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As proven from field practices in North America and Northwest China, temporary plugging and diverting acid fracturing is an indispensable technology to enhance stimulation effect and hydrocarbon production of complex carbonate reservoirs. It's well-known that the key to the success of this technology lies in creating a temporary plugging within the previously created fractures. Consequently, many scholars have conducted laboratory experiments to investigate the plugging behavior of fibers and particulates. However, the current devices nearly have certain limitations in simulating temporary plugging experiments. Aiming at this problem, this paper introduced the fracture temporary plugging evaluation system with large fracture size, and high-pressure resistance, which can meet the requirement of temporary plugging experiment. In addition, 3D printing technology was used to reproduce the roughness of acid-etched fracture surface, improving the experimental accuracy. Based on the device, a series of experiments were performed to study the effect of carrier fluids type, the injection rate, the fracture width, and the fracture morphology on plugging behavior of fibers and particulates. Experimental results show that the plugging effect of HPG fracturing fluid is better than that of slick water. Moreover, the effect of temporary plugging deteriorates with the decrease of injection rate, which can be attributed to the fact that high injection rate increases the probability of bridging and plugging. When it comes to the fracture width, only fibers have favorable plugging effect under the condition of 2 mm fracture width. However, a single type of temporary plugging agent (only fibers or particulates) cannot achieve effective plugging under the condition of 4 mm fracture width. The combination of fibers and particulates can obtain favorable plugging effect. When the fracture width increases to 6 mm, it's difficult to obtain favorable plugging effect if the diameter of particulates is less than 50% of fracture width. Hence, it is recommended to add big particulates whose diameters are at least 50% of the fracture width to improve the plugging effect. Moreover, the fracture surface morphology affects the formation time of temporary plugging, but does not affect whether temporary plugging is formed or not. This study deepens the understanding the plugging behavior of fibers and particulates within acid-etched fracture and provides fundamental for field treatment design.


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Original published version available at

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Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering





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