Nanoindentation of Shale Cuttings and Its Application to Cor
Large samples (~1 in.) required for standard tests are often unavailable in shale formations due to various reasons. They are not usually recovered in horizontal drilling, which is a common practice in hydraulic fracturing. They also delaminate and are difficult to process in core analysis. Hence, common characterization techniques face challenges and lead to uncertainties. A new method is needed that can be applied to small pieces, such as drill cuttings, which are often the only available sources, especially in real-time conditions. The present study proposes a new method applicable to the cuttings to determine the geomechanical properties of shale formations at the core scale from nanoindentations. In particular, the Young’s moduli have been determined from cuttings, and the results are compared with those of the core plugs. Nanoindentation and the required sample preparation are reviewed. The results are promising, and the methodology has applications in characterizing formation heterogeneity in the petroleum industry.
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Erica Esatyana, A. Sakhaee-Pour, Fadhil N. Sadooni, and Hamad Al-Saad Al-Kuwari
University of Houston; Qatar University