Estimated Effect of Vertical Fractures on Secondary Recovery
- Paul B. Crawford (Texas Petroleum Research Committee, A&M College of Texas) | R.E. Collins (Texas Petroleum Research Committee, A&M College of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1954
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 41 - 45
- 1954. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors
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Potentiometric model studies have been made of vertically fractured reservoirs. All fractures originated at the well and extended into the reservoir for various distances. Studies were made to determine the areal sweep efficiencies for line-drive patterns. The areal sweep efficiency for the unfractured system studied was 70.6 per cent. It was found that if the vertical fracture was parallel with the direction of flood, the areal sweep efficiency may be considerably reduced, approaching zero in some instances. If the fracture was at right angles to the direction of flood, the areal sweep efficiency may be greater than that for the unfractured system. The sweep efficiency depends on the length and orientation of the fracture and direction of the flood. It is concluded that considerable effort should be made to determine the nature and direction of fractures before initiating a flooding program. Such information is required if the maximum sweep efficiency is to be obtained and channeling is to be reduced to a minimum.
The recent development and application of fracturing techniques to petroleum reservoirs has served to focus considerable attention on the effect such fractures may have on secondary oil recoveries. The opinion has been expressed that fracturing may not alter appreciably the water flooding possibilities. Others have thought that channeling may occur and that the creation of fractures may serve to substantially reduce the possibilities of conducting a successful water flood in the reservoir.
The purpose of this study was to obtain quantitative estimates of the effect of vertical fractures on the areal sweep efficiencies of line-drive flooding patterns. In presenting this work on vertical fractures, it is not to be inferred that the present fracturing techniques result in producing a vertical fracture. The types of fracture which are created are not known with certainty in every case. Some are believed to be horizontal, others inclined along bedding planes, and some data indicate vertical fracturing. Each fracture will probably exert a different influence on the sweep efficiency of the secondary recovery program; consequently each fractured well should perhaps be considered as a separate problem, requiring a careful analysis.
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