Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3167124 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 26, 1965
Filing dateSep 7, 1961
Priority dateSep 7, 1961
Publication numberUS 3167124 A, US 3167124A, US-A-3167124, US3167124 A, US3167124A
InventorsGraham John W
Original AssigneeJersey Prod Res Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydraulic fracturing technique
US 3167124 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 26, 1965 J. w. GRAHAM HYDRAULIC FRACTURIIIG TECHNIQUE Filed Sept. 7. 1961 LOW VISCOSITY FLUID HIGH VISCOSITY FLUID FRACTURE OUTER EDGE OF HIGH VISCOSITY' FLUID CHANNELING OF LOW VISCOSITY FIG.

MU SHROOMING 0F LOW VISCOSITY FLUID FIG.3.

IN VEN TOR.

0 Y M E A N H R A O R T G T A W N/ H United States The present invention concerns an improved hydraulic fracturing method for use in stimulating hydrocarboncontaining subsurface formations penetrated by a borehole.

The method of the invention is designed to create fractures of extremely high conductivity in subsurface formations, and it essentially comprises injecting into previously formed fractures filled with a very viscous fluid a relatively nonviscous fluid containing sand or other propping agent material. This fracturing procedure results in sand packed fractures formed in a generally radial pattern and providing highly conductive fluid paths for production fluids. The higher viscosity fluid may be used to create the initial fractures in the formation sands.

Thus, a primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of hydraulic fracturing which improves the fluid conductivity of fractures formed in subsurface formations when the well is placed on production.

The above object and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from a more detailed description thereof when taken with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a borehole penetrating the earths subsurface formations including a productive zone and showing the equipment for performing the method of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 following the first step of the method of the invention; that is, showing fractures containing the higher viscosity fluid; and

FIG. 3 is a view similar to that shown in FIG. 2 but illustrating the appearance of the formation following injection of the lower viscosity fluid.

For a more complete description of the invention, reference is made to the drawings in greater detail.

In FIG. 1 is shown a borehole penetrating a subsurface hydrocarbon-containing productive formation 11. A casing pipe 12 is cemented in borehole 10, and casing pipe 12 and formation 11 are gun perforated as indicated at 13. A tubing 14 provided with straddle packers 15 is arranged in casing pipe 12. Packers 15 are arranged to straddle the perforated interval 13, and perforations 16 are provided in tubing 14 between packers 15. On the earths surface a source of high viscosity fluid 17 and a source of low viscosity fluid 18 containing a propping agent such as sand connect to a conduit 19 which in turn is connected to tubing 14 through a pump 20.

The highly viscous fluid should be in the range of 100 to 100,000 cps. and it may be suitably a crude oil or refinery cuts and blends used alone or a bodying agent may be added thereto as, for example, colloid materials, metal soaps of organic acids, high molecular weight oil soluble polyolefins or blown asphalt, pitch and the like. Also usable as the high viscosity fluid are water and dilute hydrochloric acid with bodying agents added. The low viscosity fluid should be in the range of 1 to 10 cps. and may be composed of the same material as the high viscosity fluid with no bodying agent added. The propping agent atent Q Patented Jan. as, 1965 used is preferably sand, although other conventional propping agents such as gravel may be used instead.

In operation, perforations 13 are first formed adjacent formation 11 and then tubing 14 carrying straddle packers 15 is run in casing pipe 12 until packers 15 straddle perforations 13. Then the high viscosity fluid from source- 17 is pumped into tubing 14 through conduit 19 by means of pump 20 under high pressure to form fractures 25 which, as seen in FIG. 2, would be uniformly circular around well bore 10 but with irregular boundaries. If fractures 25 were previously formed in accordance with conventional hydraulic fracture techniques, then highly viscous fluid from source 17 would be pumped into these fractures. That is, the highly viscous fluid may be used to create the fractures, however, if the fractures had been previously formed, then highly viscous fluid would be injected into the fractures to displace the original hydrau lic fracture fluid. Following placement of the highly viscous fluid, the low viscosity fluid from source 18 containing sand or other propping agent, is pumped through conduit 19 into tubing 14 by means of pump 20, and into fractures 25. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the low viscosity fluid fingers through the high viscosity fluid as represented by radial channels 26, and when fingers 26 containing the propping agent reach the extremity of the highly viscous fluid, they mushroom out, as indicated at 27, to form more extensive areas of propping sand.

When the viscosity of the highly viscous fluid has broken or otherwise dissipated and the well is placed on production, the conductivity of fractures 25 and therefore the productivityof the well is considerably greater than would have resulted from a conventional hydraulic fracture job.

Although the hydraulic fracturing and injection of fluid has been illustrated and described, employing the straddle packer technique, a single packer placed at the end of tubing or drill pipe to isolate the interval to be treated may be used instead.

Having fully described the objects, elements and method of the invention, I claim:

1. A hydraulic fracture method for use in stimulating hydrocarbon-containing subsurface formations penetrated by a borehole comprising injecting into fractures, previously formed in a subsurface formation which contain a highly viscous fluid capable of being produced with production of formation fluids, a substantially lower viscosity fluid containing a propping agent so as to form highly conductive, radial fluid paths extending from the borehole completely through said higher viscosity fluid located in said fractures and then producing said formation fluids.

2. A method as recited in claim 1 in which said highly viscous fluid has a viscosity in the range between about and about 100,000 cps. and said substantially lower viscosity fluid has a viscosity in the range between about 1 and about 10 cps.

3. A hydraulic fracture method for use in stimulating hydrocarbon-containing subsurface formations penetrated by a borehole comprising:

injecting a highly viscous fluid into a subsurface formation in a manner so as to fracture said formation and place said viscous fluid in the fractures formed, said viscous fluid being capable of being produced with production of formation fluids;

then injecting into said fractures a substantially lower viscosity fluid containing a propping agent so as to form highly conductive, radial fluid paths extending from the borehole completely through said viscous fluid located in said fractures; and

then producing said formation fluids.

4. A method as recited in claim 3 in which said highly viscous fluid has a viscosity in the range between about 100 and about 100,000 cps. and said substantially lower viscosity fluid has a viscosity in the range between about 1 and about 10 cps.

mwll lllll lllll References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2804145 *Nov 30, 1954Aug 27, 1957Pure Oil CoProcess for acidizing injection wells
US2838116 *Oct 22, 1956Jun 10, 1958Pan American Petroleum CorpProducing multiple fractures in a formation penetrated by a well
US2896717 *Dec 28, 1956Jul 28, 1959Pan American Petroleum CorpAvoiding increased water production in fracturing operations
US2965172 *May 21, 1958Dec 20, 1960Texaco IncFracturing formations in wells
US3044550 *Dec 26, 1957Jul 17, 1962Dow Chemical CoMethod of treating earth formations which are penetrated by a well bore
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3384176 *Oct 3, 1966May 21, 1968Gulf Research Development CoMethod of fracturing using dense liquid to direct propping agent into the fracture
US3552494 *Mar 17, 1969Jan 5, 1971Exxon Production Research CoProcess of hydraulic fracturing with viscous oil-in-water emulsion
US3601198 *Jan 27, 1969Aug 24, 1971Exxon Production Research CoHydraulic fracturing operations
US4245702 *May 7, 1979Jan 20, 1981Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij B.V.Method for forming channels of high fluid conductivity in hard acid-soluble formations
US4249609 *Apr 4, 1979Feb 10, 1981Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij B.V.Method for forming channels of high fluid conductivity in formation parts around a borehole
US4515214 *Sep 9, 1983May 7, 1985Mobil Oil CorporationMethod for controlling the vertical growth of hydraulic fractures
US5253707 *Feb 12, 1992Oct 19, 1993Atlantic Richfield CompanyInjection well fracturing method
US5377761 *Aug 5, 1993Jan 3, 1995Golder Associates Ltd.Ground fracturing probe
US5641020 *May 19, 1995Jun 24, 1997University Of WaterlooTreatment of contaminated water in clays and the like
US6929066 *Jul 7, 2003Aug 16, 2005Gilman A. HillMethod for upward growth of a hydraulic fracture along a well bore sandpacked annulus
US7096943 *Jan 5, 2004Aug 29, 2006Hill Gilman AMethod for growth of a hydraulic fracture along a well bore annulus and creating a permeable well bore annulus
US20040040717 *Jul 7, 2003Mar 4, 2004Hill Gilman A.Method for upward growth of a hydraulic fracture along a well bore sandpacked annulus
US20050006099 *Jan 5, 2004Jan 13, 2005Hill Gilman A.Method for growth of a hydraulic fracture along a well bore annulus and creating a permeable well bore annulus
US20060283596 *Jun 21, 2005Dec 21, 2006Abbas MahdiCoiled tubing overbalance stimulation system
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/283, 166/308.1
International ClassificationE21B43/26, E21B43/25
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/26
European ClassificationE21B43/26