Hydraulic Fracturing of Wyoming Green River Oil Shale: Field Experiments, Phase I.
Thomas HE; Carpenter HC; Sterner TE
NTIS: PB 210 981 :18 pages
The Bureau of Mines has conducted a field hydraulic fracturing experiment to determine the preferential orientation of induced fractures in oil shale at a depth of about 400 feet in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. The hydraulic fracturing treatment was performed by injecting extremely viscous water-base gel and 8- to 12- mesh sand into the oil shale through straddle packers set in an impermeable section of smooth-walled, 6 1/4-inch-diameter open hole. An impression packer proved that a horizontal fracture, which has an average width of about one-half inch at the borehole, was induced. A corehole drilled 100 feet from the fractured well intersected the fracture and confirmed its horizontal orientation. Because a horizontal fracture was successfully initiated, it is inferred that the creation of multiple, closely spaced horizontal fractures may be feasible in Green River Basin oil shale.
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