The conductivity of an acid-etched fracture depends strongly on void spaces and channels along the fracture resulting from uneven acid etching of the fracture walls. In this study, we modeled the deformation of the rough fracture surfaces acidized in heterogeneous formations based on the synthetic permeability distributions and developed a new correlation to calculate the acid-etched fracture conductivity.

In our previous work, we modeled the dissolution of the fracture surfaces in formations having small-scale heterogeneities in permeability. The characterization of the correlated permeability fields of rock includes the average permeability, normalized correlation lengths in both horizontal and vertical directions, and normalized standard deviation. These statistical parameters have a significant influence on the fracture etching profiles obtained from the model. Beginning with this fracture width distribution, we have modeled the deformation of the fracture surfaces as closure stress is applied to the fracture. The elastic properties of the rock, such as the Young’s modulus and the Poisson’s ratio, have effects on the size of the spaces remaining open after fracture closure. After the model yields the width profile under closure stress, the overall conductivity of the fracture is then obtained by numerically modeling the flow through this heterogeneous system.

In this paper, we introduce our models and investigate the effects of both permeability and mineralogy distributions, and rock elastic properties on the overall conductivity of an acid etched fracture. A new acid-fracture conductivity correlation is developed based on many numerical experiments.

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