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Hydraulic Fracture Growth Behavior in Thin-Bedded Sand and Shale Sequences, North LaBarge Field, Sublette County, Wyoming

J. L. Miskimins
Colorado School of Mines, Dept. of Petroleum Engineering, Golden, CO

The North LaBarge Shallow Unit, Sublette County, Wyoming, produces hydrocarbons from shallow Cretaceous Mesaverde sandstones (2000 ft, 610 m). The field is located in the western Green River Basin,Wyoming, adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Region Overthrust Belt. The Mesaverde is composed of thinly laminated (0.4–1.2 in, 1– 3 cm) sands and shales.

The main purpose of this project is to determine how alternating rock mechanical properties associated with the thin-bedded sequence affect the growth of artificial hydraulic fracture treatments. This study will determine if the sand and shale sequences can hinder or terminate hydraulic fracture growth and if redirection of the fracture growth path occurs.

A distinct data set is available, and the study involves a novel combination of cross-disciplinary techniques including core analysis, image log analysis, rock mechanical properties determination, in situ stress profile development, and hydraulic fracture analysis and modeling. This research will enhance hydrocarbon reserve recovery by addressing the complexities associated with the technique of hydraulic fracturing in thin-bedded sequences.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90902©2001 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid