ABSTRACT

The aim of the present work is to investigate injection of a low-viscosity fluid into a pre-existing fracture within a linear elastic, permeable rock, as may occur in waterflooding and supercritical CO2 injection. In conventional hydraulic fracturing, high viscosity and cake building properties of injected fluid limit diffusion to a 1-D boundary layer incasing the crack. In the case of injection of low viscosity fluid into a fracture, diffusion will take place over wider range of scales, from 1-D to 2-D, thus, necessitating a new approach. In addition, the dissipation of energy associated with fracturing of the rock dominates the energy expended to flow a low viscosity fluid into the crack channel. As a result, the rock fracture toughness is an important parameter in evaluating the propagation driven by a low-viscosity fluid. We consider a pre-existing, un-propped, stationary Perkins, Kern and Nordgren's (PKN) fracture into which a low viscosity fluid is injected under a constant flow rate. The fundamental solution to the auxiliary problem of a step pressure increase in a fracture [1] is used to formulate and solve the convolution integral equation governing the transient crack pressurization under the assumption of negligible viscous dissipation. The propagation criterion for a PKN crack [2] is then used to evaluate the onset of propagation. The obtained solution for transient pressurization of a stationary crack provides initial conditions to the fracture propagation problem.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.