming Agent FAW-12 F78 HC-2, AQF-1
AQF-2, AQF-4
FAA-1
FAA-2
SNF-1
SNF-4
Foamex, LT-30
Frac Foam 1
Foaming Agent Adofoam F52, 1 5F-1 Howco Suds FAA-1, FAA-2
SNF-4, SNF-7
Adofoam BF-1
Foaming Agent Pen-5 FAA-1, FAA-2
SNF-4, SNF-1
LT-30
Foaming agent for water and brine FAW-16 F52.1
(Water, Brine, Acid)
TRI-S FAA-1
FAA-2
Foamex
Foaming agent for water and acids FAW-9 F78 (Foamer and
Fines Suspender)
SF-2 AQF-1,
SGA-1,
Pen-5
FAA-2
FS-2 (FS-F)
Foamer for hydrocarbons FAO-25 OFA-2 SNF-1 Petro Foam 1
Foaming agent for oil and conden-
sates
FAO-25 SF-3 OFA-2 SNF-1 Petro Foam 1
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-93 July 1999
Foaming agent for water and meth-
anol
FAW-20 SF-8 ACO-1 SNF-4 Frac Foam 1
Foaming agent for 100% methanol
and methanol water mixtures
FAW-20 SF-8 ACO-1 SNF-4 Available
Scale Inhibitors
Scale Inhibitor ScaleTrol 4 L47,
L49
P-300 Phosphonate
Scale Inhib.
GSI-1 P-9
Scale Inhibitor ScaleTrol 6 L50 SST-245 Phosphonate
Scale Inhib.
GSI-1 P-8
Scale Inhibitor ScaleTrol 8 L45 Phosphonate
LP-60
Scale Inhib.
GSI-1 Ultra Sol II
Scale Inhibitor X-4 LP-55 GSI-1, GSI-2
GSI-3
P-7
Scale Inhibitor X-6 L35 Similar to
LP-55
GSI-2, GSI-1
GSI-3
P-2, P-3
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-94 July 1999
Gel Stabilizer
Liquid stabilizer for high tempera-
ture
Methanol K46 Methanol Methanol,
Liquid
Gel-Sta
Methanol Methanol
Powdered stabilizer for high temper-
atures
GS-1
GS-2
GS-3
J353 GS-1 Gel-Sta HTS-2
HTS-2
Gel Master
Stabilizer J59
Defoamer
Defoamer for aqueous uids D-37L
AntiFoamer-1
D47,
(Cold Water)
AFA-Z AGD-2 DF-11
AF-11
AF-11L
Defoamer for oil base uids J291 RFP-1 DF-1
Oil Gelling Additives
Liquid viscosier for soap type gels G-20 U27, U28
& U34
VI-10 G-5, G-6
Powdered viscosier for conven-
tional oil gels
HYCAR-2000 MO-33,
VO-15
G-17 (G-30)
Liquid viscosier for phosphate
ester gels
GO-23,24 J452 HLG-1
HLG-5
MO-55,
MO-65
OGA-1
OGA-3
OGA-4
Maxioil
Maxioil HT
Liquid activator for phosphate ester
gels
GO-53 J453
J602
J601L
HLG-2 MO-56,
MO-66, and
MO-67
OGA-2 Maxioil
Activator
High Temperature oil gelling agent MO-HT B Maxioil XHT
Biocides
Bactericide X-Cide
102 M123 (Solid)
X-cide
102W
BCS-2
BCS-3
BCS-4
Frac Cide 10,
Frac Cide 2
Biocide X-Cide 207 BE-3 BCS-1 Frac Cide 20
Bactericide Adocide M155 Adocide Adocide Adocide
Biocide Adomall M76 Adomall Adomall Adomall
Biocide X-cide
207
M-275 BE-4 Frac Cide 2,
Frac Cide 20
Dryocide
a. Especially for use in oil base slurry.
Table 6.11 - Competitive Cross Reference of Similar Additives.
Composition BJ Services
Dowell
Schlumberger NOWSCO LTD Halliburton Smith Western
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-95 July 1999
Fig. 6.36 - Simulator Results of Fluid-Element Time at Temperature vs. Volume Pumped.
Fig. 6.37 - Viscosity vs. Time-at-Temperature for Various Polymer Concentrations.
Fluid Time Range (Min.)
X30 0 - 12 (Use for Temp < Reserv.)
X30+
X40+
X50+
X60+
x40
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-96 July 1999
Table 6.12 - Selecting Polymer Loading to Achieve Desired Viscosity.
Super Gel System Time, Hours K' n' Viscosity at 170 sec
-1
X20
0
.25
.00108
.00017
.95
1.0
40
8
X30
0
.25
5
.00812
.00355
.00376
.85
.95
1.0
180
38
18
X30SGS
0
.25
.5
.75
1.0
1.5
.02262
.00700
.00339
.00188
.00111
.00049
.75
.80
.85
.90
.93
.97
300
120
74
54
37
20
X40SGS
0
.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
.05294
.01146
.00320
.00111
.00051
.65
.75
.85
.93
.97
420
152
71
37
21
X50SGS
0
.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
.06932
.02194
.00905
.00496
.00311
.00240
.00178
.00122
.65
.7
.75
.8
.85
.87
.90
.95
550
225
120
85
69
59
51
45
X60SGS
0
.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
.08823
.03130
.01486
.00875
.00564
.00428
.00342
.00286
.65
.7
.75
.8
.85
.87
.89
.90
700
321
197
150
125
105
93
82
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-97 July 1999
Fig. 6.38 - Class Example of Selecting Optimum Fluid for Time at Temperature.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-98 July 1999
Fig. 6.39 - Dowell YF-400 Fluids (Sand Laden).
Fig. 6.40 - Halliburton Versagel Fluids (Sand Laden).
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-99 July 1999
Fig. 6.41 - Western Company APOLLO II/APOLLO II H Fluids.
Fig. 6.42 - Guidelines for Pad Fluids.
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-100 July 1999
Fig. 6.43 - Scheduling Example.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
6-101 July 1999
Stage M-Gal PPG Fluid Additives
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Fluid Selection and Scheduling
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
6
6-102 July 1999
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual 7-1
Chapter
March 1995
7.1 Overview
The selection of a proppant for use in hydraulic fracturing is an economic decision requiring tech-
nical input. The purpose of this chapter is to provide the engineer with the technical capabilities to
make good economic decisions with respect to fracture design. This chapter is broken into several
sections.
First, the sources of the available fracture sands and commercial proppants are discussed. In addi-
tion, the size and quality of these materials is reviewed to provide the engineer with the technical
information required to make proppant decisions for fracture design. Next, the critical factors
which affect fracture conductivity are reviewed. Factors such as closure stress, size, concentration,
strength, shape, and gel residue effects can impact fracture conductivity and ultimately, well per-
formance. Finally, the economic aspects of proppants and/or fracture conductivity will be
reviewed.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
7
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-2 March 1995
7.2 Introduction
Historically, fracture stimulations have been performed for two reasons; to overcome the detri-
mental effects of wellbore damage and/or to stimulate the wells performance. The former reason
has been typically applied to wells in moderate to high permeability reservoirs and generally
resulted in the creation of short fractures. The latter generally resulted in the creation of long frac-
tures in wells in low permeability reservoirs. The success or failure of fracturing in either case
depended on whether or not the created fracture had adequate flow capacity so that the reservoir
fluids flowed to the fracture and then to the wellbore.
1,2
If the flow capacity of the fracture was
large by comparison to the reservoir flow capacity, tremendous performance improvements would
be realized.
The purpose of the proppant is to keep the walls of the fracture propped apart so that a conductive
path to the wellbore is retained after pumping has stopped and fluid pressure has dropped below
that required to hold the fracture open. Ideally, the proppant will provide large enough flow capac-
ity to make negligible pressure losses in the fracture during fluid production. In practice, this ideal
might not be achieved because the selection of a proppant involves many compromises imposed
by economic and practical considerations.
The propped fracture must have a conductivity at least high enough to eliminate most of the radial
flowpath that exists in an unfractured well and to allowlinear flowfrom the reservoir into the frac-
ture. This requires relatively unimpeded linear flow within the fracture to the wellbore. To accom-
plish this, the proppant must enable the propped fracture to have a permeability several orders of
magnitude larger than that of the reservoir rock.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Effect of Fracture Conductivity on Well Productivity
7-3
March 1995
7.3 Effect of Fracture Conductivity on Well Productivity
Historically, steady state performance predictions have been used by the industry to determine the
effect of fracture conductivity on well productivity. However, there are limitations to the steady
state analysis of fracturing which must be considered. One such limitation is that steady state anal-
yses exclude the economic benefits of unsteady state flow, rate acceleration, and the time value of
money. In addition, the effective wellbore radius concept is used in the steady state analysis, there-
fore, the analysis is subject to the limitations of this concept. However, steady state techniques of
Prats provide a useful method of comparing the impact of fracture conductivity on the fracturing
process.
Figure 7.1 is a plot of steady state folds of increase versus fracture half length for a 40 acre drain-
age area. This plot shows the productivity improvement associated with a 1000 md-ft fracture ver-
sus an unstimulated well in a reservoir with permeabilities of 1 and 10 md. This figure clearly
indicates that there is no economic benefit associated with increasing fracture length beyond one
hundred feet in a 10 md reservoir while in a 1 md reservoir there is some economic benefit asso-
ciated with an increased fracture length. Figures 7.2 and 7.3 show similar plots for 2000 md-ft and
3000 md-ft fractures, respectively. Analysis of these figures indicates that, for any fracture length,
increases in fracture conductivity result in increased productivity. In a 10 md reservoir, for exam-
ple, a productivity improvement of 2.2 could be realized by creating a fracture of half length 100 ft
and conductivity of 1000 md-ft. A 2.6-fold increase could be realized by creating a fracture of the
same length with a 2000 md-ft conductivity. Creation of a 3000 md-ft fracture would result in a
2.7 fold production increase over an unstimulated well. Thus, increasing fracture conductivity
from 1000 md-ft to 3000 md-ft would result in an additional 23% production increase without sig-
nificantly increasing the treatment cost. It is this concept that underlies the importance of fracture
conductivity to fracturing. Performance improvements can be realized by improving conductivity
at little or not cost.
Fig. 7.1
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

F
o
l
d
s

o
f

I
n
c
r
e
a
s
e
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-4 March 1995
Fig. 7.2
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

F
o
l
d
s

o
f

I
n
c
r
e
a
s
e
Fig. 7.3
S
t
e
a
d
y

S
t
a
t
e

F
o
l
d
s

o
f

I
n
c
r
e
a
s
e
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Commercial Proppants
7-5
March 1995
7.4 Commercial Proppants
Historical Perspective
One of the first proppants used in the early days of hydraulic fracturing during the late 1940s was
sand dredged from the Arkansas River. Initially, the sand was not cleaned and screened as todays
standards require, but as the need became evident, steps were taken to process the sand more thor-
oughly. During the mid-1950s, sand from the Saint Peter sandstone formation near Ottawa, Illi-
nois, entered the market.
As the need for a more economical and readily available fracturing sand grew, mines were opened
near Brady, Texas, in 1958, and production from the Hickory sandstone formation began to be
marketed. This sand, as well as most other high-quality sand used today, is mined from consoli-
dated sandstone formations. The mining process includes crushing, screening, and washing to sep-
arate the sandstone matrix into its individual sand grains. A wide range of particle sizes is found
in the deposits. Typically, only 20 to 30% of such deposits is found to be in a size range useful for
hydraulic fracturing applications.
The explosive growth of the hydraulic fracturing industry from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s
created shortages of fracturing sand. Supplies from the Saint Peter sandstone of Illinois were sup-
plemented by high-quality material from the Jordan, Ironton, and Galesville sandstones of Minne-
sota and Wisconsin. Similarly, sand from the Bidahochi formation in Arizona and aeolian dune
sand of Colorado augmented proppant production from the Hickory sandstone in Texas. Finally,
new sand-processing plants were constructed in Minnesota and Wisconsin specifically to produce
fracturing sand and to replace plants designed to supply sand for other applications. Table 7.1
highlights general information on available fracturing proppants. Figure 7.4 shows a plot of per-
meability versus stress for various 20/40 mesh proppants. As shown, the intermediate and high
strength proppants generally have greater retained permeabilities at higher stress levels than the
sands.
The subsequent sections will describe the physical properties of commercially available proppants
with the importance of these properties described in more detail in Section 7.5.
Commercial Fracturing Sand
Brady-Type Sand
This rounded quartz sand, also known as brown or Texas sand, is mined from the Hickory sand-
stone in central Texas near the town of Brady. The Hickory sandstone was deposited during the
Upper Cambrian Age some 500 million years ago. The color of this sand results from small
amounts of iron oxide contamination in the crystal structure. Color variation has no bearing on the
strength of this sand or on any other sand discussed here.
As mined, the sand is polycrystalline; i. e., each whole grain is composed of more than one quartz
crystal bonded together, leaving cleavage planes in the whole grain. In terms of fines generated,
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-6 March 1995
Fig. 7.4 - Plot of all Proppants and Stress.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Commercial Proppants
7-7
March 1995
the API crush resistance test typically yields from <50 to as much as 85% of the API permissible
fines. The deposit yields acceptable fracturing sand in the 20/40 mesh size range and larger. Pro-
duction in sizes smaller than 20/40 mesh is not sized to meet API recommendations. Typical phys-
ical properties, fracture permeability, and pack-width data for this sand are presented in Table 7.1.
The Bidahochi formation sand is mined from shallow, lightly consolidated lenses in eastern Ari-
zona. It was deposited during the Pliocene or Tertiary Age some 6 million years ago. This sand
contains grains of chert, which is stronger than quartz, along with rose and smoky quartz. Fractur-
ing sand from this formation is available in limited quantities in 12/20, 20/40, and 40/70 mesh
only.
The aeolian dune sand is mined in central Colorado from shallow, lightly consolidated lenses. This
sand was deposited during the Holocene Age less that 1 million years ago. The large sizes, 6/12
through 12/20 mesh, are as high in quality as those fromthe Hickory formation, but the small sizes,
16/30 through 70/140 mesh, contain so much feldspar that they produce excessive fines in the API
crush resistance test.
Table 7.1 Typical Physical Properties of Brady-Type Fracturing Sand*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 6/12** 8/16 12/20 16/30 20/40
Particle diameter range, m Standard 3350 to
1700
2360 to
1180
1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
95.7
4.2
0.1
0.0
93.1
6.6
0.3
0.0
91.0
8.5
0.5
0.0
98.5
1.0
0.5
0.1
91.6
8.0
0.4
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.6 minimum
0.6 minimum
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.8
0.6
0.7
12/3 HCI/HF solubility,
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 3.0 maximum 0.4 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.8
Silt and ne particle, FTU

Crush resistance, % nes


generated at closure stress, psi
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
250 maximum
Variable with size
22.11 maximum
105.0 maximum
1.0 maximum
20
17.9
2000
22.1
95.5
<1.0
95
13.4
2000
22.1
98.0
<1.0
120
15.5
3000
22.1
99.9
<1.0
45
8.3
3000
22.1
101.1
0.0
115
11.4
4000
22.1
100.5
0.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Sources include Saint Peter, Jordan, Galesville, and Ironton sandstones. Values shown are
averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year period.
** Available in limited quantities on special order only.

FTU = formazine turbidity units.


Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-8 March 1995
Ottawa-Type Sand
This well-rounded, very pure quartz sand exceeds API recommendations. In terms of fines gener-
ated, the API crush resistance test typically yields less than half of the maximum acceptable fines
on this sand. The sand also is monocrystalline. Crushed particles are primarily large chipped grains
rather than individual quartz crystals. Color variation is widespread in this sand, but has no impact
on its performance characteristics as a proppant. For the most part, the sand is well processed and
of high quality for fracturing applications. Typical physical properties, permeability, and pack-
width data of this sand are presented in Table 7.2.
The Saint Peter sandstone, commonly known as Ottawa sand, was deposited in the Ottawa district
of Illinois during the Middle Ordovician Age some 460 million years ago. This sand is available
in 20/40 mesh and smaller sizes only. Color variation runs from white through gray-white to pale
yellow.
The Jordan sandstone was deposited in south central Minnesota and western Wisconsin during the
Upper Cambrian Age some 500 million years ago. Jordan fracturing sand is available only in
Table 7.2 Typical Physical Properties of Ottawa-Type Fracturing Sand*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 12/20** 16/30 20/40 30/50 40/70 70/140
Particle diameter range, m Standard 1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
600 to
300
425 to
212
212 to
160
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
93.2
6.6
0.2
0.0
97.9
2.1
0.0
0.0
91.5
8.0
0.5
0.0
93.1
6.5
0.4
0.1
91.8
7.6
0.6
0.1
90.0
9.1
0.8
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.6 minimum
0.6 minimum
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.7
12/3 HCI/HF solubility,
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 3.0 maximum 1.5 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.2 2.5
Silt and ne particle, FTU
Crush resistance, % nes
generated at closure stress, psi
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
250 maximum
Variable with size
22.11 maximum
105.0 maximum
1.0 maximum
68
5.4
3000
22.1
95.5
0.0
110
1.6
3000
22.1
98.6
0.0
80
4.0
4000
22.1
102.7
0.0
60
3.3
4000
22.1
103.0
0.0
40
3.4
5000
22.1
102.7
0.0
130
2.5
5000
22.1
103.0
0.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Sources include Saint Peter, Jordan, Galesville, and Ironton sandstones. Values shown are
averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year period.
** Available in limited quantities on special order only.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Commercial Proppants
7-9
March 1995
12/20 mesh and smaller sizes. The color varies from white through gray-white to pale yellow to
brown.
The Galesville and Ironton sandstones were deposited in south central Minnesota and western
Wisconsin during the Upper Cambrian Age some 500 million years ago. Ironton fracturing sand is
available in 12/20 mesh and smaller; the Galesville sand is available in 20/40 mesh and smaller
sizes only. Its color varies from white to light tan.
Efforts to Improve on Fracturing Sand
Because of the well-recognized limitations of fracturing sand, especially at high stress levels,
efforts have been made to find a different proppant with improved performance characteristics.
Many of the deficiencies of sand relate to its brittle failure from point loading under high stress
levels. Likewise, much effort has concentrated on materials as iron shot, aluminum pellets,
quenched-glass beads, walnut hulls, plastic beads, and a vast array of high-strength and deformable
particles were manufactured in the 1960s and evaluated as potential proppants. With the single
exception of glass beads, none survived until the early 1970s because each of these proppants
failed to achieve the desired results in actual field applications.
With the drilling of deeper wells, the shortcomings of glass beads and quartzitic materials as prop-
pants became apparent. Such materials are weakened by hot formation brines and tend to fail cat-
astrophically under high closure stress. These factors accelerated the search for improved
materials, and in the mid-1970s, a high-strength ceramic proppant, sintered bauxite, was intro-
duced. The inertness and strength of sintered bauxite are caused by its major constituent, corun-
dum, a form of aluminum oxide. Although expensive, sintered bauxite retains permeability under
very high stress and severe reservoir conditions better than any other proppant available today.
The expense of sintered bauxite motivated efforts to find less costly, but useful substitutes. Under
development at the same time as sintered bauxite, curable resin-coated sand was the first such
product to find application.
Research and development on other ceramic proppants during the early 1980s produced a less
expensive proppant containing mullite, another form of aluminum oxide, in addition to corundum.
It has helped to bridge the cost-performance gap between sand and bauxite. Because of its lower
cost and high performance, this material has enjoyed widespread use since its introduction.
Improved Commercial Proppants
Sintered Bauxite
As previously described, sintered bauxite is an inert, high-strength ceramic proppant. Patented by
Cooke et al., this high-density proppant is produced by the same manufacturing techniques as
refractory ceramics and metal-working abrasive grits. The raw material is primarily high-alumina
bauxite ore from South America. The ore is first ground to a particle size less than 15 m, shaped
into small ceramic pellets using water and a binder, and, after drying and screening, fired in a kiln
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-10 March 1995
to bind the edges of the individual particles that make up each pellet. After the sintering process,
the color of the product varies from black to brown or gray. Typical physical properties, pack per-
meability, and width data for this proppant are presented in Table 7.3.
Sintered bauxite draws its strength from the unique manufacturing process and from the materials
present in the bauxite ore. Corundum, the major component of sintered bauxite, is one of the hard-
est materials known to man. It measures 9 on Mohs hardness scale. For comparison, quartz is 7
and diamond is 10. When crushed, bauxite does not shatter as completely as the sands; it simply
splits into large pieces that are still capable of providing flow capacity. This crush resistance is
caused partially by sintered bauxites elastic properties, which allow slight deformation before
failure under high stresses.
The first sintered bauxite proppants were angular in shape, which could cause increased abrasion
and failure of pumping equipment, treating lines, wellhead equipment, and chokes. Process
improvements have produced a material with roundness and sphericity values better than the best
fracturing sand and, thus, less abrasive than its predecessor. This proppant has become the standard
against which all other proppants are measured.
Table 7.3 Typical Physical Properties of Sintered Bauxite - High-Strength,
Sintered Ceramic Proppant
17
*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 12/20 16/20 20/40 40/70
Particle diameter range, m Standard 1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
452 to
212
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
96.3
3.7
0.0
0.0
95.3
4.7
0.0
0.0
94.0
6.0
0.0
0.0
95.4
4.6
0.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.7 minimum
0.7 minimum
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
12/3 HCI/HF solubility,
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 7.5 maximum 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Silt and ne particle, FTU
Crush resistance, % nes generated
at 7500 psi
at 10,000 psi
at 12,500 psi
at 15,000 psi
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
250 maximum
Variable with size and stress
28.4 maximum
140.0 maximum
1.0 maximum
80
5.4
10.6
16.8
22.5
30.88
140.0
<1.0
100
6.4
12.2
18.0
23.2
30.88
140.0
0.0
100
2.6
4.3
6.8
10.7
30.88
140.0
0.0
120
1.7
3.0
5.2
7.3
30.88
140.0
0.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Values shown are averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year period.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Commercial Proppants
7-11
March 1995
Intermediate-Density Proppant
Even though this material is often called intermediate-strength proppant, a more appropriate
termis intermediate-density proppant (IDP). The strength of this type of proppant is much closer
to that of sintered bauxite than to sand. While neither as strong nor as inert as sintered bauxite, this
material has an advantage over sintered bauxite in that it has a lower density (approaching that of
sand) than bauxite. The moderate density of these proppants makes them easier to transport and
place in the fracture than the denser sintered bauxite.
The search for a more economical replacement of sintered bauxite revealed that high-alumina,
domestic bauxitic ores could be used to produce a high-performance, sintered proppant with prop-
erties approaching those of sintered bauxite. In addition to corundum, this proppant contains mul-
lite, a less-dense mixed form of aluminum oxide. The result is a dark brown to tan proppant of
lower bulk density and lower specific gravity than bauxite. This new material is produced by man-
ufacturing techniques similar to those used for sintered bauxite. Typical physical properties, pack
permeability, and width data for this proppant are presented in Table 7.4.
Table 7.4 Typical Physical Properties of High-Strength, Intermediate-Density,
Sintered Ceramic Proppant
17
*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 12/20 16/20 20/40 40/70**
Particle diameter range, m Standard 1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
452 to
212
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
98.0
2.0
0.0
0.0
92.4
7.6
0.0
0.0
93.7
6.3
0.0
0.0
95.2
4.8
0.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.7 minimum
0.7 minimum
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.7
0.9
12/3 HCI/HF solubility,
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 7.5 maximum 4.5 4.8 6.2 5.0
Silt and ne particle, FTU
Crush resistance, % nes generated
at 7500 psi
at 10,000 psi
at 12,500 psi
at 15,000 psi
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
250 maximum
Variable with size and stress
28.4 maximum
114.0 maximum
1.0 maximum
100
6.4
13.6
19.3
26.9
26.29
113.0
<1.0
100
10.3
19.4
27.4
33.9
25.95
107.0
<1.0
100
3.2
6.0
9.8
14.3
25.62
106.0
<1.0
120
1.4
2.7
4.6
7.4
26.12
113.0
<1.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Values shown are averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year period.
** Currently available in limited quantities on special order only.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-12 March 1995
While the durability and strength of intermediate-density proppant are somewhat less than those
of sintered bauxite, performance is virtually equivalent in all but the deepest and hottest wells. At
high stress levels, the proppant breaks into large particles capable of providing good flow capacity.
The proppant particles have good resistance to corrosion by hot formation brines; their roundness
and sphericity are better than those of the best fracturing sands, while their bulk density is only
slightly higher.
Despite higher cost, intermediate-density proppants may replace sand at intermediate well depths
because of their improved performance. Within the next few years a variety of sources may be
developed to make this material widely available at lower costs.
Resin-Coated Proppants
The most commonly available resin-coated proppants are resin-coated sands. These low-density,
intermediate-strength proppants are available in two forms: curable and precured resin-coated
Ottawa-type fracturing sands. Both are manufactured by a process similar to that used to produce
coated sand for the foundry industry. Curable resin-coated sand was originally patented by Graham
et al., for use in gravel-packing operations. Precured resin-coated sand became available in 1982,
about 7 years after the first curable product was used in fracturing operations.
The emergence of a high-quality, curable resin-coated sand, along with the availability of a pre-
cured type, has led to a wide variety of fracturing applications. Although this proppant is not as
strong nor as tough as the ceramic proppants, it is a significant improvement over uncoated sand.
The plastic coating distributes point loads over a wider area on the sand grain and retards brittle
failure. As such, the product is useful at higher stress levels (e. g., in deeper wells) than conven-
tional fracturing sand.
The major application of the curable resin-coated sand is as a tail-in material to retain the sand in
producing zones that will not retain ordinary fracturing sand. The curable coating bonds the sand
grains together after they are in place in the fracture. This in-situ consolidation often prevents prop-
pant flowback, subsequent productivity loss, and damage to well equipment. Because of the con-
solidated nature of the proppant pack formed with resin-coated sand, compressive or tensile
strength is often used as the critical physical property to describe resin-coated sand rather than its
crush resistance. Typical physical properties, pack permeabilities, and width data for curable resin-
coated sand are presented in Table 7.5.
.
A curable resin coating can also be applied to proppants other than sand, and such materials as sin-
tered bauxite, intermediate-density proppant, and zirconia have all been coated and used in frac-
turing treatments. The use of a curable resin coating in these applications is largely the same as
with sand - to prevent proppant flowback.
The major application of precured resin-coated sand is to enhance the performance of sand at high
stress levels. This proppant is produced by heat curing the coating during the manufacturing pro-
cess rather than allowing curing to occur after the resin-coated sand has been pumped into place.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Commercial Proppants
7-13
March 1995
The resin coating also encapsulates the sand grains, thus, preventing the migration of crushed fines
during fluid production. It has also been shown to be resistant to destruction by hot formation
brines and crude oils at temperatures up to 300F [150C].
At low stress levels, the performance of this material is not materially different from that of sand.
At higher stress levels, however, performance of the resin-coated sand is improved considerably
over the original uncoated sand. Table 7.6 shows typical physical properties of this material.
Table 7.5 Typical Physical Properties of Curable Resin-Coated Sand - Low-Density,
Intermediate-Strength Proppant
17
*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 12/20** 16/30 20/40
Particle diameter range, m Standard 1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
95.5
4.3
0.2
0.0
98.0
2.0
0.0
0.0
94.4
5.6
0.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.7 minimum
0.7 minimum
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.8
12/3 HCI/HF solubility, wt%
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 7.5 maximum 0.5 0.6 0.5
Compressive strength, after
100 hours at 195F, psi
Tensile strength after 3
minutes at 450F, psi
Resin content, wt%
Coating Continuity, count %
Uncoated particles, wt%
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
Variable with size
Variable with size
3.6 to 4.4
98.0 minimum
0.5 maximum
21.7 maximum
100.0 maximum
0.5 maximum
1400
180.0
3.7
99.5
0.2
21.3
96.0
<1.0
2000
220.0
4.0
99.0
0.3
21.2
95.5
<1.0
2800
270.0
3.8
98.5
0.2
21.3
96.0
<1.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Values shown are averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year period.
** Currently available in limited quantities on special order only.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-14 March 1995
Table 7.6 Typical Physical Properties of Precured Resin-Coated Fracturing Sand -
Low-Density, Intermediate-Strength Proppant
17
*
API Mesh Size
API Property
Recommended
Limits 12/20** 16/30 20/40
Particle diameter range, m Standard 1700 to
850
1180 to
600
850 to
425
Sieve analysis, wt% retained
Top sieve
Between primary sieves
Second and sixth sieves
Pan
0.1 maximum
90.0 minimum
1.0 maximum
0.0
96.4
3.5
0.0
0.0
98.0
2.0
0.0
0.0
93.7
6.3
0.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
Krumbein shape factor
Roundness
Sphericity
0.7 minimum
0.7 minimum
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.9
12/3 HCI/HF solubility,
30 minutes at 150 F, wt% 7.5 maximum 0.3 0.3 0.4
Silt and ne particle, FTU
Crush resistance, %
nes generated
at 7500 psi
at 10,000 psi
at 12,500 psi
at 15,000 psi
Resin content, wt%
Coating Continuity, count %
Uncoated particles, wt%
Particle density, lbm/gal
Bulk density, lbm/ft
3
Clustering, wt%
250 maximum
Variable with size and stress
3.6 to 4.4
98.0 minimum
0.5 maximum
21.7 maximum
100.0 maximum
1.0 maximum
40
-----
11.2
-----
-----
3.7
99.5
0.2
21.2
97.4
<1.0
40
3.0
7.0
24.3
39.6
3.9
99.0
0.3
21.3
98.0
<1.0
50
0.8
3.0
7.2
11.2
4.2
99.7
0.2
21.3
98.6
<1.0
* All tests performed according to Reference 11 or 12. Values shown are averages of multiple production samples over a 4-year
period.
** Currently available in limited quantities on special order only.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-15
March 1995
7.5 Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
This section discusses five factors that significantly affect the fracture flow capacity developed
with proppants used in hydraulic fracturing. These factors can be readily evaluated in the labora-
tory, and their effect on fracture conductivity is relatively well established. Other factors to be dis-
cussed later, have not been evaluated routinely; therefore, their effects are less well known.
Closure Stress
The stress transmitted from the earth to the proppant during fracture closure causes crushing of the
proppant, reducing particle size and increasing surface area of the proppant, both of which reduce
permeability of the propped fracture. In addition to crushing, the stress applied to the proppant
pack serves to compact the particle bed, to reduce its porosity, and to reduce its permeability fur-
ther. The last effect occurs even at relatively low stress levels when breakage is not important.
Cycling of stress, as would occur with periodic shut-ins of a well, also reduces fracture conductiv-
ity irreversibly. Closure stress may also cause proppant particles to embed into the walls of a soft
formation, thus, decreasing fracture width and conductivity further.
An example of how closure stress affects permeability of different proppant materials can be seen
by comparing the permeability data for sand to sintered bauxite. Figure 7.5 shows a plot of perme-
ability versus stress for 20/40 mesh Hickory sand and Bauxite. As shown, Bauxite is clearly less
affected than sand within the stress levels tested.
The stress a proppant sees will depend on the overburden stress, the reservoir pressure, the bottom-
hole flowing pressure, the ability of the vertical stress to be transmitted to the horizontal direction
(related to Poissons ratio), tectonic stress (such as nearby mountain ranges) and to some extent,
the fracture geometry (usually a small contribution). A prefrac well test called a stress test is the
best method of estimating the stress on proppant. Or it can be estimated by the following equation:
where k = ratio of horizontal stress to vertical stress (k = (r/1-r)), OB = overburden stress (approx-
imately 1 psi/ft of depth), Pr = reservoir pressure, Pf = fluid pressure in the fracture and Pt = stress
due to tectonics (usually unknown and omitted).
A few observations can be made by studying this equation. First, as the reservoir pressure is
depleted, the stress on the proppant decreases. Second, as the well is drawn down further (Pf
becomes smaller at the wellbore), the stress on the proppant will increase. Also, since Pf increases
as one moves down the fracture (away from the wellbore), the maximum stress that a proppant will
see is early in the life of a well near the wellbore, assuming Pf does not change with time.
Proppant Particle Size
The permeability of a proppant is controlled largely by the proppant particle size, as can be seen
in Figure 7.6. This figure shows a plot of permeability versus stress for 20/40, 16/30, 12/20, and
Stress k OB Pr ( ) Pr Pf Pt + + =
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-16 March 1995
Fig. 7.5 - 20/40 Mesh Hickory versus Sintered Bauxite.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-17
March 1995
8/16 Hickory sand. As shown, the larger mesh proppants - e. g., 8/16 mesh - provide a greater con-
ductivity at lower stress levels than the more commonly used smaller sizes, such as 20/40 mesh.
As stress levels increase and particles are crushed, these differences in conductivity decrease
because particle size distribution, porosity, and surface areas become similar despite initial parti-
cle-size differences. At this point, other factors often play a more dominating role in proppant size
selection than conductivity considerations.
Consideration of proppant size is important in the design of fracturing treatments because a mini-
mum fracture width is needed to allow the proppant to enter the fracture. The generally accepted
values for this so-called admittance criterion require fracture widths in the range of two to three
times the largest grain diameter. An admittance criterion based on twice the largest grain diameter
requires fracture widths of 0.187, 0.066, and 0.033 in. for 8/16, 20/40, and 40/70 mesh proppants,
respectively. The largest of these values may be difficult to achieve in very deep wells with forma-
tions having high bottomhole fracturing pressures and usually requires the use of smaller proppant
for successful completion of the fracturing treatment.
Additionally, it should be thoroughly understood that proppant transport must be considered dur-
ing the selection of the size of the propping agent. Even though a 12/20 mesh proppant may be
much more conductive than a 20/40 mesh proppant, the smaller proppant is much easier to trans-
port deeply into a fracture than the larger proppant.
Proppant Concentration
The term proppant concentration refers to the amount of proppant per unit area of fracture wall
(measured on one side only). In customary units, it is expressed in pounds of proppant per square
foot of one wall of the fracture. If proppant settles to the bottom of a vertical fracture as it enters,
the concentration will be determined by the width of the fracture at the time of entry (i. e., during
pumping). If the proppant is suspended in the fracturing fluid until the fracture closes, concentra-
tion will be determined by both the width during pumping and the concentration of proppant in the
fluid.
Fracture conductivity increases with increasing concentration of proppant in the fracture.
Figure 7.7 shows a plot of fracture conductivity versus proppant concentration developed for 20/40
Ottawa sand at an in-situ stress of 5000 psi.
Proppant Strength
The strength of proppants is of major concern in the design of propped fractures. Historically, this
strength has been expressed in terms of the load required to crush a single grain of proppant divided
by the diameter squared of its contact area at the point of crushing.
Another test, the API crush resistance test, was designed to determine the relative strength of prop-
pants in packs and has been tested and adopted by API for testing sands to be used in hydraulic
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-18 March 1995
Fig. 7.6 - 20/40, 16/30, 12/20, 8/16 HIckory.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-19
March 1995
Fig. 7.7 - 20/40 Ottawa Showing Effect of Concentration on Conductivity.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-20 March 1995
fracturing. The API test uses an apparatus for imposing a sustained load on a proppant pack. The
degree of size reduction sustained by the proppant is taken as an inverse measure of proppant
strength.
The API crush resistance test is a more complex measure of strength than that described above for
single particles. The values obtained are influenced by grain shape, particle-size distribution, pack-
ing arrangement, and other attributes of the particle pack. Although these factors are thought to
make the test more representative of proppant performance under field conditions than the single-
particle test, sensitivity of the measurement to several pack attributes makes the test more difficult
to reproduce, and small variations in results (e. g., 2 or 3%) are considered insignificant in critical
comparisons.
Figure 7.8 shows the relationship of closure stress to flow capacity of various proppants, which is
determined primarily by proppant strength. This figure shows that Hickory sand has greater per-
meability at lowstress compared to Ottawa sand. This effect results fromthe fact that Hickory sand
has a larger sand distribution (20/30 mesh particles predominate) as compared to Jordan sand, as
well as the fact that Hickory sand is more angular. These attributes result in Hickory sand provid-
ing greater permeability than Jordan sand up to nearly 5000 psi stress.
Effect of Proppant Type on Flow Capacity
Closure Stress, psi in 1000's
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
,

k
o
,

d
a
r
c
y
0 2 8 10 14
1,000
400
200
100
60
40
20
1
6
600
10
6
4
2
Intermediate Density
Sintered Ceramic Proppant
Zirconia
Sintered Bauxiye
Frac Sand
Ottawa Type
Precured Resin-
Coated Sand
Frac Sand
Brady Type
4 12
Sintered Bauxite
Fig. 7.8 - All Proppants (non-Ultrafrac).
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-21
March 1995
Above 5000 psi [34.5 MPa] closure stress, some of the largest grains break into smaller particles.
Thus, at higher stresses, Ottawa sand, which had not broken as much as Brady sand, is seen to have
the higher proppant-pack permeability. While the conductivity measurements on which these
results are based are very sensitive to proppant-pack attributes and difficult to reproduce, the com-
parison cited is from measurements made in the same laboratory and therefore are as comparable
as current measurement techniques permit.
Proppant Grain Shape
Roundness and sphericity are proppant particle properties that affect performance. Their impor-
tance depends somewhat on the stress level at which the proppant is to be used.
Because the surface stresses are more uniform, a well-rounded, spherical particle is capable of car-
rying higher loads without crushing than a less-rounded particle. Therefore, at high stress levels, a
high degree of roundness and sphericity contribute to higher proppant particle does not pack as
well as a well-rounded particle and, thus, has more porosity and correspondingly greater perme-
ability. An example of this phenomenon was described previously. Hickory sand, which is some-
what more angular than Ottawa sand, has slightly better flow capacity below about 5000 psi
[34.5 MPa] than Ottawa sand, although the more rounded Ottawa sand is superior in proppant-
pack permeability at higher stress levels.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-22 March 1995
7.6 Other Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
This section discusses five additional factors which typically have an adverse effect on fracture
conductivity. The full effect of these factors on future treatment design is yet to be determined.
Embedment
If proppant particles penetrate the walls of the fracture, the effective width of the fracture, and
thereby the conductivity, is decreased. Not only is the width of the fracture decreased by embed-
ment, but fine particles are generated by failure of the formation rock. These fine particles may
also contribute to the loss of fracture conductivity.
An attempt to assess the severity of embedment has been made by ball-point penetrometer tests of
formation rock. These tests are not as important as was earlier thought because in most modern
fracture designs the proppant pack is many particles thick in the fracture. The intrusion of the prop-
pant into the fracture wall represents only a small fraction of the proppant-to-proppant interaction.
However, in soft formations such as North Sea Chalks, proppant embedment can be significant and
fracture designs are modified to increase fracture width and minimize the detrimental effects of its
occurrence.
Fracturing-Fluid Residues
The pore space of proppants packed in a fracture is sometimes decreased by the deposition of a
residue from water-based fracturing fluids. Such residue may cause a drastic decrease in fracture
conductivity under certain conditions. The problem is most pronounced when the volume of resi-
due from the polymer is higher, when the concentration of proppant in the closed fracture is lower,
and when stress on the fracture is higher which causes lower porosity. Figures 7.9 and 7.10 show
pictures of the residue fromborate and zirconate crosslinked fluid systems, respectively. These fig-
ures show the proppant pack damage that occurs due to residue and also indicate that this damage
is minimized by using borate crosslinkers.
The most common residue is a product of the degradation of water-soluble polymers used to build
viscosity in fracturing fluids. Service companies have devoted much effort to reducing polymer
residues in fracturing fluids. Recent research has focused on developing more efficient thickeners
with more soluble degradation products. Some of the detrimental effects of residue deposition can
be alleviated by minimizing polymer concentrations, using higher proppant concentrations in flu-
ids that suspend the proppant, using foam or emulsion fluids, and avoiding conditions of extreme
proppant crushing. STIMLAB has developed a program PREDICTK (available from EPTG
Fracture Applications Team) which tabulates available data comparing retained permeabilities
after breaking and cleanup of various generic fracturing-fluid types. The data are presented as
retention factors that can be applied to API-type short-term permeability data to obtain a usable
value of proppant-pack flow capacity. The retained permeability includes the effects of time, tem-
perature, and fluid residues.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Other Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-23
March 1995
Inspection of this program reveals a direct comparison of the effects of increasing gellant loading
for a titanate cross-linked hydroxypropyl guar gum (HPG) type fluid. Increasing gellant from 40
to 50 lbm/1000 gal [4793 to 5991 b/m
3
] decreases retained permeability by an additional 15%.
Further reduction is encountered by a gellant increase from 50 to 60 lbm/1000 gal [5991 to
7190 g/m
3
] of about 15%.
Another comparison of fluid effects, i. e., guar gumvs HPG, shows little difference in retained per-
meability. Virtually no difference is seen between titanate cross-linked fluids and those linked with
zirconates.
Fracture closure, fluid leakoff, and viscosity breaking processes have a dramatic effect on cleanup
and regained permeability of the proppant pack. Breaking times of 2, 10, and 24 hours are com-
pared for a generic cross-linked fluid. Slow and fast breaks are compared for gelled oil. The trend
is the same: more rapid breaks tend to be more effective in terms of regained permeability.
In a comparison of the damaging effects of different types of generic fracturing fluids, one type
stands out as being the least damaging: foam fracturing fluids. These fluids, composed mainly of
Fig. 7.9 - Borate Crosslinked Fluid System.
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-24 March 1995
a gas and minor amounts of gelled water, permit a proppant pack to regain 70 to 90% of its poten-
tial flow capacity.
Fines Movement
The fine particles created by grain failure at higher stress levels lead to lower proppant-pack per-
meability. The particle-size distributions resulting from such crushed particles have been investi-
gated by several authors and their effects on fracture conductivity reported. Fine particles have
been shown to migrate through the propped fracture and to plug the pore throats, thereby reducing
fracture conductivity. The long-term decreased permeability of sand proppant reported may be
caused at the least partially by movement of preexisting fines with continued flow through the
sand.
Non-Darcy Flow
For non-Darcy flow, the pressure drop in the fracture can be expressed by
Fig. 7.10 - Zirconate Crosslinked Fluid
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Other Factors Affecting Fracture Conductivity
7-25
March 1995
(7.1)
where
p = pressure,
L
f
= length of proppant pack in direction of flow,
= viscosity,
v = velocity,
k
f
= permeability,
= turbulence factor, and
= fluid density.
The second term of the equation, with coefficient , expresses the increased pressure gradient as a
result of deviations from Darcys law. Values of have been measured for a variety of sand sizes
at different values of stress.
Non-Darcy effects can substantially reduce the effective fracture conductivity in high-flow-rate
gas wells. This reduction in conductivity will decrease the wells PI and can complicate the anal-
ysis of pressure-transient tests. To analyze wells properly where non-Darcy flow affects the pres-
sure distribution in and around the fracture, a reservoir simulator that includes non-Darcy flow
must be used by the analyst.
p L
f
v k
f
( ) ( )v
2
+ =
Proppants and Fracture Conductivity
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
7
7-26 March 1995
7.7 Economic Proppant Selection
Successful hydraulic fracturing requires the integration of technical proppant data with economics
to allow the development and implementation of an optimum fracture design. To facilitate this
optimization effort, the Fracture Applications Team of the Exploration and Production Technol-
ogy Group (EPTG) has developed a fracture optimization tool, ULTRAFRAC. The critical factors
affecting fracture conductivity, described in the previous section, such as closure stress, proppant
size, proppant concentration, strength, embedment, fracturing-fluid residues can each be reviewed
both from a technical and economic perspective with ULTRAFRAC. For aid in the use of this pro-
gram, please contact Larry K. Britt (8-422-3958) or Sandra Dougherty (8-422-3332) for assis-
tance.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8-1
Chapter
July 1993
8.1 Introduction To Fracturing Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic fracturing, as with other drilling, completion, and reservoir behavior problems, is com-
plicated by the fact that processes cannot be directly observed. For describing reservoir behavior,
this deficiency has been overcome by the development over the past 50 years of analyses based on
wellbore pressure and flow rate. But, only in the last few years has similar analyses for fracturing
been introduced and successfully applied.
History
Shortly after the introduction of hydraulic fracturing and its acceptance by the industry, the impor-
tance of fracturing pressure data was recognized, as evidenced by a quotation from Godbey and
Hodges
1
By obtaining the actual pressure on the formation during a fracture treatment, and if the
inherent tectonic stresses are known, it should be possible to determine the type of fracture
created.
Later, fracturing pressure and the relation between pressure and in-situ stresses were inherently
included in pioneering model development work of Khristianovic and Zheltov,
2
Perkins and Kern,
3
and Geertsma and de Klerk
4
during the 1950s and 1960s. However, it was still several years later
before the analysis of fracturing pressure data started to become an accepted industry practice.
In 1978, Amoco Production Company initiated a coordinated program of field data collection
5
and
analysis to improve the understanding of the mechanics of the fracturing process. Much of this
understanding had not changed since the early 1960s and was being severely tested by ever larger
and more expensive treatments. A series of papers at the annual meeting of SPE in 1979 presented
results from this program, including a paper by Nolte and Smith
6
which first introduced a basis for
the interpretation of pressure behavior during a fracture treatment, and one by Nolte
7
for interpret-
ing pressure decline after the treatment.
The paper by Nolte and Smith presented a means for inferring periods of confined-height exten-
sion, uncontrolled height growth, and, more importantly, identification of a critical pressure.
When a treatment reaches the critical pressure, fracture extension is reduced significantly and a
pressure (screenout) condition or undesired fracture height growth can follow. Nolte and Smith
demonstrated in the paper that a log-log plot of net fracturing pressure (above closure stress) vs.
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
8
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-2
July 1993
treating time could be used to identify periods of unrestricted extension, confined height, excessive
height growth, and restricted penetration. This plot and technique has been used extensively since
its introduction by both operators and service companies to determine fracture characteristics and
geometry, and as an evaluation tool for optimizing treatment designs.
Nolte
7
also presented analyses permitting some of the parameters that quantify a fracture and the
fracturing process to be estimated from the pressure decline following fracturing. At the time this
work was presented, there was no direct or simple procedure for evaluating the basic parameters
controlling a fracture treatment. Procedures were presented for quantifying fluid loss coefficient,
fracture length and width, fluid efficiency, and time for the fracture to close from the fracturing
pressure decline. The minifrac procedure was introduced for obtaining these parameters for use
in designing the actual fracture treatment.
The analysis procedures from these two papers
6,7
have been used extensively by the industry to
evaluate fracture treatments related to tight gas massive hydraulic fracturing,
8-10
waterflood
wells,
11
moderate permeability oil wells,
12
and geothermal formations.
13
The work by Nolte and
Smith was extended to include analysis for determining proppant and fluid schedules from the
fluid efficiency when little or no information is available,
14
e.g., wildcat area. In addition, theoret-
ical work has extended the analyses to cover the three popular 2-D fracture geometry models,
15
to
cover more complex geometries involving fracture height growth,
16
and to consider such phenom-
ena as pressure dependent fluid loss.
17
In recent years, the service companies have built computer
treatment monitoring vehicles for use on-site in collecting and analyzing fracturing pressure data
using the analysis techniques presented by Nolte and Smith.
18
Similarity to Pressure Transient Analysis
Analysis of fracturing pressure response is analogous to pressure transient analysis in reservoir
engineering. In both cases the pressure response resulting from fluid flow in rock can be inter-
preted using basic principles to provide insights into a complicated physical process and provide
the basis for rational decision making. In both cases the same basic principles apply - continuity
of flow (e.g., mass balance), fluid flow resistance (for fracturing, width squared is equivalent to
permeability in porous media), and system compressibility. Another important parallel is that,
although the principles remain the same for all applications, each application in a new area is dif-
ferent and requires additional data collection and the participation of experienced personnel. How-
ever, an important difference is that pressure analysis of reservoirs is a mature discipline while the
application to fracturing is still in its infancy.
Fig. 8.1 shows the first recording of bottomhole pressure during and after a fracture treatment. The
analogy to transient pressures in reservoirs can be seen in the figure with increasing pressure dur-
ing injection and the pressure falloff or decline after shutdown. The figure also shows that during
the first half of the treatment, the pressure was increasing, while during the last half of the treat-
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To Fracturing Pressure Analysis
8-3 July 1993
ment, the pressure remained essentially constant, e.g., a critical pressure was reached. This period
might be interpreted that the increasing pressure indicates extension at essentially constant height,
with subsequent increasing height during the constant pressure period. During the treatment, the
rock was confining fluid at a pressure up to 1400 psi above the in-situ rock stress of the target for-
mation. During the initial portion of the decline (41-44 hours), the fracture is closing due to fluid
loss with the rate of loss proportional to the rate of pressure decline. The increased rate of pressure
decline after 44 hours is due to the increasing stiffness of the fracture closing on the proppant at
the wellbore. This time is significant for two reasons -- the propped width can be inferred from the
net pressure, and the well could be backflowed with minimum proppant production. Beyond
44 hours, the fracture is essentially closed on proppant and the pressure decline reflects reservoir
parameters as pressure declines back to initial conditions. At 56 hours, pressure has decayed back
to initial reservoir pressure.
The following discussion presents the basis for and examples of fracturing pressure analysis and
design. Also included are procedures for the successful field application of this technology.
Fig. 8.1 - Example of Fracturing Related Pressures.
Bottomhole Treating Pressure (BHTP) (psi)
9000
8000
7000
6000
5000
(50MPc)
Fracture
Treatment
Fracture
Closing
Transient Reservoir
Press. Near Wellbore
Frac. Closes
on Prop
at Well,
P
e
Propped
Width
Reservoir Press.
Pressure Decline
Pressure From
Bottomhole Bomb
Inferred Pressure
P
e
Net Fracture
Pressure
= P
bh
-D
c
Closure Press, P
c
= Horiz. Rock Stress
38 40 42 44 46 48 50 56 58
Clock Time (hrs)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-4
July 1993
8.2 Fracture Closure Stress
Fracturing pressure analysis is based entirely on interpreting the net fracturing pressure, e.g.,
treating pressure above the minimum in-situ stress (the fracture closure pressure or closure stress)
of the target formation. Thus an accurate knowledge of closure stress is essential to the technology.
The term closure pressure is defined as the fluid pressure required to initiate the opening of an
existing fracture. This pressure is equal to, and counteracts, the stress in the rock perpendicular to
the fracture. Since the fracture preferentially opens perpendicular to the minimum in-situ stress,
since any other direction would require a higher pressure, closure pressure equals the minimum
in-situ stress. In the analysis of bottomhole treating pressure while fracturing, closure pressure is
analogous to the flowing bottomhole pressure measured during well tests, e.g., it is a base pressure
above which pressure analysis is performed.
Closure pressure is equal to or less than the breakdown pressure required to initiate a fracture and
less than the pressure required to extend an existing fracture (fracture extension pressure or frac-
ture parting pressure). An upper bound for closure pressure might be estimated from the initial
shut-in pressure (ISIP) after a small volume acid or prepad injection. An upper bound can also be
found from the breakpoint on a step-rate injection test (fracture parting pressure or fracture exten-
sion pressure). However, for quantitative analysis, a more definitive value is needed. While other
methods such as logs and core analysis, Chap. 10, exist to measure or estimate in-situ fracture clo-
sure stress, the only definitive data for pressure analysis comes from some type of injection test,
e.g., we must hydraulically fracture the rock in order to measure the data needed for hydraulic frac-
turing pressure analysis. For measuring closure stress, three basic types of tests are used: (1)
pump-in/decline tests, (2) step-rate injection tests (used to measure fracture extension pressure),
and (3) pump-in/flowback tests.
Microfrac Tests
Microfrac tests are a special type of pump-in/decline test used to measure closure stress in a small,
discrete zone. The test may be conducted in open-hole sections by isolating the test interval with
inflatable packers; however, for most commercial fracturing cases, testing is conducted by perfo-
rating a short (1 to 2 ft) interval of casing, typically at 4 to 6 shots per foot with a 60 or 90 perfo-
ration phasing.
These types of stress tests are discussed thoroughly by Warpinski
19
and McLennan,
20
and an ideal
test might appear as seen in Fig. 8.2. Tests typically might consist of injecting 20 gallons of water
at 5 gpm, the basic theory being that, after injecting a small volume (e.g., the term microfrac) of
low viscosity fluid at a low rate, the ISIP (instantaneous shut-in pressure) will be a very close
approximation to the actual closure pressure. In fact, where a clear ISIP exists as idealized in
Fig. 8.2, or seen for real data in Fig. 8.3, selecting closure pressure as equal to the ISIP may be an
acceptable approximation. However, as emphasized by Warpinski,
19
tests must be repeated several

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Fracture Closure Stress
8-5 July 1993
times in order to ensure that the value is repeatable. Generally, multiple repeat tests tend to reduce
any influence of rock strength since the fracture is no longer being extended but only reopened.
This will tend to make an ISIP more definitive and easier to pick, and, if the value is also repeat-
able, then a good value for closure stress has probably been found.
However, it should be realized that the instantaneous shut-in pressure is always an upper bound for
closure pressure since a fracture cannot shut instantly when pumping is stopped. Therefore, pick-
ing an ISIP value and making use of this value must be done with care. Also in some instances, a
definitive ISIP is never realized and other analysis methods must be used to determine fracture clo-
sure pressure.
The most common analysis procedure, and the procedure recommended here, is to plot pressure
vs. the square root of shut-in time. A change in slope indicates a drastic change in the linear flow
behavior, and is taken to indicate the fracture closing. For example, Fig. 8.4 shows a cased hole
Fig. 8.2 - Ideal Microfrac Stress Test.
Fig. 8.3 - Microfrac Stress Test with Clear ISIP.
First Cycle
Second Cycle
Initial Breakdown (Pb
1
)
Secondary Breakdown
Pressure (Pb
2
)
Propagation Pressure Propagation Pressure
Shut-in Pressure (Ps
1
) Shut-in Pressure (Ps
1
)
Time
B
o
t
t
o
m
h
o
l
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
ISIP
7500.000
6750.000
6000.000
5250.000
4500.000
3750.000
3000.000
0.0000 2.500 5.000 7.500 10.000 12.500 15.000 17.500 20.000 22.500 25.000
Time (minutes)
B
o
t
t
o
m
h
o
l
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
p
s
i
g
)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-6
July 1993
microfrac stress test conducted in the Mesaverde formation of the Rocky Mountains - and clearly
no definitive ISIP can be picked. However, plotting the pressure falloff vs. square root of shut-in
time shows a definitive change in slope, and closure pressure is chosen as identified in the figure.
For this Mesaverde well, closure stress was measured by Warpinski
21
in several intervals, and this
data was reanalyzed as discussed by Miller and Smith
22
using the reservoir type analysis of plot-
ting pressure vs. the square root of shut-in time. As seen in Fig. 8.5, agreement between the two
analysis methods was nearly perfect. Thus, picking an ISIP value does give a good value for clo-
sure stress. However, in many cases an ISIP could not be identified, whereas the square root plot
gave a definitive value and in virtually every case, the reservoir type, square root plot analysis
yielded a more subjective, definitive analysis.
Fig. 8.4 - Bottomhole Pressure, Square Root Time and Elapsed Time Since Shut-In.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Closure Stress
8-7 July 1993
Pump-In/Decline Test
As discussed on page 8.4, microfrac tests are a special class of pump-in/decline tests used to mea-
sure stress in small, discrete formation intervals, and these micro tests typically use small vol-
umes of water injected at rates measured in gallons per minute. However, often it is more practical
for commercial fracturing applications to measure the closure stress over the entire intended com-
pletion interval. The basic test procedure is, of course, identical to a microfrac type test; however,
volumes are now measured in barrels and injection rate in bpm. For example, a typical test might
involve injecting 50 barrels of water at 20 bpm. The important, indeed critical, point is that the
injected volume and injection rate must be guaranteed to be sufficient to create and/or open a
hydraulic fracture. For this reason, it is often desirable to proceed the actual stress test with a
step-rate injection test as discussed on page 8.10.
For a pump-in/decline test, closure pressure is determined by injecting a volume of fluid at a rate
sufcient to create a fracture; then shutting in the well and allowing pressure to naturally decline
to below closure pressure (e.g., allow the fracture to close). For testing an entire completion inter-
val, this type of test is most useful in moderate to high permeability formations, where closure
occurs reasonably quickly. For very low permeability zones, e.g., tight reservoirs, closure time
may be so long that closure becomes difficult to identify. For these cases, pump-in/flowback tests
may be preferable as discussed on page 8.9.
Testing is usually conducted with the base fluid being used to prepare the fracturing fluid, e.g., KCl
water, diesel, produced formation fluid, etc. The pump-in portion of the test is performed at the
fracturing rate, and in most cases consists of 50 to 100 barrels of fluid. While a pump-in/decline
test over an entire completion interval may be procedurally similar to the microfrac tests discussed
Fig. 8.5 - Comparison of ISIP vs. Root Time Analysis of Microfrac Stress Tests.
0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1
0.8
0.9
1
1.1
0.7
ISIP Pick (psi/foot)
R
o
o
t

T
i
m
e

A
n
a
l
y
s
i
s

(
p
s
i
/
f
o
o
t
)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-8
July 1993
earlier, a simple ISIP cannot be used to approximate closure pressure. Because of the larger vol-
umes and higher rates needed to ensure that the completion interval is fractured, the injection pres-
sure can easily be several hundred psi above closure pressure; thus, special analysis is mandatory
in order to identify fracture closure.
Since the test is, hopefully, being conducted in a porous, permeable formation, the first analysis is
to plot a Horner plot of the pressure decline as seen in Fig. 8.6. For this plot, pressure is plotted on
the y axis on a linear scale, and Horner time, [t
p
+t
s
]/t
s
, is plotted on the x axis on a logarith-
mic scale. If a semilog straight line is starting to develop as seen in Fig. 8.6, and if this line extrap-
olates to a reasonable value for reservoir pressure, then radial or pseudoradial flow may be
affecting the pressure decline behavior. In order for this pseudoradial flow to start developing, the
fracture must already be closed, thus pressure data falling on the semilog straight line is excluded
from the closure stress analysis. Next, the pressure falloff (prior to the point where pseudoradial
flow may be starting to affect the decline) is plotted vs. the square root of shut-in time as idealized
in Fig. 8.7. Initially, pressure should decline on a straight line indicating linear flow in the forma-
tion. The point where the fracture closes should cause a drastic change in the flow system and a
distinct change in slope on the square root plot. Note, however, that the change in slope may be
either up or down, depending on the relationship of the fracture's variables and those of the
reservoir. This implies a theoretical possibility that no change in slope may occur. Thus this anal-
ysis method should be treated with caution. In particular, this type of problem is most likely to
occur in low permeability formations where closure time is extended. In such situations, the
pump-in/flowback test, discussed below, should be utilized.
Fig. 8.6 - Illustrative Horner Plot for Shut-In
Decline Test.
Fig. 8.7 - Illustrative Root Time Analysis for
Closure Stress.
B
o
t
t
o
m
h
o
l
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
SHUT-IN DECLINE PUMP IN
POSSIBILITIES
t
s
(Shut-In Time)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Closure Stress
8-9 July 1993
Pump-In/Flowback Test
For low permeability, tight formations, the time-to-close for a pump-in/decline test may be quite
long, making identification of fracture closure (e.g., identifying two distinct slopes on a square root
plot) difficult. For these cases, a pump-in/flowback test (PI/FB) may be used to accelerate fracture
closure-- thus making closure pressure more identifiable.
For a PI/FB test, the injection is immediately followed by a flowback at a constant rate, typically
through a flowback manifold similar to that shown in Fig. 8.8. The constant flowback rate is main-
tained with an adjustable choke or valve and should be metered with a low-rate flowmeter. The
primary purpose of the flowback is to flow back at a rate on the order of the rate at which fluid is
leaking off to the formation. For this flowback rate, a characteristic reverse curvature occurs in the
pressure decline at closure pressure as shown by the middle curve in Fig. 8.9. The proper or ideal
flowback rate must be determined through trial and error, performing the first flowback at 1 to 2
bpm and changing the rate until the S-shaped character of the pressure decline is achieved. Once
the desired rate is achieved, at least one additional PI/FBtest should be performed to ensure repeat-
ability.
The principle behind a pump-in/flowback test is illustrated in Fig. 8.10. During the early stages of
the flowback pressure decline (A), the fracture and formation are dominating behavior and the
pressure decline is normal. When pressure declines equal closure pressure at the wellbore, the
fracture begins to close in the near well region. However, this closure is over a limited distance and
since even a closed fracture possesses significant permeability, there will be no sudden, drastic
change in pressure decline behavior. Also, it should be noted that away from the well the fracture
is still open; driving fluid to the wellbore and preventing any sudden increase in the rate of pressure
decline.
With further pressure drawdown in the wellbore, the effective stress (e.g., fracture closure stress
minus pore pressure in the fracture) acting over the closed portion of the fracture increases,
Fig. 8.8 - Flowback Manifold for PI/FB Stress Tests.
Digital Readout
Disposal
Pit
Adjustable Choke
or Gate Valve
Digital Readout
2 inch
Flowmeter
1 inch
Flowmeter
Flowback
Line
Gate Valve
or Lo-Torque
Valve
Wellhead
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-10
July 1993
decreasing the permeability of the closed fracture. This begins to reduce flowinto the wellbore and
the rate of pressure decline starts to accelerate as the flowback is increasingly coming from simply
the pressurized fluid in the well. The acceleration of the rate of pressure decline (B) creates the
characteristic reverse curvature behavior (C), and the point where this acceleration starts is
identified as fracture closure pressure, e.g., the point where the fracture first begins to close at the
wellbore.
An additional analysis procedure for PI/FB tests is a derivative plot such as seen in Fig. 8.11. For
this plot the change in pressure with respect to time, dP/dt, is plotted vs. time. Since closure is iden-
tified at the point where the rate of decline accelerates, closure would be identified with the max-
imum point on the derivative plot. For the example in the figure, the derivative is constant for a
fairly long period time, e.g., pressure is declining linearly with time. In such a case, closure should
probably be identified at the end of the constant derivative period, e.g., at the point where the rate
of pressure decline begins to accelerate. For this case, it would probably be advisable to run an
additional case with a higher flowback rate to achieve a more identifiable maximum on the deriv-
ative plot, and thus a more distinct value for closure pressure.
Step-Rate Injection Test
As mentioned previously, stress testing of a gross completion interval should generally be pre-
ceded by a step-rate injection test (SRT). This test will yield a value for the fracture extension pres-
sure which is a good upper bound for closure pressure, typically being 100 to 200 psi about closure
pressure. Also, by noting the rate where fracture extension begins, a minimum rate is determined
for subsequent injection/decline or PI/FB tests.
The SRT procedure is similar to that performed for reservoir flooding purposes. Fluid is pumped
at incrementally increasing rates and the final injection pressure recorded for each rate is plotted
vs. rate as seen in Fig. 8.12. A typical test may include rates ranging from 0.25 bpm to 20 bpm.
Fig. 8.9 - Illustrative PI/FB Stress Test Analysis (linear p vs. t plot).
Time
B
o
t
t
o
m
h
o
l
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Closure Stress
8-11 July 1993
Fig. 8.10 - Pump-In/Flowback Test.
Pressure Holding Frac Open
k = Innite
Pressure = P
c
k = Finite
Flowback
Leakoff
Pressure < P
c
so frac is stressed
k = very small
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-12
July 1993
The resultant pressures at each rate are plotted vs. rate and the breakpoint is identified as fracture
extension pressure. For best results each rate should be maintained for a fixed period of time (typ-
ically 2 to 5 minutes). Also, because of the very low rates at the beginning of the test, the proper
pumping equipment is required (e.g., low rate acid injection pump), equipped with a small ID
flowmeter for accurate metering. Conventional fracture pumping units have a difficult time main-
taining constant rates at less than 2 bpm.
Fig. 8.11 - Example PI/FB Test with Derivative.
a) Start Injection, 5 BPM
b) Increase Injection to 7 BPM, Start 2 BPM Flowback
c) Stop Injection, Maintain Constant Flowback at 2 BPM
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracture Closure Stress
8-13 July 1993
Fig. 8.12 - Illustrative Step-Rate Injection Test.
Table 8.1 - Summary of Analysis Methods
In-Situ Stress Tests
Microfrac Test (measure stress in small, discrete interval)
Pick ISIP
Plot Pressure vs. Square Root of Time
Pump-In/Decline Test (stress in gross completion interval)
Horner Plot (to identify any pseudoradial flow effects)
Plot Pressure vs. Square Root of Shut-In Time
(distinct change in slope identifies closure)
Pump-In/Flowback Test (stress in gross completion interval)
Plot Pressure vs. Time
(reverse curvature identifies closure,
looking for broad curvature down, NOT wiggles)
Superimpose plot of dP/dt vs. time
(maximum on derivative plot identifies closure
or end of flat derivative)
Step-Rate-Injection Test (measure extension pressure)
Plot Pressure at End of Each Rate Step vs. Rate
(break indicates start of fracture extension and
sets a good upper bound for closure pressure)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-14
July 1993
8.3 Bottomhole Treating Pressure
Bottomhole pressure is the single parameter that can be measured during a fracturing treatment to
interpret the fracturing process. All other parameters controlling fracture growth can be related to
this pressure. Pressure in the fracture is a function of formation parameters and the fluid system
used to create the fracture. If the pertinent rock and fluid properties can be defined, the behavior
of bottomhole treating pressure (BHTP) while fracturing can provide valuable insight into fracture
growth/geometry characteristics.
The equation used to define fracturing pressure is
where net pressure, p
net
, is the total fluid pressure minus closure pressure, and the closure pressure
is equal to, and counteracts, the horizontal rock stress perpendicular to the fracture plane. Other
parameters in the equation are rock modulus, E', which can be obtained from laboratory core data;
fracturing fluid viscosity, ; injection rate, Q; and created fracture height and length, H and L. This
relation predicts that net pressure should increase with time as fracture length increases, provided
fracture height is near constant or restricted. However, variations fromthis prediction of increasing
pressure have been observed in numerous cases. The following discussion presents interpretation
techniques to interpret and analyze these pressure variations to aid in defining the fracturing pro-
cess for different situations.
Nolte-Smith Log-Log Interpretation
A log-log plot of net fracturing pressure vs. treating time has proven to be a powerful tool for inter-
preting the fracturing process. From pressure behavior observations during fracturing, Nolte and
Smith
6
presented four distinct pressure modes, as seen in Fig. 8.13, which permit the identifica-
tion of periods of confined-height extension (Mode I), constant height growth (Mode II), restricted
extension (Mode III), and uncontrolled height growth (Mode IV). These interpretations are based
on combining historical work performed by Perkins & Kern
3
and Nordgren,
23
showing that net
pressure is proportional to time raised to an exponent as seen in Fig. 8.14.
For actual fluids used for fracturing, the exponent, e, can be bounded for cases of high and low
fluid loss, and where the fluids non-Newtonian power law exponent, n, varies from 1 for a New-
tonian fluid to n = 0.5 for a highly non-Newtonian fluid. For the Newtonian fluid with high fluid
loss, the exponent, e, would equal 1/8. For a highly non-Newtonian fluid with low fluid loss, e
would be 1/4. This defines the boundaries for Mode I fracture extension, as seen in Fig. 8.15, and
the following discussion centers on the four characteristic slopes shown in Fig. 8.16.
P
net
E'
H
----- QL [ ]
1/4
=
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bottomhole Treating Pressure
8-15 July 1993
Mode I - A log-log net pressure to pump time slope of 1/8 to 1/4, as discussed above, implies that
the fracture is propagating with confined height, unrestricted extension, that fluid loss is
linear flowdominated, and that injection rate and fluid viscosity are reasonably constant.
These assumptions comply with the Perkins and Kern fracture growth model.
Fig. 8.16 shows the net treating pressure for three fracture treatments, the initial portion of each
treatment indicating confined height, unrestricted extension (Mode I). Beyond this portion,
though, the treating pressure deviates fromthe 1/8 to 1/4 slope, mentioned above - confined height,
unrestricted extension, linear flow fluid loss, and constant rate and viscosity. For cases 1 and 3 in
the figure, the slope is nearly flat, indicating near constant pressure which characterizes Mode II
behavior.
Fig. 8.13 - Nolte-Smith Plot Slope Interpretation.
Fig. 8.14 - Theoretical Basis for Fracturing Pressure Interpretation.
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-16
July 1993
n' is Non-Newtonian Fluid Power Law Exponent
n' = 1 n' = 0.5
e Newtonian Fluid Very Non-Newtonian Fluid
High Loss 1/2(2n'+2) 1/8 1/6
Low Loss 1/(2n'+3) 1/5 1/4
Fig. 8.15 - Nolte-Smith Slope Limits for Mode I (Restricted Height, Unrestricted Extension).
Fig. 8.16 - Example Nolte-Smith Plots with Different Characteristic Slopes.
P t
e

Nolte-Smith Plot
Slope: 1/8 to 1/4
Log Time
L
o
g

P
n
e
t
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bottomhole Treating Pressure
8-17 July 1993
To analyze what may cause this flattening of the pressure - time slope, the continuity or mass bal-
ance equation can be examined;
where q
Frac
is the rate of fluid storage in fracture volume (e.g., w + H+ L). Pressure is propor-
tional to fracture width, thus the equation can be rewritten as
where K is a constant. For the Mode I behavior, injection rate Q is constant, height is constant (H
= 0), and q
Loss
increases with time as fracture area increases. Also, P and L are increasing with
time. If P goes to zero, then q
l
and/or H must increase to honor the equation. As a result, more
fluid is lost to the formation or stored in additional height. This leads into a discussion of Mode II
behavior on a log-log net pressure vs. time plot.
Mode II - A flat pressure:time slope indicates stable height growth or increased fluid loss which
negates the predicted pressure increase. The potential for height increase is shown in
Fig. 8.17, where the fracture penetrates a section of higher stress at a constant growth
rate. As additional height is generated, the cross-sectional area of the fracture increases,
thus reducing the flow velocity and frictional pressure drop down the fracture and
reducing the normal pressure increase. If height growth continues and reaches a low
stress zone, as seen in the figure, the pressure:time slope may become negative, indicat-
ing uncontrolled, rapid height growth (Mode IV). This type of behavior is discussed
later on page 8.19. The other variable that can change besides H, without violating the
continuity equation is q
Loss
(fluid loss). One mechanism for a higher fluid loss rate
would be opening of natural fissures intersected by the main fracture as shown in
Fig. 8.18. The opening of natural fissures increases fracture volume and fluid loss area,
and decreases the pressure in the fracture. When pressure declines below the stress
holding the fissures closed, the fissures re-close. Pressure then increases slightly and the
fissures reopen, etc. This opening-closing-opening of the fissures is like a pressure reg-
ulator, producing a constant pressure profile. Due to the increased fluid loss rate, Mode
II will normally be followed by undesired behavior such as a screenout.
Looking back at the continuity equation, if something occurs to stop fracture extension (i.e., L =
0), then either P or H must increase. As shown in Fig. 8.18, increased fluid loss to natural fis-
sures may dehydrate the slurry to the point that a proppant bridge forms in the fracture. If pumping
continues, no additional fracture penetration will occur. If the fracture is contained, pressure must
increase at a higher rate as seen in cases 1 and 2 on Fig. 8.16. If the fracture is not contained, the
rate of height growth will increase and pressure will decrease with time as shown by case 3 of
Fig. 8.16. In the case where the fracture is contained and the pressure increases, this rapid pressure
increase is characteristic of Mode III behavior on the log-log Nolte-Smith plot, Fig. 8.21.
Q q
Loss
q
Frac
+ =
Q q
Loss
K P H L + + [ ] , + =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-18
July 1993
Mode III - This behavior is characterized by a region of positive unit slope (i.e., 1:1 log-log
slope), indicating a flowrestriction in the fracture. This implies that the pressure is pro-
portional to time or, more importantly, that the incremental pressure change is propor-
tional to the incremental injected fluid volume. This 1:1 slope is similar to the same
slope in Pressure Transient Analysis, indicating storage of fluid, in this case by swell-
ing or ballooning the fracture. Common causes of this behavior are pad depletion
where proppant reaches the fracture tip, slurry dehydration to natural fissures (dis-
cussed above), excessive height growth increasing fluid loss area, and/or proppant fall-
out due to poor gel quality.
Fig. 8.19 shows how excessive height growth can cause slurry depletion resulting in a premature
screenout. The fracture has grown through a shale section into a lower closure pressure sand. Due
to the higher stress in the shale, the fracture width is less than in the sands forming a pinch point
which will not allow sand to pass through, yet allows fluid to pass, dehydrating the slurry in the
Fig. 8.17 - Height vs. Net Pressure for Multizone Geology.
Fig. 8.18 - Effect of Natural Fractures, Critical Pressure Causes Increased Fluid Loss.
P + S < : I P + S > : II
P V 1/1 Slope
Screenout: III
Regulator
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bottomhole Treating Pressure
8-19 July 1993
target interval. As the slurry dehydrates it forms a plug which will eventually bridge in the fracture.
The approximate distance to the bridge can be calculated from:
where Q = pump rate (bpm), E' = modulus (psi), H = frac height (ft), and p/t = rate of pressure
increase (psi/min). This information can be useful in postanalysis and the design of future treat-
ments. A near-wellbore bridge would likely be caused by natural fissures, height growth, or a high
sand concentration slug; whereas a bridge some distance from the wellbore would more likely be
due to pad depletion, or sand fallout due to poor gel quality.
As noted previously on page 8.14, if fracture extension ceases and the fracture is not contained,
then rapid, unstable height growth will occur as pumping continues and the pressure:time slope
will become negative. This is Mode IV behavior as seen during case 3, Fig. 8.16.
Mode IV - A negative slope can be interpreted as rapid height growth into a lower closure stress
zone. Referring back to the continuity equation, discussed on page 8.17, a significant
decrease in pressure must be accompanied by a significant increase in one or more of
the other variables. A significant increase in fluid loss is possible from opening new
fractures or fissures, but is not likely with decreasing pressure. An increase in length
is not consistent with a decrease in pressure. The only change which is compatible
with a decrease in pressure is an increase in height.
The steepness of the negative slope would imply the rate of unstable growth. A high
rate of growth would exhibit a steep slope, while a low negative slope would imply a
low rate of growth. If the fracture grows into a much lower stress zone, the decrease
Fig. 8.19 - Example of Height Growth Directly Leading to Premature Screenout.
Log
Width
Top
Top
R
max
x
f max
1.8
QE'
H
2
p/t
---------------------- = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-20
July 1993
in pressure will be rapid. If the fracture grows into a slightly lower stress zone the neg-
ative slope will be shallower.
A negative slope observed from the beginning of the treatment indicates a lack of
height confinement. In this case the fracture will grow radially and future treatments
should be designed using a radial model.
While the observed pressure behavior on the net pressure vs. time plot is primarily a function of
fracture geometry, other parameters may interfere with interpretation. These parameters are shown
in Fig. 8.20, clearly showing that an increase in rate or viscosity will increase net pressure. As a
simple example of this, consider the plot in Fig. 8.21 for a gelled oil fracture treatment. The initial
declining pressure indicates unconfined fracture height, and then after 9 minutes, pressure begins
to increase. This might be interpreted as a change in fracture geometry but, for this simple case,
this is simply the time when gelled fluid is on the perforations. After 4 or 5 minutes, the fracture
is filled with this new, higher viscosity fluid, and pressure again begins to decline. Complete
records of treating parameters must be kept, and what was happening during a job borne in mind
when interpreting net pressure behavior.
Critical Pressure
As mentioned in the previous discussion on page 8.17, Mode II behavior on the net pressure vs.
time plot is usually followed by some undesirable behavior such as excessive height growth or a
screenout. For this reason, the net pressure where the pressure:time slope flattens is termed the crit-
ical pressure. For the case of height growth, critical pressure is roughly 70-80% of the differential
closure stress between the initial zone and bounding beds. When natural fissures exist, critical
Fig. 8.20 - Variables Affecting Fracture Pressure.
t
P & K
Conned Height
Fracture
Unconned Height
Penny Shaped
Fracture
Elasticity
Fluid Friction
Combining
W
H
E
--P W
R
E
--P
W Q
L
E
-- ( )
1 4 /
W Q
R
E
-- ( )
1 4 /

P
E
1 4 /
H
--------- QL ( )
1 4 /
P
E
3 4 /
R
--------- QR ( )
1 4 /

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


Bottomhole Treating Pressure
8-21 July 1993
pressure is approximately the net stress component (above closure pressure) acting normal to the
plane of the fissures, holding the fissures closed.
In fieldwide studies, critical pressure has been found to be reasonably constant. During the early
development of a field, strategic wells should be monitored to determine the critical pressure,
which can then be extrapolated to offset wells. Treatment designs can then be formulated to keep
net treating pressure below the critical pressure, possibly by reducing viscosity or rate. If it is
impossible to stay below critical pressure by these means, unconventional-type designs may pos-
sibly be developed to minimize height growth or screenout tendencies.
Summary of Nolte-Smith Slope Analysis
Fig. 8.21 - Viscosity Effect of Nolte-Smith Plot.
Small (1/8 to 1/4) Positive Slope
Continued height or restricted height growth
Unrestricted extension
Normal C/ fluid loss
Flat Slope - Constant Net Pressure
CRITICAL Pressure
Increased Height Growth
Increased Fluid Loss
Reduced Rate of Fracture Length Extension
Rapidly Increasing Pressure - 1:1 Slope
Restricted Fracture Extension, e.g., Screenout
Negative Slope - Declining Net Pressure
Unconfined Height Growth
Pump Time (minutes)
N
e
t

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
p
s
i
)
time
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-22
July 1993
BHTP Measuring Techniques
To perform a meaningful analysis of fracturing pressures requires direct measurement or a very
accurate calculation of bottomhole treating pressure (BHTP) during the injection and pressure
decline. The primary objective is to record the fluid pressure at the entrance to the fracture (e.g.,
just outside the perforations). While several companies have developed software for calculating
BHTP from surface pressure, to date no technique has been developed to accurately account for
all variables affecting friction pressures. In some cases of shallowwells, where injection was down
large casing, these programs have given reasonable results. But, in deeper wells, and especially
those where the fracture treatment was pumped down tubing, results have been erroneous and in
many cases have led to incorrect decision making during the treatment.
Three techniques which are recommended for measuring fracturing BHTP are seen in Fig. 8.22.
The first configuration uses a tubing string with an open annulus and a surface pressure recording.
The treatment is pumped down the tubing or casing, with the other side static. Pressures are mea-
sured on the static side and corrected for hydrostatic pressure to obtain BHTP. This configuration
is applicable if the fracturing pressure is greater than the hydrostatic head on the static side, which
is usually the case except in severely underpressured or depleted reservoirs. The second configu-
ration involves running the pressure sensor inside a side-pocket mandrel, above a packer, with
pressure transmitted to the surface via an electric line fastened to the outside of the tubing. The last
technique is running a downhole recording pressure gauge inside a tail pipe below a perforated
joint and packer. With this technique real-time access to the data is not possible. The data is
accessed after the treatment, when the pressure recorder is retrieved. With the first two techniques,
on-site computers can be used to manipulate and analyze the data for fracture treatment design or
to make on-site judgmental decisions during the treatment. The following describes in more detail
the procedures for using these three BHP measurement techniques:
1. Open-Ended Tubing - Run tubing (no packer) to within 100 ft of the perforations. Circulate
out any gas so as to leave a liquid filled static column, whether this is on the tubing or annular side.
Gas in the static column will reduce the hydrostatic head from which BHTP is calculated and
reduce the accuracy of the true BHTP due to gas compression and expansion during the injection
and shut-in periods. The density of the fluid used to circulate the hole should be measured period-
ically, so the hydrostatic head of the static column will be accurately known. During testing and
the actual fracture treatment, both tubing and annular pressure should be recorded continuously. If
injecting down the annulus, the tubing pressure will reflect bottomhole pressure and likewise, the
annular pressure will reflect BHTP when injecting down tubing.
2. Surface Recorded BHP Gauge - A side pocket mandrel containing the pressure gauge is run
above the packer. The wireline for the pressure gauge is strapped to the outside of the tubing as the
string is run in the hole, and a port from the mandrel to the inside of the tubing allows transmission
of pressure to the gauge. This type system is commercially available.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Bottomhole Treating Pressure
8-23 July 1993
3. BHTP Gauge Tail pipe Assembly - In this configuration, the pressure gauge is placed below
a perforated joint and packer in a tail pipe assembly. The complete assembly from bottom to top
would consist of a joint of tubing with a NO-GO nipple at the bottom, a seating nipple, a perfo-
rated sub, and a pup joint below the packer. The most reliable and least expensive way to prepare
the perforated sub would be to drill the holes in a machine shop. This would ensure all holes are
open, large, and properly spaced. The BHTP gauge would be run into the seating nipple on a slick
line, and the treatment pumped down the tubing and out the perforated sub. After the treatment,
the bomb could be retrieved with a slick line by latching into a fishing neck on top of the bomb or
by pulling the tubing string.
BHTP Measuring Devices
During prefrac testing, a BHTP gauge can be run on wireline to just below the perforations. This
procedure cannot be used on the main treatment, though, because of damage caused by the prop-
pant to the wireline. Many wireline companies can supply quartz pressure gauges which have a
pressure range of 0-12,000 psi, a resolution of 0.01 psi, and an operating temperature up to 300F.
This same type gauge can be run in the side pocket mandrel assembly in the previously discussed
configuration #2.
Accurate pressure measurements during prefrac testing and the actual fracture treatment are
required for useful analysis and evaluation. For prefrac tests, i.e., closure pressure, minifrac, etc.,
pressure resolution to nearest 2 psi and 10 second data acquisition is normally adequate. For the
main treatment pressures recorded to the nearest 5 psi, one data point every 20 to 30 seconds is
sufficient. In-line pressure transducers normally supplied by the fracturing service companies have
proven to be unreliable for this type work. Aside from the resolution of the transducers, they may
Fig. 8.22 - Well Congurations for Recording Bottomhole Treating Pressure.
P
t
Q
t
P
a
Q
a
Q
t
- 0
P
t
- BHP-P
n
or
Q
a
- 0
P
a
- BHP-P
n
WIRELINE
SIDE POCKET
MANDRIL
PRESSURE
SENSOR
MANDRIL
PORT
PACKER
Q
Q
PACKER
PERFORATED
SUB
(BLAST JOINT)
PRESSURE
BOMB
SEATING
NIPPLE
NO-GO NIPPLE
( ) (b) ( )
1 2 3
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-24
July 1993
not be accurately calibrated. Given adequate notice, however, service companies can usually
obtain the precision-type transducers required.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-25 July 1993
8.4 Pressure Decline Analysis
Prior sections presented an analysis of injection pressure behavior during a fracture treatment, this
behavior being a function of several variables, height, length, leakoff rate, etc., all of which change
with time. However, shortly after pumping stops, the fracture stops growing and a simpler situation
exists, e.g., Q, H, and L become zero in the continuity equation,
(8.1)
leaving the rate of pressure decline, p
net
, proportional to the rate, q
Loss
. From pressure decline
analysis, values for fluid efficiency and fluid loss coefficient can be determined as will be shown
in this section. Note that while the equation above contains a term for changes in fluid compress-
ibility, C
p
, this effect will not be included in this discussion. In general, this is not a major factor
for pressure decline analysis. The analysis of the pressure decline for fluid loss and fluid efficiency
is then combined with the Nolte-Smith analysis of treating pressures (for fracture geometry) to
give a complete description of the fracturing process. Note - neither analysis can truly stand
alone, they are complementary and must be used together to describe the process.
The pressure-volume, P-V, relationship of a fracture can be thought of as analogous to a fluid-filled
elastic membrane (e.g., balloon) as depicted in Fig. 8.23. The fluid volume can be determined from
the pressure in terms of the membrane's stiffness - fracture stiffness, S, being a function of fracture
geometry and the elastic modulus of the formation(s). If the balloon develops a leak and the P-V-T
relationship is known, then the rate of fluid, q
Loss
, can be determined from the rate of pressure
decline. Since the fracture system is much simpler after shutdown (as opposed to during injection),
e.g., only two variables changing with time P and V, it is possible to solve for these variables.
Fig. 8.23 - Volume Relationship of Fracture, Analogy to Balloon.
Q q
Loss
Lp
net
CH ( ) L/L p
net
/ p
net
C
p
/C
p
H/H + + + ( )
1
t
----- + =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-26
July 1993
Fracture Stiffness
Fig. 8.24 shows equations used to describe fracture stiffness, S, for both a confined height fracture
and a fracture with radial geometry. For both geometries, S is proportional to the crack opening
modulus, E', and either fracture height, H, or fracture radius, R, or for a Geertsma fracture geom-
etry, to fracture length, L. As shown in the figure for the confined height case, if the fracture grows
into a bounding formation, the fracture stiffness, and thus pressure decline analysis is still prima-
rily dependent on the initial fracture height.
Knowing fracture stiffness, the fracture P-V relationship can be calculated from the expression
(8.2)
where dp
net
is the change in average pressure in the fracture. Unfortunately, only wellbore pressure
can be measured, and even though the fracture has stopped extending, fluid will continue to flow
down the fracture and wellbore pressure will be higher than the average pressure in the fracture.
Thus, a term is defined which relates wellbore pressure to the average pressure in the fracture as
(8.3)
Fig. 8.25 provides graphs for determining for a confined height fracture. For a radial fracture or
a short Geertsma geometry fracture, will be approximately 1.
Since the rate of change in fluid volume, dV/dt, is equal to the fluid loss rate, q
Loss
, Eq. (8.2) can
be rewritten as
, (8.4)
where q
Loss
is a volume loss term and thus, negative to the system.
Fig. 8.24 - Width/Pressure Relations for Two Common Fracture Geometries.
dV
dt
-------
A
S
--------- = d p
net
/dt
p
avg
p
well
. =
q
Loss
A /S ( )d p
net
/dt =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-27 July 1993
Fluid Loss Rate
For most hydraulic fracturing situations, the rate of fluid loss is governed by linear flow into the
reservoir, and expressed by the relationship
(8.5)
where v
Loss
is the fluid loss velocity over an incremental area of the fracture, da; C is the fluid loss
coefficient; and (a) is the time when the area was created. The final relationship then between
fracture stiffness, S, rate of pressure decline, and C, the fluid loss coefficient, will be termed P*
as discussed on page 8.30. Note, despite the similarity in terminology with a Horner plot P*, the
P* value for fracture pressure decline analysis has no relation to reservoir pressure. Instead, P*
is simply related to the rate of pressure decline following an injection at fracturing rate.
Assuming linear flow or Carter type
24
fluid loss, and referring back to Eq. (8.5), the total volume
rate of fluid loss, q
Loss
, can be found from
(8.6)
e.g., integrating the fluid loss velocity over the entire fracture area with the factor of 2 occurring
since the fracture has two sides. Obviously, to reduce this to any usable form, the unknown, (a)
(e.g., the time when each element of the fracture area was created) must be known. In general, of
course, this is not a simple, or a known function, and if this is an important factor, then analysis of
Fig. 8.25 - Ratio of Average Pressure in Fracture to Wellbore Pressure, After Shut-In, for a
Conned Height Fracture.
v
Loss
C
t a ( ) [ ]
--------------------------- =
q
Loss
A
2Cda
t a ( ) [ ]
---------------------------

=
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-28
July 1993
the fracturing pressure decline data will become of limited usefulness. However, while this func-
tion is not known, it can be bounded and these bounds can be used to test the importance. For
example, as shown by Nordgren,
23
Geertsma,
4
and others, for very low fluid loss, fracture area will
grow approximately linearly with time,
(8.7)
while for very high fluid loss, fracture area will grow with the square root of time
(8.8)
as illustrated in Fig. 8.26.
As an example, consider a low fluid loss case, A t, or
where A is the total fracture area created at the end of the pump time, t
p
, and 'a' is a small incre-
mental fracture area that was created or opened at time , < t
p
. This gives
or
Fig. 8.26 - Fracture Growth with Time.
A t , Low "0" ( )Loss
A t , High "" ( )Loss
Time
A
r
e
a
a
A
---

t
p
---- =
s
a
A
--- t
p
=
q
Loss
2Cda
t A/a ( )t
p
[ ]
-----------------------------------

=
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-29 July 1993
which can be integrated from area=0 to area = A to give the rate of fluid loss, q
Loss
, for times
greater than (or equal to) t
p
. This integration gives
or
where time, t, equals t
p
+t
s
(e.g., pump time + shut-in time) and = t
s
/t
p
.
Similarly, for high fluid loss, Eqs. (8.6) and (8.8) can be integrated to give
or, more generally,
(8.9)
where
and a new parameter, r
p
, has been added for cases where only a fraction of the fracture area is lea-
koff area. That is, r
p
is the ratio of permeable area opened by the fracture to total fracture area,
The time behavior of the fluid loss rate is determined by f()
and these two functions are plotted vs. dimensionless shut-in time, in Fig. 8.27. The similarity
between the two time functions seen in the figure indicates that an EXACT knowledge of how the
fracture grew with time is not necessary for the decline analysis - so long as the fracture was free
to extend, e.g., no screenout condition occurred. For example, consider the dashed curve in
Fig. 8.24, showing an ideal fracture area vs. time behavior for a treatment which screens out very
early. For this case, fracture area stops increasing early during the pumping. Thus, during the pres-
q
Loss
2AC
t
p
-----------2 t t t
p
{ } =
q
Loss
2AC
t
p
-----------2 1 + ( ) { } =
q
Loss
2CA
t
p
----------- sin
1 1
1 + ( )
---------------------

' )

=
q
Loss
2Cr
p
Af ( )
t
p
---------------------------- =
t
s
/t
p
e.g., Shut-in Time/pump time ( ) =
r
p
Permeable Fracture Area
Total Fracture Area
----------------------------------------------------------- - . =
f ( ) 2 1 + ( )
1/2

1/2
{ } Low Fluid Loss =
sin
1
1/ 1 + ( ) [ ] High Fluid Loss
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-30
July 1993
sure decline, all of the leakoff area is old, leading to lower than expected leakoff and application
of the pressure decline analysis to the postpumping pressure behavior would calculate an errone-
ously lowfluid loss coefficient. Finally, note that Fig. 8.27 does not indicate that there is no behav-
ior difference between high and lowfluid loss cases. Merely just that the exact time-rate-of-growth
of the fracture while pumping is not a dominant factor, and that postfrac fluid loss rate (and thus
pressure decline behavior) is a function of fluid loss coefficient, C, pump time, t
p
, and the total cre-
ated fracture area, A.
P* - Pressure Decline Analysis
Going back to the basic pressure decline behavior Eq. (8.2) and combining this with the fluid loss
rate from Eq. (8.9) gives
(8.10)
or
(8.11)
and this gives a definite relation between fracture stiffness, S, fluid loss coefficient, and postfrac
pressure decline. If pressure decline were a linear function of time (e.g., dp/dt = constant), then the
relation could be characterized with a simple psi/minute. For example, assume a case with a
pump time, t
p
, of 20 minutes. If 10 minutes after pumping is stopped, e.g., t
s
= 10 or = 0.5, the
rate of pressure decline, dp/dt was 5 psi/minute, then, from Fig. 8.25, f() 1. If the fracture stiff-
ness were known, then Eq. (8.11) could be solved for fluid loss coefficient. However, the behavior
Fig. 8.27 - Bounds on Rate of Fluid Loss Function (bounds are less than 10%different after shut-in
time equal to 1/4 of pump time).
q
Loss
2AC
t
p
----------- r
p
f ( )
A
S
-------d p
net
/dt = =
d p
net
/dt
2CS
t
p
------------ r
p
f ( ) =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-31 July 1993
is more complex than this, and a value, defined as P*, will be used to describe the pressure
decline behavior. Basically, P* is a single value which characterizes the rate of pressure decline.
A high value indicates a rapid pressure decline, which would usually correspond to high fluid loss,
however, it might also correspond to a very stiff formation. Thus we see that P* does not directly
describe fluid loss, but rather it will be seen to specify a relation between several variables.
Unfortunately, the rate of change of pressure, dp
net
/dt, is hard to measure and use, making it con-
venient to integrate the pressure decline, dp
net
/dt, to convert Eq. (8.11) into a pressure difference
form. Clearly integrating dp/dt from time = t
o
to time = t
o
+ t
gives a pressure difference
where t
o
(or
o
) is just a convenient marker time or starting time for calculating pressure differ-
ences.
Simultaneously, the right hand side of Eq. (8.11) is integrated from t
o
to a later time, t giving
where the G function, G(
o
,), is defined as
and arises from integrating the time function, f(), controlling the postfrac rate of fluid loss. For
example, for the low fluid loss (high efficiency) limit, g() is given by
while, for the high fluid loss (low efficiency) limit,
Finally, redefining the variable group (C r
p
S)/(2) as P* gives
(8.12)
dp
dt
------dt

p p t=t
o
( ) p t
o
t + ( ) + = =
p
o
, ( ) p
o
( ) p ( ) =
p
o
, ( ) p
o
( ) p ( )
pCS
2
----------- r
p
t
p
G
o
, ( ) = =
G
o
, ( )
4

--- g ( ) g
o
( ) { } =
g ( )
4
3
--- 1 + ( )
3/2

3/2
{ } , =
g ( ) 1 + ( )sin
1 1
1 + ( )
--------------------- + =
t
p
p
o
, ( ) P* G
o
, ( ) , =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-32
July 1993
indicating that the variable P* is simply a multiplier which best matches the actual pressure
decline behavior to the theoretically perfect behavior defined by G,
Type Curve Analysis
The actual value for P* is found by creating theoretical type curves from the G function (as
seen in Fig. 8.28) and then matching the actual data to these curves. This is illustrated in the fol-
lowing example.
Consider a case where a minifrac (e.g., a volume of fracturing fluid pumped without proppant)
has been pumped down tubing while measuring surface annulus pressure. After shut in, the pres-
sure decline is measured as seen in Fig. 8.29 and tabulated in the table below.
The first step in any pressure decline analysis is to determine the fracture closure pressure and
closure time. For the example here, it is assumed that pre-minifrac stress tests indicated a (surface
equivalent) closure stress of 1500 psi. The minifrac pressure decline reaches this pressure after a
shut-in time, t
s
, of about 26 minutes - giving a closure time, t
c
, of 26 minutes. This gives a dimen-
sionless closure time,
c
, of 1.3, with, since no proppant was pumped, the fracture being com-
pletely closed at closure time.
Fig. 8.28 - Plot of G(,
o
), Master Curves for Matching Pressure Differences.
P*
CS
2
----------- r
p
t
p
. =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-33 July 1993
Fig. 8.29 - Example, Minifrac Pressure Decline Data.
Table 8.2 - Example Pressure Decline Data.
Shut-in
Time (min)
Pressure
(psi)
P(t
o
=4,t)
(psi)
P(t
o
=10,t)
(psi)
P(t
o
=20,t)
(psi)
0 1658
2 1.4 1642
4 2.0 1625
6 2.47 1610 1625-1610
= 15 psi
8 2.83 1595 30
10 3.16 1582 43
12 3.46 1569 56 13
14 3.74 1558 67 24
16 4.0 1544 81 38
18 4.24 1534 91 48
20 4.47 1525 100 57
22 4.69 1515 110 67 10
24 4.90 1507 75 18
26 5.10 1498 84 27
28 5.29 1493 89 32
30 5.48 1486 96 39
32 5.66 1481 101 44
34 5.83 1476 106 49
ts

c
t
c
/t
p
Shut-in Time at Closure
Pump Time
------------------------------------------------------------- -
26
20
----- -. = = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-34
July 1993
In selecting the start times for the pressure difference analysis, all start times must be less than
this dimensionless closure time since the analysis has no meaning for pressures below fracture clo-
sure pressure. Referring to the type curve of Fig. 8.28, one might select the 0.2, the 0.5, and
the 1.0 curves, since the dimensionless start times,
o
, for these curves all come prior to the
dimensionless closure time of
c
= 1.3. For the
o
= 0.2 curve, the corresponding real start time is
e.g., dimensionless start time,
o
, times pump time.
Thus a column of pressure differences is created (as seen in Table 8.2) starting at a shut-in time of
four minutes. Similarly, a column of pressure differences is created corresponding to a real start
time of 10 minutes (t
o
=
o
x t
p
= 0.5 x 20) and to a real start time of 20 minutes. These pressure
difference values are then plotted vs. shut-in-time (as three separate and independent curves) on
log-log scales identical to the type curve scales as seen in Fig. 8.30, and the data is matched to
the theoretical curve.
Note, however, that the theoretical type curves include two sets of curves: three dashed curves
for dimensionless start times of
o
= 0.05, 0.10, and 0.20; and solid curves for dimensionless start
times of
o
= 0.20, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, and 2.0. The early time, dashed curves correspond to the
low efficiency solution, while the later time, solid curves correspond to the high efficiency,
e.g., low fluid loss, solution. Closure time, found by plotting the pressure decline vs. the
Fig. 8.30 - Type Curve Match for Example.
t
o

o
t
p
0.2 20 4 minutes . = = =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-35 July 1993
square-root of shut-in time, is used to determine which type curves to use. If the fracture closes at
a dimensionless time less than 0.5 (
c
< 0.5), e.g., a fracture closing in less than 30 minutes after a
1 hour pump time, then the high curves (dashed) should be used. For closure times greater than
pump time, the low curves (solid) should be used. For cases which fall into the gray area in
between these limits (e.g., maybe a closure time of 30 minutes after a pump time of 40 minutes)
the curves which best match the shape of the data should be used, and/or one might interpolate
between the two sets of theoretical type curves.
'G' Function Plot for P
*
Eq. (8.12) showed a linear relation between the pressure decline differences and a function of
shut-in time - the 'G' Function. As a special case for using this equation, a start time,
o
, of 0
might be chosen, then Eq. (8.12) could be rewritten as
where ISIP is the Instantaneous Shut-In Pressure. This leads to
or
That is, the slope of a linear plot of the shut-in pressure decline vs. 'G' (as defined earlier) gives
the match pressure P
*
.
Since this 'G' function is generally a complex function of the dimensionless shut-in time, d, the 'G'
Function Plot is clearly most amenable to computer generated analysis. Also, in several cases the
'G' function has been found to work better for very high fluid loss cases where closure time is on
the order of 20 to 30% of pump time or less. For cases with longer closure times, e.g., closure time
40% (or more) of pump time, the type curve approach discussed above often offers an easier anal-
ysis.
For the previous example, the pressure decline data is plotted vs. 'G' in Fig. 8.31, where, as before,
closure stress is assumed known fromminifrac tests to be 1500 psi. (Actually, this would be a sur-
face equivalent closure pressure, with real closure pressure equal to 4530 psi, e.g., 1500 plus
the hydrostatic head of t7000 ft of water.) At any rate, in the 'G' Function Plot, the slope of the
data is taken just prior to closure pressure, though for this plot (which is an excellent example of a
'G' Plot) the slope is relatively constant from shut-in all the way down to fracture closure. Taking
the slope of the indicated line shows a slope of -98 psi, which gives P* = 98 psi, essentially per-
fect agreement with the earlier type curve match analysis.
p 0 , ( ) ISIP p ( ) P*G 0 , ( ) = =
p ( ) ISIP P*G 0 , ( ) =
P* dp/dG . =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-36
July 1993
This plot also shows a distinct slope change at a pressure of t1500 psi, e.g., just at closure pressure
and sometimes, a 'G' Function Plot can be used to determine fracture closure. The procedure is
similar to a root-shut-in-time analysis for closure, a distinct slope change is taken to indicate a dis-
tinct fracture behavior change, e.g., the fracture closing. Again, as with 'G' Function Plot analysis
in general, we have found this analysis procedure to be most useful in low efficiency (high fluid
loss) environments - though clearly this example shows a very clear 'G' Function analysis for a case
with closure time equal to 1.3 times pump time, e.g.,
c
= t
c
/t
p
= 1.3.
A final note concerning 'G' Function Plots is - What 'G' Function should be used? For low effi-
ciency (high fluid loss) cases where
c
< 0.4 to 0.5, clearly the low efficiency function is correct.
Similarly, for longer closure time cases with
c
> 1, the high efficiency (low fluid loss) function as
used for Fig. 8.31 is probably most correct. However, for the gray area between these limits,
some distortion and error can be introduced by the lack of a purely applicable 'G' Function. In these
cases, type curve analysis often proves superior by allowing easy, manual interpolation between
the two limiting theoretical solutions.
Fluid Efciency
Fluid efficiency is defined as the fracture volume (at the end of pumping, e.g., at time = t
p
) divided
by the total slurry volume pumped (e.g., fluid, sand, everything). As an aid in Pressure Decline
Analysis, the rate of pressure decline equation can be integrated to determine the volume of fluid
lost between shut-in, t
p
, and the time at which the fracture closes, t
p
+ t
c
. For a minifrac treatment,
e.g., a small volume calibration treatment with no proppant, the volume lost between t
p
and t
p
+t
c
equals the volume of the fracture at t
p
. Dividing this volume by the total volume injected gives effi-
ciency. Thus, a relationship between closure time and fluid efficiency exists as shown in Fig. 8.32.
Fig. 8.31 - G Function Plot.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-37 July 1993
The efficiency, e
f
, obtained from this figure is used to define a new variable, , which is used in
the type curve analysis and defined as
where V
f
is fracture volume and V
L
is fluid loss volume during injection. can also be determined
directly from the type curve analysis in terms of the match pressure, P
*
, and the net fracturing
pressure at shut-in, p
s
(e.g., ISIP - closure pressure).
where G
o
is the pressure difference function at = 0 (discussed on page 8.31) and equal to
1.57-0.238 e
f
(within 5%, G
o
= 1.45), and K is a correction to the fluid loss coefficient which
accounts for additional fluid loss only during pumping (e.g., spurt loss or opening of natural fis-
sures during injection). However, K cannot (at this time) be determined from any analytical pres-
sure decline analysis so should always be set equal to 1.
These two efficiency values supply a means of quality control for fracturing pressure decline
analysis. First, efficiency is determined from the dimensionless time-to-close,
c
and the graph in
Fig. 8.32. Next, the loss ratio, , is determined from the type curve match pressure, P*, and the
final net pressure, ps, as discussed above. This value for is then used to calculate an efficiency
Fig. 8.32 - Efciency vs. Dimensionless Closure Time.
V
f
/V
L
e
f
/ 1 e
f
( ), or = =
e
f
/ 1 + ( ), =
p
s
/4Kg
o
P* , =
g
o
1.57 0.238 e
f
(within 5%,g
o
1.45), = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-38
July 1993
from e
f
= / (1 + ). These efficiency values should be within 2 to 3 percentage units of each
other, e.g., 10%vs. 12%would be good agreement as would 90 vs. 92%. If the difference is greater
than this, then one might initially check the analysis, choice of closure pressure, etc. If disagree-
ment persists, then it may indicate a real discrepancy between actual fracture behavior, and the the-
oretical assumptions which form the basis for decline analysis. If the efficiency from time-to-close
and the chart in Fig. 8.32 is less than the calculated efficiency (e.g., calculated from P*), the dis-
crepancy could be due to significant spurt loss and/or to fluid loss to natural fractures which are
open during injection but which close (or are closing) during the pressure decline. Decline analysis
cannot quantify this loss, but can indicate its existence and thus allow appropriate job changes (for
example, possibly the inclusion of 100 mesh fluid loss additive to reduce any loss to natural frac-
tures).
In addition to this quality control procedure for the decline analysis, Section 8.6 presents a proce-
dure for determining a fracture treatment design schedule based solely on fluid efficiency. Also,
efficiency corrections are presented to account for proppant in the fracture at closure, so the pres-
sure decline after an actual propped fracture treatment can be used in a type curve analysis to cal-
culate fluid loss coefficient.
Example/Guidelines
The following will present some general guidelines for fracturing pressure decline analysis in the
context of reviewing an actual field example. The pressure data is the same as that presented and
discussed earlier in Fig. 8.29 and Table 8.2.
Example - Pressure Decline Analysis:
Prefrac tests were conducted on a 7000 ft deep oil bearing formation with a reservoir pressure
of 3250 psi and a formation temperature of 240F. The formation is a thick sand-shale
sequence with 5-10 ft sandstone layers (porosity of 12 to 14%) interbedded with 1 to 3 ft thick
layers of low porosity siltstones and anhydrites. From pump-in/flowback stress tests, surface
closure pressure was found to be 1500 psi. The stress tests were followed by pumping a 20,000
gallon crosslinked gel minifrac (estimated viscosity of t300 cp) in 20 minutes at an average
rate of 24 bpm. At the end of pumping the ISIP was 1658 psi and the postminifrac pressure
decline data was shown in Fig. 8.29 (listed in Table 8.2).
Lab Tests show the sand to have a Young's modulus of 4 to 5 million psi; the siltstones, 6-8
million; and the anhydrite, 8-10 million. Based on a simple volume percentage, a modulus of
6 million psi is assumed to be representative of the formation.
Before proceeding with the example, some general guidelines are given in Table 8.3, and these
guidelines will be followed (essentially step-by-step) for analyzing this data and calculating a fluid
loss coefficient.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-39 July 1993
Following the general guidelines, the first step is always to determine fracture closure pressure.
For this case, closure pressure was known as 1500 psi from pre-minifrac stress tests and one might
simply assume that the fracture closes when the pressure declines to this value. However, it is often
a good procedure to conduct a closure stress analysis with the decline data itself. This is particu-
larly appropriate since into a liquid saturated formation (remembering that this is an oil bearing
formation) can locally increase pore pressure and thus locally increase closure pressure, e.g., fluid
loss can generate what is often referred to as back stress. Since this is an oil zone, the pressure
decline is first plotted vs. root shut-in time as seen in Fig. 8.33. This shows a distinct slope change
at a pressure of 1500 psi, e.g., for this case the minifrac has not altered closure stress.
Table 8.3 - Guidelines for Analysis.
1. Must know when fracture closes (or closes on proppant)
a. pressure = known closure pressure
b. pressure vs. plot (t
s
is shut-in time)
2. Find dimensionless time-to-close
c
= Shut-in time-to-closure / pump-time (t
c
/t
p
)
3. Select 2 or 3
o
values from master curves such that
o
< about 2/3
c
4. Convert
o
to real shut-in time, t
o
= (
o
) x (t
p
)
5. Find pressure differences for each t
o
e.g., P(t
o
,t) = p(t
o
) - p(t), t > t
o
6. Plot a data curve for each t
o
e.g., plot P(t
o
,t) vs. t on log-log paper with same scale as Master Curves
7. Draw vertical line at t = t
c
do not use data for matching after fracture closure
8. Draw vertical line at t = t
p
(shut-in time equal to pump time)
9. Place transparency of Master over data with vertical PUMP-TIME line on Master aligned with
vertical t = t
p
line on data
10. Only moving master vertically, find best match for corresponding t
o
curves
- give most weight for greater to curves as these are least affected by any additional fracture extension
- give more weight for longer times on each curve (but t < t
c
)
11. After match, read P* (match pressure) from pressure difference scale on left
12. Determine efficiency from
a. Find efficiency from
c
and time-to-close vs. efficiency chart
b. Use P* from type curve match and net pressure at shut-in
(p
s
= ISIP - closure pressure) to calculate e
f
.
13. Compare e
f
(a) and (b)
If similar within a 2-3 percentage units, proceed to determine and choose correct fracture model and then calculate
other variables such as fluid loss coefficient, etc.
Pitfalls
1. Using pressure data after fracture closed.
2. Using equations for wrong fracture model.
t
s

Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-40
July 1993
This plot also shows closure after about 26 minutes (also see Table 8.2) giving a dimensionless
closure time of
and 2/3 of this value is about 0.9 - thus, referring to the type curves in Fig. 8.28, the 0.2, 0.5, and
1.0 curves might be chosen for analysis giving real start times for constructing the data curves
of 0.2, 0.5, and 1.0 times the pump time of 20 minutes, or real start times of 4, 10, and 20 minutes
as seen in Table 8.2. As an example, the reference time for calculating the pressure differences for
matching the
o
= 0.2 curve would be a shut-in time of 0.2 times 20 minutes or 4 minutes. All sub-
sequent pressures are subtracted from the pressure at 4 minutes (1625 psi) to get the actual p
curve for comparison to the type curve. This same procedure is followed for the
o
= 0.5 and 1.0
curves, giving three curves which are best fit matched to the master curves. The pressure differ-
ences are calculated as seen in Table 8.2 and then pressure difference is plotted on the y axis vs.
shut-in time on the x axis of a log-log plot (with scales the same size as the master curves) which
is then matched with the theoretical curves as seen in Fig. 8.30. This gives a match pressure of P*
= 100 psi, noting that since closure time is greater than pump time, the solid high efficiency (low
fluid loss) curves are used to match the data.
The dimensionless closure time of
c
= 1.3 is then used with the efficiency chart, Fig. 8.32, to get
a time-to-close efficiency of 47%. The match pressure of 100 psi along with the net pressure at
shut-in, p
s
, of 158 psi (as seen in Fig. 8.33) is used to calculate efficiency as
Fig. 8.33 - Example Pressure Decline Data - Closure.

c
Shut In Time To Closure
Pump Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 26 / 20 1.3 , = = =
p
s
/4KG
o
P*
3.142 158
4 1 1.45 100
-------------------------------------------- 0.86 = = =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-41 July 1993
where G
o
is assumed = 1.45, K = 1, and e
f
= / (1 + ) = 0.86 / 1.86 = 0.46.
Note: If this calculated efficiency was significantly different from50%, it would probably be best
to use this first calculated efficiency to recalculate g
o
= 1.57 - 0.238 * e
f
, and then use this
new value of g
o
to find a new efficiency. It is seldom worthwhile, however, to follow this
iteration for more than one time through.
This is clearly in excellent agreement with the time-to-close efficiency and thus the analysis can
proceed with confidence, e.g., there is no indication of unaccounted for fluid loss.
Note that up to this point, the analysis has been independent of fracture geometry, e.g., it made
no difference whether the fracture was radial, confined height, etc. However, once the match pres-
sure, P*, and efficiency have been determined and the efficiency checked, then it is necessary
to assume a fracture geometry in order to calculate a loss coefficient.
For this example, one might initially expect no height confinement based on: (1) no discrete beds
with sufficient thickness to contain a fracture, and (2) high modulus which leads to high treating
pressures and thus increases any tendencies for height growth. While it is not conclusive, the low
net pressure at shut-in of 160 psi reinforces this expectation since confined height fractures often
have higher net treating pressures than this. Equations from Table 8.5 can then be used as seen
below:
First the radius of the fracture is found from
and this radius is then used to calculate a fluid loss coefficient and fracture width
and
Taking a look at this problem from a slightly different view, assume that postminifrac logs were
available which gave indications of a gross fracture height of 350 to 400 ft. This value for H' might
then be used in the equations for a confined height fracture (e.g., a Perkins & Kern fracture geom-
etry) as seen below,
x
f
0.134 VG E'
2KP*g
o
1 + ( )
----------------------------------------------
1/3
=
x
f
0.134 ( ) 20 000 , ( ) 6 10
6
( )
2 ( ) 3.14 ( ) 1 ( ) 100 ( ) 1.45 ( ) 1.86 ( )
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1/3
211 ft = =
C P*x
f
( )/ r
p
E' t
p
( ) [ ] 100 ( ) 211 ( )/ 1 ( ) 6 10
6
( ) 20 ( ) 0.0008 ft/ min = = =
w 6p
s
x
f
( )/E' 6 ( ) 3.14 ( ) 158 ( ) 211 ( )/ 6 10
6
( ) 0.10 inches. = = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-42
July 1993
However, it is immediately noted that this gives a tip-to-tip length of 326 ft which is less than the
approximate fracture height of 350 to 400 ft; thus, the Perkins & Kern model would not be appro-
priate, and the calculations should move on to the radial model (as discussed on page 8.26) or to
the Geertsma model calculations (which would be for a fracture with a tip-to-tip length less than
the height). For this example, the radial model shows a predicted radius of 211 ft which would give
a total, gross fracture height of H = 422 ft, and since this would be in fair agreement with the logs,
a radial model would probably be the most appropriate geometry model for describing the test.
It is important to note in these calculations that there are several uncertainties; in particular, the
final result for fluid loss coefficient (the usual goal for the decline analysis) is strongly dependent
on the value of modulus. If this value is not known from core analysis then the final result for 'C'
becomes uncertain. In many cases, however, the final analysis can be improved through a proce-
dure of pressure history matching as discussed in Section 8.3.
Post-propped-Frac Pressure Decline Analysis
Fracture pressure decline analysis as presented above assumes a minifrac test injection, where, at
closure, a fracture will be completely closed. However, the same analysis is applicable to post-
propped-fracture treatment pressure data, so long as two important points are remembered:
1. After a propped fracture treatment, fracture closure occurs when the fracture closes on prop-
pant. However, at this point, of course, the fracture is not completely closed, but is held par-
tially open by the proppant. Thus the time-to-close efficiency must be corrected as discussed
below.
2. The pressure decline analysis assumes that the fracture was free to propagate during the injec-
tion period. When proppant is included in a real stimulation there is, of course, always the pos-
sibility that due to slurry dehydration and/or proppant reaching the fracture tip, fracture
extension will be halted and a tip screenout will occur. This is usually evident from the net
pressure behavior and if such a condition occurs, then normal decline analysis is no longer ap-
plicable. Note, however, that pressure history matching as discussed below can still be used to
analyze the data with the time where the screenout starts (e.g., the beginning of the unit slope
on a Nolte-Smith plot, Fig. 8.16) being a good marker for history matching analysis.
The time-to-close expressions previously presented on page 8.35, assumed the fracture closed
completely, e.g., no proppant. Similar analysis can be performed fromthe postfrac pressure decline
x
f
0.134 VG E'
4KP*
x
g
o
1 + ( )H
2
------------------------------------------------------- - =
x
f
0.134 ( ) 20 000 , ( ) 6 10
6
( )
4 ( ) 1 ( ) 100 ( ) 0.65 ( ) 1.45 ( ) 1.86 ( ) 375 375 ( )
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 163 ft . = =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-43 July 1993
Table 8.4 - Pressure Decline Analysis Calculations.
Perkins & Kern (Conned Height) Geometry Geertsma deKlerk Geometry
Radial Geometry (Unconned Height Growth)
NOMENCLATURE
s
- See discussion on reverse side of table
K - Correction factor for spurt loss, normally K = 1
C - Fluid loss coefcient (ft/
E' - Plain Strain Modulus = E / (1-
2
) (psi)
E - Youngs Modulus, - Poissons Ratio
e
f
- Fluid efciency = Fracture-volume-at-shut-in / Volume-injected
g
o
- Constant approximately = 1.45, (g
o
= 1.57 - 0.238 e
f
)
H
p
- Permeable or leakoff height (ft)
H - Gross fracture height (ft)
P*- Pressure decline Type Curve Match Pressure (psi)
P
s
- Net pressure at shut-in (psi)
- Loss Ratio = Fracture-Volume-at-shut-in divided by Volume-lost-during-pumping = e
f
/ (1-e
f
)
r
p
- Ratio of permeable or leakoff area to total fracture area
For P&K or Geertsma r
p
= H
p
/ H, for a radial geometry r
p
is more difcult to dene and is normally set = 1
t
p
- Injection time (minutes)
VG - Total Injected Volume in Gallons = V
p
w - Average fracture width (inches)
x
f
- Fracture 1/2 length or penetration (ft) (Radius for Radial Geometry)
x
f
0.134 VG E'
4KP*
s
g
o
1 + ( )H
2
------------------------------------------------- =
x
f
0.134 VG E' [ ]
1/2
8KP*
s
g
o
1 + ( )H
---------------------------------------------- =
w 6
s
p
s
H/E' =
w 12
s
p
s
x
f
/E' =
C P*
s
H ( )/ r
p
E' t
p
( ) = C 2P*
s
x
f
/r
p
t
p
E' =
x
f
0.134 VG E'
2KP*g
o
1 + ( )
----------------------------------------
1/3
=
w 6p
s
x
f
( )/E' =
C P*x
f
( )/ r
p
E' t
p
( ) =

min

Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis


Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-44
July 1993
if the propped volume of the fracture is taken into account. If proppant is considered, the effective
fracture volume that will close, V
f
', can be written as
where V
f
is the total fracture volume created and V
pr
is the volume of proppant including the
porosity of the proppant. In terms of an apparent fluid efficiency, e
f
', e.g., the efficiency that would
be calculated based on closure time and not corrected for the propped volume of the fracture, the
actual fluid efficiency can be expressed as

s
- Average Pressure Correction Factor
Pressure decline analysis is based on the average pressure in the fracture, but, unfortunately, the only value that
can be monitored is wellbore pressure, which will tend to be slightly higher than the average pressure. The value
for this correction factor is a function of fracture geometry and uid rheology.
Geertsma deKlerk Geometry
For a fracture with this geometry, Daneshy showed in SPE publications that
p
(the correction factor during pump-
ing) is t 0.85. After shut-in, the correction f actor will be higher than this, thus 0.85 <
s
< 1.0. Typically, a value of
0.9 is used.
Radial Geometry
For a radial geometry (or penny shaped fracture),
s
is near unity. For convenience in simplifying the preceding
equations,
s
was assigned a value of
Perkins & Kern Geometry
Perkins & Kern Geometry
For a conned height fracture, the correction factor can vary from 0.5 to 0.8, with a typical value of 0.65. The
exact value for a particular case is a function of the non-Newtonian character of the injected uid, and a function of
how much viscosity degradation occurs along the fracture during pumping. The non-Newtonian nature of the uid
is characterized by the uids non-Newtonian, n', and this parameter might vary between 0.5 (for very non-Newto-
nian uids such as a Nitrogen foam) and 1.0 for an essentially Newtonian uid such as a linear gel. The amount of
viscosity degradation is qualitatively associated with a, where a=1 indicates no viscosity degradation along the
fracture, a=1 indicates moderate viscosity degradation, and a=2 indicates severe viscosity degradation fromthe
wellbore out to the fracture tip. The pressure correction factor is found from these two parameters by
Typical Values for this factor are given below:
T(F) n ' a
s
Linear Gel - 60-80 1 1 0.67
80-120 1 2 0.57
Crosslink Gel - 80-120 0.75 0 0.78
140-180 0.75 1 0.64
200-250 0.75 2 0.54
Nitrogen Foam - 80-120 0.5 1 0.60
140-180 0.75 2 0.54
Gelled Oil - 100-140 0.5 1 0.60
150-220 0.75 2 0.54
Table 8.4 - Pressure Decline Analysis Calculations.

s
3
2
/32 0.925 . = =

s
2n' 2 + ( )/ 2n' 3 a + + ( ) . =
V
f
' V
f
V
pr
, =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure Decline Analysis
8-45 July 1993
where f
pr
is the volume fraction of proppant pumped (including proppant porosity) relative to the
total slurry injected and defined as
W is the proppant weight,
pr
is the specific weight of the proppant material, e.g., 165 lb/ft
3
,
2.65 gm/cc, 22 lbs/gallon for sand, is the proppant porosity (typically on the order of 0.40 since
this refers to a proppant pack with essentially zero stress), and V
p
= V
fl
+W/
pr
. For example,
assume a fracture treatment containing 100,000 gallons of gel and 300,000 lbs of sand is pumped
at a rate of 30 bpm. After the end of injection, the pressure decline is monitored and fracture clo-
sure is detected at t
c
= 45 minutes. The total volume injected is
Substituting V
p
into the equation for f
pr
,
Total pump time was 113,636 gallons/(42 gal/bbl)/(30 bpm) = 90.2 minutes and with a closure
time of t
c
= 45 minutes, the dimensionless time-to-close was
This value of
c
= 0.50 is used with the time-to-close/efficiency relation to give an apparent effi-
ciency of 28%,
However, the actual efficiency must be greater than this since this apparent efficiency is based
on closure on proppant, and, of course, the fracture is not completely closed at this point. The
actual efficiency is then found from
to be equal to 41%.
This efficiency of 0.41 is now used with the pressure decline data (prior to closure on proppant)
to perform a type curve analysis using the same procedures discussed previously and outlined in
Table 8.3.
e
f
1 1 f
pr
( ) 1 e
f
' ( ) , =
f
pr
V
pr
/V
p
W/
pr
V
p
1 ( ) ( ) . = =
V
p
100 000 gals 300 000 lbs/(22 lbs/gal) , [ ] + , 113 636 gals . , = =
f
pr
300 000 lbs/ 22 lbs/gal ( ) 113 636 gals , ( ) 1 0.40 ( ) [ ] , 0.179 . = =

c
45/90.2 0.50 . = =
e
f
' 0.28 . =
e
f
1 1 f
pr
( ) 1 e
f
' ( ) =
1 0.179 ( ) 1 0.28 ( ) 0.41 . = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-46
July 1993
8.5 Pressure History Matching
The most powerful method of interpreting/analyzing fracturing pressure data is via the history
matching of actual net treating pressure (and pressure decline) data - generally with a numerical
fracture simulator. Another method of looking at this is - Calibrating the Fracture Model for the
particular formation being studied. Also, whether a numerical model is used, or the simple equa-
tions below are used, some simple pressure history matching can overcome the uncertainties
involved in fracturing pressure analysis.
These uncertainties mainly arise since there are essentially more variables than there are equations.
The first of the two main equations can be represented by (from Section 8.3)
where the net treating pressure (and thus the value for p
s
used in the decline analysis) is mainly a
function of the modulus of the formation and the gross or total fracture height, H.
The second main equation is the pressure decline behavior which might be represented by the
P* value
where 'S' is the fracture stiffness which (for any fracture geometry) is primarily a function of frac-
ture height and the formation modulus. Thus there are three main variables or unknowns, modulus,
E, height, H, and fluid loss coefficient, C. The important point here is that since there are basically
three unknowns and only two equations, these equations and any solution for them is interde-
Fig. 8.34 - Pressure History Matching
Pressure Decline
(Fluid Loss; Sand Schedule)
Treating Pressures
(Critical Pressure)
Simulator
Improved Designs
p
net
E'
H
----- QL [ ]
3/4
=
P*
CS
2
-----------r
p
t
p
. =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure History Matching
8-47 July 1993
pendent. For example, simply solving the pressure decline equations for a loss coefficient gives no
assurance that the answer is meaningful; i.e., is the modulus and fracture height used to calculate
the fluid loss consistent with the net treating pressure. If these values are consistent, then the fluid
loss coefficient determined from P
*
will be a reasonable (though possibly still not unique) value.
This history matching process is illustrated in Fig. 8.34. For an example, consider the data in
Fig. 8.35. The Nolte-Smith plot of net treating pressure shows increasing pressure with a small
positive slope, indicating a confined height fracture and a numerical model was used to history
match this data and thus determine a height and modulus consistent with the actual treating pres-
sure behavior (with the modulus also being consistent with published industry data). This height
and modulus can then be used with some confidence to calculate a fluid loss coefficient from the
decline analysis. At this point, however, the calculated value for 'C' might be different from the
value used in the initial numerical modeling of the treating pressure, and if this difference is sig-
nificant (e.g., greater than 20 to 30% difference), the modeling should be redone with the new
value for 'C', modifying the height and/or modulus values as required. The new height and modu-
lus would be used to calculate a revised fluid loss coefficient, e.g., one would iterate. Note, how-
ever, that it is very seldomnecessary more than one time since the net treating pressure is relatively
in- sensitive to a precise value for 'C'. Because of this relationship (that net pressure is relatively
insensitive to fluid loss), the history matching should always begin with matching the net pressure,
with the modulus and height thus determined then used to calculate a loss coefficient .
With this history match, then, one has a set of three main variables (H, E, &C) which yield a good
description of the minifrac test. These can then be used with some confidence to consider different
Fig. 8.35 - Case History of Pressure History Matching
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-48
July 1993
treatment designs, larger/smaller volumes, etc. Note, however, that even though the three values
may be consistent they are still not necessarily the correct values. External data is required to
fully determine the problem. For example, core data for the modulus might make this a fully deter-
mined problem. For the case in Fig. 8.35, postfrac temperature logs showed a height in fair agree-
ment with the history matching, making this a fully determined problem.
Simple History Matching
The use of a numerical model for pressure history matching offers many advantages including the
ability to handle fairly complex geology, the ability to simulate the entire history of a test, and (pos-
sibly most important) the ability to proceed immediately to considering different treating sched-
ules, treatment volumes, etc. Since these considerations are based on a set of data that has
accurately described the past, one can simulate other treatment designs and arrive at an optimum
treatment with some confidence. However, in many cases an appropriate model may not be avail-
able, but, rather than abandon history matching, it is often possible to use quite simple equations
to gain some of the benefits achievable from detailed modeling and matching.
In particular, for a confined height fracture (e.g., a case where the net treating pressure increases
during a job as seen in Fig. 8.35), treating pressure is generally dominated by fluid flow consider-
ations and can often be reasonably predicted (e.g., maybe within t10%). For a confined height
fracture, net pressure can be approximated by the following equation
(8.13)
(8.14)
where is the average fluid viscosity (centipoise), 'VG' is the total fluid volume pumped in gallons,
'Q' is the pump rate in bpm, 'E' is the modulus in psi, x
f
is the fracture 1/2 length in feet, 'H' is the
gross fracture height in feet, and P
*
, , etc., are determined from the pressure decline analysis as
discussed earlier starting on page 8.30.
For other geometries such as an unconfined, radial fracture or a case where the fracture is initially
confined but then experiences significant height growth, rock mechanics considerations at the frac-
ture tip begin to play a more dominant role, often precluding the use of such simple, analytical
equations. However, such equations can be developed and may sometimes prove useful. For exam-
ple, for a radial fracture,
p
net
0.015 E
3
Qx
f
[ ]
1/4
H
--------------------------------------------- =
x
f
0.134 VG E
4KP*
s
g
o
1 + ( )H
2
------------------------------------------------------- =
p
net
0.0078 QE
3
[ ]
1/4
x
f
2/3
------------------------------------------ =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure History Matching
8-49 July 1993
Simple History Matching Procedure & Example
The suggested procedure for use of such equations is a type of single data point history matching.
That is, p
s
, the final net pressure (e.g., ISIP minus closure pressure) is matched to determine a com-
patible set of 'H' and 'E' values to use in calculating fluid loss coefficient, 'C'. These values for
modulus and height are then used in the pressure decline equations to recalculate the fracture 1/2
length, x
f
, and the loss coefficient. If these new values for penetration and 'C' are significantly dif-
ferent from the first values, it might be necessary to iterate one more time. However, as mentioned
above, it is seldom necessary to iterate more than once. If the final height determined from this
pressure matching is consistent with the geology and/or possibly other log indications of fracture
height; or if the modulus is consistent with core data; then the final three major variables (E, H,
and C) can be used with confidence.
As an example, consider the minifrac studied earlier in Section 8.4, with some of the relevant data
from that case listed in Table 8.5.
Using this data in the radial fracture geometry calculation for p
net
gives a predicted net pressure at
shut-in (e.g., p
s
) of 240 psi, somewhat greater than the actual measured value of p
s
= 158 psi.
Remembering that the modulus was strictly an assumed value, one might then use a lower modu-
lus, say 4x10
6
psi to calculate (still using the initial value for x
f
) a final net pressure of 178 psi, in
fair agreement with the actual data. This new modulus is then used to revise the initial estimate of
fracture radius (x
f
), with a new calculated value of x
f
= 185 ft, and a new calculated loss coefficient
of 0.0010 ft/ . With this new fracture radius of 185 ft, and the new modulus of 4 million
psi, the new calculated p
s
is 195 psi, which is still about 20% greater than the actual data, thus one
more iteration might be in order with a modulus of maybe 3.5x10
6
psi. At the end of that final iter-
ation, a set of the three major variables (H, E, and C) would be determined which are compatible
with the minifrac data. In addition, since the calculated fracture radius of t190 ft (which gives a
Table 8.5 - Minifrac Analysis Data.
Test Parameters
Volume=20,000 gallons t
p
= 20 minutes
Q =24 bpm = 300 cp
Minifrac Analysis Parameters
K =1 e
f
= 0.46
DP* =100 psi = 0.86
Pressure Decline Analysis Initial Results
(Calculations for Radial Fracture Geometry)
E' =Assumed equal to 6x10
6
psi
x
f
=Calculated as 211 ft
C =Calculated as 0.0008 ft/
x
f
0.134 VG E'
2KP*g
o
1 + ( )
----------------------------------------------
,
_
1/3
= .

minute
minute
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-50
July 1993
gross fracture height at the wellbore of 380 ft) is consistent with fracture height logs, it is probable
that these values are a very good solution to the actual in-situ conditions.
Complex Geology Effects
Pressure analysis might be considered proven for simple geologies, making it a practical tool for
many (if not most) cases. In general, even, it might be stated that where the basic theory and anal-
ysis methods break down - the problems are related to some more complex geology. These geo-
logic complexities can further be categorized into cases involving: (1) multiple formation layers
and (2) natural fractures. In fact, the bulk of the problems in analyzing fracturing pressure data or
in utilizing the results of such analysis can be traced to one of these complicating factors.
The effect of natural fractures was discussed in Section 8.4, and this effect is often identifiable
from a constant net pressing pressure on a Nolte-Smith plot (e.g., a critical pressure) and some-
times by comparing the type curve match efficiency with the efficiency derived directly from the
time-to-close.
The possible effects of multiple formation(s) layers is more difficult to categorize since such
multi-layered geology can lead to gross distortions and changes with time of the basic fracture
geometry. As an example, consider the case pictured in Fig. 8.36, where a hydraulic fracture was
initiated in one zone, but then penetrated a barrier and broke into a zone with lower closure
stress. During the remainder of the pumping, the lower stress zone will accept most of the injected
fluid. That is the main fracture will not be in the zone where the fracture started. After shutdown,
however, one might expect the barrier between these two zones to close rather quickly - isolating
the perforated interval from the main fracture. Thus the pressure decline behavior will be dom-
inated by the characteristics of the perforated zone, and may give little or no information concern-
ing the redirection of the fracture geometry, or the characteristics of the lower stressed zone which
accepted most of the injection. Possibly, though, such behavior may be inferred through an obser-
vation of some decline in the net treating pressure indicating the height growth combined with dis-
crepancies between the P
*
derived efficiency and the efficiency derived from the time-to-close.
Another example of the effect of multiple layers might be seen in the Big pressure decline anal-
ysis problem. The problem as described and several parameters determined from the pressure
decline analysis are included in table Table 8.6.
Using the simple history match equations from page 8.48 (for a confined height, Perkins &Kern
geometry since the net pressure for the minifrac increased indicating height confinement),
(8.13) p
net
0.015 E
3
Qx
f
[ ]
1/4
H
--------------------------------------------- =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure History Matching
8-51 July 1993
(8.14)
and the problem definition data from Table 8.6, one calculates a final net treating pressure (e.g.,
net pressure at shut-in) of 688 psi, 20% less than the actual value of about 860 psi. Since net pres-
sure is most affected by fracture height and modulus, either the fracture height must be less than
the gross zone thickness (e.g., less than 150 ft), or the modulus of the formation(s) must be greater
than 7x10
6
psi, or ?. Since it might be unexpected (but not impossible) for the fracture height to
be less than the gross formation thickness, an initial approach to history matching this data would
probably be to increase the modulus. Doing this shows, after a couple of iterations, a modulus of
9x10
6
psi giving a calculated final net pressure, p
s
, of 885 psi, in near perfect agreement with the
actual data. The new calculated values for x
f
and 'C' are then 802 ft and 0.00075 ft/ ,
respectively.
Fig. 8.36 - Fracture Going Out of Zone.
x
f
0.134 VG E
4KP*
s
g
o
1 + ( )H
2
------------------------------------------------------- =
minute
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-52
July 1993
Thus the pressure history matching gives a set of three major variables of H = 150 ft, E = 9x10
6
psi, and C = 0.00075 ft/ , which satisfy both the final net treating pressure of about 860 psi
and the pressure decline behavior of P
*
= 260 psi and efficiency = 62%. However, since core data
indicated a modulus on the order of 7 million psi, what might explain the higher apparent stiffness
of the formation(s)?
A possible answer to this might be seen in Fig. 8.37, which illustrates the geology of the forma-
tion, showing that the 110 ft net height (out of the 150 ft gross section) is actually composed of two
distinct sandstone layers with t30 ft of shale separating the two zones. Since the increasing pres-
sure behavior during the minifrac seems to indicate good height confinement (e.g., the over- and
underlying shales having higher closure stress than the sands), it might be reasonable to assume
that the separating shale might also be a barrier (e.g., have a higher closure stress) to fracture
growth. Thus this shale would pinch the fracture width (as seen Fig. 8.37), causing the fracture
to behave stiffer than a simple, 150 ft high fracture, thus explaining the need for an unusually
high modulus if the basic pressure analysis methods are to be used.
Given this more complex geology, a fracture simulator capable of treating multiple formation lay-
ers might be used to history match the actual data, as seen in Fig. 8.38 for the treating pressure
behavior. Once the model is successfully set up to history match the past, it can then, of course,
be used with some confidence to design future jobs. Or, in fact, where the dominant effect of the
multiple zones is to just stiffen the fracture, a simple Perkins & Kern type procedure might be
used for frac design by using the artificially high modulus value to account for the effect of the
shale layer on fracture width.
Table 8.6 - Big Pressure Analysis Problem.
Problem Denition
Volume Pumped = VG = 38,000 gallons
E = Modulus, estimated as 7 million psi
Gross formation thickness = H = 150 ft
Leakoff Height (= net height?) = 110 ft
Rate = 35 bpm
Pump Time = 25.5 minutes
Fluid Viscosity estimated at 300 cp
Pressure Decline Analysis Variables
P
*
= 260 psi
Final Net Treating Pressure = ps = 860 psi
Efficiency = 0.62
= 0.62 / (1 - 0.62) = 1.63
Initial Calculations
Fracture 1/2 Length = 624 ft
C = 0.00095 ft/ minute
minute
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Pressure History Matching
8-53 July 1993
Fig. 8.37 - Actual Fracture Geometry - Pressure Decline Analysis Problem.
Fig. 8.38 - Nolte-Smith History Match, Pressure Decline Analysis Big Problem.
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-54
July 1993
The above two brief examples have illustrated the extreme range of effects that multiple formation
layers can have on fracture pressure analysis - from the case of the frac growing totally out of zone
and almost invalidating the analysis methods; to a case where the basic analysis methods are fine,
but a slightly artificial modulus must be used in order to accurately describe the fracture width. In
general, it is this extreme range of effects that makes general statements about the effects of com-
plex geology difficult or impossible to make. However, while multiple formation layers clearly
create problems, two recent studies (Warpinski
25
and Miller and Smith
22
) have shown that the
combination of pressure decline analysis with numerical modeling/history matching provides a
useful, powerful tool for analysis of such complex geologic cases.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-55 July 1993
8.6 Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
While the ultimate goal of a well stimulation treatment is to increase production using the most
cost effective procedures and materials, the actual, final product from the treatment design and
analysis consists of pumping schedules specifying volumes, proppant addition concentrations (as
seen in Fig. 8.39), and specifying in-situ time-temperature history for the injected fluid (as seen in
Fig. 8.40 for use in selecting and specifying materials). The pressure analysis procedure discussed
in this chapter have concentrated on measuring or determining the physical variables which govern
fracture growth, e.g., in-situ stresses, modulus, fluid loss coefficient, etc. With these variables
properly measured, it becomes possible, through the use of a numerical fracture model, to develop
pumping schedules for achieving the desired goals. However, in some conditions existing wellbore
limitations, or time/budget constraints may not allow adequate time or data collection for measur-
ing the individual variables governing fracture behavior. However, it will be shown and discussed
below (following Nolte
14
) that the final products (e.g., pumping schedules) are a strong function
of a single variable, the fluid efficiency for the treatment. If this single value can be determined
from a prefrac injection test (or from experience gained on previous treatments in the area) then a
pumping schedule can be determined directly from this one value, e.g., efficiency is essentially a
state variable for the propped fracturing process. Note however, that the efficiency derived
schedule is developed from a preselected total treatment volume - with no direct consideration of
fracture length, fracture conductivity, etc. (e.g., no direct consideration of creating the best or most
cost effective stimulation for a particular formation).
Fig. 8.39 - Treatment Schedule, Proppant Addition Concentrations.
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-56
July 1993
Advantages of an Efciency Derived Schedule
1. Allows development of an optimum pumping schedule based on a direct measurement of
fluid efficiency for the particular well and formation being treated.
2. The analysis requires relatively simple data collection and can generally be done from surface
pressure information. Also, the analysis can be completed in a short time making it an ideal
procedure for field use.
3. Final pumping schedule is not significantly affected by actual fracture geometry, thus efficien-
cy procedures can be used in formations (such as coal seams for one example) where actual
fracture geometry may be very complex. Also, this independence from fracture geometry
makes the procedure ideal for initial treatments in a new, wildcat area.
Disadvantages of an Efciency Derived Schedule
1. Prefrac injection must use same fluid as planned for the stimulation and must be pumped at
the same rate as will be used for the actual propped fracture treatment.
2. Efficiency procedure assumes no knowledge of actual fracture geometry, thus the pre-selected
treatment volumes used as a basis for developing the final pumping schedule may be insuffi-
cient for achieving required production, or the volumes may be excessive, incurring additional
costs and unnecessarily increasing the risks associated with completion operations.
The information generally needed for a stimulation are: (1) the fluid volume to be injected, (2) the
injection rate, (3) the proppant addition schedule, (4) the resulting propped fracture width and
length, and (5) the amount of time that fluids will be exposed to reservoir temperature. This expo-
Fig. 8.40 - Treatment Schedule, Fluid Temperature History.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-57 July 1993
sure time is needed for selecting the required fluid system along with the amount and type of fluid
additives. For a new area, the volume limitations may be determined from budget constraints, or,
for a more developed area, volumes may be specified based on the requirements to achieve a rel-
ative change in fracture length (or conductivity) from that achieved by prior treatments. Finally,
pump rate is often prescribed based on horsepower limitations or pressure limit constraints of the
wellhead and/or tubulars. While, as mentioned above, the efficiency procedure gives no informa-
tion on propped fracture length or width, it does give the final ingredient, that being the required
pad volume and proppant addition schedule.
While lack of knowledge of final propped fracture dimensions precludes any quantitative devel-
opment of the treatment design in terms of postfrac production; determining the required pad vol-
ume and pumping schedule still remains the most difficult and critical to obtain of any of the
necessary information. As an example, consider the final fracture conductivity distribution pic-
tured in Fig. 8.41. This is the results of a numerical simulation for a case which (purposefully)
included an excess pad volume. As seen in the figure, at shut-down (e.g., at the end of pumping)
the propped fracture 1/2 length is on the order of 500 ft, which was the design length. However,
due to the excess pad volume, the created length is nearly twice as long. Since the area of high fluid
loss is located near the fracture tip, fluid continues to flow from the wellbore region of the fracture
out toward the fracture tip after shutdown. This afterflow results in a proppant redistribution
leaving a relatively (undesirable) low fracture conductivity in the near well area - reducing future
production rates. Another example of the critical need for pad volume/proppant schedule informa-
tion is, of course, the case of inadequate pad volume. This will result in the slurry portions of a
treatment dehydrating and screening out, reducing the propped fracture length and possibly forc-
ing remedial wellbore cleanout operations. Thus, even for fixed treatment volume, either too
much, or too little pad volume is detrimental to final postfrac results.
Determining Fracture Fluid Efciency
As discussed in Section 8.3, the fluid efficiency for a treatment can be determined by measuring
the time-to-close after a fracturing rate injection. Thus the most direct way to measure fluid effi-
ciency for use in an efficiency design is to conduct a prefrac calibration treatment or minifrac
test. This is the most common method when using the efficiency design techniques, and data col-
lection and analyses for such prefrac testing are thoroughly discussed in earlier sections and will
not be repeated here.
However, an alternate method may be available when earlier propped fracture treatments have
been performed in the area, and where formation properties such as thickness and permeability do
not change radically fromwell-to-well. As an example, consider the ideal Nolte-Smith net pressure
plot in Fig. 8.42, and assume this is a field measured curve from an offset propped fracture stimu-
lation. At a pump time of 20 minutes, proppant is on the formation (e.g., pad was pumped for
twenty minutes) and one hour later (e.g., at a pump time of t80 minutes) pressure starts to increase
indicating that fracture growth has stopped. Probably this job would have been pumped to comple-
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-58
July 1993
tion, since pressure only increases by t500 psi after the start of the screenout, with this relatively
small increase possibly not even being noted in normal surface pumping records. However, unless
this screenout was a planned occurrence, it is probable that fracture length is much less than
desired. While unfortunate for this well, the information can aid in future treatment designs by sim-
ply noting the pad percentage at the start of the pressure increase.
For this case, pressure starts increasing after t80 minutes, with a pad pump time of 20 minutes -
thus pad percentage for the first part of the job was 25%. For future treatments, the pad percent-
age should be increased in volume to at least equal 25% of the total pump time. More accurately,
since pad percentage is related to job size, the pad percentage of 25% could be used to back out
Fig. 8.41 - Fracture Conductivity Redistribution Resulting from Excess Pad Volume.
Fig. 8.42 - Use of Field Data to Determine Fluid Efciency.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-59 July 1993
a fluid efficiency. The fluid efficiency thus measured for the first 80 minutes of the job is then used
to calculate an expected fluid efficiency for a larger treatment (as discussed below), and this
expected efficiency for the total job is used to determine the new, required pad percentage and pad
volume.
Pad Volume
Once an efficiency (or expected efficiency) has been determined for a proposed treatment, the
required pad percentage for the job is found from the simple relation
(8.15)
where e
f
is the expected efficiency for the treatment, f
p
is the required pad fraction for the treat-
ment, and f
C
is a correction term.
In developing this, consider the curve shown in Fig. 8.43. This curve illustrates fracture area grow-
ing with time (or volume). Further, consider that at some time, ft
p
(where t
p
is the total pump time
and f is a fraction) a switch is made from pumping pad to pumping proppant laden slurry. Thus,
the initial fracture area created (e.g., the small element of fracture created just as pumping starts)
is exposed to fluid loss for the entire pump time t
p
, with this fluid loss coming out of the pad from
time '0' to time ft
p
, with subsequent fluid loss coming out of, and serving to dehydrate, the proppant
laden slurry.
Similarly, one might consider some later element of the created fracture area, da, which is created
at time = (e.g., before that time it did not exist since the fracture had not reached that point) and
has a total exposure time to fluid loss of = (t
p
- ). For some fraction of that total exposure time
( < t
p
), fluid loss from this increment of the fracture area will come from the pad volume. After
that point, the slurry front passes and subsequent fluid loss out of that element of the fracture
Fig. 8.43 - Variables for Determining Pad Percentage.
f
p
1 e
f
( )
2
f
c
+ =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-60
July 1993
area will be coming out of the slurry. Assume then, that this point in time where the slurry front
passes an element of fracture area is similar for each element of the fracture. Then for some incre-
mental area, da, total fluid loss exposure time is . For a fraction of this total time, f, fluid loss is
from the pad while for the remainder of the exposure time, fluid loss is from slurry.
The volume of fluid lost during a fraction, f, of each incremental fracture area's fluid exposure
time, , can then be found by integrating
14
where V
Loss
is the total volume of fluid lost during the entire pump time. Thus the portion of fluid
lost for a (constant) fraction of the fluid exposure time of each incremental area of the fracture is
simply proportional to . Also, if this assumption concerning the slurry front passing each ele-
ment of the fracture is correct, then this simple curve (dashed line in Fig. 8.43) defines the perfect
pad. That is, the slurry front reaches the fracture tip just as pumping stops, e.g., it neither reaches
the tip prematurely leading to proppant bridging (a screenout), nor does it fail to reach the tip, leav-
ing a portion of the fracture without proppant or allowing harmful afterflow proppant redistribu-
tion during fracture closure.
Clearly then this is a possible curve for the optimum pad volume, and based on this curve, the
desired fraction, f = f
p
, is readily found. As discussed above, the volume of fluid lost during a frac-
tion, f, of each fracture elements' fluid exposure time, equals x V
Loss
, where V
Loss
is the total
loss volume during the treatment. For the ideal pad then this fractional lost volume exactly equals
the pad volume giving
where V
p
is the total volume injected during the entire pump time t
p
. Since efficiency, e
f
, is defined
as fracture volume at the end of pumping divided by the total volume injected, then V
Loss
, must
equal
and the ideal, theoretical pad fraction is given by
V
Loss
f ( ) 2C
d

-------
0
f

da
0
A

=
f x V
Loss
=
f
f
f
p
xV
p
f xV
Los
=
V
Loss
1 e
f
( )xV
p
=
f
p
1 e
f
( )
2
= .
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-61 July 1993
However, reviewing the dashed (slurry front propagation) curve in Fig. 8.43 shows a vertical
slope at the beginning, e.g., implying an initially infinite velocity for the slurry front. This is clearly
an impossibility, and leads to a correction factor,
14
f
C
, as shown in Fig. 8.44.
Thus, more generally, the ideal pad percentage, f
p
, is given by
(8.13)
where f
C
= 0.05, efficiency, e
f
, > = 0.20, = e
f
/4, efficiency < 0.20 .
Using this (somewhat in reverse) with the ideal case shown in Fig. 8.42 where the pad percentage
(prior to start of screenout) was 0.25 gives an efficiency on the order of
for the first 80 minutes pumping of that job. (Note that in this case, the final efficiency is greater
than 0.20, thus the initial estimate of f
C
= 0.05 was correct, otherwise it would have been necessary
to iterate on the correction term in order to find the actual efficiency.)
Of course, while the dashed curve in Fig. 8.43 represents the general character of an ideal pad
stage, the assumption that each incremental fracture area element is exposed to pad fluid loss and
slurry fluid loss in the same ratio (e.g., 'f' is a constant for each incremental element of the fracture)
is not proven. As one proof, or at least justification, for this assumption, pad percentage and
proppant addition schedules (as discussed in the following section) arising from the efficiency
analysis are compared to schedules developed from computer models in Fig. 8.45. This shows
actual treatment schedules from three separate areas, representing fluid efficiencies ranging from
18 to 70%. The low loss, high efficiency example is for a tight gas field in Colorado where height
Fig. 8.44 - Correction Factor for Pad.
f
p
1 e
f
( )
2
= f
C
+
0.25 1 e
f
( )
2
= 0.05 1 e
f
( )
2
, + 0.20 =
e
f
0.55 t =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-62
July 1993
confinement was virtually perfect; the middle curve comes from treatment histories from a gas
field in East Texas where some height growth generally occurred; and the third, high fluid loss
example, was for fracturing in a thick, moderate permeability, carbonate formation in the North
Sea. In each case, computer model designs were based on extensive data collection programs and
field experience, and, in each case, the final proppant schedule is seen to be quite accurately deter-
mined by fluid efficiency alone.
Proppant Addition Schedule
The average proppant concentration, c
avg
, for a treatment is
(8.16)
where W is the total weight of the proppant and V
p
is the total slurry volume (fluid plus proppant)
injected. Note here that this definition of proppant concentration differs from the normal field
usage of pounds-of-proppant per gallon-or-fluid. Additionally, c
f
is defined as the final, maximum
proppant concentration pumped during a treatment, and due to fluid loss, c
f
must be greater than
c
avg
. One possible design goal for a propped fracture stimulation is to, at the end of pumping, have
a uniform proppant concentration, equal to c
f
, from the wellbore to the fracture tip. This will gen-
erate a fracture with reasonably uniform conductivity along the fracture length (assuming a single
type of proppant is used) and will maintain fairly uniform slurry viscosity throughout the fracture.
In terms of the fracture volume at the end of pumping, V =e
f
x V
p
, this final proppant concentration
can be written as
Fig. 8.45 - Comparison with Computer Models.
c
avg
W/V
p
=
c
f
W/V W/ e
f
V
p
( ) . = =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-63 July 1993
Combining this with the definition of average concentration gives
where c
D-avg
is a normalized value for average concentration. Similarly, a normalized concen-
tration at any point in time during the treatment is defined by
and, for convenience a new time scale is defined, , where the new time scale starts at 0 when
proppant is started and reaches a value of 1 at the end of the job as illustrated in Fig. 8.46.
In terms of this new time scale, certain fixed values for the normalized proppant schedule, c
D
, can
be stated
Assuming a function for the proppant schedule of the form
the exponent, , can be evaluated from the above limits on the function, c
D
, given above
Fig. 8.46 - Time Scale, , for Determining Proppant Addition Schedule.
c
D avg
c
avg
/c
f
e
f
, = =
c
D
c/c
f
, =
t f t
p
( )/ t
p
f t
p
( ) . =
c
D
( ) 0 = 0 < ( ), =
c
D
( ) 1 = 1 < ( ) =
c
D avg
e
f .
=
c
D
( ) (0 = = 1) < < =

Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-64
July 1993
or after incorporating a correction factor discussed on page 8.62 for the pad volume calculations
Thus a dimensionless or normalized proppant addition schedule is defined by
(8.17)
and since this function satisfies the numerical end points for a proppant schedule as stated above,
satisfies the relation for the final average proppant concentration, and also provides a monotoni-
cally increasing schedule as commonly utilized in practice - it is expected to be a reasonable
approximation to an ideal schedule. As seen in Fig. 8.45, again for three cases covering a range of
conditions and fluid efficiency, this simple relation does indeed provide an acceptable pumping
schedule.
Effect of Treatment Volume
In an example considered in the discussion of Fig. 8.42, from the pad pump time of 20 minutes and
the time when a screenout started at 80 minutes (pad fraction, f
p
, of 0.25), it was found that the
fluid efficiency for the first 80 minutes of pumping was t55%. Also, a minimum design criteria
for future treatments in that formation was to use a pad volume equal to 25% of the total volume
to be pumped. However, this fluid efficiency of 55% is applicable for the first 80 minutes of the
job and, in general, fluid efficiency is a function of job size and will tend to decrease as pumping
time gets longer and longer. Thus for a job requiring a total pump time of about 2 hours as shown
in Fig. 8.42, the expected efficiency would be somewhat lower than 55% and the required pad per-
centage would be somewhat greater than 25%.
Fluid efficiency is related to pump time (e.g., volume and rate), fluid loss coefficient, C, and to the
fluid loss area, or r
p
, the ratio of loss area to total fracture area. While these are the primary vari-
ables governing efficiency, it is also slightly affected by fracture geometry (e.g., confined height
vs. radial fracture growth) and fluid rheology. For a general case there is no analytical solution for
fluid efficiency, however, as with the other fracturing pressure decline analyses discussed earlier,
it is possible to place certain bounds. For example, for efficiency approaching 0 (e.g., very high
fluid loss), fluid efficiency is proportional to time raised to a power
14
= 1 e
f
.
= 1 e
f
f
C
/e
f
.
c
D
( )

0 = < = 1 < ( ) , = 1 e
f
f
C
/e
f
, =
e
f
t** n / 2n 2 + ( )
5n 2 + ( )/ 82 8 + ( )
"PK"
"Radial"
Geometry
Geometry
Geometry
2n 1 + ( )/ 4n 4 + ( )
"GdK"
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-65 July 1993
where 'n' is the power law exponent for a non-Newtonian fluid. 'n' generally ranges between 0.5
and 1 for common fracturing fluids, and using n = 0.75 (a typical value for crosslink gels) gives
While the range between these various possible fracture geometries is possibly significant in some
cases, it is noted that the values above are for the limited case of very high fluid loss. As efficiency
approaches 1 (e.g., no fluid loss), then the fracture geometry does not effect efficiency, and, in
the above form, efficiency is proportional to time raised to the 0 power, e.g.,
Interpolating between these limits gives a ratio of efficiencies between two different pump times
(t
2
and t
1
) as
but, generally, acceptable accuracy is obtained by simplifying the above ratio to a single relation-
ship
(8.18)
Example
As an example, consider a case where a minifrac test was pumped. The test consisted of a cross-
linked gel identical to the fluid planned for use during the propped fracture treatment. The test used
25,000 gallons (595 barrels) pumped at 25 bpm with a total pump time, t
p
, of 23.8 minutes. Frac-
ture closure was observed 28.6 minutes after shut-in, e.g., t
c
= 28.6 minutes. This gives a dimen-
sionless closure time of
And, from Fig. 8.32,
c
of 1.20 gives e
f
= 0.45 (45).
Find Actual Job Expected Efciency
Now assume that it is desired to pump an actual propped fracture treatment with a total slurry vol-
ume of 100,000 gallons and a final proppant concentration of 8 ppg (pounds of proppant per fluid
gallon). The actual treatment will also be pumped at 25 bpm, and it is important to note here that
e
f
t**
"PK"
"GdK"
"Radial"
Geometry
Geometry .
Geometry
0.357
0.214
0.411
e
f
t
0
constant 1 . = =
e
f 2
/e
f 1
( ) t
2
/t
1
( ) ** = 0.214 1 e
f 1
( )
0.411 1 e
f 1
( )
"PK"
"GdK"
"Radial"
Geometry
Geometry ,
Geometry
0.357 1 e
f 1
( )
e
f 2
/e
f 1
( ) t
2
/t
1
( )
1 e
1
( ) 3
=

c
t
c
/t
p
28.6/23.8 1.20 = = =
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-66
July 1993
while the minifrac efficiency can be corrected for the larger volume, it cannot be corrected for
rate changes, thus in order to use simply the efficiency from the minifrac, the propped stimulation
treatment must be pumped at the same rate. This gives [using Eq. (8.18)] an expected efficiency
for the actual treatment of
Treatment Pad Percentage
The actual treatment pad percentage is then found from Eq. (8.15)
and since the total expected treatment volume is 100,000 gallons, the pad stage should consist of
47,000 gallons.
Proppant Addition Schedule
The proppant schedule exponent, , is then found from
and the dimensionless proppant schedule is given by
and this equation is used to construct the simple table shown in Table 8.7, where the slurry vol-
umes shown are arbitrarily selected points which will be used to construct a curve of prop con-
centration vs. slurry volume. It is particularly important to note that the calculations are conducted
in terms of slurry volume and slurry concentration, e.g., pounds of proppant per slurry gallon, so
a conversion is necessary to the more common industry terminology of ppg (pounds of proppant
per fluid gallon).
These conversions from ppg (pounds of proppant per fluid gallon - C
fl
) to pounds of proppant per
slurry gallon (C
sl
) have been made using the formulae
and
e
f 2
/0.45 4/1 ( )
1 0.45/3 ( )
=
e
f 2
0.45 ( ) 4 ( )
0.18
0.35 35% . = = =
f
p
1 0.35 ( )
2
= 0.05 + 0.47 , =
1 e
f
f
C
/e
f
1 0.35 0.05/0.35 0.51 = = =
c
D
( )

(0 = < = 1), < = = 0.51,


C
sl
C
fl
S.G. 8.33 ( )/ C
fl
S.G. + 8.33 ( ) =
C
fl
S.G. 8.33 ( )/(S.G. 8.33 /C
sl
1) . =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Proppant/Fluid Schedule From Pressure Decline
8-67 July 1993
Finally, these calculated points might be plotted as shown in Fig. 8.47, and a smooth curve con-
necting the points constructed - with this curve then describing the ideal proppant addition sched-
ule. This curve might then be the final job input for a computer controlled ramp type treatment,
or the curve might be subdivided into discrete stages as seen by the dashed line in the figure, with
these discrete stages then being used for job control.
Time/Temperature History
The efficiency can also be used to determine an approximate time-temperature history for the treat-
ment as illustrated in Fig. 8.40 as discussed by Nolte, in his paper Determination of Proppant and
Fluid Schedules from Fracturing Pressure Decline.
14
Table 8.7 - Application of Proppant Addition Schedule.
Total Treatment Volume - 100,000 Slurry Gallons
Pump Rate - 25 bpm
Proppant is sand - S.G. = 2.65
Max Proppant Concentration is 8 ppg (5.87 pounds per slurry gallon)
Slurry Volume
(gallons) c
D
Pounds of Prop
per Slurry Gal
PPG(lbs of prop per
uid gal)
47,000 0.0 0.0 0 0.0
59,720 0.24 0.48 0.48x5.87 = 2.82 3.5
72,970 0.49 0.70 4.10 5.2
86,750 0.75 0.86 5.05 6.6
100,000 1.0 1.0 5.87 8.0
Fig. 8.47 - Treatment Schedule from Efciency.
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
P
P
G
Eff, Mini-Frac = 0.45
Expected Eff, Main Frac = 0.40
Rate = 25 BPM
20 40 60 80 100
Slurry Volume (M-gallons)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-68
July 1993
8.7 Nomenclature
A Total Fracture Area created after pumping for t
p
minutes (ft
2
)
C Fluid Loss Coefficient (ft/ )
P Pressure Difference (psi)
P
*
Match pressure for pressure decline analysis (psi)
Dimensionless Shut-In Time, = t
s
/t
p

c
Dimensionless Closure Time,
c
= t
c
/t
p
e
f
Fracture Fluid Efficiency = Fracture Volume at Shut-In (V)/Total Volume Pumped (V
p
)
E Young's Modulus of Formation (psi), Typical Values - 2x10
6
psi to 8x10
6
psi
E' Crack Opening Modulus = E/(1-
2
) (psi)
f Fraction
f
p
Pad Fraction or Pad Percentage
f
pr
Proppant Fraction of Job, V
pr
/V
p
H Total or Gross Fracture Height (ft)
H
p
Permeable or Leakoff Height (ft)
p
c
Fracture Closure Pressure (psi)
p
net
Net Fracturing Pressure (e.g., bottomhole treating pressure just outside the perforations
minus fracture closure pressure) (psi)
p
s
Net Pressure at Shut-In (e.g., ISIP - p
c
)
Porosity of Proppant Pack (typically on the order of 0.40)
Q Total Injection Rate (barrels/minute, bpm)
q
Loss
Fluid Loss Rate (bpm)
r
p
Ratio of permeable or leakoff area to total fracture area for P&K or Geertsma r
p
= H
p
/ H;
for a radial geometry r
p
is more difficult to define and is normally set = 1
Loss Ratio = efficiency/(1 - efficiency)

pr
Specific Gravity of Proppant (e.g., 2.65 gm/cc or 22 lb gal for sand)
S Fracture Stiffness for Pressure Decline Analysis
t
c
Closure Time, e.g., Shut-In Time to Fracture Closure (minutes)
t
p
Pump Time (minutes)
t
s
Shut-In Time (e.g., incremental time since pumping stopped) (minutes)
minute
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Nomenclature
8-69 July 1993
Time when an incremental element of fracture area is first exposed to fluid loss
V Fracture Volume (ft
3
)
V
Loss
Total Fluid Loss Volume During Pumping (ft
3
)
V
p
Total Slurry Volume Pumped (ft
3
)
V
pr
Total Proppant Volume Pumped (ft
3
), including porosity of proppant
V
fl
Total Fluid Volume Pumped (ft
3
)
Dimensionless Shut-In Time, t
s
/t
p
or (t-t
p
)/t
p
W Total weight of proppant pumped (pounds)
Poisson's Ratio for Formation (dimensionless), Typical Values - 0.15 to 0.25
Fluid Viscosity (centipoise)
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-70
July 1993
8.8 References
1. Godbey, J. K. and Hodges, H. D.: Pressure Measurements During Fracturing Operations, Trans., AIME, (1958)
213, 65-69.
2. Khristianovic, S. A. and Zheltov, Y. P.: Formation of Vertical Fractures by Means of Highly Viscous Liquid,
Proc. Fourth World Pet. Cong., Rome (1955) Sec. II, 579-86.
3. Perkins, T. K. Jr. and Kern, L. R.: Widths of Hydraulic Fractures, JPT (Sept. 1961) 937-49; Trans., AIME 222.
4. Geertsma, J. and de Klerk, F.: ARapid Method of Predicting Width and Extent of Hydraulic Induced Fractures,
JPT (Dec. 1969) 1571-81; Trans., AIME 246.
5. Veatch, R. W. and Crowell, R. F.: Joint Research/Operations Programs Accelerate Massive Hydraulic Fractur-
ing Technology, JPT (Dec. 1982), 2763-75.
6. Nolte, K. G. and Smith, M. G.: Interpretation of Fracturing Pressures, JPT (Sept. 1981), 1767-75.
7. Nolte, K. G.: Determination of Fracture Parameters from Fracturing Pressure Decline, paper SPE 8341, pre-
sented at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 23-26.
8. Schlottman, B. W., Miller, W. K. II, and Leuders, R. K.: Massive Hydraulic Fracture Design for the East Texas
Cotton Valley Sands, paper SPE 10133, presented at the 1981 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibi-
tion, San Antonio, Oct. 4-7.
9. Elbel, J. L. et al.: Stimulation Study of Cottage Grove Formation, JPT (July 1984) 1199-1205.
10. Dobkins, T. A.: Procedures, Results, and Benefits of Detailed Fracture Treatment Analysis, paper SPE 10130,
presented at the 1981 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Oct. 4-7.
11. Smith, M. B.: Stimulation Design for Short, Precise Hydraulic Fractures SPEJ (June 1985) 371-79.
12. Smith, M. B., Miller, W. K. II, and Haga, J.: Tip Screenout Fracturing: A Technique for Soft, Unstable Forma-
tions, SPEFE (Feb. 1987) 95-103; Trans., AIME, 283.
13. Morris, C. W. and Sinclair, R. A.: Evaluation of Bottomhole Treatment Pressure for Geothermal Well Hydraulic
Fracture Stimulation, JPT (May 1984) 829-36.
14. Nolte, K. G.: Determination of Proppant and Fluid Schedules From Fracturing-Pressure Decline, SPEPE (July
1986) 255-65; Trans., AIME, 281.
15. Nolte, K. G.: A General Analysis of Fracturing Pressure Decline With Application to Three Models, SPEFE,
(Dec. 1986) 571-83.
16. Martins, J. P. and Harper, T. R.: Mini-frac Pressure Decline Analysis for Fractures Evolving From Long Perfo-
rated Intervals and Unaffected by Confining Strata, paper SPE 13869 presented at the 1985 SPE/DOE Low-Per-
meability Gas Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, May 19-22.
17. Castillo, J. L.: Modified Fracture Pressure Decline Analysis Including Pressure-Dependent Leakoff, paper
SPE 16417, presented at the 1987 SPE/DOE Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs Symposium,.Denver, May 18-19.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
8-71 July 1993
18. Cooper, G. D., Nelson, S. G., and Schopper, M. D.: Comparison of Methods for Determining In-Situ Leakoff
Rate Based on Analysis With an On-Site Computer, paper SPE 13223 presented at the 1984 SPE Annual Tech-
nical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Sept. 16-19.
19. Warpinski, N. R.: Investigation of the Accuracy and Reliability of In Situ Stress Measurements Using Hydraulic
Fracturing in Perforated, Cased Holes, Proc., 24th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, College Station, TX,
(June 1983) 773-86.
20. McLennan, J. D. and Rogiers, J. C.: How Instantaneous are Instantaneous Shut-In Pressures, paper SPE 11064,
presented at the 1982 Annual Meeting of SPE, New Orleans, Louisiana, Sept. 26-29.
21. Warpinski, N. R. and Teufel, L. W.: In-Situ Stresses in LowPermeability, Nonmarine Rocks, JPT, April, 1989.
22. Miller, W. K. II and Smith, M. B.: Reanalysis of the MWX-Fracture Stimulation Data from the Paludal Zone of
the Mesaverde Formation, paper SPE 19772, presented at 1989 Annual Fall Meeting of SPE, San Antonio, Tex-
as, Oct. 8-11.
23. Nordgren, R. P.: Propagation of a Vertical Hydraulic Fracture, SPEJ (Aug. 1972) 306-14; Trans., AIME, 253.
24. Carter, R. D.: Appendix I to paper by C. C. Howard and C. R. Fast, Optimum Fluid Characteristics for Fracture
Extension, presented at the 1957 ASME Spring Meeting, Mid-Continent District, Div. of Production, Tulsa,
OK, April.
25. Warpinski, N. R.: Dual Leakoff Behavior in Hydraulic Fracturing of Tight, Lenticular Gas Sands, SPE Pro-
duction Engineering (August 1990) 243.
Fracture Treating Pressure Analysis
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
8
8-72
July 1993
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
8-73 July 1993
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9-1
Chapter
August 1992
9.1 Introduction
After 40 years of growth in income, we are now in a period where there will be little growth. We
have to continue to rationalize both staff and assets to reduce our operations to the size required
for expected level of (future) investment and to reduce costs so that cash flow can be maximized.
The fat, lazy days are over. We must continue to become leaner and meaner. We must improve our
efficiency. This is the charge made by the authors of a paper entitled Petroleum Reinvestment-
Is there a future for our Industry?
Doom and gloom or a challenge to be overcome? These statements bring home the importance of
properly maximizing cash flow in the management of our oil and gas properties and emphasize the
need to focus on immediate opportunities to bring about revenue improvement. Well stimulation,
either by acidizing or through hydraulic fracture stimulation, is one method available to generate,
virtually overnight, improved production revenues that will assist in our accomplishing this goal.
Well stimulation, however, is a business decision that can just as easily result in an investment loss
if not properly understood and applied.
Amoco Corporation has traditionally reinvested over 50% of it's total earnings in Amoco Produc-
tion Company (APC) for the sole purpose of developing reserves and the resulting production of
oil and gas. Over the last decade, APC has developed and applied hydraulic fracture stimulation
technology worldwide, an investment that today provides over 50% of all oil and gas produced in
our domestic U.S., Canadian and North Sea operations. Price declines in recent years have made
it increasingly difficult to justify investment in drilling, completing and stimulating wells. Low
prices have been compounded by an increased incidence of poor economic returns and project cost
overruns, as summarized in Table 9.1, suggesting better risk management procedures must be
included as a part of economic analysis and stimulation optimization. This section addresses the
methods to follow and the pitfalls to avoid when maximizing revenue from the implementation of
hydraulic fracture treatments.
Table 9.1 - Average of Gulf of Mexico Projects to 1988.
1
Production: -10%
Reserves -9%
Project Time +29%
Project Cost: +33%
Present Worth -88%
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic
Fracture Treatments
9
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction
9-2 August 1992
Economic optimization of a well stimulation treatment requires that the designer carefully balance
a large number of parameters describing the reservoir, including its fluid and rock properties, with
the inflow performance and associated cost of providing a man-made flow conduit that will pro-
duce the largest production increase at the least incremental cost. There are usually many solutions
to this problem because the different stimulation materials and their associated costs can be com-
bined in many ways to produce an optimum. The challenge facing us today is to consider all mate-
rials and sensitivities, and their associated risks, to arrive at the true optimum, a task that is by
no means trivial and is best suited to todays computer technology. Amoco Production Research
has developed an integrated fracture, reservoir, and economics program called ULTRAFRAC.
This programallows the user to assess the economic benefits and sensitivities of the fracturing pro-
cess. The following sections are some of the more important considerations to be evaluated when
optimizing stimulation treatments.
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-3
August 1992
9.2 General Economic Criteria
Provided that cash inflows may be reinvested in projects yielding some positive rate of return,
there is a benefit associated with receiving cash inflows as early as possible, and delaying expen-
ditures as long as possible. This is just a restatement that funds have time value. The magnitude
and timing of project net cash flows are important yardsticks by which to measure project perfor-
mance. Similar considerations are valid with associated costs of production.
Amoco evaluates investment projects on the basis of several standards. The most important of
these will be discussed in this section, and the merits and shortcomings of each will be outlined.
As the discussion proceeds, it will become clear that no single measure is sufficient to adequately
analyze a project and that an evaluation utilizing a variety of measures is desirable. The measures
used within Amoco are defined as follows:
1. Net Present Worth or Value (PW or PV) The sum of all future cash flows discounted to the
initial time, at a stated discount rate.
2. Incremental Present Worth or Value of the Fracture (INCPVF) The Net Present Value of a
fracture case less the present value of the unfractured case.
3. Fracture Incremental Present Worth or Value (FINCPV) The Net Present Value of a fracture
case less the present value of the preceding case. Used to show diminishing returns.
4. Profitability Index (PI) The [continuous] compound interest rate whose discount factors make
the present worth of a projects net cash flows equal to zero.
5. Discounted Return on Investment (DROI) The ratio of a projects net present worth to the
present worth of the total investments discounted at a stated rate. (The denominator is calcu-
lated after tax and overhead and includes investment tax credits and the after-tax effect of de-
preciation.) In ULTRAFRAC, DROI includes capital expenses such as well costs in addition
to fracturing costs.
6. Fracture Discounted Return on Investment (FDROI) FDROI is defined as above only cap-
ital costs such as well costs are excluded. Only the AFIT (After Federal Income Tax) fracturing
costs are used in this economic analysis.
7. Incremental Discounted Return on Investment (INCDROI) INCDROI is defined as the ratio
of the incremental present worth of the fracture cases to the incremental cost to achieve the ad-
ditional length. As a result, a DROI cutoff, consistent with Business Unit budgeting, can be
used to aid in determining the optimum fracture treatment.
8. Payout (PO) The time for the cumulative undiscounted cash flow of a project to reach zero.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-4 August 1992
The Present Worth Concept
A concept which lies at the foundation of economic evaluation procedures is present worth, also
called present value (PV). While these two expressions are interchangeable and all of Amocos
other subsidiaries use the term present value, the term present worth is normally used within
Amoco Production. Present worth is abbreviated in this text as PW
i
, where i is the interest rate. The
principle is that a dollar of income is worth more to an investor, or a firm, if received now rather
than at some time in the future. This is because the dollar can be invested at some positive percent-
age rate of return (interest rate) during the intervening time.
For example, a dollar received now would, at 5% annual interest, be worth $1.05 after one year.
Hence, to be indifferent between accepting a dollar now or a certain sum of money one year in the
future, that sum of money would have to be $1.05 (assuming 5% return is the highest return avail-
able to investors). The future worth (FW) of a dollar after one year at 5% is calculated as follows:
FW = 1.00 (1 + .05)
= 1.05
After two years, if the interest were left in the account, the future worth would be:
FW = 1.00 (1 + .05) (1 + .05)
= 1.00 (1.05)
2
= 1.1025
Present worth is the value that, when invested at the given interest rate, will yield the given future
worth after the applicable number of periods. Using the previous example of $1.05 received after
a year, the present worth is $1.00 (since it would grow to the future worth of $1.05 when invested
at 5%for one year). Another way to think of present worth is the value in current dollars you would
require to make you indifferent between receiving that amount or the future worth.
The relationship of present and future worth can be stated generally as,
FW = PW (1 + i)
n
(2.1)
where FW = future worth, PW = present worth, i = interest rate (assumed constant), and n= number
of periods over which the interest rate applies.
In general terms, present worth is found by solving Eq. (2.1) for PW.
PW = FW (2.2)
The quantity
1
1 i + ( )
n
------------------
1
1 i + ( )
n
------------------
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-5
August 1992
is known as a discount factor.
The form of present worth discussed so far is known as end-of-period discrete (or periodic) dis-
counting. If one assumes that the time period over which compounding occurs is infinitesimally
short, the result is continuous discounting, the type employed Amoco. With continuous discount-
ing, the present worth is determined as follows:
(2.3)
where PW = present worth, FW = future worth, e = Exponential Function, i = Interest Rate
(assumed constant) and n = number of periods over which the interest rate applies
The use of tables and computer programs simplifies the calculation of the discount factor 1/e
ni
.
If more than one future amount, occurring at different times, is being discounted, it is necessary to
alter the equation to account for multiple cash flows. Eq. (2.4) illustrates the case of n cash flows,
each assumed to occur at year end.
(2.4)
where C
0
, C
1
, ..., C
n
= annual point-in-time cash flows for years 1 through n and DF
1
, DF
2
, ..., DF
n
= associated continuous discount factors for years 1 through n.
The discussion of present worth thus far has centered around cash flows which occur at a point in
time. More frequently, however, cash flows occur uniformly throughout a period, rather than at
year end. An example of a uniformcash flowis revenue froman oil well. The oil is not all produced
on December 31, 19xx; therefore end-of-year discounting is not appropriate. An example of a sit-
uation tailored to use end-of-period discounting might be annuity payments received at year end
for several years.
Table 9.2 summarizes the types of discounting and cash flows which exist and the applicable dis-
count factor tables, which are included, along with brief instructions, in a separate section of this
manual. Only the continuous form of discounting is utilized by Amoco and all future references to
discounting will be to that form.
Annual continuous discount factors, the type normally used by Amoco, for point-in-time cash
flows are listed in Table 9.3, and factors for uniform cash flows are listed in Table 9.4. Examples
Table 9.2 - Summary of Discounting and Cash Flows.
Type of Discounting Cash Flow Applicable Table
1. Discrete Point-in-time
Uniform
Not applicable
Not applicable
2. Continuous Point-in-time
Uniform
9.3
9.4
PW
FW
e
ni
--------- =
PW C
o
C
1
DF
1
( ) C
2
DF
2
( ) ... C
n
DF
n
( ) + + + + =
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-6 August 1992
of present worth calculations for both uniform and point-in-time cash flows are also provided. For
anything other than the simplest of examples, computer programs such as ULTRAFRAC and
GEM handle the calculations.
Table 9.4 also shows an example of present worth calculation. The annual $75 M project net cash
flow streams are assumed to result from a $100 M investment. Discounted cash flows are obtained
by multiplying the annual net cash flows by the appropriate discount factors. The present worth of
the project is the sum of the discounted cash flows. Present worth has been calculated at 15% dis-
count rate for point-in-time and uniform cash flows.
The significance of present worth is that, provided an investor has other investment opportunities
at the stated discount rate, he would be indifferent to accepting $81.1 M now or accepting the
undiscounted uniform cash flows over the three years of project life. In fact, the value of a firm is
frequently said to be the present worth of all of its cash flows from its various projects.
Present worth is helpful in ranking projects of the same size as illustrated by Table 9.5:
In examining these projects, it is clear that an investor would favor project A over B, because
Project B for the same investment ($1,000 M) yields $100 M less per year over the three-year
Table 9.3 Calculation of Present Worth Using Continuous Discount Factors (Amoco).
Year
Net Cash Flow
($M)
Point-in-time Cash Flows
Discount Factors @ 15%
Discounted Cash Flow
($M
0 -100 - -100
1 75 .8607 64.6
2 75 .7408 55.6
3 75 .6376 47.8
68.0 = PW
15
(Point-in-Time)
Table 9.4 - Calculation of Present Worth Using Uniform Discount Factors.
Year
Net Cash Flow
($M)
Uniform Cash Flows
Discount Factors @ 15%
Discounted Cash Flow
($M
0 -100 -
-100
0-1 75 .9286
69.6
1-2 75 .7993
59.9
2-3 75 .6879
51.6
81.1 = PW
15
(Uniform)
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-7
August 1992
project life. Project A and Project C, however, each return a total of $500 M, and the concept of
present worth aids in differentiating between them. Project C is preferred because it returns more
of its cash earlier which leads to its having a higher present worth (the incoming cash can be rein-
vested). This once again emphasizes that both the timing and magnitude of investments have to
be considered. It is interesting to note that Project B, while returning all of its investment, still has
a negative present value at both 13% and 15% discount rates.
If this firms cost of capital is 13%, it would undertake all projects with a PW
13
> 0, accepting
project A and C but rejecting B. However, if the firm were capital constrained, it would rank the
projects in order of economic attractiveness and choose those which maximize the value of the firm
within the imposed constraints.
Amoco has set a minimum investment criterion that those projects accepted must have a positive
PW
15
. Subject to the size of Amocos investment budget and manpower constraints, those
projects should be selected which maximize the present worth of the total package of projects
available.
Protability Index
Profitability Index (PI) is defined as that [continuous] compound interest rate whose discount fac-
tors make the present worth of a projects net cash flows equal to zero. PI is also referred to as the
projects internal rate of return.
The PI may also be thought of as the discount rate which sets the sum of the discounted annual
cash inflows equal to the sum of the discounted annual cash outlays. Investments normally occur
at the commencement of a project, followed by a number of years of cash inflows. Where this pat-
tern is substantially altered, there may be multiple PIs, which is a serious limitation to the use of
this technique.
Table 9.5 - Project Ranking Using Present Worth Concept.
Year
Annual Cash Flows
Project A Project B Project C
0 -1,000 -1,000 -1,000
1 500 400 600
2 500 400 600
3 500 400 300
Total 500 200 500
PW
13
163 -70 193
PW
15
120 -104 152
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-8 August 1992
An example may be helpful in explaining PI. Suppose a firm is offered a project with annual end-
of-year point-in-time cash flows of $100 M for five years after an initial (time zero) investment
of $350 M. The calculation of PI for such a project is shown in Table 9.6.
Recall that the PI is that discount rate which sets the present worth of the project equal to zero.
Therefore, by interpolation,
Once the PI is calculated for a proposed project, it should be compared to the established standard.
In the current environment for Amoco, the minimum standard is 15 PI (or ). Projects
which yield less than a 15 PI should not generally be accepted. However, other considerations,
such as an interrelationship with more profitable opportunities, may lead to their acceptance.
Should Amocos supply of projects returning at least 15 PI dwindle to the point where the available
monies exceed the investment requirements for such projects, the minimumPI standard would pre-
sumably be lowered, but never less than the cost of capital. Investors would prefer that Amoco pay
out the excess funds as dividends if they can earn higher return than can be realized by plowing
the funds back into Amocos operations. Amoco might also choose to invest the funds elsewhere
within the consolidated corporation if projects in other lines of business could yield a higher PI.
Discounted Return on Investment (includes Fracture Discounted Return on Investment)
Discounted Return on Investment (DROI) is the ratio of a projects net present worth to the present
worth of the total investments (after tax and overhead and including investment tax credits and the
after-tax effects of depreciation), discounted at some rate. The denominator is calculated as fol-
lows:
Table 9.6 - Calculation of Protability Index.
Time (years) Cash Flow ($M)
Present Worth @ 12% Present Worth @ 14%
Discount
Factors Present Value
Discount
Factors Present Value
0 -350 - -350.0 - -350.0
1 100 .8869 88.7 .8694 86.9
2 100 .7866 78.7 .7558 75.6
3 100 .6977 69.8 .6570 65.7
4 100 .6188 69.9 .5712 57.1
5 100 .5488 54.9 .4966 59.7
+4.0 -15.0
PI
4
19
------ x 14% 12% ( ) 12% + =
PI 12.4 approximately =
PW
15
0
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-9
August 1992
Discounted PW of Cash Investment, After Tax =
+ (Capitalized Part of Investment), discounted at i percent
+ 0.5 (Expensed Part of Investment), discounted at i percent
+ 0.5 (0.2 x Investment), discounted at i percent
- 0.5 (Depreciation), discounted at i percent
- (Investment Tax Credit), discounted at i percent
where 0.5 = Tax Rate and 0.2 x Investment = Overhead
DROI is a measure of capital efficiency which may be viewed as the amount of after-tax present
worth generated per dollar of discounted investment. It is only used within Amoco Productions
domestic operations. Differing fiscal regimes in foreign countries make it difficult to define the
denominator of the expression on a consistent basis, so the measure is not useful to any subsidiary
having operations outside the United States. To understand how DROI is useful in economic eval-
uations, it may be worthwhile first to review other evaluation criteria, and the circumstances under
which they are useful. Some of their shortcomings will illustrate the utility of DROI.
When considering two mutually exclusive projects with the same investment, the one with the
higher present worth should be accepted. Likewise, when considering an entire collection of poten-
tial projects with different investment requirements (such as during budget preparation), the
present worth of the total package should be maximized. The decision as to which projects to
include and which to reject is complicated by the fact that not all projects offering a given present
value require an equal capital investment. DROI is a useful tool for dealing with this problem, as
illustrated by the following group, in Table 9.7, of potential projects available to a firm:
Table 9.7 - Utility of DROI in Project Ranking.
Project
Current Year
Investment
($MM)
After-tax PW
15
Investment
($MM) PI
PW
15
($MM) DROI
15
*
A 12 6 21 9 1.50
B 8 4 17 5 1.25
C 4 2 18 4 2.00
D 6 3 19 2 0.67
E 2 1 16 3 3.00
F 2 1 20 2 2.00
G 8 4 14 -2 -.50
* Assumes these are after-tax numbers and that no overhead, tax credits, or depreciation
credits exist.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-10 August 1992
Assume that this years capital budget allows $20 MM of expenditures. Since the projects return-
ing at least 15 PI exceed the available funds, some projects must be foregone. Under these condi-
tions, the firm should rank its projects in such a way as to maximize the present worth of the
package of projects. Ranking these projects on the basis of the highest PW
15
results in Projects A
and B being selected with a combined PW
15
of $14 MM. Ranking these projects on the basis of PI
results in the selection of projects A, F, and D with a combined PW
15
of 9 + 2 + 2 = $13 MM for
the total $20 MM investment. Ranking on the basis of highest DROI
15
yields projects E, C, F, and
Afor a combined PW
15
of 3 + 4 + 2 + 9 = $18 MMfor the $20 MMinvestment, which is consistent
with the goal of maximizing PW
15
of the package of projects given the spending limitations.
The PW method of ranking fails in the situation described above because of the different invest-
ments required to yield a given present worth. The PI method also fails to rank projects since it
implies an ability to reinvest cash thrown off by a project at the PI rate. Since this is not generally
the case, the PI method does not compare projects on a consistent basis.
In summary, DROI is of use in ranking projects of different investment magnitudes. It takes into
account the time value of money and it also measure a projects susceptibility to risk. In the above
example, a DROI
15
of 1.50 is the minimum which would be accepted. Amoco in fact has no rigid
minimum DROI criterion. In general, where a 15 PI is Amocos minimum investment standard, a
DROI
15
would be determined and used to rank the available investment projects. A DROI
15
equal
to zero will indicate that the 15 PI standard has been met. While DROI provides a consistent
method of ranking projects, other factors such as payout, ROI, and maximum cash out-of-pocket
may be considered depending upon the investment climate.
Payout
Payout (PO) is defined as the length of time taken for the cumulative cash flowof a project to reach
zero. For some projects payout provides a rough measure of risk, by indicating how long the
investment capital is exposed. Amoco has no specific payout time criterion. When neither present
worth, PI nor DROI distinguishes between two mutually exclusive projects, the one with the
shorter payout is generally preferred.
The major shortcoming of the payout standard is that it fails to account for the timing of cash flows,
or to recognize cash flows after payout. If, for example, most of the project life occurs after payout,
later cash flows are not considered by the payout criterion. Table 9.8 summarizes a comparison of
two projects which have identical payouts but differ in present worth and illustrates howthe timing
of cash flow is ignored by payout.
When used in combination with PI and present worth, payout does serve a useful purpose. Not only
does it indicate how long investment capital is at risk, but it also functions as a rough measure of
liquidity. For instance, if Amocos management decided that all available capital was to be needed
next year for a major expenditure, e.g., a large acquisition, then payout time could be the determin-
ing factor in ranking economically qualified projects.
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-11
August 1992
Return on Investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is defined as the ratio of the undiscounted cumulative net cash flow
of a project to the total investments (after tax and overhead and including investment and depreci-
ation tax credits). The ROI calculation is performed in the same manner as the DROI calculation
(shown on page 9-8) with the exception that all values are undiscounted in the ROI equation. When
comparing project with similar cash flow patterns, such as a number of individual development
drilling wells, ROI, in combination with payout, can provide an indication of project attractive-
ness.
Like payout, however, ROI does not account for the time value of money. This is illustrated by the
two projects in Table 9.9 which are identical with regard to ROI. When evaluated on a present
worth basis, which accounts for the time value of money, Project B is clearly preferred.
Another characteristic of ROI, which may be misleading, is that the measure increases dramati-
cally with an increase in project life. The example in Table 9.10 clearly demonstrates this effect
for five projects, each of which shows a 15 PI on a single $1,000 time zero investment. The cash
return is the total amount of cash to be returned to the investor at the end of the project.
All five projects are equally attractive assuming the ability to reinvest the cash in similar 15 PI
opportunities over the lives of the projects.
Amoco has no minimum ROI standard, for reasons which are apparent from the above example.
The high ROI, long-life project does have the advantage that the company does not have to go out
and find a 15%reinvestment opportunity quite as soon, but as long as it is assumed that such oppor-
tunity can be found, there is no need for a minimum ROI. Requiring minimum ROIs indicates that
the company does not have the ability to find reinvestment opportunities. As a result, ROI is not
included in ULTRAFRAC.
Table 9.8 - Pitfalls of Optimizing Using Payout.
Year
Net Cash Flow
Project A Project B
0 -$2000 -$2000
1 1500 1000
2 500 1000
3 1000 1000
PW
15
= $ 299 $ 240
PI = 23.3 21.0
PO = 2.0 years 2.0 years
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-12 August 1992
Incremental Economics
The PI standard should be employed to qualify projects for acceptance, but not to select between
mutually exclusive projects, i.e., projects such that either Project A or Project B may be under-
taken, but not both.
Incremental economics should be run in this case. If both projects return positive cash flows, there
is an opportunity cost in opting for one over the other. Hence, the benefit to the firm, in terms of
increased cash flow, is the difference (or increment) between the two cash flows.
An importance use of incremental economics is shown by the example below (Table 9.11). The
two alternatives represent the options of developing or dropping a certain lease. Note that because
Alternative A generates tax benefits with no cash expenditures, the resulting PI is infinite.
Examining either mutually exclusive option in isolation can result in an incorrect decision. In the
example, while Alternative A provides a positive PW
15
due to the benefit of being able to write off
Table 9.9 - Pitfalls of Optimizing Using ROI.
Year Project A Project B
0 -200 -200
1 100 150
2 100 150
3 150 100
4 150 100
Total 300 300
ROI 1.5 1.5
PW
15
138.1 158.9
Table 9.10 - ROI and Project Life Relationship.
Project Life
(years)
Cash Return
($) PI ROI
1 1,162 15 0.16
5 2,117 15 1.12
10 4,482 15 3.48
20 20,089 15 19.09
50 1,808,042 15 1,807.04
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-13
August 1992
the asset on current taxes, it is less than the PW
15
of Alternative B. On the other hand, deciding on
Alternative B means foregoing the option of dropping the lease (an opportunity cost). The net ben-
efit to Amoco of developing would not be $3.5 MM, but rather $0.5 million.
When considering development of a lease, it is important to examine the drop alternative since
doing nothing is generally a poor alternative. Dropping the lease at least has the advantage of tax
write-offs. A development vs. drop analysis is ideally handled by incremental economics, as in the
above example. On occasion, the alternatives may both have negative (but different) PW
15
s, but
an incremental PW for one alternative over the other will always be positive.
Mutual exclusivity frequently gives rise to multiple PIs since the cumulative incremental cash flow
may have several sign reversals. In that case, the PW vs. discount rate profile would cross the hor-
izontal axis (PW=0) more than once (Table 9.12). The following example illustrates this situation.
Table 9.11 - Incremental Economics.
Alternative A
(Drop)
Alternative B
(Develop)
PI 19
PW
15
($MM) 3 3.5
Table 9.12 - Illustration of Multiple or Dual PI.
Year
Project A
(M$)
Investment Annual Cash Flows
Cumulative
Incremental
Project B
(M$)
Incremental
(B)-(A)
0 -400 -500 -100 -100
0-1 75 150 75 -25
1-2 100 150 50 25
2-3 100 150 50 75
3-4 125 150 25 100
4-5 100 150 50 150
5-6 50 0 -50 100
6-7 50 0 -50 50
7-8 25 0 -25 25
8-9 25 0 -25 0
9-10 20 0 -20 -20
Total 270 250 -20 -20

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


General Economic Criteria
9-14 August 1992
The incremental cash flow in this case represents the benefit to the firm of selection Project B over
A. The cash flow of Project A becomes an opportunity cost which is subtracted from Project B to
determine the incremental cash flow. The present worth profile would be of the general shape
shown on Fig. 9.1. Points C and D indicate the discount rates for which the present worth is zero
(definition of PI).
This type of present worth profile is typical of most incremental projects. To avoid the problem of
multiple PIs, the present worth of the incremental cash flow stream (B-A) at the marginal reinvest-
ment rate should be examined. A positive PW
15
would imply acceptance of Project B.
Sometimes the incremental cash flow approach is hard to apply. On some of the more complicated
scenarios which arise, the correct incremental cash flow stream is difficult to identify. However,
the importance of choosing the correct project alternatives and properly defining the problem can-
not be overstressed. Failure to do so may lead to a decision which does not maximize the present
worth of the total cash flows and, hence, of the corporation.
Present Worth Vs. the Protability Index
The present worth concept is theoretically superior to PI for several reasons, and should be relied
upon more heavily than PI. PI may lead to an incorrect ranking decision because of the implicit
assumption that project proceeds can be reinvested at the PI rate. Present worth, on the other
hand, assumes reinvestment at the discount rate used in its calculation. While PI serves to qualify
an investment, it does not provide the correct solution when ranking projects under capital ration-
ing or when choosing among mutually exclusive alternatives. The project offering the higher PW
15
should instead be selected in a mutually exclusive situation, since we are concerned with maximiz-
ing the present value of the cash flow from projects as the means by which to maximize the value
of the firm.
Fig. 9.1 - Present Worth Profile.
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-15
August 1992
Situations in which present worth and PI may rank mutually exclusive projects differently occur
when the investment cost of one is larger than another, or when the timing of the projects cash
flows differs. Examples of mutually exclusive projects include the farm-out vs. drill decision and
the choice of 40-acre spacing vs. 20-acre spacing in the same field.
An example where PW and PI give different rankings to projects with dissimilar investments is
illustrated in Table 9.13. Project A calls for the investment of $100 and yields $150 after one year.
Its PI would be 40.6 with continuous discounting (point-in-time cash flow) and its PW
15
would be
$29. Project B, in contrast, would require a $1 million investment and provide $1.25 million at the
end of a year. Its PI is only 22.4 but its PW
15
is $75,884. The two methods rank the projects differ-
ently, as the PI of A is greater than the PI of B, but the PW
15
of B is greater than the PW
15
of A.
Obviously, you would prefer project B as it returns significantly more than the present worth.
An example of projects differing in the timing of their cash flows is shown Table 9.14. In ranking
Project Cand Project Don the basis of PI, Project Cwould appear to be the better option. However,
a closer examination reveals that Project D has the higher PW
15
.
Table 9.13 - Comparison of PW vs. PI for Ranking.
Year
Annual Cash Flows ($)
Project A Project B
0 -100 -1,000,000
1 150 1,250,000
PI 40.6 22.4
PW
15
29 75,884
Table 9.14 - Timing of Cash Flow.
Year
Annual Cash Flows (M$)
Project C Project D
0 -25,000 -25,000
0-1 15,000 0
1-2 15,000 30,000
2-3 15,000 25,000
3-4 15,000 10,000
PI = 53 45
PW
15
= 20,120 22,098
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-16 August 1992
Fig. 9.2 is a plot of present worth vs. discount rate for two mutually exclusive projects such as the
40-or 20-acre spacing alternatives, which shows the curves crossing at some positive PW. Note
that the particular discount rate at which the decision is made (15% in this example) determines
the selection. At the intersection of the two curves one would be indifferent between 40- and 20-
acre spacing.
PI causes problems in reaching a decision when multiple (Dual PI) solutions occur, as shown in
the previous example. PI is defined as the intersection of the PW profile with the horizontal axis.
Note that in that example (Fig. 9.1), the profile has two points of intersection with the axis. In Dual
PI projects, PI should not be used as a ranking criterion. In this example, it is more appropriate to
utilize present worth and Discounted Return on Invement in the ranking process.
Why then use PI at all? There are several advantages to the PI method. One advantage is that it can
be compared directly with the cost of capital and anticipated rate of return. A second advantage is
that, unlike the PW method, PI abstracts from the size of a project. A PW
15
of $50,000 can be
obtained on a $10 million investment as well as on an original outlay of $25,000. Accordingly, it
is possible to distinguish these two different sized projects on the basis of PI, but not on the basis
of present worth. A third advantage, and not an insignificant one, is Amoco managements famil-
iarity with PI. If management has a basic familiarity with the method, they can feel more confident
in their decision-making process. Despite these advantages, it is important to be aware of the short-
comings of PI, as well as those of each of the other investment criteria.
Fig. 9.2 - Present Worth Profiles.
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-17
August 1992
Yet-to-Spend (Point Forward Evaluation) Vs. Full-Cycle Economics
As has been noted, timing is a very critical variable in making effective economic evaluation deci-
sion. The present value of a dollar of revenue received at some future date is considerably less than
if it were available now. Ideally, one would prefer to receive all revenues immediately, and delay
all expense as long as possible
Timing enters into economic analysis in yet another way. The time of the analysis relative to the
life of the project must be established. Most of the discussion of investment decision-making so
far has centered around the timing and magnitude of cash flows produced by a project as viewed
at the present time. Fig. 9.3 indicates the cash flows and the point at which the analysis is under-
taken (time zero) for such a project. Note that the analysis and initial investment occur at time zero,
with cash flows received later in the project life.
Not all analyses are conducted before the initial investment is made. In the case of a develop vs.
drop decision on a well proposal, a reanalysis may be required after a considerable investment out-
lay has already occurred. Perhaps estimates of reserves have fallen or operating costs have soared.
Fig. 9.4 illustrates a well reassessment made after the initial investment spending occurred at time
t = -2. In this case, how should the economics be calculated?
The original investment of $1,000 represents a sunk cost and the $200 received at time t = -1 is a
benefit already received. No current decision can affect past expenditures, and conversely, no past
spending should be considered in a yet-to-spend decision. One qualifier to this statement exists.
Fig. 9.3 - Point Forward Evaluation.
Fig. 9.4 - Full Cycle Evaluation.
0
500 600 800 600
1 2 3 4
-1,000
Project Life
200 200 500 600 800 600
-2
-1,000
-1 0 1 2 3 4
Project
Life
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
General Economic Criteria
9-18 August 1992
Past spending, or sunk cost, may affect future economic decisions via an impact on future taxes.
Such effects must be considered in a yet-to-spend analysis.
The rationale of yet-to-spend economics, which evaluate only current and prospective cash flows
and disregard sunk costs, can best be illustrated Table 9.15. Assume that $500,000 (after tax) is
spent on exploration in a certain area and that two fields are found. The fields are subsequently
developed at a cost of $600,000 per field (after tax). One field is projected to have an operating
cash flow, after all operating costs, royalties, and local and federal taxes, of $2,000,000, and a PW
15
of $560,000. The second field, of poorer quality, will have an operating cash flowof only $800,000
with a PW
15
of $80,000. A yet-to-spend evaluation would show that both fields have positive
PW
15
s and PIs of 15 or better. Accordingly, both would be developed.
If the sunk exploration costs ($250,000 per field) were considered when deciding whether or not
to develop the discoveries, the net cash flow and PW
15
would differ, and the decision would differ.
In fact, Field B would not be developed, and all the exploration costs would have to be assigned
to Field A. In this event, an analysis of the full-cycle economics shown as Table 9.16 of developing
Field A (including all sunk and anticipated cash flows over the life of a project) would show a final
net cash flow of $900,000 ($2,000,000 less $600,000 development cost and $500,000 total explo-
Table 9.15 - Rationale of Point Forward Economics.
Point Forward Economics
Field A Field B Total
Operating Cash Flow $2,000,000 $800,000 $2,800,000
Development Cost 600,000 600,000 1,200,000
Net cash Flow on Development $1,400,000 $200,000 $1,600,000
Development PW
15
$ 560,000 $ 80,000 $ 640,000
Table 9.16 - Full Cycle Economics
Full-Cycle Economics
Field A Field B Total
Operating Cash Flow $2,000,000 $800,000 $2,800,000
Development Cost 600,000 600,000 1,200,000
Sunk Cost 250,000 250,000 500,000
Net Cash Flow 1,150,000 - 50,000 1,100,000
PW
15
Including Sunk Costs $310,000 $-170,000 $140,000
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-19
August 1992
ration cost) and a PW
15
of $60,000 ($310,000 less Field Bs $250,000 share of the exploration cost
at time zero). This answer is incorrect because by developing Field B, the total full-cycle net cash
flow would be $1,100,000, with a PW
15
of $140,000, which is greater than that of developing Field
A only. Thus the analysis which considers sunk costs leads to an incorrect investment decision.
It must be remembered that past expenditures may have a substantial effect on the future tax con-
sequences. Previous costs may affect depreciation, cost depletion, and the gain or loss resulting
from sale or abandonment of the original project. As a result, future tax liabilities would be altered.
In analyzing future investments or other alternatives, considerations must be given to the cash
effects of the future tax consequences. Although sunk costs should be disregarded in a yet-to-spend
investment decision, except as to the resulting future tax consequences, they should be considered
in compiling a PIA. PIAs will be discussed in detail in Section IV.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Elements Of Fracturing Treatment Costs
9-20 August 1992
9.3 Elements Of Fracturing Treatment Costs
Fracturing treatment costs are primarily comprised of pumping and blending charges, and material
costs for fracturing fluids, fluid additives, and propping agents. In some cases associated activities
such as well pulling costs, tubular rentals, etc., contribute significantly to the total treatment costs.
Some of the types of costs associated with fracturing treatments from stimulation service compa-
nies and other associated contractors and suppliers are presented.
Stimulation Service Company Costs
Treatment costs usually include the following service company cost components.
Fracturing Pumping Equipment: Pump truck costs base minimum charges for all trucks except
pressure multiplier pumps, per well, for a period up to 4 hours continuous service, on location, per
hydraulic horsepower ordered. Prices are based on pumping pressure, and hydraulic horsepower
pumping charges increase with pumping pressure increment increases. Other costs include addi-
tional pumping time over 4 hours, nonpumping service time, minimum pump truck charges and
standby pumping equipment.
Propping Agent Pumping Charge: These charges apply when propping agents are pumped with
any fluid and are in addition to the fracturing pump truck charges. Prices per unit weight (usually
100 lbs (CWT)) are based on the type and size of the proppant.
Pressure Multiplier Pumps: These are usually required for pumping pressures in the 10,000 -
20,000 psi range. Charges include pressure multiplier pump base charges, per well, for up to 4
hours continuous service on location, per hydraulic horsepower ordered. Prices are based on
pumping pressure. Other costs include additional pumping time over 4 hours, nonpumping service
time, minimum charges, standby unit charges, and propping agent pumping charges.
Blender Services: Base charges for continuous proportioning and mixing of propping agent and
fracturing fluid, based on average injection rate, first 4 hours or fraction, per well. Other costs
include blender services time over four hours, based on pumping rate, nonpumping blender time;
blender standby; other blender and equipment charges such as paddle mixers, densitometers, etc.
Slurry Concentration Handling Service: These charges apply when propping agents are pumped
with any fluid and are in addition to blender charges and propping agent pumping charges. Prices
depend on propping agent concentration.
Auxiliary Stimulation Equipment: These items include sand handling equipment, radioactive
material for tagging sand, wellhead protective injection equipment (tree-savers, etc.), manifolds,
nitrogen, CO
2
equipment, flow meters, fracturing support units, special equipment (tanks, transfer
pumps, valves, wellheads), ball sealer equipment, treating connections left on location, sand con-
centrators, etc.
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-21
August 1992
9.4 References.
1. Campbell, J. M.,Analysis and Management of Petroleum Invests, Risk, Taxes and Time.
2. Prats, M.: Effect of Vertical Fractures on Reservoir Behavior - Incompressible Fluid Case, SPEJ (June 1961)
105-18;Trans., AIME, 222.
3. McGuire, W. J. and Sikora, V. J.: the Effect of Vertical Fractures on Well Productivity, Trans., AIME (1960)
219, 401-04.
4. Tinsley, J.M. et al.: Vertical Fracture Height - Its Effect on Steady-State Production Increase, JPT (May 1969)
633-38; Trans., AIME, 246.
5. Elkins, L.E.: Western Tight Sands Major Research Requirements, Proc., Gas Research Inst./American Gas
Assn./U. S. DOE Intl. Gas Research Conference, Chicago (June 9-12, 1980).
6. Petroleum Production Handbook, T. C. Frick (ed.), SPE, Richardson, TX (1962) Chap. 38.
7. Guerrero, E. T.: Practical Reservoir Engineering, The Petroleum Publishing Co., Tulsa, OK (1968) 72-75.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References.
9-22 August 1992
Economic Optimization of Hydraulic Fracture Treatments
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
9
9-23
August 1992
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10-1
Chapter
September 1992
This chapter is divided into two sections:
10.1 Fracturing Tests starting on page 10-3 and
10.2 TerraFrac starting on page 10-29.
Special Topics
10
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-2 September 1992
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-3 September 1992
10.1Fracturing Tests
Introduction
The success of a fracture stimulation depends on the accuracy of the design theory, an understand-
ing of the propagation or growth of hydraulic fractures, and the accuracy of design parameters.
Many field and laboratory tests are available which allow a more accurate approximation of frac-
turing parameters. This section covers the more widely used tests; providing a description of the
test procedures and in some cases interpretation guidelines. Descriptions are included for core
tests, prefrac logs, perforation and permeability determination, bottomhole treating pressure mea-
surements, closure stress tests, minifracs, postfrac logs, and fracture azimuth determination.
Core Tests to Determine Mechanical Rock Properties and Fluid Loss Coefcient
Fluid Loss Coefficient Core can be analyzed to determine elastic modulus, Poisson's Ratio, and
fluid loss coefficient for use in fracture stimulation design. Core analysis is currently the best tech-
nique available for obtaining elastic rock properties.
Full diameter cores should be cut through the interval of interest, including both the pay zone and
adjacent formations, with coring of adjacent formations of sufficient thickness to obtain represen-
tative samples. In many cases, a gradation occurs from one bed to another; such as shale grading
into a sandstone forming a siltstone transition bed. In a case such as this, mechanical properties
tests performed on the transition core would not be representative of the adjacent shale formation.
When available, open hole logs froman offset well should be used to determine the required coring
interval.
Core for rock properties tests should have a minimum diameter of 2-1/2 inches, since the tests uti-
lize a 3/4-inch diameter by 1.5-inch long plug which is cut perpendicular to the long axis of the
core. The core should be peel-sealed on location. Peel-sealing the core prevents dehydration of the
samples, which provides a more accurate measure of elastic and mechanical properties at in-situ
conditions. Transporting the core back to a warehouse for peel-sealing allows excessive dehydra-
tion of samples. Past attempts to designate specific portions of the core interval to be peel-sealed
have led to confusion, and critical portions of the core have sometimes been left unsealed. Unless
personnel familiar with the selection of samples for the specific tests can be on location during the
entire coring operation, it is recommended that all of the core be sealed on-site and shipped to the
Amoco Research Department or outside laboratory for analysis. The core facility handling the
samples should be advised that the core is to be shipped straight to the Research Department or
laboratory with no whole-core or plug analysis to be performed. Routine core analysis can be per-
formed after samples have been collected for mechanical properties tests.
As discussed in Chap. 4, core is analyzed by triaxial stress-strain tests to yield modulus of elasticity
(E). The test is performed by applying a hydraulic pressure to the core plug, then loading it axially
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-4 September 1992
and measuring the displacement or strain (). In determining modulus for fracturing calculations,
the applied hydraulic pressure is normally set equal to the mean effective stress () acting on the
reservoir rock, i.e., the confining stress. An additional stress is then applied which is representative
of the net pressure above confining pressure required to open a fracture. E is then determined from
the resultant stress strain curve as E = /. Fig. 10.1 shows stress strain curves for a sandstone
under several confining stresses to illustrate the sensitivity of E to confining stress. Care must be
taken to estimate the confining stress correctly.
Poisson's ratio () is also determined in the laboratory in a triaxial stress test. is the ratio of lateral
expansion to longitudinal contraction for a rock under a uniaxial stress condition. The ratio of the
measured lateral strain to the axial strain is . Fig. 10.2 shows an example of strain data and the
calculation of .
Cores are also used to perform static fluid loss tests to determine a fluid loss coefficient. An expla-
nation of the testing procedure and interpretation and use of the results is covered in the section on
fluid loss.
Fig. 10.1 - Modulus of Elasticity.
Conning Stress, psi
7,500
3,000
0
30,000
24,000
18,000
12,000
6,000
0
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
E-02
STRAIN ( ) - Percent
Stress ()
psi
Example: At a conning stress of 7500 psi,
E =/ = 24,000 / 0.0047 = 5.1 x 106 psi
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-5 September 1992
Prefrac Logging Program
As a minimum, the standard suite of open-hole logs should be run for determination of reservoir
characteristics and lithology. This should include gamma ray and/or spontaneous potential, neu-
tron porosity and density logs, and resistivity logs. Several special logs can be run to collect data
specifically related to fracturing.
Borehole Geometry Log
Borehole geometry logs measure hole eccentricity or ellipticity and its orientation, and therefore
must be run in open-hole. It has been noted in some fields that wellbore washouts create elliptical
cross sections, with the long axis of these noncircular sections sharing a common azimuth. In cases
where the minimum hole diameter is equal to bit diameter, such washouts or spalls have been
termed breakouts and have been reported on from many different areas.
1-3
These should not be
confused with common washouts or key seats as illustrated by Fig. 10.3. It has been theorized that
breakouts are caused by shear failure induced by a stress concentration around the wellbore as a
result of (1) unequal horizontal stress and (2) appreciable shear strength of the rock.
5
Unequal
stresses will cause a preferential stress concentration on the side of the wellbore perpendicular to
the maximum stress direction, and if the shear strength is high enough, breakout will be limited to
this region. In such a case, the breakout will develop with the long axis of the elliptical borehole
perpendicular to the expected azimuth of hydraulic fractures.
Fig. 10.2 - Poissons Ratio.
30,000
24,000
STRESS (s )
psi
18,000
12,000
6,000
0
-1.00 -0.80 -0.60 -0.40 -0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
E-02
-0.20
STRAIN (e) - Percent
LATERAL
AXIAL
Example: Poissons Ratio (g) = - e
lat.
/ e
axial
= -(-0.0008 / 0.0047)
= 0.17
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-6 September 1992
Because alternative interpretations exist for breakouts, it should be emphasized that care must be
taken in utilizing this type of data to determine fracture azimuth. Although it may not be a good
technique as a primary indicator of azimuth, borehole ellipticity could serve as a powerful tool for
extrapolating data where more comprehensive azimuth measurements have been made.
Long Spaced Digital Sonic Log (LSDS)
The Digital Sonic Log has shown to have application in the estimation of vertical in-situ closure
stress distribution.
6
This data is critical in defining the differential closure stresses between beds
Fig. 10.3 - Borehole Geometry Log.
4
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-7 September 1992
for determining fracture height growth parameters. These logs measure shear and compressional
sonic velocities, which may be used to calculate dynamic elastic rock properties, and theoretical
closure stress in a given horizon.
7
The stresses thus calculated should be calibrated to actual in-situ
stresses by measuring the in-situ closure stress in 3-4 zones in the wellbore, and shifting the cal-
culated stresses to match in-situ stresses.
Both Amoco and Schlumberger have developed a Digital Sonic Log, both of which have been used
successfully in this technique. This log is run routinely by both Amoco and Schlumberger.
Schlumberger charges only slightly more for their Long Spaced Sonic Log than for the standard
Borehole Compensated Sonic Log. The Long Spaced Sonic Log yields as good or better porosity
measurements as the Borehole Compensated Sonic, and yields information regarding stress pro-
files as described above, along with a qualitative indication of natural fractures.
Downhole Television and Borehole Televiewer
One of the most reliable methods for determining fracture azimuth is with downhole television.
The tool is a downhole closed circuit television developed by Amoco, which directly views the
borehole wall making interpretation very simple. The disadvantages to using this tool are its depth
limitations, openhole requirements, and the need to deliver visibly clean fluid to the bottom of the
wellbore.
8
While TV logging cannot be done on a routine basis, it offers a reliable method of de-
termining fracture azimuth at the wellbore, and supplies additional data about fracture width,
height, etc., as part of the process.
The Borehole Televiewer (BHTV) is a sonic type tool, introduced by Zemanek et al.,
9
which in
principal should be an excellent fracture identification tool. However, the tool has not always per-
formed up to its potential. The tool consists of a crystal which emits high frequency sonic pulses,
then receives and records the reflection of these pulses from the borehole wall - with the lack of
any reflection possibly indicating the existence of a fracture. One problem in using this tool is that
borehole ellipticity and/or wellbore deviation creates blind areas due to decentralization of the
tool.
10
Also, at this time, fracture width cannot be defined with this logging method.
Cement Bond Log
A cement bond log should be run in all wells to be fractured to determine the integrity of the ce-
ment bond. Should poor bonding exist through the pay and adjacent beds, these zones should be
cement squeezed to afford a hydraulic seal between zones of potentially lower closure stress than
the pay. Channeling behind pipe would tend to aggravate any height growth problems that may
exist and could introduce discrepancies in data to be collected later that may make any results ob-
tained meaningless. Poor cement behind casing further aggravates the problems of casing rupture
due to poor quality casing or joints and can affect temperature behavior on postfrac temperature
surveys.
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-8 September 1992
Temperature Logs
Base Temperature Logs: A base temperature log is run to determine geothermal gradient and
static bottomhole temperature. To obtain a valid static temperature survey, the well should have
been shut-in for at least one week prior to logging. Temperature disturbances caused by circulating
the well during clean-out operations, etc., require approximately 3-5 days to dissipate, depending
upon individual well conditions.
Preperforation Cold Water Circulation Temperature Surveys: This technique is used to iden-
tify zones in the wellbore which are apt to exhibit temperature anomalies on postfracturing tem-
perature surveys due to thermal conductivity and/or wellbore effects, such as shown in Fig. 10.4
and Fig. 10.5. These anomalies often are confusing and misleading and often complicate temper-
ature log interpretation for fracture height determination.
Many anomalies are usually present on postfracturing temperature surveys but may not all be in-
dicative of the presence of a fracture. This technique provides a method to subtract out the non-
fracture related anomalies to improve the accuracy of postfrac temperature log interpretation. The
procedure for obtaining these surveys is as follows:
Fig. 10.4 - Example of Cold Water Circulation Test.
THERMAL
CONDUCTIVITY
EFFECTS
PRE FRAC
PROFILE
STATIC
LOG
POST FRAC
PROFILE
FRACTURE TOP PROFILES
SEPARATE
8800
9000
9200
9400
9600
9800
10000
10200
10400
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
175 200 225 250
TEMPERATURE ( F)
PERFS
8600
8800
9000
9200
9400
9600
PERFS
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
POST FRAC
LOG
PRE FRAC TEMP LOG
THERMAL
CONDUCTIVITY
EFFECTS
FRACTURE TOP
FLUID MOVEMENT
EFFECTS
2830
2790
2750
2710
2670
2630
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
M
E
T
E
R
S
)
180 200 220 240 260
82 93 103 116 126
TEMPERATURE

F
C
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-9 September 1992
1. Run static temperature log over interval to be fractured [approximately 1,000 ft above pay to
Plug Back Total Depth (PBTD)] at 20-30 ft/min.
2. Run tubing open-ended to 20-25 ft above PBTD.
3. Circulate water down tubing and up the annulus at maximum possible rate within pressure lim-
itations for at least 3-4 hours. Friction reducer may be added to the water to reduce pumping
pressure. The water may be recirculated if a significant temperature differential exists between
reservoir temperature and the outlet temperature of the water at the surface. Cold water should
be added to the inlet stream when the outlet temperature rises by 25% of the initial reservoir:
inlet temperature differential.
4. Trip in with temperature tool to 1,000 ft above the pay interval.
Fig. 10.5 - Effect of Wellbore & Completion.
11
INJECTION
CURVE
INJECTION TIME
2100
DAYS
150
DAYS
48 HR
SI
11 DIA
HOLE
INJECTION ZONE
75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115
4300
4400
4500
4600
4700
4800
4900
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
TEMPERATURE F
75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115
4300
4400
4500
4600
4700
4800
4900
INJECTION
CURVE
HOURS SHUT-IN
3
12
48
CEMENT
14 DIA
HOLE
INJECTION ZONE
TEMPERATURE F
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-10 September 1992
5. Log downward at a speed of 20-30 ft/min.
6. Pull tool to 1,000 ft above pay.
7. Repeat logging runs every 30-45 minutes until temperature anomalies are well developed, usu-
ally 3-5 logging runs.
This technique has shown more success in some areas than others. Still, in new areas, the test may
be run to verify whether it shows potential to increase the accuracy of postfrac temperature log in-
terpretation.
Perforating and Permeability Determination
The interval to be stimulated should be perforated with a casing gun at a minimum density of four
shots per expected bpm fracturing injection rate, using guns with 90 or 120 phasing.
Perforating with many large holes will reduce perforation friction pressure and excessive shear on
the frac fluids. Perforating out of phase decreases the likelihood of the perforation being oriented
in a line at a high angle to the fracture azimuth, as shown in Fig. 10.6, and therefore reduces friction
pressure and shear between the wellbore and fracture. This method of perforating also affords a
better flow path to the wellbore during bottomhole pressure buildup and may reduce the need to
acidize the zone to attain an adequate flowrate for obtaining a buildup. If possible, do not stimulate
or breakdown the perforations prior to flow testing.
Fig. 10.6 - The Effect of Zero Degree Phasing Perforations on a Fracture Treatment.
Narrow
Gap Vertical
Fracture
min
max
Cement
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-11 September 1992
Better results are obtained in the minifrac and fracture treatment analysis if only one pay zone is
perforated. The analysis of net pressure is complicated by fracturing multiple zones at the same
time, particularly if the zones are separated by sufficient thicknesses of confining beds to allow the
propagation of two or more fractures at the same time.
When closure stress tests are performed in shales to measure the closure stress of bounding layers,
experience has indicated that high density perforating with large charges could compress the shale
around the perforation tunnel. This added stress to the rock has made breakdown impossible in
some cases. Little is known at this time about the best method for perforating shales for stress test-
ing and further field research testing is required in this area.
A bottomhole pressure buildup test should be run to determine formation flow capacity. The for-
mation permeability is used to determine optimum fracture length, to set limits on the fluid loss
coefficient to be used for designing the fracture stimulation, for improving the accuracy of post-
fracturing performance prediction, and for analyzing postfrac buildup tests for fracture length and
conductivity.
Bottomhole Treating Pressure Measurement
Three tests require the measurement of BottomHole Treating Pressure (BHTP): closure stress tests
to establish the base fracturing pressure, minifracs to determine the mechanics of fracture growth
and to estimate fluid loss coefficient, and fracture stimulation BHTP analysis to determine the me-
chanics of fracture growth and to evaluate the treatment. In all cases, the pressure data needed is
the pressure at the perforations to eliminate tubing friction pressure as a factor. To date, a fool-
proof technique has not been developed to accurately account for all variables affecting friction
pressure to allow the subtraction of friction pressure from surface treating pressures to yield
BHTP. Extensive work has been performed in this area by the industry, but at best the results are
only reliable about 50% of the time.
Three techniques are recommended for measuring BHTP.
12
Fig. 10.7 shows wellbore schematics
for executing these procedures. The first requires running tubing open-ended (without a packer)
and pumping down either the tubing or annulus. The other side is then static, and pressures at the
surface on the static side are a direct reflection of BHTP, corrected for hydrostatic pressure. The
second technique involves the use of a surface readout pressure gauge mounted in a side pocket
mandrel, strapping the electric line to the outside of the tubing. The third technique employs a
downhole recording pressure bomb placed into a simple mandrel below a packer. With this tech-
nique, actual BHTP are recorded, but the data cannot be accessed until after the treatment. For the
two procedures where BHTP is measured in real-time, the stimulation service companies can pro-
vide on-site computer vans which facilitate quick manipulation of the prefrac test and/or main
treatment data for plotting to make on-site judgmental decisions.
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-12 September 1992
Procedure for Measurement of Static Pressure Tubing/Annulus
Run tubing open ended (without packer) to within 100 ft of the perforations. When pumping be-
gins, tubing and annular pressure will be continuously recorded. If pumping down the tubing, the
annular pressure is a direct reflection of BHP, with a correction for hydrostatic head. Any gas on
the static side (tubing or annulus) should be circulated out of the hole so that the pressure at the
surface will reflect true bottomhole treating pressures. Gas bubbles in the static fluid column will
(1) alter the hydrostatic head of the fluid and (2) dampen the pressure response being transmitted
through the fluid as the gas compresses and expands with changing pressure. Collect four water
samples for determination of specific gravity at one-third points (beginning, one-third, two-thirds,
and end) of the total volume used to load and circulate the hole. Since BHTP must be corrected for
hydrostatic head to derive bottomhole closure stress, an accurate fluid density determination is de-
sirable.
Procedure for Recording Downhole with Surface Readout
Prior to running tubing for any of the BHTP tests, a side pocket mandrel is placed in the tubing
string just above the packer. A port from the side pocket mandrel to the inside of the tubing allows
measurement of pressure by a pressure gauge in the mandrel. The wireline for the pressure gauge
is strapped to the tubing as the string is run in the hole. The wireline is connected to the pressure
bomb through an electrical port which is an integral part of the side pocket mandrel.
Fig. 10.7 - BHTP Measurement.
P
t
Q
t
P
a
Q
a
Q
t
- 0
P
t
- BHP-P
n
or
Q
a
- 0
P
a
- BHP-P
n
WIRELINE
SIDE POCKET
MANDRIL
PRESSURE
SENSOR
MANDRIL
PORT
PACKER
Q
Q
PACKER
PERFORATED
SUB
(BLAST JOINT)
PRESSURE
BOMB
SEATING
NIPPLE
NO-GO NIPPLE
(a) (b) (c)
Open-ended Tubing Downhole Recorder
With Surface Readout
Downhole Pressure
Measurement
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-13 September 1992
Procedure for Downhole Pressure Measurement
Prior to running tubing and packer a special mandrel must be constructed in which to set a pressure
bomb. The mandrel consists of (from bottom to top) a joint of tubing with a NO-GO nipple at
the bottom, a seating nipple, a perforated sub (usually a blast joint) and a pup joint for tailpipe. A
downhole recording pressure bomb is set into the seating nipple with a slick line, and the treatment
pumped down tubing and out the perforated sub. Pressures at the bottomof the string are then mea-
sured by the bomb.
To ensure the mandrel assembly does not cause increased fluid shear during the treatment, (1) the
perforated subs should be prepared such that the perforation area is adequate to yield near zero per-
foration friction, and (2) the outside diameter of the assembly should not exceed the outer diameter
of the tubing to provide adequate annular space between the assembly and casing. Probably the
easiest and least expensive way to prepare the perforated sub is to have the holes drilled in a ma-
chine shop. This ensures all holes are open, large and properly spaced.
After the fracture treatment, the pressure bomb may be retrieved with a slick line by latching onto
a fishing neck on top of the bomb or by pulling the tubing string.
Pressure Measurement Devices
A number of service companies are equipped to accurately record treating pressures. Accurate
pressure measurements are a must. The minimum pressure/time resolution for minifrac and frac-
ture treatment analysis is pressure to the nearest 10 psi and data acquisition once per minute. For
closure stress tests, pressure resolution to the nearest 1 psi and 10 sec data acquisition is usually
adequate. Fracturing service company pressure transducers have proven to be too unreliable for
this type of work. Aside from the resolution of the transducers, fracturing company equipment is
often not accurately calibrated and is prone to failure. In cases where highly accurate pressure de-
vices have been used to independently monitor the same pressures as the service companies, the
two pressure recordings commonly differed by 100-500 psi. This level of accuracy is generally un-
acceptable for this type of analysis.
Closure Stress Tests
Closure stress is measured to determine the minimum pressure necessary to sustain a fracture, to
allowdetermination of net fracture pressure during a minifrac and fracture stimulation, and to eval-
uate proppant strength requirements. In the analysis of bottomhole treating pressures while frac-
turing, closure pressure is analogous to the flowing bottomhole pressure measured in pressure
transient tests; i.e., it is a base pressure above which pressure analysis is performed.
Closure stress is determined by pumping a volume of fluid at a rate sufficient to create a fracture,
and then allowing the fracture to close either by shutting-in the well and allowing pressure to de-
cline to below closure pressure, or by flowing the well back until pressure is reduced to below clo-
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-14 September 1992
sure pressure.
12
In either case, closure pressure is identified by a change in the pressure decline
characteristics as the fracture closes. Either test should be preceded by a step-rate test to determine
extension pressure, which should be within about 100 psi of closure pressure. The step-rate test
will also assure that a fracture exists before the closure test is attempted. Fig. 10.8 shows a typical
step-rate test plot. The time step at each rate should be constant, e.g., 2 minute intervals.
To create the fracture requires that a sufficient volume of fluid be pumped at a sufficient rate. In
practically all cases, pumping for 10-20 minutes at 10 bpm has proven to be adequate; but, depend-
ing on the results of the step-rate test, these guidelines may be altered. In low permeability, low
leakoff formations 50 bbls at 5 bpm may be sufficient.
Any fluid, which is compatible with the formation rock and fluids, may be used for the tests. Gen-
erally whatever base fluid is to be used for the fracture stimulation is used for the closure stress
test: produced formation water, 2% KCl water, etc.
Determination of closure pressure from shut-in pressure declines is operationally very simple. The
well is left shut-in until pressure declines to a point at which closure pressure can be identified as
shown in Fig. 10.9. This method of determining closure pressure is most appropriate for high per-
meability formations which close quickly. In this type formation, closure would occur almost in-
stantly during a flowback test making identification of closure pressure difficult. The data, during
a shut-in decline test, should be plotted real-time, if possible, to determine the length of shut-in
time. The decline data can also be plotted on a Horner type plot, Fig. 10.9, to identify radial flow
and, thus, ensure the fracture has closed.
13
Also, this plot can be used to estimate the near wellbore
reservoir pressure, p*. To ascertain the length of shut-in time may require a trial test, followed
by subsequent tests. The number of tests performed will depend on the agreement of closure pres-
sures picked. If good agreement is evident, only 2-3 tests may be required. It has been noted that
in liquid filled reservoirs closure pressure increases with each subsequent test due to an increase
in pore pressure. When this occurs, the earlier test results are probably most representative of for-
Fig. 10.8 - Step-Rate Test.
I
N
J
E
C
T
I
O
N

R
A
T
E
TIME INJECTION RATE
FRACTURE
EXTENION PRESS

B
O
T
T
O
M
H
O
L
E


P
R
E
S
S
.
A
T

S
T
E
P

E
N
D
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-15 September 1992
mation closure and should be used to calculate net pressure during the minifrac and fracture treat-
ment.
Closure stress determination from flowback pressures is only slightly more complicated than a
shut-in decline test and is more conducive for low to moderate permeability formations, which
would require extensive monitoring periods during a shut-in decline test. The flowback rate is de-
termined by the fluid loss characteristics of the formation and the surface pressure; the purpose of
the flowback being to flow back at a rate on the order of the rate at which fluid is being lost to the
formation. For this flow back rate, a characteristic reverse curvature occurs in the pressure decline
at closure pressure as shown on Curve b in Fig. 10.11. A suggested initial flowback rate is 1-2
bpm. The proper flowback rate is usually determined by trial and error on the first tests, flowing
back at different rates until the correct flow back rate is found and a good test is obtained.
To control the flowback rate, a manifold similar to that shown in Fig. 10.12 is required. An adjust-
able choke, gate valve, or automatic constant flow regulator (e.g., manufactured by Oilmaster - se-
Fig. 10.9 - Pump-In/Shut-In Decline. Fig. 10.10 - Pump-In/Shut-In Decline.
Fig. 10.11 - Pump-In/Flowback.
SHUT-IN DECLINE
POSSIBILITIES
CLOSURE
PRESSURE

B
O
T
T
O
M
H
O
L
E


P
R
E
S
S
t
si
or t
i
+ t
si
t
si
= SHUT-IN TIME
ti = INJECTION TIME
INTO FRACTURE
P*
START
RADIAL

B
O
T
T
O
M
H
O
L
E


P
R
E
S
S
LOG (t
si
+t
i
) / t
si
t
si
= SHUT-IN TIME
t
i
= INJECTION TIME
= INTO FRACTURE
PUMP IN /
FLOWBACK
a
b
c
p
c
TIME

B
O
T
T
O
M
H
O
L
E


P
R
E
S
S
a - RATE TOO LOW
b - CORRECT RATE FOR
p
c
- CLOSURE PRESS AT
CURVATURE REVERSAL
FROM (+) TO (-)
c - RATE TOO HIGH
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-16 September 1992
rial no. 280-390) should be installed downstream of a 1-inch and/or 2-inch flowmeter(s). When
selecting a flowmeter for measuring the flowback rate, one must keep in mind the rate range of the
meter used. Service companies tend to recommend, and will usually supply, a 2-inch turbine meter.
Experience has shown that it is difficult to impossible to measure flowback rates of 1-2 bpm with
meters of this size. The best choice seems to be a 1-1.5 inch turbine meter with digital readout in
bpm. Digital readout boxes, showing flowback rate, should be positioned near the valve or choke
for ease, accuracy, and quickness of adjustment. To minimize the adjustment of this valve or choke
from test to test, a full opening gate valve or Lo-Torque valve should also be placed between the
wellhead and flowmeter(s). This valve can be used to open and close the flowback system without
having to fully close the valve downstream of the flowmeter(s).
The following procedure is recommended for closure stress tests in low to moderate permeability
formations:
1. Since real-time data is necessary, either open-ended tubing or a downhole pressure recorder
with a surface readout is required to obtain BHP. In some cases, surface pressures may be suf-
ficient. Pressures and rates should be monitored and recorded continuously throughout the
tests.
2. Perform step-rate test to determine extension pressure and the minimum injection rate re-
quired to fracture the formation. Utilize the step-rate test as a pump-in/flowback test, flowing
the well back at a constant rate of 2 bpm. Note: In latter portion of pump-in, the injection rate
should be increased by an equivalent rate to the planned flowback rate. At the same time, the
flowback manifold should be opened and the flowback rate set prior to shutting down injection.
The shutdown should be slow, i.e., in 10-15 seconds be pumping at 0.5 bpm, then shutdown
completely. This will prevent fluid hammer effects in the wellbore, which could distort test
results.
3. Flowback at a constant rate until the BHP approaches reservoir pressure. To keep the flowback
rate constant will require constant adjustment to the valve as the surface pressure decreases.
Fig. 10.12 - Pump-In/Flowback.
WELLHEAD
FLOWBACK
LINE
GATE VALVE
OR LO-TORQUE
VALVE
1
FLOWMETER
2
FLOWMETER
DIGITAL READOUT
DISPOSAL
PIT
ADJUSTABLE CHOKE
OR GATE VALUE
DIGITAL READOUT
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-17 September 1992
4. Based on the required injection rate, perform pump-in/flowback test by injecting fluid for a
minimum of 10 minutes, e.g., if rate = 5 bpm, pump 50 bbls. Flowback using procedure in
Steps 2 and 3 above. Constant flowback rate may have to be increased or decreased from the
2 bpm in Step 2 depending on the results from Step 3. Fig. 10.11 shows examples of too high
and too low flowback rates.
5. Repeat Step 4 until a repeatable closure pressure is established.
6. Perform pump-in/shut-in decline using the same volume and rate determined above. Record
pressure decline until pressure falls well below the closure pressure determined above. Do not
flowback during this step.
Note: In formations with relatively high permeability (>0.1 md), acid ISIPs may closely approxi-
mate closure stress, if the acid jobs are small, pump rates are low (yet high enough to create a frac-
ture), and nitrogen or CO
2
are not mixed with the acid.
14
This will yield a first estimate of closure
stress in most cases and will set an upper limit for closure stress.
Minifracs
Minifracs or Calibration Treatments are pumped to obtain information on the mechanics of frac-
ture propagation during the small treatment (net fracture pressures, height growth or confinement,
etc.), and to collect data for determination of fracture geometry, time for the fracture to close, and
fluid loss coefficient.
15
This test consists of pumping a relatively small volume of fluid, i.e.,
10-20% of the main fracture treatment depending on its size, using the main treatment fluid system
and pumping at the expected main treatment injection rate. During and after the minifrac, BHTP
and the shut-in pressure decline is monitored and recorded.
The following procedure is recommended to perform the minifrac:
1. Batch mix the required amount of fracturing fluid. Batch mixing is required for gel consistency
and to minimize friction pressure variations throughout the test.
2. One of the BHP measurement techniques described previously on page 10-11 should be used
for measuring pumping and shut-in decline pressures. Tubing pressure and casing pressure
should be recorded by the fracturing service company. In addition, the wellhead should be
rigged with a lubricator as described under Temperature Profiles.
3. Pump minifrac at expected main treatment rate (constant rate throughout test). Record all pres-
sures and rates continuously throughout the job.
4. Shut down and record pressure decline for as long as required until the pressure bleeds off to
well below the closure stress value previously determined by the closure stress test.
Fracture geometry can be evaluated from a Nolte-Smith Log-Log plot of net fracturing pressure
(BHTP - closure pressure) vs. pump time as discussed previously in Chap 8. Design parameters,
including the fluid loss coefficient, can be determined using the pressure decline analysis which is
also presented in the Fracturing Pressure Analysis Section.
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-18 September 1992
Postfrac Logging Program
Temperature Decay Profiles
Temperature decay profile surveys should be run as soon as possible after a minifrac without in-
terfering with the collection of pressure decline data. If bottomhole pressure is measured via a stat-
ic tubing string, the lubricator can be rigged up on the wellhead ahead of time, and the closure
stress tests and minifrac can be pumped through a wing valve or T-connection belowthe lubricator.
The temperature tool is run in the lubricator before the job and isolated from the wellbore with a
valve while pumping.
If a wireline pressure gauge is run during the prefrac tests, the pressure decline data collection
should be completed and the pressure gauge removed prior to installing and running the tempera-
ture tool. If bottomhole pressure is measured via a static open-ended tubing string, the temperature
tool should not be run until after the pressure decline since running the tool will distort the pressure
data.
A minimum of three logging runs should be made at intervals of 45 minutes from the start of each
run. No backflow from the well should be allowed prior to or during temperature profiling. The
logs should be run from several hundred ft above the pay interval to several hundred ft below the
fracture bottom or plug back Total Depth (TD), logging down at a speed of about 20 ft/minute. It
is the Amoco engineer's responsibility to see that the logging company records the necessary data
on the log heading, including fluid type and volume pumped, total pump time, times minifrac start-
ed and ended, and fluid surface temperature.
This same procedure also applies to temperature decay profile surveys run after the main fracture
treatment.
Postfrac Temperature Log Interpretation
After a minifrac or fracture treatment, heat transfer will occur above the treated zone by radial heat
conduction, while over the fracture faces, heat transfer will be by linear flow. Ideally, across these
two areas temperature will recover at different rates following the end of pumping, causing a tem-
perature anomaly to develop which identifies the fractured zone. Unfortunately, this ideal situation
rarely occurs, making misinterpretation of postfrac temperature logs all too common.
As discussed earlier on page 10-8, a static base temperature log and cold water circulation survey
may be run to determine the temperature gradient and identify anomalies caused by formation
changes, the wellbore, and the completion. Fig. 10.13 shows the conductivity effects from differ-
ent formations on both pre and postfrac logs.
11
Fig. 10.5, shown previously, shows how a washout
behind casing will create a cool anomaly which may be interpreted as a fractured zone. On the oth-
er hand, a washout completely filled with cement will insulate the wellbore and create a hot nose
on the log. Also, a change in tubular diameter, such as the bottom of tubing or casing can cause an
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-19 September 1992
offset in the log. All of the above anomalies can be detected with the base temperature log and
subtracted out of the postfrac log interpretation.
Fig. 10.14 shows a warm anomaly or hot nose above the fractured zone and the obvious prob-
lems associated with picking the fracture top.
11
It has been theorized that this is caused by fluid
movement after shut-in and that the hot nose is part of the fracture height.
Temperature crossovers are often seen below the perforated interval from one logging run to an-
other. Below the perforations, the wellbore is filled with stagnant, hot fluid; and any downward
fracture growth will place cooler fluid outside the casing than inside. Thus, heat flow will be in the
opposite direction from that across and above the fractured zone and the wellbore may cool down
with time. This often results in a temperature crossover, as seen in Fig. 10.15, which can be a
good indicator of the bottom of the created fracture.
Since temperature logs are shallow investigative tools, they only see the fracture at or near the
wellbore. If the created fracture is not vertical, but dipping at an angle somewhere between true
vertical and true horizontal, temperature logs will not provide a meaningful interpretation of the
fractured interval as illustrated in Fig. 10.16. This same problem occurs when the fracture is ver-
tical and the wellbore is deviated. Thus, under these circumstances temperature logs are, at best,
poor indicators of fracture growth.
Fig. 10.13 - Pre and Postfrac Temperature
Logs Showing Thermal Conductivity
Effects.
Fig. 10.14 - Temperature Log Showing
Warm Anomaly Above Treatment Zone.
8800
9000
9200
9400
9600
9800
10200
10400
PERFS
10000
80 93 108 121 135
175 200 225 250 275

F
TEMPERATURE
3170
3110
3050
2990
2930
2870
2810
2750
2690
STATIC
LOG
PRE FRAC
PROFILE
THERMAL
CONDUCTIVITY
EFFECTS
POST FRAC
PROFILE
FRACTURE TOP PROFILES
SEPARATE
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
m
e
t
e
r
s
)
TOP
POST FRAC
TEMP LOG
TOP?
TOP?
3750
3720
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
m
e
t
e
r
s
)
PERFS
190 200 210
TEMPERATURE
88 93 98

C
GR
SP
12200
12300
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-20 September 1992
In a well which goes on vacuum after a stimulation, the falling fluid level will continually carry
warm fluid down into the fractured zone, obscuring the temperature anomaly. This is possible in
injection well stimulations and on pumping wells with low reservoir pressure. In such cases, the
fluid level should be allowed to stabilize prior to running the logs.
Fig. 10.15 - Crossover Below Perfs.
Fig. 10.16 - Fracture - Wellbore Communication.
#1
#4
4
1
TOP
TEMP
LOG
GR
Fracture Communication
With Wellbore
Vertical Fracture
Straight Wellbore
Dipping Fracture
Or Deviated Wellbore
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-21 September 1992
Postfrac Gamma Ray Logs
In addition to temperature logging, postfrac gamma ray logs are often run to evaluate fracture
height. Fracturing proppant is tagged with radioactive-traced proppant, the tracer concentrations,
shown in Table 9.1, have proven to give good results:
16
Noting the variation in half-lives, a postfrac gamma ray log should be run early in the half-life of
the tracer used. Also, for the most definitive results with regard to fracture height, the tagged ma-
terial should be added throughout the stimulation.
One advantage of gamma-ray over temperature logs is that they do not need to be run immediately
after a stimulation, allowing wellbore fill below perforations to be removed before logging. How-
ever, the other restrictions on the temperature logs apply equally to radioactivity logs - that is they
are shallow investigative tools (shallower, even, than temperature logs), the response is propor-
tional to fracture width, and the wellbore and completion can effect the resultant log profile. Thus
while the two logs are often used in combination, the potential exists for them to confirm one an-
other and still not yield reliable results.
One disadvantage of radioactivity logs is their inability to distinguish between a fracture and a
small channel behind casing. The temperature response due to a small amount of flow in a channel
or annular space behind casing may not alter the radial flow heat conduction around unfractured
portions of the wellbore and does not affect the temperature logs. However, any material deposited
in a channel is indistinguishable from tagged material in a fracture.
Fig. 10.17a shows a good example of pre and postfrac gamma ray logs.
11
The radioactive material
indicates the top and bottom of the fracture and correlates well with the postfrac temperature log.
A second example, shown in Fig. 10.17b, utilized radioactive material in only the later pact of the
fracture treatment, thus radioactive material showed up only through a portion of the fracture.
11
In
this same figure, radioactive material shows up across the hot nose indicating this to be, in fact,
part of the fracture height.
Fracture Azimuth Determination
Currently, the four most common techniques available for determining fracture azimuth include
tiltmeters, borehole geophones, oriented core, and borehole geometry. The two most widely ac-
Table 9.1 - Tracer Concentrations.
Tracer Half-Life
Recommended
Concentration
Iodine 131 8 days 2 mc/10,000 lbs
Iridium 192 74 days 1 mc/10,000 lbs
Scandium 46 85 days 0.5 mc/10,000 lbs
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-22 September 1992
cepted techniques are tiltmeters and geophones, with increasing acceptance of oriented core anal-
ysis generated through recent consistent results from strain relaxation measurements.
Tiltmeters
Tiltmeters are highly sophisticated, extremely accurate bi-axial instruments which utilize bubble
sensors to measure the change in angle of a surface. These devices were originally developed to
aim intercontinental missiles, and were later employed by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in
the study of earth movements associated with earthquakes and volcanic activity. The use of tiltme-
ters to monitor hydraulic fractures, at depths up to 10,000 ft, is based on the assumption that the
earth will respond in a more or less elastic manner to deformations caused by opening a hydrau-
lic fracture. In that case, the surface of the earth will deform in a predictable manner and measure-
ments of this deformation can be interpreted to obtain data with respect to fracture geometry.
17,18,19
Fig. 10.18 illustrates surface deformations associated with fractures of several orientations.
A typical tiltmeter array consists of 12-16 instruments evenly spaced radially around the well, at a
distance of about 0.4 times the depth of the zone to be fractured. Each instrument is installed in a
shallow cased hole, usually 10 to 20 ft deep, and packed into position using sand to insulate the
device from surface weather and noise effects.
The tiltmeter instruments are capable of measuring changes in tilt of a surface with accuracy on
the order of 1 x 10
-7
radians. Due to the sensitivity of the measurements, changes in the level of the
earth's crust due to solid earth tides cause changes in the surface angle which are orders of magni-
Fig. 10.17 - Comparison of Postfrac Gamma-Ray and Temperature Logs.
POST
FRAC
TEMP
PROFILE
BASE
GR
POST FRAC
GAMMA RAY
FRAC ZONE
PERFS
9200
9300
9400
9500
9600
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
(a)
POST FRAC
GAMMA RAY
WARM
NOSE
RADIOACTIVE SAND
IN WARM NOSE
POST
FRAC
TEMP
PROFILE SP
9100
9200
9300
9400
9500
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
2780
2810
2840
2870
2900
H
O
L
E

D
E
P
T
H

(
m
e
t
e
r
s
)
(b)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-23 September 1992
tude greater than the fracture treatment. Fortunately, the period of the fracture event is much short-
er than the tidal noise and can be separated by post-analysis using frequency domain filtering
and/or tidal filtering. The residual from this filtering is then used to measure the tilt signal related
to hydraulic fracturing. The signals from both channels of a tiltmeter are combined to form a tilt
vector which embodies direction and magnitude of the tilt measured at that site. Fig. 10.19 shows
the recorded response for one channel from a single site.
To analyze the data, observed tilts are compared with theoretical values for many possible combi-
nations of fracture azimuth and dip; and thus, the azimuth and dip are determined which produce
the least error. An example shown in Fig. 10.20 shows theoretical tilt responses for vertical and
horizontal fractures and Fig. 10.21 shows a least error fit for observed vs. theoretical data.
Just as the pattern, or direction of the tilt vectors is related primarily to the fracture azimuth and
dip, the magnitude of the vectors is principally a function of fracture volume. Recent work has
been performed which combines fracturing pressure analysis with tilt vector magnitude to place
bounds on created fracture dimensions for wells shallower than 4000 ft, as seen in Fig. 10.22.
Fig. 10.18 - Surface Tiltmeter Monitoring.
DIP = 90
DIP = 60
DIP = 30
DIP = 0
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-24 September 1992
Because extensive site preparation is required to install the tiltmeter array and a site aging period
is required, scheduling should begin far in advance of the hydraulic fracture treatment. Site prep-
aration should begin a minimum of three weeks prior to the treatment. District personnel involved
in this testing should work closely with the Research Department in setting up and executing these
tests.
Borehole Geophones
Borehole geophones measure the sonic energy, or noise, produced while a formation is being frac-
tured.
21-,25
Aset of three geophones is typically installed in the wellbore on a single conductor wire-
line prior to the well being fractured. Since a wireline is in the hole while fracturing, the treatment
is usually a small gelled-water minifrac without proppant. One geophone is vertical and the other
two are horizontal. The orientation of the geophone tool is determined using surface shots set off
in strategically located sites in an array with a radius equal to the depth of the tool. A minimum of
Fig. 10.19 - Typical Tiltmeter Record for a Hydraulic Fracture.
CHANNEL 9 - RAW DATA
1.7670
1.7537
1.7404
1.7270
1.7137
1.7004
1.6871
1.6738
1.6604
1.6471
1.6338
317.53 317.56 317.61 317.58 317.51 317.55 317.59 317.62 317.64
VOL1
Tilt Signal
11:12:11:58:05 TO 11:12:15:40:31
READING ARE FROM CHANNEL 9 PROJ: 84-28
TOTAL OF 217 POINTS PLOTTED
STARTING TIME IS 11:12:11:58:05
ENDING TIME IS 11:12:15:40:31
STARTING TIME IN JULIAN UNIT IS 317.49867
ENDING TIME IN JULIAN UNIT IS 317.65314
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-25 September 1992
Fig. 10.20 - Theoretical Tilt Vectors.
Fig. 10.21 - Observed vs. Theoretical.
VERTICAL FRACTURE
(mirror symmetry
relative to the strike
of the fracture)
HORIZONTAL FRACTURE
(radial symmetry relative
to the wellbore)
Theoretical
Observed
Well B DIP = 50 AZIMUTH=29
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-26 September 1992
four shots are detonated, one at a time, using dynamite. The sites are 20 ft deep and located at equal
intervals of 45. The recorded arrival time of the shock wave indicates the direction of the source
with respect to the geophones.
Fracture azimuth is determined by analyzing the arrival times of sonic waves being propagated
through the formation as the rock cracks and the fracture extends in length. The variation in arrival
times between the three geophones is analyzed to determine the direction of the source of the sonic
waves (the tip of the fracture) fromthe wellbore. Fig. 10.23 shows an example of the type of results
obtained.
Oriented Core Analysis
The use of oriented cores to predict fracture azimuth has been suggested for many years.
3,5
The
chief advantage of core analysis for fracture azimuth is its ease of application. During routine cor-
ing operations, the additional work required to orient and analyze the core is small compared to
other azimuth measuring procedures. Also, since most coring is done early in the life of the field,
the azimuth data collection is very timely. The biggest disadvantage to common oriented core anal-
ysis is the fact that this is an indirect measurement, and it is difficult to be certain that the answer
is correct. The most successful core analysis, which has only recently gained acceptance, is the di-
rect on-site measurement of strain relaxation.
26
Fig. 10.22 - Fracture Dimensions.
R = 330 ft
R = 1000 ft
R = 570 ft
Fracture Volume
E
r
r
o
r

i
n

F
i
l

(
%
)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Fracturing Tests
10-27 September 1992
The indirect oriented coring process uses a shoe on the bottom of the core barrel with three knives
to cut grooves in the core. One of these is the reference groove at a known orientation to an azimuth
lug attached to the inner core barrel. An orientation tool is mounted above the core barrel such that
the orientation lug is visible when the tool photographs the compass. The correction between the
reference knife and the orientation lug can be pre-set in the shop, but a preferred technique is to
hoist the barrel in the derrick and use an optical aligning device to determine their relative orien-
tation; this is then recorded for future calculations.
27
Since this tying of orientation to depth is in-
direct, the biggest sources of error come from incomplete core recovery, breaks in core, or a
spiraling reference groove.
The technique of direct on-site measurement of strain relaxation from cores to determine fracture
azimuth is based on laboratory observations that the stress-strain behavior of rocks is not purely
elastic, but is a function of loading rate and time.
28
In such a case, strains stored in the rock by the
in-situ stresses will not be released instantly when the core is cut, but will relax over many hours.
If the core can be recovered and instrumented during this time, the orientation of stresses can be
determined by measuring relaxation in different directions.
The strain relaxation process involves selecting several core samples as soon as possible after the
core reaches the surface. The samples should be selected from intact core sections to ensure good
orientation data, then removed to a reasonably constant temperature environment, sealed to pre-
vent moisture evaporation, and then tested by attaching the deformation gauges to the sample to
record strain relaxation (and temperature) data from 12 to 24 hours. These measurements are then
used to calculate the orientation of the in-situ stresses.
29
Fig. 10.24 shows typical data taken from
strain relaxation measurements on a shale sample.
30
Fig. 10.23 - Borehole Geophones.
X
Y
Z
S
I
G
N
A
L
A
M
P
L
I
T
U
D
E
Time
Typical microseismic event recorded on three
orthogonally mounted seismic detectors. The
time marks are 0.017 sec. apart.
N
E W
S
Polarization of single-phase events recorded with
three-axis geophone package. downhole
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-28 September 1992
The strain relaxation technique has proven accurate in several tests where azimuth was also mea-
sured with other procedures.
21,26,31,32
These include tests in a volcanic tuff in Nevada; a low perme-
ability Mesa Verde Sandstone; a low permeability gas sand in the Cotton Valley Formation; and a
high porosity, high permeability sandstone in Oklahoma.
Borehole Geometry
The geometry of the borehole (ellipticity) may be affected by the stresses in the earth in the near
wellbore region. The fracture azimuth is also affected by these stresses.
1-5
Therefore, a simple cor-
relation might be made between borehole ellipticity and azimuth if conclusive supporting data can
be obtained. As discussed earlier on page 10-5, borehole ellipticity measurements in two different
areas indicate that fracture azimuth is either parallel to or perpendicular to the long axis of the bore-
hole. By combining the results of the azimuth measurements discussed above with borehole geom-
etry, a correlation might be made for a given field which would greatly simplify fracture azimuth
determination. Borehole geometry must be obtained in open-hole, and can be measured with a
Borehole Geometry Log as previously discussed on page 10-5, or from the oriented caliper incor-
porated into the Dipmeter Log. The Dipmeter Log yields information useful in geologic interpre-
tation, whereas the Borehole Geometry Log describes only the orientation and dimensions of the
borehole.
Fig. 10.24 - Strain Relaxation.
Elastic Strain
Time-Dependent Strain
C
C'
B
A
to t1 t2
TIME
S
T
R
A
I
N
Core Recovered and Instrumented at C'
De
t1 - t2
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-29 September 1992
10.2Introduction To TerraFrac
TerraFrac is a three dimensional fracturing simulator that is probably the most advanced commer-
cially available hydraulic fracturing simulator presently available. It has been in use by TRC since
1983 to address nonstandard fracture design problems. Fracturing design problems in wells in the
Valhall Field in the North Sea, as well as exploration wells all over the world, have been success-
fully addressed using the TerraFrac Simulator.
TerraFrac is installed on the IBM mainframe computer at the Research Center; however it is not
yet released for general use because of the complexity and time-consuming requirements of data
input, code execution, and the requirement of output analysis. The code is still undergoing devel-
opment and possesses very advanced capabilities such as thermal and poroelastic effects. It can
also be applied in fracture designs where the fracture may migrate considerably up or down from
the point of initiation, to study the effects of perforation placement on resulting fracture geometry.
TerraFrac solves the fracturing problem, in a general sense, i.e., it determines the fracture geome-
try as part of the solution process. A three-dimensional simulator is a simulator that can predict
fracture shape (width and height at any point along the fractures length). However, this is a nu-
merically demanding problem which is strongly nonlinear because of the coupling required be-
tween the fluid pressure distribution in the fracture with the stiffness of the opening fracture. The
solution of the problem may lead to fracture shapes that are complex, like the one at the top of
Fig. 10.25, which are relatively realistic even though they employ certain simplifying assump-
tions, e.g., planar fractures. The schematics in the lower part of Fig. 10.25 represent the simplest
models which are still used throughout the industry for simulating fracture treatment design. These
are idealistic versions of what may be happening downhole.
There is a category of fracturing simulators of intermediate complexity referred to as pseudo
three-dimensional simulators. These simulators can also predict the shape of the fracture, however
they still apply some simplifying assumptions on fracture propagation derived from the simplest
models. The majority of practical fracture design simulators (e.g., STIMPLAN, MFRAC,
FRAC-HT, etc.) fall in this category and are widely used because of their computational efficien-
cy. However, they do not replace the need for a 3-D simulator, especially when estimation of frac-
ture shape is crucial, e.g., for fractures near water bearing zones in the absence of strong confining
barriers, unconventional location of the perforations within adjacent layers to the pay zone, etc.
Therefore, depending on the fracture design problem, the engineer has a wide range of tools to use
and obtain the proper solution, the most important of which is sound judgment and understanding
of the governing physical phenomena.
General Description of the TerraFrac Simulator
The TerraFrac simulator assumes that the fracture is planar and symmetric with respect to the well-
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-30 September 1992
bore. It determines fracture geometry fromthe solution of a complex nonlinear interaction problem
of:
3-D Rock Deformation assuming Elastic Layered Formation;
Fluid flow in the Fracture with Proppant and Thermal Effects on Rheology;
Fracture Propagation using Linear Fracture Mechanics;
Leakoff;
Simplified (One Dimensional) Thermo-poroelastic Effects;
etc.
In this sense TerraFrac is a fully three-dimensional fracturing model. However, it is not the ulti-
mate model! Our desire is for a super simulator which can determine the shape of nonplanar
fractures and account for other phenomena such as formation nonlinearity (plasticity) rigorous
Fig. 10.25 - Models to Better Simulate Actual Fracture Behavior.
Actual?
R
w
f
Penny
Area of Largest
Approximately Ellipitical
Share of Fracture
Flow Resistance
w
f
w
f
x
f
x
f
h
f
Perkins & Kern Geertsma & deKlerk
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-31 September 1992
modeling of the formation-fracture interaction (coupled thermo-poroelastic interaction of the res-
ervoir and the propagating fracture), etc. Although much work has been done in these areas, this
type of simulation capability is not yet available.
A short account of how the model works is as follows: TerraFrac determines the shape of the frac-
ture in an iterative way. It starts from an assumed fracture shape which is small relative to the frac-
ture dimensions after the treatment has ended. An initial pressure distribution is also assumed. It
is recommended to start the simulation with a small penny shaped fracture at the center of the per-
forations. If the perforation interval is large with varying closure stresses, one would probably
choose to initiate the fracture at a point where the closure stress is minimized. The fluid pressure
is assumed (handled internally) initially to be constant. The fracture width is dependent on fluid
pressure distribution and fracture shape, and can be calculated from an elastic 3-D rock deforma-
tion solution. TerraFrac has the capability to calculate fracture width for a general shaped fracture
with arbitrary fluid pressure distribution. The widths from this solution stage are used to solve the
fluid flow problem in the plane of the fracture. The fracturing fluid is assumed to behave like a
power law fluid in laminar flow between parallel plates. The widths determined from the elastic
solution are used as the distance between the parallel plates. The fluid pressure distribution can be
calculated by satisfying the momentum and continuity equations with appropriate conditions at the
boundaries. Then the fracture widths can be derived using this pressure distribution from the elas-
tic solution. In this way, an iteration can be performed to derive the pressures and widths which
are mutually consistent.
The tendency of the fracture to propagate can be quantified using the closure stress profile, elastic
constants, toughness, the fluid pressure distribution, and the pre-existing fracture shape. A Critical
Fracture Width is calculated internally (Fracture Propagation Criterion), and, if the width of the
fracture at some given distance behind the front exceeds the critical fracture width, the fracture
propagates. The distance of propagation is calculated froma combination of mass balance enforce-
ment and the amount by which the widths near the front exceed the critical fracture width.
During the propagation, leakoff is assumed to occur according to Carter's model. The enforcement
of the continuity equation dominates the propagation and is given priority. In this sense, the frac-
ture Propagation Criterion is satisfied within broad tolerances, while continuity near the fracture
front is satisfied more accurately.
Input To Terrafrac
The downhole schematic of Fracturing Configuration of Fig. 10.26 gives a pictorial definition of
the input to TerraFrac. For each formation layer, it is required to define reservoir (porosity, perme-
ability, thermal conductivity), and elastic (modulus, Poissons ratio, toughness) properties.
Input relative to model discretization, convergence limits, input, output, and plotting are also re-
quired. The model uses a combination of finite element and boundary element methods to solve
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-32 September 1992
the coupled elastic-fluid flow problems. The fractures boundary is subdivided into quadrilaterals
which are further subdivided into four triangles. All calculations are performed on the triangles in
terms of the pressures and widths at the nodes. A typical plot of the mesh is shown on Fig. 10.28.
A detailed explanation of the input and the numerical techniques employed are beyond the scope
of this manual.
Note that the original TerraFrac formulation required the elastic properties to be uniform in all lay-
ers; however, an approximate way to account for the first order effects of modulus changes from
layer to layer has been recently implemented by TerraTek and has been installed on our IBMmain-
frame computer.
Terrafrac Simulation Runs
Confined Fracture Growth
The TerraFrac model can be applied for confined fracture growth. However, it should be remem-
bered that confined fracture growth is not the target of the TerraFrac capabilities. For confined
fracture growth, Perkins and Kern (PKN) type model programs are much more efficient than Ter-
raFrac.
The confined height example of Fig. 10.27 was devised to demonstrate the influence of leakoff and
closure stress gradient during the initial stages of fracture evolution. Furthermore, it acquaints the
reader with typical plots of the TerraFrac results produced by the plotting postprocessor developed
Fig. 10.26 - Schematic of the Hydraulic Fracturing Conguration.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-33 September 1992
by the Frac Group. The mesh used for this analysis is shown on Fig. 10.28.
The fracture shape evolution gives an appreciation of the delicate balance of the in-situ parameters
and their influence on fracture shape. Note that steep closure stress gradients push the fracture
growth upwards, while low leakoff zones encourage fracture growth in them. This is clearly dem-
onstrated in Fig. 10.29 which shows fracture evolution until the fracture reaches the lower confin-
ing layer (layer 5). The fracture was initiated as a penny shaped fracture of 20 ft radius at 8025 ft
depth. The fracture initially propagates as a penny in layer 3. Later, the small leakoff of layer 4 is
attracting the fracture more than the closure stress gradient of 0.848 psi/ft of layer 2 and the frac-
ture grows downwards until it reaches layer 5. The remainder of the fracture evolution is shown in
Fig. 10.30. The fracture, being confined below, grows upwards until it reaches layer 1. From then
on, we have confined fracture growth and the TerraFrac analysis does not offer anything additional
to a PKN program analysis.
Fig. 10.27 - TerraFrac Example (Demo 2).
Depth-Feet
LAYER 1
C = 0.0
LAYER 2
0.848 psi/ft
C = 0.0025 ft/min
LAYER 3 C = 0.0025 ft/min
C = 0.0005 ft/min
LAYER 5 C = 0.0
7200 7300 7400 7500 7600
1 - 2
2 - 3
3 - 4
4 - 5
PERFORATIONS
FORMATION PROPERTIES
E = 1.26x10
6
psi
= 0.35
FLUID VISCOSITY
= 90 cp
PUMPING RATE
Q = 16 bbl/min
CLOSURE PRESSURE - PSI
-7900
-8000
-8100
-8200
CLOSURE STRESS
LAYER 4
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-34 September 1992
Fig. 10.28 - Step 50 Fracture Grid.
Fig. 10.29 - Fracture Evolution Steps 0-40.
X (FEET)
Y

(
F
E
E
T
)
Y

(
F
E
E
T
)
X (FEET)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-35 September 1992
Fig. 10.31 shows the plot of the step number vs. injected volume. From this plot we see that a great
amount of steps (and computing time) is spent during the initial propagation stages. During the first
40 steps only 23 barrels of treatment volume were injected. Consequently, a small amount of in-
jected volume propagates the fracture rapidly to a confined mode of fracture extension; therefore,
a PKN analysis is essentially applicable for the entire fracturing propagation process.
Fig. 10.32, Fig. 10.33, and Fig. 10.34 show plots of the evolution of leakoff volume, fracture vol-
ume, fracture width, and fracture dimensions. Fig. 10.35 shows the variation of fluid pressure dur-
ing the fracture treatment. The kinks in the pressure are due to numerical reasons and should be
smoothed out (see next paragraph). The maximumpressure reflects the slightly increasing pressure
trend of confined fracture extension. The pressure at the perforations (depths are plotted with ref-
erence to the center of perforations referred to as 0.0 ft) shows this increasing tendency to a lesser
degree. Note that hydrostatic head in the fracture forces the maximum pressure to occur below the
perforations.
Fig. 10.36 and Fig. 10.37 show the error distributions of the iteration scheme. Comparing these
figures with Fig. 10.35, we see that the pressure distribution is sensitive to these errors. This is ex-
pected due to the strong nonlinearity of the problem. Consequently, despite the stringent conver-
gence error of 1%, the TerraFrac user should be able to distinguish real behavior from spurious
numerical behavior of the solution. This is valid especially for pressures which are the most sen-
sitive.
Fig. 10.30 - Fracture Evolution Steps 41-80.
Y

(
F
E
E
T
)
X (FEET)
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-36 September 1992
Fig. 10.31 - Evolution of Leakoff Volume, Fracture Volume, Fracture Width, and Fracture
Dimensions.
Fig. 10.32 - Evolution of Leakoff Volume, Fracture Volume, Fracture Width, and Fracture
Dimensions.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 200 400 600 800 1000
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
S
T
E
P

N
U
M
B
E
R
STEP NUMBER
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
800
600
400
200
0
0
200 400 600 800 1000
B
A
R
R
E
L
S
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
TOT. FRACTURE VOL (bbl)
TOT. LEAKOFF VOL (bbl)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-37 September 1992
Fig. 10.38 shows the efficiency of the treatment. We see that the efficiency of the treatment drops
to approximately 20% while 80% of the volume injected leaks into the formation.
Unconfined Fracture Growth
Two examples of unconfined fracture growth are briefly discussed in this section. They were taken
from a real case analysis of fracturing treatment for the Upper Hod formation of the 2/8A-17 well
in Valhall. These examples illustrate the capabilities offered by TerraFrac and the opportunity it
offers to enhance understanding of the fracturing process for complicated in-situ conditions.
Fig. 10.39 shows the two closure stress profiles considered; they were derived from our best esti-
mates of the in-situ conditions. Case A represents the base case; case B has a 200 psi lower closure
stress in the Tor relative to case A (due to reduced reservoir pressure after production) and a 50 psi
higher closure stress in the Dense zone to account for its higher confining capacity. The perfo-
rations are located directly below the dense zone. A constant 15 bbl/min pumping rate and a 90 cp
downhole viscosity fracturing fluid were assumed. The reservoir pressure was taken as 6275 psi.
Completion experience in Valhall has established that the Tor should not be directly perforated be-
cause it produces solids and plugs the well. The Upper Hod is perforated instead. Upper Hod treat-
ments have the dual purpose of stimulating the poorer Hod formation and communicating with the
rich Tor formation. Fracture height growth is not confined and fracture shapes may be complex
dependent on the in-situ conditions. It has been the practice to design such fracture treatments as
Fig. 10.33 - Evolution of Leakoff Volume, Fracture Volume, Fracture Width, and Fracture
Dimensions.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
0 200 400 600 800 1000
I
N
C
H
E
S
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
MAX FRAC WIDTH (in)
WIDTH (in) AT 0.0000C+00 ft
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-38 September 1992
Fig. 10.34 - Evolution of Leakoff Volume, Fracture Volume, Fracture Width, and Fracture
Dimensions.
Fig. 10.35 - Variation of Fluid Pressure During the Fracture Treatment.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
F
E
E
T
0 200 400 600 800 1000
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
MAX FRAC LENGTH (ft)
MAX FRAC HEIGHT (ft)
MAX HEIGHT ABOVE CNTR (ft)
MAX DEPTH BELOW CNTR (ft)
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0 200 400 600 800 1000
P
S
I
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
MAX PRESSURE (psi)
PRES (psi) AT 0.0000F+00 ft
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-39 September 1992
penny shaped fractures for lack of a better alternative. However, using TerraFrac we can deter-
mine fracture shape and study the effects of closure stress profile, actual closure stress gradient,
leakoff variation, and position of perforations. It is this capability that makes the TerraFrac simu-
lator so useful for Valhall field and other fields where no significant confining barriers exist.
Fig. 10.40 shows the fracture evolution for case A. The fracture was initiated (for both A and B
cases) as a small penny (of 10 ft radius) located at the center of the perforations, which is the origin
of the Y-axis. Note that in case A the fracture essentially remains approximately a penny, although
some confinement can be observed at the shale-Tor interface.
Fig. 10.41 shows the fracture evolution for case B. For this case the shape is drastically different.
It grows mainly in the Tor where closure stress is low. The lower part of the fracture simply con-
nects the perforations. This type of behavior can only be quantified by numerical simulation and
represents a delicate balance of the in-situ values of closure stress, closure gradients, and leakoff
as well as the location of the perforations and fluid rheology.
Fig. 10.42 compares the fracture width profiles along the wellbore for both A and B cases. In case
A, the maximum fracture width occurs close to the perforations (the origin of the Y-axis). In case
B, the fracture grows unsymmetrical with respect to the perforations and a pinching point devel-
ops. Width pinching near the perforations may cause a screen-out during the early stages of the
treatment.
Fig. 10.36 - Error Distributions of the Iteration Scheme.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
C
O
N
V
E
R
G
E
N
C
E

E
R
R
O
R

(
%
)
0 200 400 600 800 1000
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
CONVERGENCE ERROR (%)
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-40 September 1992
Fig. 10.43 shows the fracture width history for both cases. The maximum fracture width and the
fracture width at the perforations (i.e., at 0.0 ft) are plotted vs. the total injected volume. In case A,
we see no significant difference between these two values, both of which increase with the volume
of the fracturing treatment. In case B, the max width occurs in Tor and increases with the volume
injected as expected. However, the width at the perforations initially increases (while the fracture
is still a penny) and subsequently decreases at about 200 bbl, to remain constant at approximately
0.10 inches for the remaining of the treatment. This pinching effect may be the reason for prema-
ture screen-out. For such a case, an increased pad volume does not diminish the danger of
screen-out. More viscous fluid and small proppant may be required to pump the fracturing treat-
ment successfully. Note that the width at perforations can actually decrease during pumping of the
treatment, especially when unconfined nonsymmetric fracture growth occurs. The width history
plot may by used to estimate the volumes of the pad and the total volume of the treatment, so that
proppant is introduced when the fracture attains sufficient width. The maximumproppant size may
also be estimated. For example, case B allows a 20/40 proppant to be pumped with a maximum
proppant diameter of 0.0331 inches.
The character of the pumping pressure behavior for the two cases is also different as shown in
Fig. 10.44. These pressure histories are sufficiently smooth to represent real pressure behavior.
The maximum pressure and the pressure at the perforations are plotted vs. the total injected vol-
ume. Note that the pressures plotted are in addition to the reference pressure of 7084 psi. Due to
Fig. 10.37 - Error Distributions of the Iteration Scheme.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
-2
-4
P
E
R
C
E
N
T
200 400 600 800
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
STEP VOLUME. BAL. ERROR (%)
TOTAL VOLUME BAL. ERROR (%)
CONVERGENCE ERROR (%)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-41 September 1992
hydrostatic pressure the maximum pressure occurs below the perforations. Case A demonstrates a
typical pressure decrease during pumping which is characteristic of unconfined fracture growth of
a penny shaped fracture. Case B shows a complicated pressure behavior at the early pumping stag-
es. This is due to the presence of the pressure barrier in the dense zone which temporarily confines
the fracture.
In some cases the pressure plot may be used as a closure stress diagnostic tool by comparing the
simulated pressure with the actual pumping pressure during a minifrac test.
Fig. 10.45 shows the evolution of the fracture dimensions. Maximum fracture length, fracture
height above perforations, fracture depth below perforations, and maximum fracture height are
plotted vs. the total volume injected. In case A, the fracture propagates in both the horizontal and
vertical directions. In case B, the fracture is essentially confined height-wise and grows
length-wise in the Tor formation. An estimate of the total fracture treatment volume may be made
from this plot, based on the desired dimensions of the fracture.
Summary
TerraFrac is be a valuable simulation tool both for research and design of hydraulic fractures.
1. It can be used to determine the fracture shape for given in-situ and pumping conditions.
Fig. 10.38 - Efciency of Treatment.
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft): 8.025000E+03
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi): 7.300000E+03
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0 200 400 600 800 1000
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
TOTAL FRAC VOL/VOL INJ
STEP LEAK VOL/INJ VOL
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-42 September 1992
2. It can be used to study the effect of the location of the perforations and the associated problems
of width pinching.
3. It may be used to diagnose in-situ closure stress features by comparing the actual minifrac pres-
sure with simulated pressure.
It is possible, however, to make some overall proppant scheduling judgements using the history
plots. For example, the proppant volume at screen-out conditions should be less than the fracture
volume at any instant, and this leads to an upper limit for proppant loading per fluid gallon.
Fig. 10.39 - Valhall A-17 Cases A and B.
6700 6800 6900 7000 7100 7200
D
E
P
T
H

(
f
t
)
CLOSURE PRESSURE (psi)
min
-8200
-8300
-8400
-8500
-8600
SHALE C=0 0.75 psi/ft
TOR
C=0.005 ft/
0.68 psi/ft
0.66 psi/ft
DENSE ZONE
C=0.002 ft/ min
PERFORATIONS
U. HOD min
C=0.002 ft/
L. HOD C=0.002 ft/ min
0.64 psi/ft
0.64 psi/ft
FORMATION PROP.
E = 1.26 X 10
6
psia
= 0.4
FLUID VISCOSITY
= 90 cp
PUMPING RATE
Q = 15 bbl/min
CLOSURE STRESS A
CLOSURE STRESS B
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-43 September 1992
Fig. 10.40 - Fracture Evolution A17A.
1338 bbl
896 bbl
570 bbl
346 bbl
201 bbl
113 bbl
U HOD
DENSE ZONE
TOR
SHALE
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
150
125
100
75
50
25
0
-25
-50
-75
-100
-125
-150
X FEET
Y

F
E
E
T
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-44 September 1992
Fig. 10.41 - Fracture Evolution A17B.
SHALE
631 bbl
442 bbl
298 bbl
128 bbl
TOR
DENSE ZONE
U HOD
138 bbl
87 bbl
0 40 80 120 160 200
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
-20
-40
-60
-80
X FEET
Y

F
E
E
T
SHALE
1424 bbl
1012 bbl
751 bbl
DENSE ZONE
U HOD
0 50 100 150 200 250
175
150
125
100
75
50
25
0
-25
-50
-75
-100
Y

F
E
E
T
X FEET
TOR
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-45 September 1992
Fig. 10.42 - Fracture Width at the Wellbore.
A17A
A17B
150
125
100
75
50
25
0
-25
-50
-75
-100
-125
-150
140
120
100
80
60
40
0
-20
-40
-60
-80
20
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20
1338 bbl
631 bbl
WF IN
Y

F
E
E
T
WF IN
Y

F
E
E
T
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-46 September 1992
Fig. 10.43 - Fracture Width, A17A and A17B.
A17A
A17B
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
0
500 1000 1500 2000
I
N
C
H
E
S
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
0 400 800 1200 1600
I
N
C
H
E
S
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
MAX FRAC WIDTH (in)
WIDTH (in) AT 0.0000E+00 ft X
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Introduction To TerraFrac
10-47 September 1992
Fig. 10.44 - Pumping Pressure.
AMOCO REPORT NO. A17A
500
400
300
200
100
0
0 500 1000 1500 2000
P
S
I
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
AMOCO REPORT NO. A17B
500
400
300
200
100
0
P
S
I
-100
0 400 800 1200 1600
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
REFERENCE DEPTH (ft):
REFERENCE PRESSURE (psi):
7.084000E+03
8.366000E+03
MAX PRESSURE (psi)
PRES (psi) AT 0.0000E+00 ft X
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-48 September 1992
Fig. 10.45 - Fracture Dimensions.
A17A
A17B
400
300
200
100
0
0
500 1000 1500 2000
F
E
E
T
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
600
400
200
0
0 400 800 1200 1600
F
E
E
T
TOTAL VOLUME INJECTED (bbl)
X
X MAX DEPTH BELOW CNTR (ft)
MAX HEIGHT ABOVE CNTR (ft)
MAX FRAC HEIGHT (ft)
MAX FRAC LENGTH (ft)
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
References
10-49 September 1992
10.3References
1. Gough, D. I. and Bell, J. S.: Stress Orientations from Oil Well Fractures in Alberta and Texas, Cdn. J. Earth
Sci. (1981) 18, 638.
2. Thorpe, R. and Springer, J.: Relationship Between Borehole Elongation and In Situ Stress Orientation at the Ne-
vada Test Site, paper presented at the 1982 U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Berkley, CA, Aug. 25-27.
3. Babcock, E. A.: Measurement of Subsurface Fractures from Dipmeter Logs, AAPGBull. (July 1978) 62, 1111.
4. Brown, R. O., Forgotson, J. M., and Forgotson, J. M. Jr.: Predicting the Orientation of Hydraulically Created
Fractures in the Cotton Valley Formation of East Texas, paper SPE 9269 presented at the 1980 SPE Technical
Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, TX, Sept. 21-24.
5. Bell, J. S. and Gough, D. I.: Northeast-Southwest Compressive Stress in Alberta: Evidence from Oil Wells,
Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters, 45, 475-82.
6. Dutton, R. E., Nolte, K. G., and Smith, M. G.: Use of the Long-Spaced-Digital-Sonic Log to Determine Rela-
tionships of Fracturing Pressure and Fracture Height for Wells in the East Texas, Cotton Valley Tight Gas Play,
Amoco Production Company Report F82-P-12 (February 15, 1982).
7. Beaudoin, G. J.: Interpretation and Use of 3-D Sonic Data: A Preliminary Study, Amoco Production Company
Report F80-E-13 (September 1980).
8. Smith, M. G., Rosenberg, R. J., and Bowen, J. F.: Fracture Width: Design vs. Measurement, paper SPE 10965,
presented at the 1982 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 26-29.
9. Zamenek, J. et al.: The Borehole Televiewer - A New Logging Concept for Fracture Location and Other Types
of Borehole Inspection, JPT (June 1969) 762-74; Trans., AIME, 246.
10. Bredehoeft, J. D., et al.: Hydraulic Fracturing to Determine the Regional In Situ Stress Field, Piceance Basin,
Colorado, Bull., GSA (Feb. 1976) 87, 250-58.
11. Dobkins, T. A.: Improved Methods To Determine Hydraulic Fracture Height, JPT (April 1981) 719-26.
12. Nolte, K. G.: Fracture Design Considerations Based on Pressure Analysis, paper SPE 10911 presented at the
1982 SPE Cotton Valley Symposium, Tyler, TX, May 20.
13. Nolte, K. G.: Analysis of Pump-In/Shut-In Tests for Closure Pressure, Amoco Document.
14. Rosepiler, J. M.: Determination of Principal Stresses and Confinement of Hydraulic Fractures in Cotton Val-
ley, paper SPE 8405 presented at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas,
Sept. 23-26.
15. Nolte, K. G.: Determination of Fracture Parameters fromFracturing Pressure Decline, paper SPE 8341 present-
ed at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 23-26.
16. Heidt, J. H., Nolte, K. G., and Smith, M. B.: Fracturing Field Research Programs, unpublished Amoco Re-
search document, September 1981.
Special Topics
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
10
10-50 September 1992
17. Wood, M. D., Pollard, D. D., and Raleigh, C. B.: Determination of In-Situ Geometry of Hydraulically Generated
Fractures Using Tiltmeters, paper SPE 6091 presented at the 1976 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Ex-
hibition, New Orleans, Oct. 3-6.
18. Wood, W. D.: Method of Determining Change in the Subsurface Structure Due to Application of Fluid Pressure
to the Earth, U.S. Patent No. 4,272,696, (1981).
19. Davis, P. M.: Surface Deformation Associated with Dipping Hydrofracture, J. Geophysical Res. (1983) 881,
No. 87, 5826.
20. Pollard, P. O. and Holzhausen, G.: On the Mechanical Interaction Between a Fluid-Filled Fracture and the Earth
Surface, Tectonophysics (1979) 53I, 27.
21. Lacy, L. L.: Comparison of Hydraulic-Fracture Orientation Techniques, SPEFE (March 1987) 66-76; Trans.,
AIME, 283.
22. Schuster, C. L.: Detection Within the Wellbore of Seismic Signals Created by Hydraulic Fracturing, paper SPE
7448 presented at the 1978 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Oct. 1-3.
23. Pearson, C.: The Relationship Between Microseismicity and High Pore Pressure During Hydraulic Stimulation
Experiments in Low Permeability Granite Rock, J. Geophysical Res. (Sept. 1981) 86, 7855-64.
24. Albright, J. N. and Pearson, C. F.: Acoustic Emissions as a Tool for Hydraulic Fracture Location: Experience
at the Fenton Hill Hot Dry Rock Site, SPEJ (Aug. 1982) 523-30.
25. Dobecki, T. L.: Hydraulic Fracture Orientation by Use of Passive Borehole Seismics, paper SPE 12110 pre-
sented at the 1983 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Francisco, Oct. 5-8.
26. Teufel, L. W.: Prediction of Hydraulic Fracture Azimuth from Anelastic Strain Recovery Measurements of Ori-
ented Core, Proc., 23rd U.S. National Rock Mechanics Symposium (1982) 238-46.
27. Rowley, D. S., Burk, C. A., and Manual, T.: Oriented Cores, Christensen Technical Report, Christensen Dia-
mond Products (Feb. 1981).
28. Robertson, E. C.: Viscoelasticity of Rocks in State of Stress in the Earths Crust, W. Judd (ed.), (1964) 181-224.
29. Blanton, T. L.: The Relation Between Recovery Deformation and In-Situ Stress Magnitudes, paper SPE 11624
presented at the 1983 SPE/DOE Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, March 14-16.
30. Blanton, T. L. and Teufel, L. W.: A Field Test of the Strain Recovery Method of Stress Determination in Devo-
nian Shales, paper SPE 12304 presented at the 1983 SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, Champion, PA, Nov. 9-11.
31. Teufel, L. W. et al.: Determination of Hydraulic Fracture Azimuth by Geophysical, Geological, and Orient-
ed-Core Methods at the Multiwell Experiment Site, Rifle, Colorado, paper SPE 13226 presented at the 1984 An-
nual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Sept. 16-19.
32. Smith, M. B., Ren, N. K., Sorrels, G. G., and Teufel, L. W.: A Comprehensive Fracture Diagnostic Experiment.
Part II. Comparison of Seven Fracture Azimuth Measurements, paper SPE 13894 presented at the 1985 Sympo-
sium on Low-Permeability, Denver, May.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
11-1
Chapter
July 1999
11.1 Perforating
Proper selection and execution of a perforating program is essential to the success of a fracture
treatment completion. Consideration must be given to perforation diameter, shot density, phasing,
location and length of the perforation interval, and, in some special cases, perforation orientation.
While most of that presented in this section applies to both vertical and deviated wellbores, parts
also deal specifically with perforation patterns and procedures for deviated or horizontal well frac-
turing.
Hole Diameter
Perforation hole diameter directly affects the proppant size and maximum concentration that can
be pumped during a fracturing treatment. Perforations must be large enough relative to the maxi-
mum proppant diameter to prevent bridging. Fig. 11.1 shows the minimum recommended perfo-
ration size necessary to inject various size proppants at different concentrations. For example, to
pump 20/40 mesh sand at 10 ppg, a minimum perforation diameter of 0.20 in. is recommended.
RULE-OF-THUMB: Perforation diameter should be at least six times the maximum
proppant diameter to prevent bridging.
Another consideration in perforation sizing is fracturing fluid degradation. If perforation diameter
is too small, high shear-rates in the perforation tunnel can irreversibly destroy gel structure. This
will result in a reduction in the gels ability to carry proppant and a screenout can ensue.
Entry hole diameter can be affected by several variables, including
casing grade
stand-off of the perforation gun with the casing,
charge design (big hole versus deep penetrating),
charge alignment, and
casing thickness.
API charges are tested in casing from K-55 to L-80. When using P-110 and harder casing, the
entrance hole size will be reduced by as much as 20%.
Fracture Stimulation Guidelines
and
Quality Control
11
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual 11-2 July 1999
11
Figure 11.1 Minimum Perforation Diameter v. Proppant Size and Concentration.
The ideal stand-off to obtain maximum performance from a perforating gun is approximately
1/ 4 in. to 3/4 in., depending on gun size and charge design. If stand-off is significantly greater
than this, hole diameter and penetration will be reduced. Also, if the jet charges do not exit the
port plugs of the gun through the near center of the plug, perforation performance can be
dramatically reduced. Following a perforation job, all guns should be inspected to determine
what percent of charges fired and any misalighned firing through the port plugs.
Table 11.1 provides a very approximate chart of gun type/size, casing/tubing size, and weight
charge versus perforation entry hole diameter. These diameters were generated by various service
companies using the API recommended cement target. Results from different service companies
can vary dramatically; thus, this chart should only be used as a rough reference. When
determining the most appropriate perforating gun and weight charge, the service company should
be consulted to obtain the most recent data and recommendations.
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Perforating
11-3 July 1999
Number of Perforations
In addition to perforation size, the number of holes open affects the injection rate at which a frac-
ture treatment can be pumped. To determine the number of perforations required for a specific
treatment design, the following equation can be used
(11.1)
where, is the specific injection rate per perforation (bpm/perf), is perforation friction
(psi), is perforation diameter (in.), is the perforation coefficient (usually 0.9), and is the
maximum fracturing fluid (slurry) density (lbs/gal). is an efficiency number that corrects for
the fact that all perforations are not perfectly circular or smooth orifices. Assuming minimal per-
foration friction, a value of 100 psi is normally used in the equation.
Table 11.1 - Approximate Chart of Gun and Casing/Tubing Sizes Versus Charge Size and Entry Hole
Diameter for Various Type Perforating Guns.
Gun Type
Gun OD
(in.)
Casing OD
(in.)
Entry Hole Diameter
(in.)
Charge Wt.
(grams)
Hollow
Steel Carrier
3-1/8
3-3/8
3-5/8
4
4
4-1/2
4-1/2
4-1/2
5-1/2
7
0.31-0.39
0.38
0.40
0.34-0.50
0.38-0.46
10
14
10
10-22.7
19-22.7
Expendable
Retrievable
Carrier
1
1-1/4
1-11/16
1-11/16
1-11/16
2-1/8
2-1/8
2-1/8
4-1/2
2-3/8
2-3/8
2-7/8
5-1/2
2-7/8
5-1/2
7
0.15
0.30
0.36
0.38
0.27
0.43
0.33-0.49
0.32-0.44
2
5
13
13
13
22.7
22.7
22.7
Expendable 1-1/4
1-11/16
1-11/16
1-11/16
2-1/8
2-1/8
2-1/8
3-3/4
3-3/4
3-3/4
2-3/8
2-7/8
4-1/2
5-1/2
2-7/8
5-1/2
7
4-1/2
5-1/2
7
0.30
0.36
0.51
0.30
0.44
0.41
0.42
0.66
0.67
0.71
5
13
13.5
13
22.7
22.7
22.7
90
90
90
NOTE: Entry hole diameters generated with API Concrete Target test.
i
pf
P
pf
( ) d
pf
( )
4
( )
2
0.2369 ( )
--------------------------------------
1/2
=
i
pf
P
pf
d
pf

Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual


11
11-4 July 1999
While Eq. (11.1) can be used to calculate the minimum number of holes required for desired treat-
ment parameters, normally some holes may be plugged, some charges may have misfired, and/or
the holes may be substandard due to misaligned firing or poor gun stand-off. The following is rec-
ommended to compensate for this:
RULE-OF-THUMB: Either a perforation coefficient of 0.5 should be used in Eq. (11.1)
or the number of holes, determined with a coefficient of 0.9, should be doubled to insure that
enough, good quality holes are open for the treatment.
If a well has already been perforated before the fracture treatment design is formulated, which is
usually the case; Eq. (11.1) can be used to determine the maximum injection rate through the
available perforations or decide if additional perforations are required. An example of this is
shown in Table 11.2 for a well that was perforated and tested and found to have much higher per-
meability and skin than anticipated. Initially, the well was shot 2 spf over the 20 ft pay interval with
a hole diameter of 0.38 in. From testing, the well appeared to have a permeability of 200 md and
a skin of +20. Based on fracture modeling, a treatment rate of 40 bpm was desired, limited by the
workstring, and to obtain good conductivity through the damaged region, a maximum proppant
concentration of 10 ppg 20/40 mesh sand was required. As seen in Table 11.2, the minimum num-
ber of perforations required for this treatment was about 110 or 70 more than available. Thus, the
well had to be either reperforated prior to fracturing or the maximum injection rate reduced to 15-
20 bpm, the later probably not feasible given the expected high fluid leak-off.
Perforation Phasing
When perforating for a fracture treatment smaller phasing angles are better, i.e., 90 or 120 phas-
ing better than 180 or 360 (same as 0) phasing. As shown in Fig. 11.2, if enough of the perfora-
tions are not in the near direction of the preferred fracture azimuth, the fracture must traverse
around the outside of the cement to reach this orientation. Since the fracture will propagate perpen-
dicular to the least principle stress, the portion of the fracture which travels around the wellbore
will be subjected to higher stress, resulting in a narrower width or pinch-point. This causes a
high fluid shear environment and can result in fluid degradation and proppant bridging and an
ensuing screenout. This type environment is the most common cause of tortuosity or a tortuous
fracture path caused by some near-wellbore restriction such as described above. Most cases of tor-
tuosity can be cured with proper perforating to insure good communication between the wellbore
and main fracture body. This will also, typically, result in reduced treating pressures (lower HHP
costs) and better post-frac performance.
Perforating for Deviated/Horizontal Well Fracturing
There is nothing good about the effect of well deviation on fracturing, and, when possible, this
should be avoided. However, many situations exist where fracturing deviated wells is either desir-
able or dictated by other concerns. One example might be multiple completions from long reach
wells, with another being workover or recompletion operations in existing wellbores. Perforation
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
Perforating
11-5 July 1999
patterns can play a dominant role in fracturing from non-vertical wellbores. To better under-
stand this, the following briefly describes possible fracture to wellbore patterns in deviated wells.
While current state-of-the-art does not allow complete quantification of the effects of well devi-
ation on fracturing, it is clear that these effects are related to two angles: (1) the well deviation from
vertical, , (assuming a vertical fracture) and (2) the difference in direction between the wellbore
and the preferred fracture azimuth, , as shown in Fig. 11.3. Best communication will exist when
these two angles are minimized. Basically, there are five possible patterns of wellbore to frac-
ture communication for deviated wells (and vertical fractures). First is when the wellbore is
parallel to the maximum horizontal stress direction, i.e., parallel to the preferred fracture azimuth,
and the fracture follows the wellbore. This is the only good scenario and fracture behavior can
be expected to be similar to behavior for a vertical well. The remaining four patterns are illustrated
in Fig. 11.4, and in order of increasing badness, include (1) a single fracture along the wellbore
turning gradually to the preferred orientation, (2) a single fracture parallel with the well but then
Table 11.2 - Example Calculation of Number of Perforations Required or Maximum Rate Obtainable
for Fracturing Treatment Design.
Determine the number of perforations required to inject at 40 bpm or the maximum injection rate
possible with the existing 40, 0.38 in. holes. Assume a perforation friction of 100 psi. The max-
imum planned slurry design is 14.59 lbs/gal.
1. To safely inject at 40 bpm:
holes required = (40 bpm/0.7) x 2 = 114 holes
Using = 0.5, instead of 0.9, in the above eq.:
= 0.39 bpm/perf
holes required = 103 holes
* REPERFING REQUIRED TO ADD ABOUT 70 MORE HOLES!
2. Maximum rate achievable without perforating:
(0.39 bpm/perf)(40 perfs) = 16 bpm
i
pf
P
pf
( ) d
pf
( )
4
( )
2
0.2369 ( )
--------------------------------------
1/2
=
i
pf
100 ( ) 0.38 ( )
4
0.9 ( )
2
0.2369 ( ) 14.59 ( )
-----------------------------------------------
1/2
=
i
pf
0.7 bpm/perf =

i
pf
Hydraulic Fracturing Theory Manual
11
11-6 July 1999
turning sharply to followthe preferred azimuth, (3) a single fracture crossing the well, and (4) mul-
tiple fractures crossing the well. In each of these cases, high apparent downhole friction may
be caused by near-wellbore fracture width restrictions (tortuosity).
For the most awful case, i.e., multiple fractures crossing the wellbore, a small clustered group
of perforations is often used as shown in Fig. 11.5, though this may not totally eliminate multiple
fractures. To totally eliminate the possibility of multiple fractures, a single plane of perfora-
tions is desired, or even better a notched casing using abrasive techniques. Some perforation
patterns may maximize the chances of creating the preferred single fracture along the wellbore