A review of pulse fracturing treatment: An emerging stimulation technique for unconventional reservoirs

Zeeshan Tariq, Mohamed Mahmoud, Abdulazeez Abdulraheem, Ayman Al-Nakhli, Mohammed Bataweel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The enormous resources of hydrocarbons hold by unconventional reservoirs across the world along with the growing oil demand make their contributions to be most imperative to the world economy. However, one of the major challenges faced by oil companies to produce from the unconventional reservoirs is to ensure economical production of oil. Unconventional reservoirs need extensive fracturing treatments to produce commercially viable hydrocarbons. One way to produce from these reservoirs is by drilling horizontal well and conduct multistage fracturing to increase stimulated reservoir volume (SRV), but this method of increasing SRV is involved with higher equipment, material, and operating costs. To overcome operational and technical challenges involved in horizontal wells multistage fracturing, the alternative way to increase SRV is by creating multiple radial fractures by performing pulse fracturing. Pulse fracturing is a relatively new technique, can serve as an alternative to conventional hydraulic fracturing in many cases such as to stimulate naturally fractured reservoirs to connect with pre-existing fractures, to stimulate heavy oil with cold heavy oil production technique, to remove condensate banking nearby wellbore region, and when to avoid formation damage near the vicinity of the wellbore originated due to perforation. Pulse fracturing is not involved with injecting pressurized fluids into the reservoir, so it is also a relatively cheaper technique. The purpose of this paper is to present a general overview of the pulse fracturing treatment. This paper will give general idea of the different techniques and mechanisms involved in the application of pulse fracturing technique. The focus of this review will be on the comparison of different fracturing techniques implemented normally in the industry. This study also covers the models developed and applied to the simulation of complex fractures originated due to pulse fracturing.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference, MEOS, Proceedings
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Print)9781613996393
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


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