Spontaneous Imbibition Characteristics of Slickwater and its Components in Longmaxi Shale


During and after multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, the spontaneous imbibition of water-base fracturing fluid in shale formation is considered as the main mechanism responsible for the retention of large amounts of fracturing fluid. Slickwater is widely applied in Fuling shale gas field, the largest shale gas field in China. To characterize the spontaneous imbibition of slickwater and its four major components, experiments were carried out by using modified imbibition cells. Results show that all of the imbibition curves can be divided into three stages: linear imbibition stage, transition stage and stable imbibition stage. Their imbibition capacities are in the order of cleanup additive, clay stabilizer, slickwater, defoamer and friction reducer from highest to lowest. We have found that the imbibed volume is larger than the initial pore volume. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) tests, core images and porosity comparison before and after imbibition all indicate the secondary microfractures were created during the imbibition process. The calculated volume of secondary microfractures which is the difference between the pore volume before and after the imbibition is very close to the imbibed volume, indicating the imbibition mainly through the microfractures. We also found that the imbibition rate of slickwater and its components in the order from highest to lowest is cleanup additive (0.087 cc/d), slickwater (0.058 cc/d), clay stabilizer (0.035 cc/d), defoamer (0.022 cc/d) and friction reducer (0.014 cc/d), indicating the synergy effect of slickwater components on the imbibition process and the role to optimize the cleanup additives during slickwater design.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


China Scholarship Council, Grant 201908505143

Keywords and Phrases

Gas shale; Imbibition capacity; Imbibition rate; Secondary microfracture; Slickwater; Spontaneous imbibition

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Article - Journal

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© 2021 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2021