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Reflective Materials for Fracture Analysis

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237232D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-09
Document File: 9 page(s) / 265K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This document presents fracture analysis methods through the use of reflective materials as proppant, mixed with proppant, or coated on proppant to be detected by downhole and/or surface devices. Using radar and/or acoustic technologies, transmissions specifically designed to penetrate through geologic formations can be reflected off of specifically designed material within fracturing fluids. These methods include electromagnetic and/or acoustic frequencies in subterranean formations to determine, among other things, fracture and proppant pack characteristics, such as dimensions, orientation, and fluid conductivity. Signal processing of reflected energy can provide real-time 3D subterranean formation imaging through the use of: electromagnetic and/or acoustic transmitter(s) emitting frequencies that best penetrate specified formations; Materials as proppant, mixed with proppant, or coated on proppant that are specifically designed to reflect the electromagnetic and/or acoustic frequencies that best penetrate the specified formation(s) being fractured; Electromagnetic and/or acoustic receiver(s) tuned to detect and amplify the reflected signals; Processing to monitor interpret the reflected signal data into usable information.

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Page 01 of 9

Reflective Materials for Fracture Analysis

Abstract

This document presents fracture analysis methods through the use of reflective materials as proppant, mixed with proppant, or coated on proppant to be detected by downhole and/or surface devices. Using radar and/or acoustic technologies, transmissions specifically designed to penetrate through geologic formations can be reflected off of specifically designed material within fracturing fluids. These methods include electromagnetic and/or acoustic frequencies in subterranean formations to determine, among other things, fracture and proppant pack characteristics, such as dimensions, orientation, and fluid Signal processing of reflected energy can provide real-time 3D subterranean formation imaging through the use of: electromagnetic and/or acoustic transmitter(s) emitting frequencies that best penetrate specified formations; Materials as proppant, mixed with proppant, or coated on proppant that are specifically designed to reflect the electromagnetic and/or acoustic frequencies that best penetrate the specified formation(s) being fractured; Electromagnetic and/or acoustic receiver(s) tuned to detect and amplify the reflected signals; Processing to monitor interpret the reflected signal data into usable

Introduction

Radar is used for detecting and ranging targets/objects by transmitting electromagnetic energy waves called radio frequency (RF), receiving the returned signal, and performing processing to combine the position of the antenna(s) the time between transmission and reception, and sometimes the Doppler effects of the signal as well. Similarly acoustic technologies include the transmission of acoustic energy waves that this document will refer to as acoustic frequency (AF), receiving the returned signal, and signal processing to provide useful information. In general, RF and/or AF can be reflected off of, absorbed into, and/or passed through materials. The frequency and amplitude of the transmitted energy, as well as, the thickness, resistivity, and other material properties determine how much of the energy is absorbed, Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has major limitations due to the complexity of media in the earth, such as, man-made structures, plants/animals, and a variety of formation layers with different rocks, minerals, etc. that all reflect, absorb, and/or allow penetration at different amplitudes of different frequencies (see

Figure 1. Complexity limitation for GPR.

conductivity.

information.

reflected, and/or penetrated.

Figures 1 and 2).


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A sample GPR cross section through the middle of a doorway. Note:

(1) the rebar

(2) the utility lines

(3) the trench beneath the concrete

Figure 2. GPR example.

These major limitations are the main reason that GPR cannot be used for fracture mapping. Likewise, these limitations have inhibited radar technology in downhole tools for fracture mapping in the oil/gas

industry.

However, if there is an RF and/or AF amplitude a...