Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Mechanics of Hydraulic Fracturing1

By
M. King Hubbert
M. King Hubbert
Washington, D.C.
Search for other works by this author on:
David G. Willis
David G. Willis
Atherton, California
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1972

Abstract

A theoretical examination of the fracturing of rocks by means of pressure applied in boreholes leads to the conclusion that, regardless of whether the fracturing fluid is of the penetrating or nonpenetrating type, the fractures produced should be approximately perpendicular to the axis of least stress. The general state of stress underground is that in which the three principal stresses are unequal. For tectonically relaxed areas characterized by normal faulting, the least stress should be horizontal; the fractures produced should be vertical, and the injection pressure should be less than that of the overburden. In areas of active tectonic compression, the least stress should be vertical and equal to the pressure of the overburden; the fractures should be horizontal, and injection pressures should be equal to, or greater than, the pressure of the overburden.

Horizontal fractures cannot be produced by hydraulic pressures less than the total pressure of the overburden.

These conclusions are compatible with field experience in fracturing and with the results of laboratory ex-perimentation.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables

Contents

AAPG Memoir

Underground Waste Management and Environmental Implications

T. D. Cook
T. D. Cook
Search for other works by this author on:
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
18
ISBN electronic:
9781629812229
Publication date:
January 01, 1972

GeoRef

References

Related

A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now