Evaluating the Performance of Surfactants in Enhancing Flowback and Permeability after Hydraulic Fracturing through a Microfluidic Model
- Tianbo Liang (China University of Petroleum, Beijing) | Ke Xu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) | Jun Lu (University of Tulsa) | Quoc Nguyen (University of Texas at Austin) | David DiCarlo (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- water blockage, microemulsion, micromodel, multiphase flow
- 46 in the last 30 days
- 63 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Hydraulic fracturing can create a large fracture network that makes hydrocarbon production from low-permeability reservoirs economical. However, water can invade the rock matrix adjacent to the created fractures and generate water blockage that impairs production. Using surfactants as fracturing-fluid additives is a promising method to enhance the fluid flowback, and thus mitigate the water blockage caused by invasion. It is imperative to understand how surfactants work during the fracturing and production stages, so as to maximize their effectiveness in production enhancement. In this study, an experimental investigation is conducted using a “chipflood” sequence that simulates fluid invasion, flowback, and hydrocarbon production from hydraulically fractured reservoirs. All experiments are conducted in a 2.5D glass micromodel that provides direct observation of in-situ phase changes when different Winsor types of microemulsions formed in the porous medium. The results provide direct evidence of the impact of the matrix–fracture interaction as well as water removal when surfactants are used. They further elucidate why surfactants under different Winsor-type conditions perform differently in mitigating the water blockage. This helps to clarify the screening criteria for optimizing flowback surfactant in hydraulic fracturing.
|File Size||7 MB||Number of Pages||20|
Abgrall, P. and Gué, A.-M. 2007. Lab-On-Chip Technologies: Making a Microfluidic Network and Coupling It Into a Complete Microsystem—A Review. J Micromech Microeng 17 (5): R15–R49. https://doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/17/5/R01.
Agrawal, S. and Sharma, M. M. 2013. Liquid Loading Within Hydraulic Fractures and Its Impact on Unconventional Reservoir Productivity. Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, 12–14 August. URTEC-1580636-MS. https://doi.org/10.1190/urtec2013-132.
Almulhim, A., Alharthy, N., Tutuncu, A. N. et al. 2014. Impact of Imbibition Mechanism on Flowback Behavior: A Numerical Study. Paper presented at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10–13 November. SPE-171799-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/171799-MS.
Alramahi, B. and Sundberg, M. I. 2012. Proppant Embedment and Conductivity of Hydraulic Fractures in Shales. Paper presented at the 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24–27 June. ARMA-2012-291.
Alvarez, J. O., Saputra, I. W. R., and Schechter, D. S. 2017. The Impact of Surfactant Imbibition and Adsorption for Improving Oil Recovery in the Wolfcamp and Eagle Ford Reservoirs. Paper presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 9–11 October. SPE-187176-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/187176-MS.
Bertoncello, A., Wallace, J., Blyton, C. et al. 2014. Imbibition and Water Blockage in Unconventional Reservoirs: Well-Management Implications During Flowback and Early Production. SPE Res Eval & Eng 17 (4): 497–506. SPE-167698-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/167698-PA.
Bostrom, N., Chertov, M., Pagels, M. et al. 2014. The Time-Dependent Permeability Damage Caused by Fracture Fluid. Paper presented at the SPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, 26–28 February. SPE-168140-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/168140-MS.
Caenn, R., Darley, H. C. H., and Gray, G. R. 2011. Chapter 4—Clay Mineralogy and the Colloid Chemistry of Drilling Fluids. In Composition and Properties of Drilling and Completion Fluids, sixth edition, 137–177. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Gulf Professional Publishing.
Cao, P., Liu, J., and Leong, Y.-K. 2017. A Multiscale-Multiphase Simulation Model for the Evaluation of Shale Gas Recovery Coupled the Effect of Water Flowback. Fuel 199: 191–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.02.078.
Chatenever, A. and Calhoun, J. C. J. 1952. Visual Examinations of Fluid Behavior in Porous Media—Part I. J Pet Technol 4 (6): 149–156. SPE-135-G. https://doi.org/10.2118/135-G.
Conn, C. A., Ma, K., Hirasaki, G. J. et al. 2014. Visualizing Oil Displacement With Foam in a Microfluidic Device With Permeability Contrast. Lab Chip 14 (20): 3968–3977. https://doi.org/10.1039/C4LC00620H.
Das, P., Achalpurkar, M., and Pal, O. 2014. Impact of Formation Softening and Rock Mechanical Properties on Selection of Shale Stimulation Fluid: Laboratory Evaluation. Paper presented at the SPE/EAGE European Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 25–27 February. SPE-167787-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/167787-MS.
Dutta, R., Lee, C.-H., Odumabo, S. et al. 2014. Experimental Investigation of Fracturing-Fluid Migration Caused by Spontaneous Imbibition in Fractured Low-Permeability Sands. SPE Res Eval & Eng 17 (1): 74–81. SPE-154939-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/154939-PA.
Engelder, T., Cathles, L. M., and Bryndzia, L.T. 2014. The Fate of Residual Treatment Water in Gas Shale. J Unconv Oil Gas Resour 7: 33–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.juogr.2014.03.002.
Gupta, N., Rai, C. S., and Sondergeld, C. H. 2013. Petrophysical Characterization of the Woodford Shale. Petrophysics 54 (): 368–382. SPWLA-2013-v54n4-A4.
Hirasaki, G., Miller, C. A., and Puerto, M. 2011. Recent Advances in Surfactant EOR. SPE J. 16 (4): 889–907. SPE-115386-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/115386-PA.
Hu, Y., Weijermars, R., Zuo, L. et al. 2018. Benchmarking EUR Estimates for Hydraulically Fractured Wells With and Without Fracture Hits Using Various DCA Methods. J Pet Sci Eng 162: 617–632. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2017.10.079.
Huh, C. 1979. Interfacial Tensions and Solubilizing Ability of a Microemulsion Phase That Coexists With Oil and Brine. J Colloid Interface Sci 71 (2): 408–426. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9797(79)90249-2.
Jang, S. H., Liyanage, P. J., Lu, J. et al. 2014. Microemulsion Phase Behavior Measurements Using Live Oils at High Temperature and Pressure. Paper presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, 12–16 April. SPE-169169-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169169-MS.
Karadimitriou, N. K. and Hassanizadeh, S. M. 2012. A Review of Micromodels and Their Use in Two-Phase Flow Studies. Vadose Zone J 11 (3). https://doi.org/10.2136/vzj2011.0072.
Karadimitriou, N. K., Musterd, M., Kleingeld, P. J. et al. 2013. On the Fabrication of PDMS Micromodels by Rapid Prototyping, and Their Use in Two-Phase Flow Studies. Water Resour Res 49 (4): 2056–2067. https://doi.org/10.1002/wrcr.20196.
Kim, J., Zhang, H., Sun, H. et al. 2016. Choosing Surfactants for the Eagle Ford Shale Formation: Guidelines for Maximizing Flowback and Initial Oil Recovery. Paper presented at the SPE Low Perm Symposium, Denver, Colorado, USA, 5–6 May. SPE-180227-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180227-MS.
King, G. E. 2012. Hydraulic Fracturing 101: What Every Representative, Environmentalist, Regulator, Reporter, Investor, University Researcher, Neighbor and Engineer Should Know about Estimating Frac Risk and Improving Frac Performance in Unconventional Gas and Oil Wells. Paper presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 6–8 February. SPE-152596-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/152596-MS.
Lake, L. W., Johns, R., Rossen, B. et al. 2014. Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery. Richardson, Texas, USA: Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Lan, Q., Ghanbari, E., Dehghanpour, H. et al. 2014. Water Loss Versus Soaking Time: Spontaneous Imbibition in Tight Rocks. Paper presented at the SPE/EAGE European Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 25–27 February. SPE-167713-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/167713-MS.
Levitt, D., Jackson, A., Heinson, C. et al. 2009. Identification and Evaluation of High-Performance EOR Surfactants. SPE Res Eval & Eng 12 (2): 243–253. SPE-100089-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/100089-PA.
Liang, T., Achour, S. H., Longoria, R. A. et al. 2017a. Flow Physics of How Surfactants Can Reduce Water Blocking Caused by Hydraulic Fracturing in Low Permeability Reservoirs. J Pet Sci Eng 157: 631–642. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2017.07.042.
Liang, T., Longoria, R. A., Lu, J. et al. 2017b. Enhancing Hydrocarbon Permeability After Hydraulic Fracturing: Laboratory Evaluations of Shut-Ins and Surfactant Additives. SPE J. 22 (4): 1011–1023. SPE-175101-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/175101-PA.
Liang, T., Longoria, R. A., Lu, J. et al. 2015. The Applicability of Surfactants on Enhancing the Productivity in Tight Formations. Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 20–22 July. URTEC-2154284-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2015-2154284.
Liang, T., Luo, X., Nguyen, Q. et al. 2018. Computed-Tomography Measurements of Water Block in Low-Permeability Rocks: Scaling and Remedying Production Impairment. SPE J. 23 (3): 762–771. SPE-189445-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/189445-PA.
Liang, T., Zhou, F., Lu, J. et al. 2017c. Evaluation of Wettability Alteration and IFT Reduction on Mitigating Water Blocking for Low-Permeability Oil-Wet Rocks After Hydraulic Fracturing. Fuel 209: 650–660. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.08.029.
Longoria, R. A., Liang, T., Huynh, U. T. et al. 2017. Water Blocks in Tight Formations: The Role of Matrix/Fracture Interaction in Hydrocarbon-Permeability Reduction and Its Implications in the Use of Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques. SPE J. 22 (5): 1393–1401. SPE-185962-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/185962-PA.
Loucks, R. G., Reed, R. M., Ruppel, S. C. et al. 2009. Morphology, Genesis, and Distribution of Nanometer-Scale Pores in Siliceous Mudstones of the Mississippian Barnett Shale. J Sediment Res 79 (12): 848–861. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2009.092.
Lu, J. and Pope, G. A. 2017. Optimization of Gravity-Stable Surfactant Flooding. SPE J. 22 (2): 480–493. SPE-174033-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/174033-PA.
Lu, J., Pope, G. A., and Weerasooriya, U. P. 2013. Stability Investigation in Low-Tension Surfactant Floods. Paper presented at the SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 8–10 April. SPE-164090-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/164090-MS.
Lu, J., Weerasooriya, U. P., and Pope, G. A. 2014. Investigation of Gravity-Stable Surfactant Floods. Fuel 124: 76–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2014.01.082.
Ma, K., Liontas, R., Conn, C. A. et al. 2012. Visualization of Improved Sweep With Foam in Heterogeneous Porous Media Using Microfluidics. Soft Matter 8: 10669–10675. https://doi.org/10.1039/c2sm25833a.
Madsen, F. T. and Müller-Vonmoos, M. 1989. The Swelling Behaviour of Clays. Appl Clay Sci 4 (2): 143–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/0169-1317(89)90005-7.
Male, F., Marder, M. P., Browning, J. et al. 2016. Marcellus Wells’ Ultimate Production Accurately Predicted From Initial Production. Paper presented at the SPE Low Perm Symposium, Denver, Colorado, USA, 5–6 May. SPE-180234-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180234-MS.
Nelson, P. H. 2009. Pore-Throat Sizes in Sandstones, Tight Sandstones, and Shales. AAPG Bull 93 (3): 329–340. https://doi.org/10.1306/10240808059.
Nelson, R. C. 1983. The Effect of Live Crude on Phase Behavior and Oil-Recovery Efficiency of Surfactant Flooding Systems. SPE J. 23 (3): 501–510. SPE-10677-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/10677-PA.
Neog, A. and Schechter, D. S. 2016. Investigation of Surfactant Induced Wettability Alteration in Wolfcamp Shale for Hydraulic Fracturing and EOR Applications. Paper presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, 11–13 April. SPE-179600-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/179600-MS.
Pagels, M., Willberg, D. M., Edelman, E. et al. 2013. Quantifying Fracturing Fluid Damage on Reservoir Rock to Optimize Production. Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, 12–14 August. URTEC-1578948-MS. https://doi.org/10.1190/urtec2013-180.
Patzek, T., Male, F., and Marder, M. 2014. A Simple Model of Gas Production From Hydrofractured Horizontal Wells in Shales. AAPG Bull 98 (2): 2507–2529. https://doi.org/10.1306/03241412125.
Ren, K., Zhou, J., and Wu, H. 2013. Materials for Microfluidic Chip Fabrication. Acc Chem Res 46 (11): 2396–2406. https://doi.org/10.1021/ar300314s.
Roof, J. G. 1970. Snap-Off of Oil Droplets in Water-Wet Pores. SPE J. 10 (1): 85–90. SPE-2504-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/2504-PA.
Roshanfekr, M., Johns, R. T., Pope, G. et al. 2012. Simulation of the Effect of Pressure and Solution Gas on Oil Recovery From Surfactant/Polymer Floods. SPE J. 17 (3): 705–716. SPE-125095-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/125095-PA.
Sharma, M. and Agrawal, S. 2013. Impact of Liquid Loading in Hydraulic Fractures on Well Productivity. Paper presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 4–6 February. SPE-163837-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/163837-MS.
Sharma, M. M. and Manchanda, R. 2015. The Role of Induced Un-Propped (IU) Fractures in Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells. Paper presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, USA, 28–30 September. SPE-174946-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/174946-MS.
Shuler, P. J., Lu, Z., Ma, Q. et al. 2016. Surfactant Huff-n-Puff Application Potentials for Unconventional Reservoirs. Paper presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, 11–13 April. SPE-179667-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/179667-MS.
Tagavifar, M., Herath, S., Weerasooriya, U. P. et al. 2018. Measurement of Microemulsion Viscosity and Its Implications for Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery. SPE J. 23 (1): 66–83. SPE-179672-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/179672-PA.
Tagavifar, M., Xu, K., Jang, S. H. et al. 2017. Spontaneous and Flow-Driven Interfacial Phase Change: Dynamics of Microemulsion Formation at the Pore Scale. Langmuir 33 (45): 13077–13086. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02856.
US Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2015. Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources. Technical Report, US EIA, Washington, DC.
Wachtmeister, H., Lund, L., Aleklett, K. et al. 2017. Production Decline Curves of Tight Oil Wells in Eagle Ford Shale. Nat Resour Res 26 (3): 365–377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11053-016-9323-2.
Wang, D., Butler, R., Zhang, J. et al. 2012. Wettability Survey in Bakken Shale With Surfactant-Formulation Imbibition. SPE Res Eval & Eng 15 (6): 695–705. SPE-153853-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/153853-PA.
Wasylishen, R. and Fulton, S. 2012. Reuse of Flowback & Produced Water for Hydraulic Fracturing in Tight Oil. Report prepared for The Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC), Calgary, Alberta, Canada (June 2012).
Winsor, P. A. 1948. Hydrotropy, Solubilisation and Related Emulsification Processes. Trans Faraday Soc 44: 376–398. https://doi.org/10.1039/TF9484400376.
Xu, K. 2018. Construction and Validation of Microfluidic Platforms for Investigation of Multiphase Flow and Nanofluids in Porous Media. PhD dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
Xu, K., Liang, T., Zhu, P. et al. 2017a. A 2.5-D Glass Micromodel for Investigation of Multi-Phase Flow in Porous Media. Lab Chip 17 (4): 640–646. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6lc01476c.
Xu, K., Zhu, P., Colon, T. et al. 2017b. A Microfluidic Investigation of the Synergistic Effect of Nanoparticles and Surfactants in Macro-Emulsion-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery. SPE J. 22 (2): 459–469. SPE-179691-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/179691-PA.
Xu, Y., Dehghanpour, H., Ezulike, O. et al. 2017c. Effectiveness and Time Variation of Induced Fracture Volume: Lessons From Water Flowback Analysis. Fuel 210: 844–858. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2017.08.027.
Yu, W. and Sepehrnoori, K. 2014. Optimization of Well Spacing for Bakken Tight Oil Reservoirs. Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, 25–27 August. URTEC-1922108-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2014-1922108.
Zuo, L., Yu, W., and Wu, K. 2016. A Fractional Decline Curve Analysis Model for Shale Gas Reservoirs. Int J Coal Geol 163: 140–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2016.07.006.