Project: Mechanism of shale expansion and its effects on permeability from interaction with hydraulic fracturing fluid
It is widely recognized that large volumes of injected hydraulic fracturing fluid is lost to the formation. Imbibition by matrix and adsorption by super-dried clay system have been accounted as primary suspects for this water loss. Much research is needed to fully understand the underlying simultaneous mechanisms that occur during interaction between the virgin rock and injected water during hydraulic fracturing operations.
By means of laboratory experiments which simulate rock-water interaction, this research project specifically aims to quantify the hydrational stress which could be generated in the most commonly fractured formations of Horn River basin. An estimate of hydration stress will help validate whether previously observed permeability enhancements could in fact occur in subsurface conditions. The results of this study will provide technical knowledge to correlate rock swelling with the fracturing fluid physical properties and the mineralogy. Knowledge of such correlation will allow control over rock swelling by modulating fracturing fluid properties and/or shut in period.