Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 11, pp 6315–6324 | Cite as

Experimental Measurements of Shale Fracture Conductivity Under Cyclic Loading

  • Honglian Li
  • Jiren TangEmail author
  • Yiyu Lu
  • Lei Zhou
  • Shuaibin Han
  • Rui Dai
Research Article - Petroleum Engineering


Existing research on shale fracture conductivity is rather sparse and has not taken the effect of loading history into consideration. A splitting device was used to split the shale specimens along bedding, and a 3D scanner was used to characterize the fracture surface. Using a constant 0.3 MPa gas pressure, three shale specimens split by single fractures of different roughness were tested for gas flow during four loading–unloading cycles of 0–10 MPa. Test results show that fracture conductivity exhibited hysteresis similar to that observed in rock mechanics experiments. In addition, it is clear that fracture conductivity is smaller for fractures with rougher surfaces. Building on the cubic law and soil mechanics consolidation theory, a hydraulic aperture model for cyclic loading was developed that helps explain the influence of plastic deformation during loading and unloading on fracture conductivity. This model exhibited trends get the agreement with the data for the range of confining stresses used in the experiments.


Shale fracture conductivity Cyclic loading Surface roughness Hydraulic aperture model 


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Honglian Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiren Tang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yiyu Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuaibin Han
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rui Dai
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and ControlChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Gas Drainage in Complex Coal SeamChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.East Sichuan Drilling Company of CNPC ChuanqingChongqingChina

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