Factors Controlling Fracture Extension

CIM Bulletin, 1961


The loss of fluid to the formation adjacent a fracture governs the areal extent of the fracture and the success of hydraulic fracturing as a production stimulation technique. The three flow mechanisms which control this loss are the result of the viscosity of the fracturing fluid and the permeability of the formation to the fracturing fluid, its wall building properties, and the combined effects of viscosity and compressibility of the reservoir fluid. The effects of these flow mechanisms can be evaluated in terms of a fracturing fluid coefficient, the fundamental concepts of which are developed in the paper. The fracturing fluid coefficient, which may be used in calculating the areal extent of fracturing, affords a direct measure of the effectiveness of fracturing fluids. The area of hydraulically created fractures is increased as the coefficient is decreased. The fifteen-fold variation noted in this coefficient for the commercially available fracturing fluids tested1 resulted in a six-fold difference m the calculated areal extent of the fracture system.
Keywords: flow, FLUID, fracture, fracturing, reservoir, viscosity, Fluids, formation, Fracture, Fractures, Fracturing, Oil, Oils, Pressure, viscosity