Study of Cyclic Fracturing in Vertical CBM Wells

Ting Li1, 2, 3, Ji-fang Wan4, *
1 Hubei Cooperative Innovation Center of Unconventional Oil and Gas, Yangtze University, Wuhan 430100, P.R China
2 Petroleum Engineering College of Yangtze University, Wuhan 430100, P.R China
3 Key Laboratory of Drilling and Production Engineering for Oil & Gas, Hubei Province, Wuhan 430100, P.R China
4 Mechanical Engineering College of Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, P.R China

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© 2017 Li and Wan.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Mechanical Engineering College of Yangtze University, School of Mechanical Engineering, 1 Nanhuan Rd, 434023 Jingzhou City, Hubei Province, P. R. China; Tel/Fax: +8613797507143; E-mails:,



Coal-bed methane productivity of single well is very low, and has been the bottleneck of the coal-bed methane industry in China.


Although hydraulic fracturing is the only stimulation measure to develop CBM, it cannot increase production effectively, conventional fracturing method to create opening fractures should be improved. How to make good use of natural fractures, which are plentiful in CBM reservoirs, is also an important subject for hydraulic fracturing.


In this paper, the plastic deformation of coal rock is analyzed by harnessing a pseudo-Maxwell creep phenomenon, which is normally present in rock. The Kelvin-Voigt model is utilized to describe pseudo-plastic behavior of coal rock to determine pressurization and decay cyclic time for cyclic fracturing design. The mechanical requirement for shearing natural fractures is also analyzed, and shearing distance between the faces of natural fracture can be calculated by Westergaard stress function. Ultimately, the cyclic fracturing method is proposed according to theories about stress alteration and shearing of natural fractures. This method includes such periods as fracturing, pumping shut-down and so on.


A complex fracture system can be created, which consists of opened and sheared fractures, then, large SRV(stimulated reservoir volume)and flowing drainage area can be acquired. In comparison with conventional fracturing method, this new way can make full use of the characteristics of CBM reservoirs and is more suitable to CBM. This method will lead to a significant increase of CBM production, and will achieve huge economic benefits.

Keywords: Coal-bed methane, Well production, Cyclic fracturing, Complex fractures, Method, Application.