Investigating the use of CO2 as a hydraulic fracturing fluid for water sustainability and environmental friendliness

Author's Department

Petroleum & Energy Engineering Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/IATMI Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition 2021, APOG 2021

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Hydraulic fracturing is the process by which many unconventional shale reservoirs are produced from. During this process, a highly pressurized fluid, usually water, is injected into the formation with a proppant. The fracturing fluid breaks the formation thus increasing its permeability, and the proppant ensures that the formation remains open. Although highly effective, hydraulic fracturing has several limitations including relying on a highly valuable commodity such as water. This research investigates the applicability of carbon dioxide as a fracturing fluid instead of water, and studies the main advantages and limitation of such a procedure. The main properties that could have a strong impact on the applicability of carbon dioxide based hydraulic fracturing are studied; these factors include carbon dioxide properties, proppant properties, and reservoir rock, fluid, and thermodynamic properties. This research aims to function as an initial introduction and roadmap to future research investigating the applicability of carbon dioxide as a fracturing fluid in unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.

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