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Hydrofracturing of Water Wells

Hydrofracturing of Water WellsWhen a well is drilled in homogeneous and low porosity rock it sometimes turns out to be dry or a low producer, there is no or very little water to be found.  However, this doesn’t mean that the rock is not water bearing.

Water in hard rock is generally located in cracks and fractures originating from the natural geological processes.  These cracks are usually a very good water source. The problem is being lucky enough to drill the actual well into suitable water bearing fracture zone.

The difference between a productive and a dry well can be just the width of a man’s hand. So, today Hydrofracturing has been introduced as an add on in Water Well Drilling industry. 

The object being, rather than abandoning a semi dry expensively drilled water well, but to create a man made conductive fracture by pumping water under extreme pressures into the well under controlled and safe conditions, and subsequently increasing the effective well-bore radius.

This pressure is applied from the surface by injecting water, with a high-pressure pump, at a rate exceeding that, which can be injected into the rock matrix. When the limit is reached where the rock can no longer accept the rate of injected water and pressure, new channels are formed. These new flow channels are the fractures. Fractures are initiated, propagated and held open as long as injection proceeds. As it ceases, broken particles of rock which were released when creating the new fracture, hold open the new fracture zone and allow water to flow to the bore hole.

In order to achieve a deep penetration of the fractures into the surrounding formation, it is of great importance to pump large quantities of water under high pressure after the formation has been opened (break point).

However, it must be noted that when planning to fracture wells, it is usually time wasting to attempt to break rock in a well that is absolutely bone dry.

 

 
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