Coupled Physical–Chemical Effects of CO2 on Rock Properties and Breakdown During Intermittent CO2-Hybrid Fracturing

  • Sihai Li
  • Shicheng Zhang
  • Xinfang Ma
  • Yushi ZouEmail author
  • Ning Li
  • Shan Wu
  • Zhaopeng Zhang
Original Paper


This paper introduces a new intermittent CO2-hybrid fracturing design for stimulating tight sandstone reservoirs by fully utilizing the coupled physical–chemical effects of CO2. The design consists of (1) injecting pure CO2 to create a complex fracture network; (2) soaking the well for several days or weeks, and (3) pumping a CO2-/water-based slurry to enhance the complexity of fracture network more extensively. In order to examine the feasibility of the design, the coupled physical–chemical effects of CO2 on rock properties and breakdown were investigated by conducting laboratory static soaking experiments and fracturing experiments on the layered Chang-7 tight sandstones. Experimental results show that calcite and dolomite were first dissolved, followed by K-feldspar and albite, while quartz and clays were slightly eroded during the static soaking experiments. With the increase of soaking time, the number of dissolution pores increased and the pore size enlarged, which caused the enhancement in porosity and permeability (up to 749%) and the decrement of tensile strength (up to 47%). Compared with slickwater fracturing, supercritical CO2 (Sc-CO2) fracturing (physical effect) and intermittent CO2-hybrid fracturing (coupled physical–chemical effects) reduced the breakdown pressure by 15.0% and 33.4%, respectively. Sc-CO2 fracturing tended to create more spatially dispersed fractures with the fractal dimension (Df) ranging from 2.2653 to 2.2719 than the single fracture created by slickwater fracturing (Df ranging 2.1302–2.1369). Notably, intermittent CO2-hybrid fracturing enhanced the fracture complexity (Df ranging 2.3772–2.3915) conspicuously in comparison with Sc-CO2 fracturing. The obtained results indicate that the coupled physical–chemical effects of CO2 can improve fracture complexity significantly during intermittent CO2-hybrid fracturing in Chang-7 formation.


Tight sandstone Intermittent CO2-hybrid fracturing Coupled physical–chemical effects of CO2 Rock property Rock breakdown 



Hydraulic fracture


Natural fracture


Bedding plane


Open-hole section




Minimum horizontal principal stress


Maximum horizontal principal stress


Vertical stress


Area of scanned dissolution pores


Area of scanned initial pores


Area of scanned sample surface


Fractal dimension of three-dimensional fractures


Surface dissolution rate


Stimulated fracture area


Injection time


Proportion of dilatational first motions



This paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51704305; 51574255), the Major National Science and Technology Projects of China (Nos. 2016ZX05049-006; 2017ZX05039002-003).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectingChina University of PetroleumBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Petroleum EngineeringChina University of PetroleumBeijingChina

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