A New Model of Acid Fracture Conductivity Based on Deformation of Surface Asperities


Acid fracture conductivity is affected by the aperture and contact area of the fracture under closure stress. This, in turn, depends on the surface asperities created by the acidizing process and the mechanical strength of these asperities. Acid contact time, acid leakoff, rock mechanical properties, and formation heterogeneity all affect the creation of hydraulic conductivity of an acid fracture.

We have conducted a systematic experimental study to investigate the mechanisms of the creation of hydraulic conductivity in acid fractures, including characterization of the surface roughness created by acid etching, investigation of the damage to the rock compressive strength by acid, and measurement of hydraulic conductivity under closure stress. Experimental data show that longer acid contact results in rougher fracture surfaces and, in turn, higher hydraulic conductivity. However, acidizing also reduces the rock compressive strength causing the surface asperities to easily deform under stress.

Based on our experimental results, a new fracture deformation model was derived which considers both the surface roughness and the rock mechanical properties. The fracture closure under stress is modeled as plastic deformation of asperities. Finally, a cubic law is used to calculate the fracture conductivity. The prediction of acid fracture conductivity using this model with appropriate parameters shows good agreement with the experimental data.

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