Open Access iconOpen Access



Optimizing the Diameter of Plugging Balls in Deep Shale Gas Wells

Yi Song1, Zheyu Hu2,*, Cheng Shen1, Lan Ren2, Xingwu Guo1, Ran Lin2, Kun Wang3, Zhiyong Zhao4

1 Shale Gas Research Institute, PetroChina Southwest Oil & Gasfield Company, Chengdu, 610056, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Oil & Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, 610500, China
3 National Pipe Network Group Sichuan East Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Co., Ltd., Wuhan, 430205, China
4 Fracturing Acidizing Company, Downhole Operation Company of Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Co., Ltd., Chengdu, 610213, China

* Corresponding Author: Zheyu Hu. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Solid, Fluid, and Thermal Dynamics in the Development of Unconventional Resources )

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2024, 20(3), 609-624.


Deep shale gas reserves that have been fractured typically have many relatively close perforation holes. Due to the proximity of each fracture during the formation of the fracture network, there is significant stress interference, which results in uneven fracture propagation. It is common practice to use “balls” to temporarily plug fracture openings in order to lessen liquid intake and achieve uniform propagation in each cluster. In this study, a diameter optimization model is introduced for these plugging balls based on a multi-cluster fracture propagation model and a perforation dynamic abrasion model. This approach relies on proper consideration of the multiphase nature of the considered problem and the interaction force between the involved fluid and solid phases. Accordingly, it can take into account the behavior of the gradually changing hole diameter due to proppant continuous perforation erosion. Moreover, it can provide useful information about the fluid-dynamic behavior of the considered system before and after plugging. It is shown that when the diameter of the temporary plugging ball is 1.2 times that of the perforation hole, the perforation holes of each cluster can be effectively blocked.

Graphical Abstract

Optimizing the Diameter of Plugging Balls in Deep Shale Gas Wells


Cite This Article

Song, Y., Hu, Z., Shen, C., Ren, L., Guo, X. et al. (2024). Optimizing the Diameter of Plugging Balls in Deep Shale Gas Wells. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 20(3), 609–624.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 397


  • 200


  • 0


Share Link