Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 39, Issue 12, pp 9249–9257 | Cite as

Rock Pore Structure Damage Due to Freeze During Liquid Nitrogen Fracturing

  • Chengzheng CaiEmail author
  • Gensheng Li
  • Zhongwei Huang
  • Zhonghou Shen
  • Shouceng Tian
Research Article - Petroleum Engineering


Liquid nitrogen has been successfully used as a fracturing fluid in petroleum engineering. When liquid nitrogen is pumped into a well, the physical conditions of the reservoir rocks will be altered. In these experiments, pore structure damage in a sandstone and a coal due to freezing with liquid nitrogen was measured by nuclear magnetic resonance. The changes both in amplitude of the T 2 distribution curve and in maximum T 2 value were analysed. The results showed that the action of freezing with liquid nitrogen produced damage to the pore structure and caused the development of micro-pores or micro-fissures. The change in amplitude of T 2 distribution curves showed that the new pores or fissures in coal specimens were larger than those in sandstone. This indicated that coal specimens were subjected to more serious damage to their pore structure because of their inherent natural fractures and weaker grain cementation. For sandstone, the change in amplitude of T 2 distribution curve peaks revealed that the damage increased with increasing water saturation. By contrasting the pore structure damage characteristics of coal and sandstone, a tentative conclusion that liquid nitrogen fracturing was more suitable for use in coal bed methane extraction than in sandstone reservoirs was drawn.


Liquid nitrogen Fracturing Freeze Pore structure Damage 

List of symbols

\({{\rm Sw}}\)

Water saturation of specimen (%)


Transverse relaxation time mainly resulting from surface interactions (ms)


Constant represents the relaxivity (\({{\rm \mu m}/{\rm s}}\))


Ratio of surface to volume inversely proportional to the pore radius (\({{\rm \mu m}^{-1}}\))

\({r_{\rm p}}\)

Pore body radius (\({{\rm \mu m}}\))


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chengzheng Cai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gensheng Li
    • 1
  • Zhongwei Huang
    • 1
  • Zhonghou Shen
    • 1
  • Shouceng Tian
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectingChina University of PetroleumBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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