Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
September 28, 2015

In this paper, an experimental technique to study WBS under realistic conditions is introduced, and the results of a series of larger-scale fracturing experiments using this technique are presented.
The experimental set-up described here consists of a dual flow-loop/ pressure-intensifying system to carry out high-pressure borehole fracturing tests on cylindrical rock samples while maintaining continuous circulation of the drilling fluid within the borehole. The system offers full control over pore pressure, radial confining pressure and, if desired, independent axial pressure. Several injection cycles are performed to characterize the values of the fracture initiation pressure (FIP) and fracture propagation pressure (FPP) and thereby characterize WBS effects. Typical experimental variables included: the type of base fluid (water-based, oil- or synthetic-based), the concentration, type, and particle size distribution (PSD) of lost circulation materials (LCMs) used to achieve WBS effects, and the type of rock tested (sandstone and shale, i.e. permeable and impermeable rock media). Additionally, post-fracturing techniques such as thin-section analysis were employed to study the fracture geometry and deposition structure of plugging solids on the fracture surfaces.

Authors: Omid Razavi, Ali Karimi Vajargah, Eric Van Oort, Munir Aldin, Robert Patterson, MetaRock Laboratories, Inc.

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