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Hydraulic fracturing

Fracturing provides a way to increase recovery of hydrocarbons from tight rocks. SINTEF develops knowledge on fracture initiation and growth in order to make fracking more efficient and to answer the environmental concerns. Our knowledge is also needed to properly design water-injection operations, since they frequently lead to fracturing. Controlled fracturing is also a key to economic development of geothermal energy from large depths.

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Field-scale simulations can be run with SINTEF's MDEM model: a tool simulating hydraulic fracturing at reservoir scale. We also perform hollow cylinder fracturing experiments in the laboratory, with fully equipped acoustic emission set-up enabling localisation of fractures. These are verified with CT-imaging and reconstruction. We also work on flow in fractures, since it is crucial for naturally-fractured reservoirs, EOR, mud losses and cementing.

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