Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/43666
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Type: Journal article
Title: The relationship between closure pressures from fluid injection tests and the minimum principal stress in strong rocks
Author: Nelson, E.
Chipperfield, S.
Hillis, R.
Gilbert, J.
McGowen, J.
Mildren, S.
Citation: International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 2007; 44(5):787-801
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1365-1609
1873-4545
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Emma J. Nelson, Simon T. Chipperfield, Richard R. Hillis, John Gilbert, Jim McGowen and Scott D. Mildren
Abstract: Closure pressures measured during injection tests such as mini-fracs are normally considered an accurate measure of the minimum in situ principal stress magnitude. This paper presents stress, strength and image log data from the Australian Cooper Basin, which suggests that in reservoirs with high in situ stress, high tensile strength and weak geological fabrics, interpreted closure pressures may be significantly greater than the minimum principal stress. Closure pressures interpreted from mini-frac injection tests in the Cooper Basin, suggest the minimum principal stress varies from 12.4–27.2 MPa/km (0.55–1.2 psi/ft). To better understand the reasons for this variation in closure pressure, image logs and mini-frac data from 13 treatment zones, and core from seven of these treatment zones, were analysed. The analysis revealed that treatment zones with high measured closure pressures (≥18.1 MPa/km; 0.8 psi/ft), high treating pressures (>31.6 MPa/km; 1.4 psi/ft) and high measured hydraulic fracture complexity existed in reservoirs with high tensile rock strength (>7 MPa; 1015 psi) and geological fabrics (planes of weakness) including natural fractures. Conversely, treatment zones with lower measured closure stress (≤19 MPa/km; 0.84 psi/ft) and low hydraulic fracture complexity occurred in reservoirs with lower tensile strength and/or no geological fabrics. We suggest that closure pressures in rocks with high tensile strength and weak geological fabrics may not be representative of the minimum principal stress magnitude in the Cooper Basin where they are associated with hydraulic fracture complexity. Rather, they reflect the normal stress incident on pre-existing weaknesses that are exploited by hydraulic fluid during the mini-frac injection.
Keywords: In situ stress; Mini-frac injection test; Closure pressure
Description: Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020070702
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2006.10.004
Description (link): http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/256/description#description
Appears in Collections:Australian School of Petroleum publications

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