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Hydraulic fractures: How far can they go?

Davies, RJ; Mathias, SA; Moss, J; Hustoft, S; Newport, L

Hydraulic fractures: How far can they go? Thumbnail


RJ Davies

J Moss

S Hustoft

L Newport


The maximum reported height of an upward propagating hydraulic fracture from several thousand fracturing operations in the Marcellus, Barnett, Woodford, Eagle Ford and Niobrara shale (USA) is ∼588 m. Of the 1170 natural hydraulic fracture pipes imaged with three-dimensional seismic data offshore of West Africa and mid-Norway it is ∼1106 m. Based on these empirical data, the probability of a stimulated and natural hydraulic fracture extending vertically >350 m is ∼1% and ∼33% respectively. Constraining the probability of stimulating unusually tall hydraulic fractures in sedimentary rocks is extremely important as an evidence base for decisions on the safe vertical separation between the depth of stimulation and rock strata not intended for penetration.


Davies, R., Mathias, S., Moss, J., Hustoft, S., & Newport, L. (2012). Hydraulic fractures: How far can they go?. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 37(1), 1-6.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2012
Deposit Date May 28, 2012
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2012
Journal Marine and Petroleum Geology
Print ISSN 0264-8172
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 1
Pages 1-6
Keywords Fracture, Pressure, Shale, Natural, Stimulated.


Accepted Journal Article (385 Kb)

Copyright Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Marine and petroleum geology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Marine and petroleum geology, 37(1), 2012, 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.04.001

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