Determination Of The Optimal Fluid Pulses For Enhancement Of Reservoir Permeability And Productivity

A UC Santa Cruz researcher has designed an algorithm to solve for the optimal frequency of fluid pulses to enhance reservoir permeability. Hydraulic diffusivity is first estimated from standard borehole injection tests. Using a computer program, pressu…

A UC Santa Cruz researcher has designed an algorithm to solve for the optimal frequency of fluid pulses to enhance reservoir permeability. Hydraulic diffusivity is first estimated from standard borehole injection tests. Using a computer program, pressure fields are then calculated from field measurements of forced oscillations to determine flow in the immediate vicinity of the well. Using volumetrically averaged flow rates, the algorithm generates the value of an angular frequency that maximizes flow. This angular frequency can be used to inform the field operation of a pump at a second forced oscillation that will result in permeability increases, and thus fluid flow, around the borehole. This method can also be used to simulate fracture corridors and clear blockages.

Abstract:

Oil and natural gas extraction techniques commonly rely on hydraulic fracturing to induce and/or improve fluid flow in low permeability rocks. Hydraulic fracturing can be environmentally costly though as it uses a variety of materials, including chemicals and solids, injected into the ground to mechanically fracture and artificially maintain cracks in the subsurface. A UC Santa Cruz researcher has developed a method that uses site-specific reservoir properties to determine the best frequency of forcing to clear fractures and increase fluid flow with pressure oscillations. 

Advantages:

  • Chemical and proppant free
  • Reduced seismicity risk
  • Lower injection rates needed

Potential Applications:

  • Geothermal power production
  • Oil, water, and gas extraction
  • Environmental remediation
  • Blockage and fracture clearing

Contact Information:

Name: Jeff Jackson

Email: jjackso6@ucsc.edu

Phone: (831) 459-3976