Multi-Phase Fracture-Matrix Interactions Under Stress Changes

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The main objectives of this project are to quantify the changes in fracture porosity and multi-phase transport properties as a function of confining stress. These changes will be integrated into conceptual and numerical models that will improve our ability to predict and optimize fluid transport in fractured system. This report details our progress on: (a) developing the direct experimental measurements of fracture aperture and topology and fluid occupancy using high-resolution x-ray micro-tomography, (b) counter-current fluid transport between the matrix and the fracture, (c) studying the effect of confining stress on the distribution of fracture aperture and two-phase flow, and (d) ... continued below

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Grader, A.S.; Elsworth, D.; Halleck, P.M.; Alvarao, F.; Alajmi, A.; Karpyn, Z. et al. December 7, 2005.

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Description

The main objectives of this project are to quantify the changes in fracture porosity and multi-phase transport properties as a function of confining stress. These changes will be integrated into conceptual and numerical models that will improve our ability to predict and optimize fluid transport in fractured system. This report details our progress on: (a) developing the direct experimental measurements of fracture aperture and topology and fluid occupancy using high-resolution x-ray micro-tomography, (b) counter-current fluid transport between the matrix and the fracture, (c) studying the effect of confining stress on the distribution of fracture aperture and two-phase flow, and (d) characterization of shear fractures and their impact on multi-phase flow. The three-dimensional surface that describes the large-scale structure of the fracture in the porous medium can be determined using x-ray micro-tomography with significant accuracy. Several fractures have been scanned and the fracture aperture maps have been extracted. The success of the mapping of fracture aperture was followed by measuring the occupancy of the fracture by two immiscible phases, water and decane, and water and kerosene. The distribution of fracture aperture depends on the effective confining stress, on the nature of the rock, and the type and distribution of the asperities that keep the fracture open. Fracture apertures at different confining stresses were obtained by micro-tomography covering a range of about two thousand psig. Initial analysis of the data shows a significant aperture closure with increase in effective confining stress. Visual and detailed descriptions of the process are shown in the report. Both extensional and shear fractures have been considered. A series of water imbibition tests were conducted in which water was injected into a fracture and its migration into the matrix was monitored with CT and DR x-ray techniques. The objective was to understand the impact of the fracture, its topology and occupancy on the nature of mass transfer between the matrix and the fracture. Counter-current imbibition next to the fracture was observed and quantified, including the influence of formation layering. A group of Shear fractures were studied, with layers perpendicular and parallel to the main axis of the sample. The structures of the fractures as well as their impact on absolute permeability and on oil displacement by water were evaluated. Shear fractures perpendicular to the layers lead to a wide distribution of pores and to an overall increase in absolute permeability. Shear fractures parallel to the layers lead to an overall increase in absolute permeability, but a decrease in displacement efficiency. This DoE project funded or partially funded three Ph.D. and four M.Sc. students at the Pennsylvania State University. The results from the research have yielded several abstracts, presentations and papers. Much of the work is still in the process of being published.

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: FC26-01BC15355
  • DOI: 10.2172/876472 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 876472
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877825

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • December 7, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 1:44 p.m.

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Grader, A.S.; Elsworth, D.; Halleck, P.M.; Alvarao, F.; Alajmi, A.; Karpyn, Z. et al. Multi-Phase Fracture-Matrix Interactions Under Stress Changes, report, December 7, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877825/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.