Evaluation of the near fracture face formation damage caused by the spontaneously imbibed fracturing fluid in unconventional gas reservoirs

Aymen Al-Ameri, Talal Gamadi, Ion Ispas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In the present study, spontaneous imbibition experiments, steady-state permeability measurements, and numerical simulation were integrated to quantify the changes in the effective water permeability, capillary pressure, and water relative permeability curves due to the polymer adsorption of the spontaneously imbibed fracturing fluid. The effect of the nonionic surfactant and core bedding plane on the fluid spontaneous imbibition volumes were also investigated. The researchers considered the impact of the spontaneous imbibition of a friction reducer fluid in tight sand and shale core samples. Three comparative systematic spontaneous imbibition experiments were conducted for each of the core samples using brine, anionic friction reducer fluid, and brine again. The core sample water permeability before and after the imbibition experiment was measured using a constant rate steady-state permeability apparatus. The polymer adsorption from the spontaneously imbibed fracturing fluid significantly reduced the brine spontaneous imbibition volumes in tight sand samples and in shale samples, though to a lesser degree. Moreover, the effective water permeability was decreased because of the polymer adsorption effect. Therefore, the polymer adsorption during hydraulic fracturing reduces the fluid leak-off into the formation and also the fluid flowback. The nonionic surfactant increased the fluid spontaneous imbibition volumes in both tight sand and shale samples. Thus, adding a nonionic surfactant to the friction reducer pad fluid during hydraulic fracturing leads to enhance both of the fluid leak-off and fluid flowback. The results also showed that the effect of polymer adsorption on the imbibition rates is less when the rock-fluid contact surface is parallel to the bedding plane. The imbibition potentials and imbibition capillary pressure curves were calculated before and after polymer adsorption. The polymer adsorption led to a slight increase in the capillary pressure; moreover, the tight sand samples had higher capillary pressure than the shale samples. The imbibition water relative permeability curves were calculated using ECLIPSE commercial simulator. The polymer adsorption significantly reduces the water relative permeability curves for tight sand samples and in less degree for shale samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Bedding plane
  • Fracturing fluid spontaneous imbibition
  • Friction reducer pad fluid
  • Imbibition capillary pressure
  • Imbibition water relative permeability curves
  • Nonionic surfactant
  • Polymer adsorption


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of the near fracture face formation damage caused by the spontaneously imbibed fracturing fluid in unconventional gas reservoirs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this