Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How long does it take to make a natural fracture?

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
Geological Society of America
Summary:
How long does it take for natural Earth processes to form hydraulic fractures? Is the formation driven by sediment compaction, oil and gas generation, or something else? What role do these natural fractures play in modern hydraulic fracturing production? A new study addresses these questions.

How long does it take for natural Earth processes to form hydraulic fractures? Is the formation driven by sediment compaction, oil and gas generation, or something else? What role do these natural fractures play in modern hydraulic fracturing production? A new GSA BULLETIN study by Andrαs Fall and colleagues from The University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, and ExxonMobil addresses these questions, and the article is open-access online.

The process of fracture formation by a natural increase in pore-fluid pressure has previously been referred to as natural hydraulic fracturing. Researchers work to understand these fractures through examination of fluid inclusions trapped in minerals within the fractures. In this study, Fall and colleagues conclude that natural hydraulic fractures formed over time spans of 33 to 35 million years, driven by the slow generation of natural gas.

Natural fractures provide important pathways for the flow of water, natural gas, and oil in geologic formations, including unconventional tight-gas sandstone oil and gas reservoirs targeted for production by hydraulic fracturing. These fractures play an essential role during well completion and production by connecting pores in the reservoir rock storing oil and gas to the hydraulic fracture and wellbore that allow production. "Sweet spots," or zones of higher than average permeability, have been attributed to the presence of these open fractures.

Successful prediction of zones of increased fracture abundance provides an opportunity to minimize drilling and completion costs as well as the environmental footprint of production. Successful prediction of natural fracture occurrence and their hydraulic properties requires models of fracture formation that are based on realistic mechanical, hydraulic, and chemical principles that can be tested against core, well-log, and production data.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Fall, P. Eichhubl, R. J. Bodnar, S. E. Laubach, J. S. Davis. Natural hydraulic fracturing of tight-gas sandstone reservoirs, Piceance Basin, Colorado. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 2014; DOI: 10.1130/B31021.1

Cite This Page:

Geological Society of America. "How long does it take to make a natural fracture?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804151229.htm>.
Geological Society of America. (2014, August 4). How long does it take to make a natural fracture?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804151229.htm
Geological Society of America. "How long does it take to make a natural fracture?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804151229.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins