Fracture height growth can be contained by selective placement of a low mobility bed of proppant along the upper and the lower tips of a propagating hydraulic fracture, while keeping the front tip open to further lateral extension. This is done in a separate treatment step prior to the main treatment. The success of these treatments in reducing height growth depends on the proper design and execution of the treatments, based on knowledge of the vertical stress profile, which dominates the fracture geometry evolution in three dimensional space. Such barrier placements are limited by the rate of early fracture height growth with respect to extension, treatment rate, fluid viscosity, proppant concentration, proppant size and specific gravity. This paper shows the effects of these variables on the effectiveness of the placement of artificial barriers. The paper also describes the three dimensional fracture geometry evolution beyond the lateral extent of the emplaced barriers. Beyond these barriers the fracture loses any artificial containment, and grows according to the natural stress profile. The possibility of interactive diversion through convective settlement is also studied.

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