US3884303A - Vertically expanded structure-biased horizontal fracturing - Google Patents

Vertically expanded structure-biased horizontal fracturing Download PDF

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Publication number
US3884303A
US3884303A US45517074A US3884303A US 3884303 A US3884303 A US 3884303A US 45517074 A US45517074 A US 45517074A US 3884303 A US3884303 A US 3884303A
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Prior art keywords
earth formation
structure
vertically
vertical
selected depth
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Philip J Closmann
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Shell Oil Co
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Shell Oil Co
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/25Methods for stimulating production
    • E21B43/26Methods for stimulating production by forming crevices or fractures

Abstract

A subterranean earth formation is fractured horizontally by connecting a vertically expandable structure above and below a selected depth within the earth formation, applying a vertical expanding force to the structure so that the applied force reduces the vertical compressive stress within the earth formation at the selected depth and, concurrently, increasing the fluid pressure against the earth formation to induce a fracture at the selected depth.

Description

LOb-DUU.

Closmann May 20, 1975 1 VERTlCALLY EXPANDED 2,699,212 1/1955 Dismukes 166/308 ux 2,776,014 1/1957 Lee et al 166/177 fi ggg g HORIZONTAL 3,050,119 8/1962 Fast et a1. 166/308 A 3,637,020 1/1972 McLamore 166/308 [75] Inventor: Philip J. Closmann, Houston, Tex.

[73] Assignee: Shell Oil Company, Houston. Tex.

[22] Filed: Mar. 27, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 455,170

[52] US. Cl. 166/308 [51] Int. Cl E21b 43/26 [58] Field of Search 166/308, 271, 283, 302, 166/57, 60, 177

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,687,179 8/1954 Dismukes 166/308 UX VVVVVVVVVVV Primary ExaminerStephen .I. Novosad [57] ABSTRACT A subterranean earth formation is fractured horizontally by connecting a vertically expandable structure above and below a selected depth within the earth formation, applying a vertical expanding force to the structure so that the applied force reduces the vertical compressive stress within the earth formation at the selected depth and, concurrently, increasing the fluid pressure against the earth formation to induce a fracture at the selected depth.

3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures VERTICALLY EXPANDED STRUCTURE-BIASED HORIZONTAL FRACTURING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention, a subterranean earth formation is fractured horizontally by connecting a vertically expandable structure above and below a selected depth within the earth formation, applying a vertical expanding force to the structure so that the applied force reduces the vertical compressive stress within the earth formation at the selected depth and,

concurrently, increasing the fluid pressure against the earth formation to induce a fracture at the selected depth.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, are schematic illustrations of portions of well boreholes and different embodiments of equipment used in practicing the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Vertically-expandable structures suitable for use in this invention comprise substantially any that are adapted to be connected between vertically separated locations within a subterranean earth formations and caused to undergo a vertical expansion with little or no horizontal expansion. The connections between the structure and the earth formations can be effected (or aided) by substantially any grouting material such as cement, resin, or the like, or metal arms, or braces, or the like, that extend between the structure and the earth formation, or notches, or ledges, or the like, in the earth formations, and/or the structure, as long as the connections are adapted to transmit vertical forces from the structure to the earth formations.

FIG. 1 shows a well borehole l in surrounding earth formations 2. The borehole has been notched at the depth locations In and 11;. Such a borehole and notches can readily be formed by means of conventional equipment and techniques for drilling into an earth formation.

A vertically expandable structure 3, comprising a heavy-walled section of casing is installed within the borehole. The casing is cemented to the earth forma tion by means of cement 4 to connect one portion of the expandable structure to the earth formation at a depth 1a above the depth 1b selected for the fracture location. The casing-to-earth-formation connection is strengthened by the spring-loaded arms 6 mounted on the casing. The lower end of the casing, which is closed by a bottom plate 3a, is connected to the adjacent earth formations at a point below the fracture location by simply setting the casing on the bottom of the borehole.

The wall of the casing is penetrated by perforations 7 I to provide fluid communication between the casing and the earth formation.

Without the notch lb such a fracture will tend to form at the weakest point between the locations at which the expandable structure is connected to the earth formations. The notching or a perforating of the earth formations by explosive or abrasive perforating devices tends to ensure that the fracturing occurs at a particular selected depth.

In operating the invention, a vertical expanding force is applied to casing 3 by inserting and operating the heating device 8 to cause a thermal expansion of the casing walls. Such a heating device can be an electrical or gas operated device of a type that is commercially available. The expanding force applied to the casing reduces the vertical compressive stress in the earth formation 2 at the depth lb. The fluid pressure in the casing and surrounding borehole is increased to form a fracture at the depth 1b. The fracturing can be effected by conventional equipment and techniques.

In the above embodiment, the vertically expandable structure can be partially or completely composed of columns or posts or can be a perforated pipe section of substantially any heat-expandable compressively strong material such as iron or steel or the like. The perforations can be pre-formed or formed after the casing is inserted, or can comprise the opening between columns of a heat-expandable material. Such a structure can be connected to the earth formation below the depth selected for fracturing, by means of notching and/or cementing or the like.

FIG. 2 shows a borehole 9 in which a casing assembly 11 has been installed and cemented to the borehole wall at the depth 9a. The casing contains perforations 7 and a closed bottom portion 11a, which rests on the bottom of the borehole, is slideably connected to the upper portion of the assembly and is provided with slideable seals 12. The casing contains an internal conduit 13 that extends through an internal casing closure 14. The closure provides a vertically-expandable chamber 14a which can be selectively pressurized by injecting fluid through conduit 13.

In operating this embodiment, the vertically expandable structure is expanded by injecting fluid through conduit 13. Concurrently, the fluid pressure against the earth formation is increased by injecting fluid through the casing 11 and perforations 7 to induce the fracturing of the earth formation.

FIG. 3 shows a borehole 14 containing a casing assembly 16. The assembly includes a moveably mounted lower portion 16a, which is sealed to the upper portion of the casing assembly and is provided with slideable sealing devices 12. The portion 16a is cemented to the borehole wall at the location 14a. A lifting screw 17 is arranged to transmit the rotary motion from a surface location and apply an expanding force between the easing section 16a and the bottom of the borehole.

In operating this embodiment, an expanding force is applied by rotating the lifting screw 17. Concurrently, the fluid pressure against the formation to be fractured is increased by pressuring the fluid within casing 16, which opens into an uncased lower portion of the borehole.

What is claimed is:

l. A process for horizontally fracturing a subterranean earth formation, which process comprises:

2. The process of claim 1 in which:

the vertically expandable structure is a metal structure that expands vertically when heated; and

the vertical expanding force is applied by heating the metal structure.

3. The process of claim 1 in which:

The vertically expandable structure includes a closed chamber that is vertically expanded by increasing the fluid pressure within the chamber; and

the vertical expanding force is applied to that structure by increasing the fluid pressure within that chamber.

Claims (3)

1. A process for horizontally fracturing a subterranean earth formation, which process comprises: connecting a vertically expandable structure to said formation at locations above and below a selected depth within the earth formation; applying a vertical expanding force to the structure so that the applied force causes a vertical expansion substantially free of horizontal expansion and reduces the vertical compressive stress within the earth formation until it becomes the least of the mutually perpendicular compressive stresses within the earth formation at the selected depth; and concurrently, pressurizing fluid in contact with the so-treated earth formation to inDuce a fracture at or near the selected depth.
2. The process of claim 1 in which: the vertically expandable structure is a metal structure that expands vertically when heated; and the vertical expanding force is applied by heating the metal structure.
3. The process of claim 1 in which: The vertically expandable structure includes a closed chamber that is vertically expanded by increasing the fluid pressure within the chamber; and the vertical expanding force is applied to that structure by increasing the fluid pressure within that chamber.
US3884303A 1974-03-27 1974-03-27 Vertically expanded structure-biased horizontal fracturing Expired - Lifetime US3884303A (en)

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4005750A (en) * 1975-07-01 1977-02-01 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Energy Research And Development Administration Method for selectively orienting induced fractures in subterranean earth formations
US20080142219A1 (en) * 2006-12-14 2008-06-19 Steele David J Casing Expansion and Formation Compression for Permeability Plane Orientation
US20090032251A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Cavender Travis W Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20090032260A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Schultz Roger L Injection plane initiation in a well
US20090032267A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Cavender Travis W Flow control for increased permeability planes in unconsolidated formations
US20090101347A1 (en) * 2006-02-27 2009-04-23 Schultz Roger L Thermal recovery of shallow bitumen through increased permeability inclusions
US20090166040A1 (en) * 2007-12-28 2009-07-02 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2687179A (en) * 1948-08-26 1954-08-24 Newton B Dismukes Means for increasing the subterranean flow into and from wells
US2699212A (en) * 1948-09-01 1955-01-11 Newton B Dismukes Method of forming passageways extending from well bores
US2776014A (en) * 1953-12-14 1957-01-01 Socony Mobil Oil Co Inc Tool for fracturing earth formations
US3050119A (en) * 1958-12-30 1962-08-21 Pan American Petroleum Corp Method of fracturing formations
US3637020A (en) * 1969-07-18 1972-01-25 Shell Oil Co Tensile-stress fracturing

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2687179A (en) * 1948-08-26 1954-08-24 Newton B Dismukes Means for increasing the subterranean flow into and from wells
US2699212A (en) * 1948-09-01 1955-01-11 Newton B Dismukes Method of forming passageways extending from well bores
US2776014A (en) * 1953-12-14 1957-01-01 Socony Mobil Oil Co Inc Tool for fracturing earth formations
US3050119A (en) * 1958-12-30 1962-08-21 Pan American Petroleum Corp Method of fracturing formations
US3637020A (en) * 1969-07-18 1972-01-25 Shell Oil Co Tensile-stress fracturing

Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4005750A (en) * 1975-07-01 1977-02-01 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Energy Research And Development Administration Method for selectively orienting induced fractures in subterranean earth formations
US20090101347A1 (en) * 2006-02-27 2009-04-23 Schultz Roger L Thermal recovery of shallow bitumen through increased permeability inclusions
US8151874B2 (en) 2006-02-27 2012-04-10 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Thermal recovery of shallow bitumen through increased permeability inclusions
US8863840B2 (en) 2006-02-27 2014-10-21 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Thermal recovery of shallow bitumen through increased permeability inclusions
US20080142219A1 (en) * 2006-12-14 2008-06-19 Steele David J Casing Expansion and Formation Compression for Permeability Plane Orientation
US7814978B2 (en) 2006-12-14 2010-10-19 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing expansion and formation compression for permeability plane orientation
US7918269B2 (en) 2007-08-01 2011-04-05 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20090032260A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Schultz Roger L Injection plane initiation in a well
US7640982B2 (en) 2007-08-01 2010-01-05 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Method of injection plane initiation in a well
US7640975B2 (en) 2007-08-01 2010-01-05 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Flow control for increased permeability planes in unconsolidated formations
US7647966B2 (en) 2007-08-01 2010-01-19 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Method for drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20090032251A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Cavender Travis W Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US8122953B2 (en) 2007-08-01 2012-02-28 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20110139444A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2011-06-16 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US20090032267A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2009-02-05 Cavender Travis W Flow control for increased permeability planes in unconsolidated formations
US20100071900A1 (en) * 2007-08-01 2010-03-25 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Drainage of heavy oil reservoir via horizontal wellbore
US7950456B2 (en) 2007-12-28 2011-05-31 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
US7832477B2 (en) 2007-12-28 2010-11-16 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
US20100252261A1 (en) * 2007-12-28 2010-10-07 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation
US20090166040A1 (en) * 2007-12-28 2009-07-02 Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Casing deformation and control for inclusion propagation

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