Hydraulic Fracturing Process: Mechanics, Monitoring and Optimization

Hydraulic Fracturing or fracking has been extensively used in the extraction of hydrocarbon fuels in unconventional reservoirs. This process bears significant economic and environmental implications. The partner, ExGeo, has been providing professional services to the petroleum companies to monitor the fracking process using microseismic signals. To improve the precision of field monitoring and optimize the fracking process, this research will first try to understand the mechanics of fracking through highly controlled and fully instrumented laboratory experiments. Acoustic emission (AE) method will be used in combination with high speed optical methods to directly observe the formation of the fracture network in transparent specimens. The effects of in-situ stresses, fluid property, and borehole shape on the formation and geometry of the fracture network hydraulically induced will be established. Furthermore, the data analysis scheme for AE will be calibrated with the direct observation using the high speed optical measurements. TO BE CONT'D

Wei Yao
Faculty Supervisor: 
Kaiwen Xia
Partner University: