The effect of saturation conditions on fracture performance of different soundless cracking demolition agents (SCDAs) in geological reservoir rock formations

V. R. S. De Silva, P. G. Ranjith, M. S. A. Perera, B. Wu

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Fracture stimulation using soundless cracking demolition agents (SCDAs) is a potential alternative technique to induce high-density fractures in sedimentary reservoir-rock as an auxiliary technique to improve the efficiency of enhanced oil and gas recovery efficiencies. However, to date, its application has been limited to fracture stimulation in dry rock masses. Therefore, using modified SCDAs, which can be used for underwater rock fracturing, a series of experiments was conducted to investigate the fracturing performance of SCDAs in saturated rock masses. 18 coarse-grained sandstone specimens were saturated in water, oil, and NaCl brine and fractured using three different SCDA types: a standard SCDA (S1), and two modified for underwater application (S2) and accelerated reaction rate (S3). Then, the fractured samples were scanned in the Australian Synchrotron, and the fractures were quantified using Avizo 9.0.1. The fracture initiation time and the total fracture network length and volume were found to be dependent on the saturated pore fluid of rock. Water saturation of samples increased the fracture initiation time by 16.5%, 24.1% and 13.68% for S1, S2, and S3 type SCDAs respectively and reduced the fracturing potential of SCDA by 59.5%, 32.49% and 66.67% compared to dry samples. This reduction was less apparent in oil-saturated samples as the high pore fluid viscosity of oil-saturated samples aid fracturing, which is explained by the Poiseuille equation. Increasing salinity in the saturation fluid from 0% to 12.5% was favourable for the fracturing efficiency of SCDAs because of the formation of CaCl2 in the pore fluid, which accelerates the reaction of SCDA. Fracture orientation also changed depending on the saturation fluid, which was again governed by the variation in reaction rate in SCDAs under different saturation conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Avizo
  • Fracture stimulation
  • Image processing
  • Soundless cracking demolition agents
  • The effect of saturation

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