Expandable diverting agents to improve efficiency of refracturing treatments

Livio Santos, Arash Dahi Taleghani, Guoqiang Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Scopus citations


The use of chemical diverters in refracturing operations has been increasing and taking the place of mechanical diverters, which were a prevailing technique for years. Chemical diverters consist of particles or liquid that can temporarily clog pre-existing fractures, allowing diversion of the fracturing fluid to create new fractures inside the reservoir and generate a more complex fracture network. The success or failure of a re-stimulation treatment largely depends on the diverter placement and effective isolation of previous fractures. In this work, we propose a novel class of materials as a diverting agent that after pumping into the formation expands to temporarily plug the existing fractures and allow the frac energy to concentrate on generating new fracture strands. Biodegradation and chemical dissolution can be utilized at the end of the treatment to resume the flow from isolated fractures. Proof-of-concept experiments were carried out using a particle-plugging apparatus to demonstrate the bridging ability of the expandable diverter. The fracture sealing process is observed with the steep increase in the fluid pressure. In order to further tune the performance of this diverter and simulate its performance in reservoir conditions, we developed a numerical model to simulate its placement and expansion. The coupled computational fluid dynamics-discrete element method approach can track the diverting particles individually and simulate the frac fluid flow within the fractures. Multiple scenarios were tested, with different particle sizes and networks of fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2017
PublisherUnconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTEC)
ISBN (Print)9781613995433
StatePublished - 2017
EventSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2017 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2017Jul 26 2017

Publication series

NameSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2017


OtherSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Expandable diverting agents to improve efficiency of refracturing treatments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this