Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations presents a well-known challenge due to high entrapment of frac fluids. Typical levels of fluid recovery from shale formations are on the order of 30% or lower. Fluid loss into shale produces liquid blocks that interfere with the gas flow in already tight formations. Friction reducers or other additives present in fluids can cause further formation damage. Search for technologies that would maximize gas flow rate and yield high recoveries is ongoing. In recent years microemulsions have been successfully used for remediating damaged wells and enhancing production from tight gas formations. In the present work we have explored the use of such additives for improving fluid recoveries from columns packed with shale/sand mixtures and for improving permeability of split shale cores to gas.

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