Development, setup and testing of a dynamic hydraulic fracture conductivity apparatus
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One of the most critical parameters in the success of a hydraulic fracturing treatment is to have sufficiently high fracture conductivity. Unbroken polymers can cause permeability impairment in the proppant pack and/or in the matrix along the fracture face. The objectives of this research project were to design and set up an experimental apparatus for dynamic fracture conductivity testing and to create a fracture conductivity test workflow standard. This entirely new dynamic fracture conductivity measurement will be used to perform extensive experiments to study fracturing fluid cleanup characteristics and investigate damage resulting from unbroken polymer gel in the proppant pack. The dynamic fracture conductivity experiment comprises two parts: pumping fracturing fluid into the cell and measuring proppant pack conductivity. I carefully designed the hydraulic fracturing laboratory to provide appropriate scaling of the field conditions experimentally. The specifications for each apparatus were carefully considered with flexibility for further studies and the capability of each apparatus was defined. I generated comprehensive experimental procedures for each experiment stage. By following the procedure, the experiment can run smoothly. Most of dry runs and experiments performed with sandstone were successful.