Valuation of hydraulic fracturing potentials of organic-rich shales from the Anambra basin using rock mechanical properties from wireline logs
This study was carried out to determine the rock mechanical properties relevant for hydrocarbon exploration and production by hydraulic fracturing of organic rich shale formations in Anambra basin. Shale samples and wireline logs were analysed to determine the petrophysical, elastic, strength and in-situ properties necessary for the design of a hydraulic fracturing programme for the exploitation of the shales. The results obtained indicated shale failure in shear and barreling under triaxial test conditions. The average effective porosity of 0.06 and permeability of the order of 10-1 to 101 millidarcies showed the imperative for induced fracturing to assure fluid flow. Average Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio of about 2.06 and 0.20 respectively imply that the rocks are favourable for the formation and propagation of fractures during hydraulic fracking. The minimum horizontal stress, which determines the direction of formation and growth of artificially induced hydraulic fractures varies from wellto-well, averaging between 6802.62 to 32790.58 psi. The order of variation of the in-situ stresses is maximum horizontal stress>vertical stress>minimum horizontal stress which implies a reverse fault fracture regime. The study predicts that the sweet spots for the exploration and development of the shale-gas are those sections of the shale formations that exhibit high Young’s modulus, low Poisson’s ratio, and high brittleness. The in-situ stresses required for artificially induced fractures which provide pore space for shale gas accumulation and expulsion are adequate. The shales possess suitable mechanical properties to fracture during hydraulic fracturing. Application of these results will enhance the potentials of the onshore Anambra basin as a reliable component in increasing Nigeria’s gas reserves, for the improvement of the nation’s economy and energy security.
Key Words: Hydraulic Fracturing, Organic-rich Shales, Rock Mechanical Properties, Petrophysical Properties, Anambra Basin