A 3D Acid Transport Model for Acid Fracturing Treatments With Viscous Fingering

Dong, Rencheng (The University of Texas at Austin) | Wheeler, Mary F. (The University of Texas at Austin) | Ma, Kang (CNOOC Research Institute Co., Ltd.) | Su, Hang (China University of Petroleum, Beijing)



In acid fracturing treatments, the goal is to create enough fracture roughness through differential acid etching on fracture walls such that the acid fracture can keep open and sustain a high enough acid fracture conductivity under the closure stress. The viscous fingering phenomenon has been utilized in acid fracturing treatments to enhance the differential acid etching. For relatively homogeneous carbonate reservoirs, by injecting a low-viscosity acid into a high-viscosity pad fluid during acid fracturing, the acid tends to form viscous fingers and etch fracture surfaces non-uniformly. In order to accurately predict the acid- fracture conductivity, a detailed description of the rough acid-fracture surfaces is required. In this paper, we developed a 3D acid transport model to compute the geometry of acid fracture for acid fracturing treatments with viscous fingering. The developed model couples the acid fluid flow, reactive transport and rock dissolution in the fracture. Our simulation results reproduced the acid viscous fingering phenomenon ob-served from experiments in the literature. During the process of acid viscous fingering, high-conductivity channels developed in the fingering regions. We performed parametric studies to investigate the effects of pad fluid viscosities and acid injection rates on acid fracture conductivity. We found that a higher viscosity pad fluid and a higher acid injection rate help acid to penetrate deeper in the fracture and result in a longer etched channel.

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