Tailored pulse loading is a descriptor for intermediate strain rate rock fracturing processes. These processes are capable of generating multiple fractures in the reservoir rock when the proper energy-time profile is applied to the wellbore. Such multiple fracture networks have a high probability of intersecting natural fractures; hence initial applications have focused on low permeability, naturally fractured formations.

Tailored Pulse Fracturing, a tailored pulse loading process, has undergone developmental testing in the San Andres formation in the Permian Basin. These tests have provided insights into the fracture characteristics and the production effects of multiple fracture networks. Concurrently, mathematical models have been developed to predict the performance of Tailored Pulse Fracturing.

Discussed in the context of explosive and hydraulic fracturing, predicted fracture lengths and widths are presented as a function of applied energy and formation properties. Productivity indices are proposed based on multiple fractures affecting changes either in effective reservoir permeability or effective wellbore radius. Enhanced production results indicate either natural fracture intersection or a synergistic blend of production mechanisms.

Field tests in the San Andres are discussed and production data are analyzed. The data is interpreted as indicating long fractures (>100 feet) can be created and that long term conductivity is maintained.

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