Evaluation of Oil-shale Fracturing Tests Near Rock Springs, Wyo.
Campbell GG; Scott WG; Miller JS
NTIS: PB 192 417 :21 pages
Bureau of Mines research to develop an in situ retorting recovery method for oil shale has involved field testing of fracturing techniques for creating fluid-flow paths in impermeable oil shale. Electrolinking, hydraulic fracturing without and with sand propping, and explosive fracturing with a liquid explosive were tested in a 25- foot-square, five-spot pattern. These wells were drilled into oil shale at 50- to 88-foot depths near Rock Springs, Wyoming. Results of the fracturing tests were evaluated by injecting air into a test well and measuring flow rates and flow profiles in adjacent test wells before and after each test. To identify points of air entry (location of fractures) in wells, flow profiles were determined by use of inflatable packers and by continuous logging with an airflow probe developed during the fracturing program. Electrolinking and hydraulic fracturing without sand propping were relatively ineffective; hydraulic fracturing with sand propping created horizontal fractures with desirable flow capacity; and fracture flow capacity was significantly increased by detonation of nitroglycerin displaced in the natural and hydraulically induced fracture systems.
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