Alternative Fluids for Hydraulic Fracturing

Harders, Martin
Schendzielos, Charles
Warner, Rhett
Woodward, Austin
Traditional hydraulic fracturing techniques have come under scrutiny lately for a variety of reasons, and these techniques may be subject to future constrictions and constraints. For this purpose our senior design team is examining alternative fracturing techniques by changing the fluid type used. Our team has examined the physical and economic properties of three alternative fluid types including: liquid nitrogen, liquid carbon dioxide, and liquid natural gas. Each fluid type has different viscous and thermal properties which in turn fracture the rock differently. Using principles of rock mechanics as a base, our team has determined which fluid type is best for specific formation types and depth intervals based on the constraints of cost, and fracture effectiveness. Each fluid type displays characteristic pros and cons, and these techniques can potentially be put to use as the price of petroleum increases.
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