Laboratory-scale fracture conductivity created by acid etching



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Success of acid fracturing treatment depends greatly on the created conductivity under closure stress. In order to have sufficient conductivity, the fracture face must be non-uniformly etched while the fracture strength maintained to withstand the closure stress. While there have been several experimental studies conducted on acid fracturing, most of these have not scaled experiments to field conditions and did not account for the effect of rock weakening and etching pattern. Hence, acid fracture conductivity predictions based on the above works have not been able to match actual results. In order to develop a more appropriate and accurate prediction of acid fracturing treatment outcome, a laboratory facility was developed that is properly scaled to field conditions and enables analysis of etching pattern and rock strength. A systematic experimental study that covered a variety of formations, acid types, and acid contact times was conducted. An acid fracture conductivity correlation was developed based on etched volume, etched pattern, and fracture strength under closure stress. Results suggested that there is an optimal time of acid exposure resulting in maximum fracture conductivity. There were large differences in the conductivity created with the different acid systems tested due to different etching patterns and degree of rock strength weakening. There was an optimal acid system depending on formation type, contact time and overburden stress. The acid fracture conductivities measured did not agree with the predictions of the Nierode-Kruk correlation. The newly developed correlation predicts conductivity much closer as it includes the effect of rock strength and surface etching pattern on resulting conductivity.