Fracturing Experiments: Nevada Test Site (English)

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The purpose of this program is to develop techniques for efficient and economic recovery of natural gas from low permeability reservoirs in both Western US basins and the Eastern Appalachian area. Experiments have been conducted at G-tunnel to improve this conventional technology and to develop novel techniques for improved recovery. These experiments offer a unique opportunity to perform fracturing research under conditions combining the best aspects of field tests and laboratory experiments; they are conducted under realistic in situ conditions, yet mining allows for direct observation. The development of controlled-pulse fracturing technology has been the major focus of the program the last two years. We find that explosive fracturing can often have detrimental results such as crushing, a stress cage, and reduced permeability. Hydraulic fracturing produces a single fracture which may not adequately drain a naturally fractured reservoir. A controlled-pulse-fracturing stimulation can result in multiple fratures extending in all directions. This is attractive for draining naturally fractured reservoirs. 11 refs. (ERA citation 12:040463)